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The Archive

October 2008

AC Milan 2:1 Siena - match report
29.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Inzaghi 31 (M), Vergassola 54 (S), Kaka pen 65 (M)

Milan leapfrog Inter in the standings with a third straight Serie A victory, albeit thanks to a soft penalty.

Carlo Ancelotti said the Rossoneri were now Scudetto contenders and they went into this midweek round just one point shy of the leaders. Ronaldinho and Mathieu Flamini joined the injury list of Andrea Pirlo, Philippe Senderos, Alessandro Nesta and Kakha Kaladze, while Marek Jankulovski was suspended. Siena had already beaten Roma this season, but eight of their nine points were earned on home turf and they made the trip without banned goalkeeper Gianluca Curci, while Massimo Maccarone was rested.

Siena were not frightened to play at San Siro and had the first real chance with a Del Grosso free kick shaving a coat of paint off the upright. Milan hit back as Emanuele Manitta needed a great reaction save to deny Pippo Inzaghi's header from a corner.

On 22 minutes Alexandre Pato nodded a corner kick on to the inside of the upright and was unable to redirect the loose ball.

The deadlock was broken when SuperPippo Inzaghi finished off a fine move firing under the bar from nine yards, as Kaka and Gennaro Gattuso had combined for the build-up.

Pato dribbled through four Siena shirts for a low drive that Manitta palmed round the post at full stretch. From the resulting corner the goalkeeper had to pluck the ball off Inzaghi's foot after a Daniele Portanova error.

The visitors replied with youngster Abdul Ghezzal's powerful strike felling Daniele Bonera. Ghezzal again threatened after the restart with a header that Abbiati palmed round the post.

Siena managed to equalise when a lucky ricochet on Zuniga's cross sent Simone Vergassola clear at the back post, his shot going in off the inside of the upright.

Portanova was judged to have pushed Inzaghi in the six-yard box and Kaka converted the low penalty despite Manitta guessing the right angle.

The Tuscans were having a fine game and substitute Galloppa spun round for Abbiati to palm off the line at full stretch.

Paul Codrea's free kick skimmed the woodwork with Abbiati rooted to the spot, but substitute Andriy Shevchenko went on the counter to create a fine opportunity for Pato.
Milan: Abbiati; Antonini, Bonera, Favalli, Zambrotta; Gattuso, Emerson (Ambrosini 71), Seedorf; Kaka; Inzaghi (Shevchenko 77), Pato

Siena: Manitta; Rossettini, Zuniga, (Rossi 56) Portanova, Del Grosso; Vergassola, Codrea, Jarolim (Galloppa 62); Kharja; Ghezzal, Frick (Maccarone 77)

Ref: Celi

Ancelotti thanks AC Milan fighters
26.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti concedes Milan struggled in Bergamo and that they used to leave empty-handed after such performances.

“In other times we would have lost games like this,” noted the Coach after their 1-0 victory away to Atalanta.

“The team showed it has quality both in terms of technique and strength of character. I can comfortably say Atalanta played better than we did and they didn’t deserve defeat.

“We struggled today because the team could not seem to move in its usual manner and was under pressure.

“In the first half we were too timid, especially when going in for loose balls. After the break we went out there with a more incisive attitude and took advantage when Atalanta ran out of steam.”

The Rossoneri barely got a shot on goal other than Kaka’s winner 10 minutes from time.

“The performance of certainly players, such as Ronaldinho, changes from game to game because the whole team is not consistent. We are more prudent outside San Siro and that is something we need to work on.”

Milan are now just one point adrift of the three leaders – Udinese, Inter and Napoli – but the media focus remains on January loan signing David Beckham.

“He has been a great right winger, but now he has lost some of that pace and sharpness,” explained Ancelotti.

“I think he is better used in central midfield, as he has good technique. He can happily settle in to our system.”

Cannavaro: Beckham has it all
26.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Fabio Cannavaro is confident David Beckham will prove himself in Serie A and become as much of a draw as Diego Maradona was at Napoli.

Milan have all but agreed terms to take the England star on loan from January until March, when the MLS season kicks off again.

“David is incredible,” assured his former Real Madrid teammate. “I remember one night we arrived by train in Seville.

“At the station there were girls vaulting the gates to get a hug off him. It was like hanging around with The Beatles! I hadn’t seen anything like it, not even when Maradona was at Napoli.”

The glamour factor is obviously at the forefront of everyone’s minds when thinking of the LA Galaxy star and husband of Victoria ‘Posh Spice’ Beckham, but Cannavaro notes that is not why he stands out.

“Those who say David is all style and no substance are making a big mistake,” the defender told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I will remind them that, if we won the Liga title two years ago, 80 per cent of the credit goes to Beckham.

“From the moment he returned to the side after being frozen out, he was simply extraordinary.”

Beckham brings 'glamour factor'
26.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kakha Kaladze jokes that after bringing in David Beckham, Milan will also sign George Clooney and Brad Pitt!

The imminent arrival of the man Italian media refer to as 'Spice Boy' is focusing all the attention on the Rossoneri.

“The team in the locker room was happy with the news, but what people don't know is that we'll also have George Clooney as Coach and Brad Pitt as assistant manager,” smiled Kaladze.

The glamour factor at Milanello is certainly escalating with Ronaldinho, Kaka and Andriy Shevchenko in the side.

“Ronaldinho is a player the whole world knows, he is a great champion. I am happy he is proving his critics wrong. He's a great professional.”

Kaladze has been out of action for several weeks and hopes to be back soon to help the defence.

“I am much better now. I'm still working separately from the group, because it is mainly physical training to get back into shape. I think next week I will start working with the ball and then the whole squad.”

Beckham speaks of AC Milan 'honour'
26.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

David Beckham has said he would be “honoured to play for Milan, one of the biggest clubs in the world.”

He finally spoke out on the loan switch in a video posted on the LA Galaxy website this evening.

"AC Milan is one of the biggest clubs in the world," said Beckham. "It doesn't mean I'm leaving the States - I'm still very committed to being a Galaxy player. I came to the Galaxy to win trophies and I want to do that.

"One of the reasons I want to train and play in Milan for a few months is the fact that the MLS season doesn't run as long as the European season and my body is programmed to actually not have that amount of time off.

"I've been lucky enough to play with one of the biggest clubs in England and one of the biggest clubs in Spain, now I'm being given the chance to play with one of the biggest clubs in Italy.

"They've got Kaka, Ronaldinho, Seedorf and also a player with one of the best records in football, in (Paolo) Maldini.

"To be on the pitch and the training field and get experience with those players is a big honour."

He will only be available between January and March for competitive matches at Milan, as Galaxy have demanded he return in time for the start of the new MLS season.

"The MLS is in a great position at the moment. My hope for the season coming with the Galaxy is to win trophies. That is a big part of why I'm here," concluded the England star.

Beckham is only in his second season with Galaxy, having put pen to paper on a five-year contract in 2007.

Ancelotti: Beckham needs AC Milan
26.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan will “be of more use to David Beckham than he is to us,” but that won’t stop Carlo Ancelotti wishing it could be a permanent move.

The Rossoneri are in advanced negotiations to take the England international on loan from LA Galaxy from January to March, where he would be eligible for Serie A and the UEFA Cup.

“I would sign him on a permanent basis if I could,” smiled the tactician in today’s Press conference.

“He is not a tourist. His presence can bring extra enthusiasm, as he is an important player and a great professional.

“Even if it is only short-term, his quality can be useful in certain circumstances. He won’t have trouble settling in, as football is a universal language and everyone is happy he’ll be here. I see no contradiction in that.”

The temporary switch will allow Becks to be in the public spotlight ahead of future England games, while Milan are said to be picking up £7m in sponsorship deals for the brief stay at San Siro.

“I would like him to stay. Perhaps we will be of use to him because we are letting him train, or he could be useful for us even for just one game, and that would already be positive.

“In the moment when he is training and in good shape, he’ll be in competition for a starting spot along with the others and it’ll be up to me to choose.”

Much has been made of Beckham’s position within the already-packed Milan squad and Ancelotti admits he has several alternatives.

“Beckham can be used in the centre or on the right side of midfield. Could he try to cover Andrea Pirlo’s role? Nobody can doubt the quality in those feet.

“It has been a long time since we’ve had an English player at Milanello, because for a while now Milan have gone for a more Brazilian approach and also the English clubs tend to keep their best players.”

Originally the plan had been for Golden Balls to come to Milan for training sessions during the MLS close season and it is said the LA Galaxy tactician is angry that he’ll be playing in Serie A as well.

“If a player wants to train during his vacation time, that doesn’t seem negative to me,” insisted Ancelotti.

“Beckham still wants to play for the national side, so that is the most important aspect for him – staying in shape. He could well be part of our friendly tour of Dubai.

“The ‘problem’ of having too many players would exist with or without Beckham. We would have been happy to just have him training with us, so the fact he can also be registered to play cannot be negative for us.”

Ancelotti keeps Beckham options open
26.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti assures “David Beckham can play anywhere, in midfield or on the wing” as Milan prepare to welcome the new arrival.

Many have questioned the decision to take the LA Galaxy player on loan, especially as his club has already said he will be ready for the start of the MLS season in March.

“All this quibbling over positions is pointless. Beckham is a great football player and can play anywhere, in midfield or on the wing,” he told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Champions are always a resource for the squad and their Coach, never a problem.”

Inter President Massimo Moratti blasted the push for Beckham, suggesting his club was looking to the future and not the past.

“The truth is that we at Milan can look back over our past and remember it fondly,” sniped Ancelotti.

“The philosophy is clear: the club is tied to youngsters who won a great deal and built up an era over time.

“At Milan, a sense of belonging is very strong and this can give a side many advantages.”

The broadside at Inter’s policy of chopping and changing the team as well as management is obvious, along with the lack of homegrown players within the Nerazzurri ranks.

Ancelotti has been tipped as an eventual successor to Marcello Lippi on the Italy bench, but he reveals another intriguing dream.

“I would love to be in charge of an African national side at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa,” smiled the tactician.

“I took part in the 1986 and 1990 World Cups as a player, then in 1994 as Arrigo Sacchi’s assistant manager. It is a fascinating tournament atmosphere and I’d love to experience it again.

“Africa produces so many talented players with great technique and physicality. Perhaps they lack a little organisation, but I could arrive and fix that, couldn’t I?”

Atalanta 0:1 AC Milan - match report
26.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorer: Kaka 80 (M)

Kaka gave Milan a hardly deserved victory in Bergamo, as they were under pressure for 80 minutes.

This local derby has always been a tough one for the Rossoneri, who lost both home and away to the Orobici last season. Atalanta had won six on the trot at the Stadio Azzurri d'Italia in all competition and had Luca Cigarini back from suspension, but welcomed a Milan side on the rise after a midweek 3-1 UEFA Cup victory in Heerenveen. Clarence Seedorf, Andrea Pirlo, Philippe Senderos, Alessandro Nesta and Kakha Kaladze did not make the trip.

Christian Abbiati comfortably held a Cristiano Doni header in the opening couple of minutes and Ferreira Pinto aimed from distance, but Atalanta were overall piling on the pressure. Mathieu Flamini needed a crucial intervention to close down Doni in the six-yard box.

Marco Borriello hit the back of the net, but was clearly offside when Kaka's pass came in. Ronaldinho's fancy footwork in the area did not surprise Leonardo Talamonti, who stopped him with a perfectly-timed tackle.

Massimo Ambrosini headed a free kick on to the back of Doni, but was fortunate that nobody was able to take advantage of the loose ball with Abbiati stranded.

Flamini picked up an injury and made way for Emerson and Ronaldinho's free kick was just wide. Manfredini was totally unmarked at the back post to nod a Tiberio Guarente free kick back into the centre, but there was nobody ready to take advantage.

Abbiati also smothered a Luca Cigarini attempt, but only fumbled a Ferreira Pinto half-volley. Ronaldinho allowed Borriello to spring the offside trap, but the finish was off target.

Milan were a little more audacious in the second half, although they were still under constant pressure. Emerson's ball over the top went past both Gianpaolo Bellini and Gianluca Zambrotta.

Ronaldinho turned another free kick well over and made way for Alexandre Pato.

Milan had done precious little for 80 minutes, but took the lead with one moment of magic. Borriello feinted a shot on goal, but instead rolled across for Kaka to fire on the bounce.

The Orobici poured forward in the final stages, but could not find a way through.
Atalanta: Coppola; Garics, Talamonti, Manfredini, Bellini; Ferreira Pinto (Valdes 84), Cigarini (De Ascentis 74), Guarente, Padoin (Cerci 84); Doni; Floccari

Milan: Abbiati; Zambrotta, Bonera, Maldini, Jankulovski; Gattuso (Antonini 90), Ambrosini, Flamini (Emerson 30); Kaka, Ronaldinho (Pato 69); Borriello

Ref: Farina

UEFA Cup: Heerenveen 1:3 AC Milan - match report
24.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Kaka 19 (M), Gattuso 23 (M), Inzaghi 69 (M), Pranjic pen 85 (H)

Milan totally dominated in a 3-1 win over Heerenveen at the Abe Lenstra Stadium with Kaka, Gennaro Gattuso and Pippo Inzaghi on target.

The Rossoneri eased past FC Zurich in the first round and are amongst the favourites for the competition.

Carlo Ancelotti's men came into this clash with renewed confidence after an impressive League run but the Dutch overachievers posed a genuine threat.

Andriy Shevchenko hit a superb free-kick after three minutes and it took a miraculous save from Belgian goalkeeper Brian Vandenbussche to keep the ball out of the net.

Croatian midfielder Danijel Pranjic threatened for Heerenveen and he broke into the box, but Giuseppe Favalli prevented him getting his shot off.

Milan took the lead after 19 minutes when Kaka's cross found the net via a deflection off young defender Calvin Jong-A-Ping.

Brazilian midfielder Emerson was playing a crucial role in controlling the pace in the middle of the park, allowing the Rossoneri to enjoy the better possession.

And it was 2-0 Milan halfway through the first half when Gennaro Gattuso arrived at the near post to tuck away a Kaka ball.

Milan were in total control and Pippo Inzaghi should have made more of a Gianluca Zambrotta ball, which found him with space in the box.

Norwegian hitman Tarik Elyounoussi missed a decent chance as he hesitated and Nelson Dida came out to close the angle forcing the shot wide.

Heerenveen came out fighting in the second half and Dida had to block Pranjic's effort from distance.

Dida was relieved that Gerald Sibon headed directly at him before Shevchenko forced Vandenbussche to save with his feet.

Substitute Paulo Henrique missed a great opportunity as he blazed over with the goal gaping.

And Milan went 3-0 up when Gattuso played through Inzaghi to steer the ball past the onrushing Vandenbussche.

Dida made a remarkable save to turn Kalou's shot wide of the post - it had looked like a certain goal.

Substitute Alexandre Pato should have made it 4-0 but he hit his shot against the goalkeeper.

Heerenveen scored a consolation goal from the penalty spot after a clear foul from Favalli.

Dida had no chance with Pranjic's chipped kick and the home fans finally had something to cheer about, but it was Milan's night.
Heerenveen: Vandenbussche; Popov (Henrique 61), Breuer, Digsdag, Jong-A-Ping; Grindheim, Vayrynen, Pranjic; Beerens, Sibon, Elyounoussi (Kalou 61)

Milan: Dida; Zambrotta, Bonera, Antonini, Favalli; Gattuso, Emerson, Flamini, Kaka (Jankulovski 75); Inzaghi (Ronaldinho 71), Shevchenko (Pato 71)

Ref: Santiago (Spa)

Ancelotti opens arms to Beckham
23.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani is delighted with Milan's swoop for David Beckham and Carlo Ancelotti can't wait to work with the England international.

Beckham's season in the MLS with the Los Angeles Galaxy is set to finish at the end of the month and he is looking for a side to train with to stay in shape for international duty.

Milan have seized the opportunity and are ready to take the 33-year-old on loan from January.

“He will stay here at Milan for several months and we are discussing things with his agent,” Galliani explained.

“Beckham has chosen Milan. We are an ultra-competitive squad and David is an intriguing addition.

“We aren't trying to collect big-name figures. Milan are very proud to be the only side that the fans are flocking to see.

“It's no coincidence that 65,000 fans attended Milan-Sampdoria - it shows that the people like the product we have created and Beckham will only add to that.”

Coach Ancelotti was also delighted when he was told that he would be working with Beckham.

“It will be a pleasure to train Beckham,” he said. “He is a hard-working athlete and a professional.

“We will be very happy to have him here for four months and obviously he will be able to play in the League and in Europe.”

Galliani: We've signed Beckham
23.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has announced the signature of David Beckham in the New Year.

Recently there were suggestions that Beckham could train with the Rossoneri at the end of the MLS season to keep himself in shape for England duty.

But as the Rossoneri prepared to leave for Holland to face Heerenveen in the UEFA Cup, Galliani announced that Milan will secure Beckham's signature and add the ex-Manchester United midfielder to their squad for the second half of the season.

"Beckham wants to train and play for Milan," Galliani told the Corriere della Sera.

"We want him and he will arrive in January for the rest of the season.

"It's not just a shop window deal - it's a great deal. He will be available to Carlo Ancelotti for Serie A and the UEFA Cup.

"Football today is about full stadiums and sponsors and superstars like Beckham fill them up. With him, Kaka and Ronaldinho, it will be a dream team."

The deal would be a loan agreement and the 33-year-old would then return to Los Angeles Galaxy.

The news still isn't official but it seems that Beckham could wear the Rossoneri shirt at last.

Kaka cheers for Messi
21.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan ace Kaka expects Cristiano Ronaldo to succeed him as winner of the Ballon d'Or, but he would choose Lionel Messi.

The competition to win the coveted trophy for European Footballer of the Year has become a two-horse race between Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona hitman Messi.

Most experts believe Cristiano Ronaldo is almost certain to clinch the award after his spectacular year with the Red Devils.

“For me, Cristiano Ronaldo is the favourite,” Kaka told France Football.

“He won two major titles with Manchester United and he scored lots. I think he will be my successor.

“But I think Messi deserves it. He is the kind of player that I particularly appreciate.

“Like Cristiano Ronaldo, he dribbles, scores and creates goals, but he puts on a one-man show. If could vote, I would vote for him, but I'm not a journalist.”

The prize will be given out on December 2 with Kaka one of only three Serie A players in contention - Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Gigi Buffon are also on the 30-man condensed list.

AC Milan rubbish Mexes links
21.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have scotched rumours that they are set to sign Roma ace Philippe Mexes in the New Year.

There were widespread reports this morning that the Rossoneri had agreed a deal with the Giallorossi that would see Daniele Bonera and Marek Jankulovski travel in the other direction.

“The news that has been communicated by several media sources that Mexes is coming to Milan in exchange for Bonera and Jankulovksi is completely untrue,” a short statement from the Diavolo reads.

However, Milan are expected to enter the winter market in a bid to strengthen their ageing and increasingly brittle defence.

Chelsea's Serbian starlet Branislav Ivanovic has been a regular target and Liverpool's Daniel Agger recently entered the frame.

AC Milan to move for Mexes?
21.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are whispers in the peninsula that Roma defender Philippe Mexes will join Milan in January in a complex part-exchange agreement.

The French international stopper has had an unhappy period and has been heavily criticised for some lacklustre performances for club and country.

Nonetheless, Mexes remains a highly rated talent and Milan reportedly see him as the man to reinvigorate their ageing defence.

According to Tuttosport, the Rossoneri are ready to offer Roma full rights to Daniele Bonera and Marek Jankulovski plus £8.5m in order to bring Mexes to San Siro in the New Year.

Mexes could be handed a four-year contract starting at £2m per year before rising to over £3.5m plus bonuses.

Carletto: Scudetto is Milan battle
21.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Coach Carlo Ancelotti claims the Diavolo are Inter's main challengers for the Scudetto.

While Inter showed their strength with a 4-0 demolition of Roma, Milan are picking up pace after seeing off Sampdoria 3-0.

Ancelotti's men started the season amongst the favourites for the title and Carletto insists that they have what it takes to depose their city rivals.

“We are Inter's only rivals for the Scudetto,” Ancelotti maintained on Rai.

“This is a more equal League compared to previous seasons but Inter are in great form as they showed against a weaker Roma side.

“Juventus have had problems with changing players, injuries and the Champions League and it won't be easy for them.

“However, our main objective remains the League, even if we are fighting for the UEFA Cup as well, and we will fight Inter all the way.”

Milan face Dutch side Heerenveen in the UEFA Cup on Thursday evening before the weekend's short trip to Atalanta.

Bonera enjoys home form
21.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan defender Daniele Bonera is pleased the Rossoneri have returned to winning ways at home this season.

The Diavolo struggled to pick up points at San Siro last year and only registered eight wins on home soil.

But since their opening-day defeat against Bologna, Carlo Ancelotti's men have looked assured in front of their fans and they eased to victory over Sampdoria yesterday.

“We are on a very different path to the one we were on last term,” Bonera insisted.

“We are getting good results from our home games, whereas last year we lost some important points at home, which prevented us securing a Champions League place.

“It was a good win against Sampdoria and I'm happy from a personal point of view because I am in good shape again.

“Samp played well and Antonio Cassano was a tough opponent because he takes you round the entire pitch and gives so much in the defensive areas too,” he concluded.

AC Milan 3:0 Sampdoria - match report
19.10 || webmaster

Scorers: Ronaldinho pen 55, 66 (M), Inzaghi 60 (M)

Ronaldinho's double and a brilliant Pippo Inzaghi team effort doomed 10-man Sampdoria, but the Blucerchiati were furious with the referee.

It was time for the Rossoneri to find consistency, as five straight wins in all competition came crashing to a halt with the disappointing goalless draw away to bottom of the table Cagliari. Samp also had to provide answers, as they were without a single victory in Serie A all season and had scored just four goals.

Gennaro Gattuso joined Andrea Pirlo, Kakha Kaladze, Philippe Senderos and the suspended Gianluca Zambrotta in the stands, while Kaka was rested after international duty, but Alessandro Nesta was for the first time ready for the bench. The Blucerchiati missed Daniele Dessena and Salvatore Accardi on a ban, but Mirko Pieri recovered in time.

Sampdoria won here 2-1 last season in their first victory at San Siro since 1997. Both sides had early chances with an Alexandre Pato volley charged down, Antonio Cassano stinging Christian Abbiati's palms at the near post and Bottinelli nodded wide.

Some smart Ronaldinho footwork was cut short by a Bottinelli bookable offence, then Marek Jankulovski exchanged passes with Dinho to burst into the box down the left and test Luca Castellazzi.

Gennaro Delvecchio's overhead kick skimmed the woodwork and Abbiati smothered a Cassano effort, but there was a wonderful move between Pato and Ronaldinho. Stefano Lucchini came sliding in for a decisive tackle on the youngster as he was pulling the trigger from nine yards.

Carlo Ancelotti needed some inspiration and introduced Kaka. Within 35 seconds he headed a Jankulovski cross inches wide of the upright.

On 54 minutes the referee pointed to the spot in a decision that infuriated the Sampdoria players. The defender clearly handled the ball to block a Jankulovski shot in the box, but it was very close and he was trying to turn round. Damato judged it to be voluntary and showed him a second yellow card, reducing Samp to 10 men as Ronaldinho stepped up to convert the penalty in off the inside of the near post.

Ronaldinho doubled the advantage with a marvellous team move. He combined brilliantly with Kaka down the left channel and finished it off with a delicate angled drive that slotted into the far corner like a snooker shot.

A cheeky Marco Borriello lob from 20 metres was not far off the target and a Ronaldinho free kick skimmed the bar. Massimo Ambrosini and Cassano fired over from distance.

Substitute Pippo Inzaghi put the icing on the cake in stoppages with another wonderful move. There were five first-touch passes between Emerson, Kaka, Ronaldinho and Ambrosini to send Inzaghi round the goalkeeper.

An audacious Ronaldinho free kick from 35 metres was palmed out of the top corner.
Milan: Abbiati; Antonini, Bonera, Maldini, Jankulovski; Flamini, Seedorf (Emerson 74), Ambrosini; Ronaldinho; Pato (Kaka 46), Borriello (Inzaghi 79)

Sampdoria: Castellazzi; Lucchini, Gastaldello, Bottinelli; Padalino (Stankevicius 60), Sammarco, Franceschini, Ziegler (Bellucci 71), Pieri; Delvecchio, Cassano (Bonazzoli 81)

Ref: Damato

Sent off: Lucchini 54 (S)

Kaka receives Maracana honour
15.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan star Kaka is set to be inducted into the prestigious Hall of Fame in the Maracana Stadium.

The FIFA World Player of the Year of 2007 is currently on international duty with the Selecao, who face Colombia in a World Cup 2010 qualifier this evening.

It has been a tough period for Kaka who has been struggling with injury, but he announced his return to the national side for the first time in a year with a goal against Venezuela last weekend.

And now he will be boosted by the news that his name will join the greats of Brazil's rich football history in the Hall of Fame in the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

The relatively new Hall of Fame opened in June 2000 when the stadium celebrated its 50th birthday and contains foot and boot prints from around 40 legends, including Pelé, Carlos Alberto and Rivelino.

Gullit gives Ancelotti backing
15.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Former Milan ace Ruud Gullit has praised Coach Carlo Ancelotti and tips the experienced tactician to succeed this term.

It has been a mixed start to the season for Milan, who have progressed in the UEFA Cup but suffered some unexpected defeats in Serie A.

But Gullit, who played alongside Ancelotti for Milan during the 1980s thinks Carletto has what it takes to deliver the results expected of the Diavolo.

“Carlo is the perfect man for the Milan job,” the Dutchman told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“He is a great Coach and is the equal of Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger.

“Ancelotti has the ability to take the Rossoneri back to the top and I think he will do so this season.”

Milan entertain Sampdoria when Serie A recommences after the international break this weekend.

Nesta only good news in Tirana
15.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alessandro Nesta is back in action, but Milan are still far from firing on all cylinders after a 2-1 defeat in Albania.

The Rossoneri had taken this break for international duty as an opportunity to test out their fitness away to KF Tirana.

In terms of a physical exercise it was a success, as Nesta made his first appearance in five months and played the entire second half seemingly without a recurrence of his back problems.

Pippo Inzaghi also returned, although he picked up a knock during a first half collision with goalkeeper Nallbani and was replaced by Andriy Shevchenko.

Initial reports suggest the Italian has only sustained a bruise, but more tests are needed to be sure.

That doesn’t take away that this was the sixth defeat in eight friendlies suffered by Milan since the summer.

Xhafa and Musaka had given Tirana a 2-0 lead before Ronaldinho – who played the whole 90 minutes and had previously hit the bar with a delightful lob – netted a consolation goal in the final minute from Sheva’s assist.

Shevchenko had gone close on a few occasions and Ronaldinho had a penalty appeal waved away.

FK Tirana win the Taci Oil Albania Reads trophy in aid of UNICEF.

Milan: Abbiati; Pasini, Maldini, Favalli, Antonini; Cardacio, Emerson, Ambrosini; Seedorf; Inzaghi, Ronaldinho

Ancelotti applauds Gourcuff
15.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan tactician Carlo Ancelotti has congratulated Yoann Gourcuff for his impressive form while on loan at Bordeaux.

Gourcuff became increasingly frustrated at a lack of first-team opportunities at San Siro having spent the majority of last term warming the bench.

The French midfielder was sent to Bordeaux in the summer to spend the season in Ligue 1 and he has wowed the fans at the Stade Chaban Delmas.

“I'm happy for Gourcuff because he has found the right environment at Bordeaux where he can show his best qualities.

“He showed promise here but then he lost that when he wasn't playing very much for us.

“Now he is doing well and we are all happy for him. He will certainly return because he is only away on loan.

“Are we incompatible? If we are then maybe he will come back and I will leave,” Ancelotti joked in conclusion.

Kuzmanovic's AC Milan flirtation forgotten
15.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zdravko Kuzmanovic's agent stresses his client's commitment to Fiorentina after the youngster's admission he dreams of Milan.

Kuzmanovic antagonised the Gigliati faithful in a recent interview by stating that he would love to wear the Rossoneri shirt.

But the Serbian starlet's representative is keen to pay down the controversy and repair the 21-year-old's relationship with the fans at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.

“The talk of Milan is one of those things that really isn't important,” Marko Naletilic told Violanews.com.

“After last weekend's international game, the lad was asked who his favourite player is and he said Andrea Pirlo.

“Then they asked him if he would like to play alongside his idol one day and he just said that Milan were a great team in a great city and maybe it could happen one day.

“All players say these things about the biggest teams in Europe, but that doesn't mean that Kuzmanovic wants to leave Florence.

“On the contrary, he's very happy where he is and we are going to discuss a contract renewal soon.”

AC Milan push for Fabregas
11.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are looking to the future with bids for Joao Moutinho and Cesc Fabregas as well as hiring Ruud Gullit as a talent scout.

Andrea Pirlo’s injury has ruled him out for two months and this has again shown there is no real tactical replacement for him in the deep midfield role.

According to the Corriere dello Sport, the club is already looking to next season with an attempt to solve this quandary.

They have locked their sights on to Sporting Lisbon star Joao Moutinho, who has a contract until 2013 and an expected price-tag of £20m.

Moutinho is an attacking midfielder who has been transformed into a playmaker in front of the defence.

However, the ideal candidate to reinforce the squad next season is Arsenal star Fabregas.

He had already been tempted into a move by Real Madrid, but currently remains in the Gunners line-up after winning Euro 2008 with Spain.

Milan are planning for the future by looking to the past, as legend Gullit has been hired as a talent scout for the club.

The Dutchman will watch over the North European players to find the best new prospects for Carlo Ancelotti.

Ronaldinho settles in at AC Milan
11.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho gives the inside scoop on how his first season with Milan is going and why “it feels like home.”

The Brazilian scored his debut goal in the derby against Inter and this week turned down the opportunity to play for the Selecao in order to get back to full fitness with the Rossoneri.

“It is very important for me to work hard in these next few days, as I needed more physical training and hope to be back to my best as soon as possible so I can help Milan.

“Everything is going very well. I thank the fans, who have been so close to me and I hope we can experience great joy together,” he told Milan Channel.

“It is fantastic to play at San Siro. I already knew this arena because I had come here to play with Barcelona, but now I am at Milan, it feels like my home.”

The stadium erupted when he scored his first goal in a Rossoneri jersey, winning the derby, and some say he is following in the footsteps of Kaka, who also netted in his first meeting with Inter.

“I can never forget it, because it was my first goal for Milan and even more important because it came in the derby. I hope the comparison with Kaka can be a good omen and is the start of a similarly wonderful adventure for me, too.”

Dinho also provided the assist for Andriy Shevchenko’s comeback strike against Zurich in the UEFA Cup.

“That made me very happy, because he is a great player, we are teammates and it is always wonderful to help out your companions.”

Former Milan man Ronaldo has said he wants to resume his career and take part in the 2010 World Cup.

“I really hope he manages it and first of all that he can get back to playing football, as that too is important. By returning to the Selecao he could bring joy to the Brazilian people.”

Ronaldinho attended last night’s charity match at the Stadio Franchi for former Milan and Fiorentina star Stefano Borgonovo, who is suffering from ALS, also known as Lou Gherig’s Disease.

“I think everyone who took part was moved to be there, so close to many important people and former players. Among them there was one less fortunate than the rest of us and I was very moved by that, too.”

AC Milan are seeking Söder
11.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are being linked with Swedish young gun Robin Söder, who played for IFK Goteborg against Atalanta last night.

The Rossoneri are looking to find a new generation of stars to join the likes of Alexandre Pato and Alberto Paloschi in building a bright future for the club.

And one name that is reportedly on the radar is that of 17-year-old Swede Söder, who is already in his nation's Under-21 squad.

Söder played for IFK Goteborg against Atalanta last night and Milan scouts were in attendance.

“I know that the Rossoneri are amongst the clubs interested in him,” ex-Atalanta striker Glenn Stromberg revealed.

“They have been watching him for ages and I know they had someone at the stadium just to watch him.”

Söder has scored five goals in 10 games for Goteborg this season as well as finding the net against Basel in a Champions League preliminary clash.

AC Milan to empty the infirmary
11.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan club doctor Massimo Manara has revealed that the Rossoneri are ready to welcome back a number of injured stars.

The Diavolo have been blighted by injuries in the opening weeks of the season and are currently without Giuseppe Favalli, Kakha Kaladze, Alessandro Nesta, Philippe Senderos, Andrea Pirlo and Marco Borriello.

“Favalli has started physical work and is improving fast,” Menara revealed.

“On Monday he should be able to return to working with the rest of the squad.

“Kaladze has undergone tests, which have confirmed he has a tear in the area he damaged before, but he is also on track and should be ready to begin work next week.

“Nesta is moving forward in a positive manner and he and Senderos are very close to getting on the pitch.

“Pirlo will be stepping up his workload and we will perform other tests on him in 15 days, while Borriello's muscular problems are resolved and he will be ready to play in the next game.”

Ancelotti spots the dangers
7.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti has analysed Milan's UEFA Cup opponents and singled out the key clashes.

The Rossoneri qualified for the group stage of the competition with a 4-1 aggregate win over FC Zurich in the first round.

And the Diavolo were handed an intriguing draw, as they will take on Portsmouth, Wolfsburg, Heerenveen and Braga.

“We expected a tight group and that's what happened,” Ancelotti explained.

“It is tough with two teams from big Leagues like the Premier League and the Bundesliga, while the Portuguese and Dutch championships are always interesting.

“The first game in Holland will be very important. We will be looking to win the group with the final two games proving decisive against Portsmouth and Wolfsburg.”

UEFA Cup Group Draw
7.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have been drawn with Portsmouth, while Udinese take on Tottenham in a favourable group but it looks tough for Sampdoria.

The Rossoneri were in the top seeding bracket and knew they couldn't be placed alongside the giants of the draw.

But they won't have an easy time against Dutch side Heerenveen, Portsmouth or Portuguese outfit Braga.

There will also be some familiar faces as the Diavolo take on Wolfsburg, who have Andrea Barzagli and Cristian Zaccardo in their ranks.

Sampdoria, who thrashed FBK Kaunas in the first round, received a hugely testing draw.

The Blucerchiati will face La Liga powerhouse Sevilla, Bundesliga side Stuttgart, Serbian giants Partizan and Belgians Standard Liege, who put Everton out in the first round.

Udinese have a more favourable draw on paper after their penalty shootout triumph over Borussia Dortmund.

The Zebrette are up against Tottenham, who are struggling in the Premier League, Spartak Moscow, Dinamo Zagreb and Dutch side NEC.

Group A - Schalke, PSG, Manchester City, Racing, FC Twente
Group B - Benfica, Olympiacos, Galatasaray, Hertha Berlin, Metalist
Group C - Sevilla, Stuttgart, Sampdoria, Partizan, Standard Liege
Group D - Tottenham, Spartak Moscow, Udinese, Dinamo Zagreb, NEC
Group E - Milan, Heerenveen, Braga, Portsmouth, Wolfsburg
Group F - Hamburg, Ajax, Slavia Prague, Aston Villa, Zilina
Group G - Valencia, Club Brugge, Rosenborg, FC Copenhagen, Saint-Etienne
Group H - CSKA Moscow, Deportivo, Feyenoord, Nancy, Lech Poznan

Silvio admits Ibrahimovic regrets
7.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan chief Silvio Berlusconi has expressed his regret that he failed to sign Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the summer of 2006.

Zlatan scored a fantastic goal in Inter's win over Bologna this weekend, while Milan's stars failed to get past Cagliari.

And Berlusconi again spoke of how close Ibra came to wearing the Rossoneri shirt when he left Juventus after the Calciopoli scandal.

“I didn't see Ibrahimovic's goal but I have been told about it,” Berlusconi said to the Corriere dello Sport.

“It sounds like the goal of a great champion and a player that we wanted here at Milan in the past.

“In fact we even reached an agreement to sign him, but then there was the eight-point deduction saga.

“We weren't certain that we would be able to play in the Champions League and so the deal didn't go through.

“Obviously that was a disappointment because I saw the potential that he has now shown.

“He would have been an extra champion in a squad that has many champions and always will have.”

Ancelotti keeps calm
5.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti insists Milan “did not take a step backwards” with their goalless stalemate at Cagliari.

“It isn't necessarily a step backwards, as a blip was bound to happen after so many games. We continue our path and I think the result was correct considering the overall performances of both sides,” said the Coach.

The 0-0 against the bottom of the table side, who had previously lost all five matches, ended a run of five straight wins in all competition for the Rossoneri.

“These things can happen over the course of a campaign against a determined team that played good football. We cannot expect to win every encounter.

“We didn't play an exceptional game, but it was decent against a side that played to the best of its abilities.”

Ancelotti again fielded the Brazilian trio of Alexandre Pato, Kaka and Ronaldinho, but they struggled to create much from the midfield.

“The Cagliari full-backs push forward a great deal, so I preferred to keep the flanks covered with Gattuso and Ambrosini, leaving Seedorf in the centre.”

He made substitutions for the final 20 minutes, throwing on Andriy Shevchenko and Pippo Inzaghi for Pato and Ronaldinho.

“We needed a powerful centre-forward to force their defence, but Borriello is injured and Inzaghi has just started training, so he wasn't fit to play more than 20 minutes. I do admit I might've made the changes a little earlier.

“The break for international duty is coming up so over these two weeks Ronaldinho and Shevchenko will certainly improve their physical form.”

Ancelotti was furious with the referee after the final whistle, complaining loudly at the three minutes of stoppages awarded at the Stadio Sant'Elia.

“I was angry at the amount of stoppages awarded, as there were six substitutions and several injuries, so I thought it ridiculous and amateurish to give three minutes, especially from a referee who has been at the World Cup.”

Serie A: Cagliari 0:0 AC Milan - match report
5.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan's Brazilian trio of Kaka-Pato-Ronaldinho failed to break down bottom of the table Cagliari, who pick up their first point.

Carlo Ancelotti went from facing the axe to declaring the Rossoneri Scudetto favourites in the space of a fortnight thanks to five straight wins between Serie A and the UEFA Cup. The derby victory further boosted morale and Ronaldinho got off the mark, but they went into this game without Andrea Pirlo, Kakha Kaladze, Alessandro Nesta, Philippe Senderos, Giuseppe Favalli and Marco Borriello. Cagliari, on the other hand, had lost all five of their games this season, hadn't scored since Week 1 and Coach Massimiliano Allegri was hanging by a thread.

The Sardinians had won only four of the previous 31 meetings here, the most recent in 1998-99. They got off to a strong start and Marek Jankulovski deflected Michele Fini's cross to bounce around in front of the box, but nobody managed to get the final touch. Moments later Christian Abbiati turned Andrea Cossu's effort out for a corner.

Milan created a great chance as Alexandre Pato was sent clear by a smart ball over the top, but Marchetti came tearing out to close him down from eight yards.

Cagliari should've taken the lead on 20 minutes. Cossu managed to squeeze the ball through for Joaquin Larrivey and Abbiati went to ground, but he ballooned off target seven yards from an open goal!

Massimo Ambrosini scuffed a promising Kaka cutback. Larrivey picked up an injury and made way for Jeda and Davide Biondini's header from a Cossu cross was deflected out for a corner.

After the restart Ambrosini attempted an audacious shot on the bounce from almost 40 metres, forcing Marchetti to backpedal and fingertip it out from under the bar. From the resultin corner Marchetti smothered a Marek Jankulovski snapshot.

Kaka also had a go from distance and skimmed the woodwork and Ronaldinho did a series of tricks and nutmegs in quick succession before he was hacked down by Daniele Conti.

Cagliari caused a major scare when Jeda rolled out for the unmarked Michele Fini down the right channel, but he blasted over with his right foot.

The Sardinians were continuing to waste chances and Agostini sprung the offside trap thanks to a ricochet off Gennaro Gattuso, but Abbiati stood his ground and the defender hit the side-netting.

Pato's glancing header whistled wide as he got between the central defenders, but moments later Dinho sent Pato down the left channel and his angled drive brought a splendid save out of Marchetti.

From the resulting corner a Clarence Seedorf scissor-kick from the D was just over, but it was a more open encounter now and Abbiati had his palms stung by a Cossu piledriver.

Carlo Ancelotti made a double change, throwing on Andriy Shevchenko and Pippo Inzaghi for Ronaldinho and Pato. Seedorf's free kick was deflected over and from the corner Ambrosini's header into the ground skimmed the upright.

Sheva let the ball bounce and that hesitation allowed Marchetti to come out and smother, but in the final minute Fini's counter took a deflection off Paolo Maldini to go over the bar.

Conti incredibly failed to score when allowed a free header from a corner, as he lost his balance from six yards and nodded wide.
Cagliari: Marchetti; Pisano, Lopez, Bianco, Agostini; Fini, Conti, Biondini (Lazzari 89); Cossu; Acquafresca (Matri 76), Larrivey (Jeda 34)

Milan: Abbiati; Zambrotta, Bonera, Maldini, Jankulovski; Ambrosini, Gattuso (Flamini 80), Seedorf; Kaka, Ronaldinho (Shevchenko 73); Pato (Inzaghi 73)

Ref: Rosetti

UEFA Cup: FC Zurich 0:1 AC Milan - match report
2.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorer: Shevchenko 70 (M)

Andriy Shevchenko's goal helped ease Milan nerves as they comfortably saw off FC Zurich 4-1 on aggregate in their UEFA Cup first round tie.

Carlo Ancelotti's men had a firm advantage after their 3-1 win at San Siro but the late away goal left them with a job still to do in Switzerland.

Andriy Shevchenko and Ronaldinho were started up front with Clarence Seedorf playing behind them.

Within the opening 180 seconds, Shevchenko found himself through on goal, but Johnny Leoni blocked his effort.

The Ukrainian international had another good chance in the 12th minute but Leoni again denied him with a superb save.

Gianluca Zambrotta showed some silky skills to put over a cross and when it rebounded back to him he tested Leoni.

Eric Hassli skimmed the post when Milan's defence backed off but play was broken up by stoppages.

Kakha Kaladze went down and was replaced by Paolo Maldini after half an hour.

Nelson Dida comfortably stopped a fizzing long-range strike from Silvan Aegerter.

The Brazilian shot-stopper also blocked an effort from Dusan Djuric, who scored with a rocket in the first leg.

Milan were growing in confidence and they played some spectacular football as Ronaldinho back-heeled the ball to Luca Antonini who found Seedorf, but the Dutchman's effort grazed the post.

On the stroke of half-time, Dinho seemed to have teed up Sheva for a tap-in, but the ex-Chelsea man didn't get there in time and the danger was cleared.

With 45 minutes left in the tie, everything was still going according to plan for Carlo Ancelotti.

After the break Seedorf forced a corner after some pretty play but Daniele Bonera's error when trying to find Maldini nearly caused trouble but Dida was on hand to scoop the ball up.

Hassli fired just over from the edge of the box and Ancelotti withdrew captain Massimo Ambrosini for Kaka. Dida came out to clear a dangerous cross from Aegerter.

The crucial goal came courtesy of Shevchenko, who put the tie beyond doubt with 20 minutes remaining.

Ronaldinho, who was high on confidence after his derby heroics, provided a delightful assist for Sheva to slot precisely past Leoni for the first goal since his return to San Siro.

Seedorf found Shevchenko again with a cross, but his header was weak.

Gennaro Gattuso replaced Seedorf with just under a quarter of an hour left to play.

Kaka showed some silky skills to reach the by-line but he was dispossessed by Heinz Barmettler.

Zurich should've levelled in the 84th minute but Hassli's shot was inaccurate from a very promising position.

Adrian Nicki's impressive header was also close but it just skimmed past Dida's left post.

The game ended with Zurich pressurising the Milan goal, but they were only looking for a consolation goal that never came.

It's mission accomplished for Ancelotti, who can await the draw for the next round.
FC Zurich: Leoni; Stahel, Tihinen, Barmettler, Stuckl (Lampi 78); Djuric (Nicki 78), Abdi, Aegerter, Okonkwo; Alphonse (Tahirovic 82), Hassli

Milan: Dida; Zambrotta, Bonera, Kaladze (Maldini 30), Antonini; Flamini, Emerson, Ambrosini (Kaka 61), Seedorf (Gattuso 76); Ronaldinho, Shevchenko
Ref: Gonzalez (Spa)





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