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The Archive

October 2013

Serie A: AC Milan 1:1 Lazio - match report
30.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Kaka 54 (M), Ciani 71 (L)

Kaka scored a sensational goal, but Milan’s defending in the air let them down again for a 1-1 draw with Lazio.

Both teams were in dire need of a boost after recent results and had to win over angry fans. The Rossoneri had slipped down to 10th place after a 3-2 defeat to Parma on Sunday, while Vladimir Petkovic quietened sack talk with a win over Cagliari. Philippe Mexes was still suspended with Matias Silvestre joining Stephan El Shaarawy, Giampaolo Pazzini and Daniele Bonera on the treatment table, but Christian Abbiati returned in goal. The Biancocelesti missed Lucas Biglia, Diego Novaretti, Senad Lulic, Giuseppe Biava, Abdoulay Konko and banned Stefano Mauri.

Lazio had another reason to seek a result, as their last victory at San Siro was back in September 1989 when Paolo Maldini scored an own goal, followed by nine draws and 14 losses.

Mario Balotelli tested Federico Marchetti from distance after three minutes and Kaka drilled just over the bar, as Milan got off to a very aggressive start.

Kaka burst into the box, nutmegged Stefan Radu and his finish rolled all the way across the face of goal to skim the back post.

Riccardo Montolivo forced Marchetti into a couple of saves with long-range efforts, but the early Rossoneri enthusiasm had waned by half-time. Kaka fired wide when he perhaps should’ve set up Valter Birsa.

The disappointing Hernanes was replaced by Eddy Onazi and his move set up Klose, but the German’s heavy first touch allowed Gabriel to block at his feet.

Kaka broke the deadlock with an absolutely stunning goal, his first since returning to the club. It was a magnificent curler from the edge of the box into the far top corner.

Alvaro Gonzalez did well to charge down a Balotelli effort from the edge of the box and SuperMario was booked for dissent after he was penalised for shoving Michael Ciani.

Lazio equalised by taking advantage of the fact Milan have conceded more headers than any other team in Serie A this season. Ciani got between defenders and was allowed a free header from six yards on Sergio Floccari’s cross.

Klose had the chance to win it for the Biancocelesti late on, but he only chipped it into Gabriel’s arms on the counter.

Ciani charged down Montolivo’s attempt set up by Alessandro Matri, while Gabriel needed two attempts to keep out Floccari.

AC Milan: Gabriel; Abate, Zaccardo, Zapata, De Sciglio; Montolivo, De Jong, Muntari (Poli 75); Birsa (Matri 75), Balotelli, Kaka (Robinho 84)

Lazio: Marchetti; Cavanda, Ciani, Cana, Radu; Gonzalez, Ledesma, Hernanes (Onazi 46); Candreva, Klose, Perea (Floccari 68)

Ref: Damato

Serie A: AC Milan vs. Lazio - lineups
30.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan: Gabriel; Abate, Zaccardo, Zapata, De Sciglio; Montolivo, De Jong, Muntari; Birsa, Balotelli, Kaka.

Lazio: Marchetti; Cavanda, Ciani, Cana, Radu; Gonzalez, Ledesma, Hernanes; Candreva, Klose, Perea.

Tassotti: 'AC Milan need points'
30.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

“Lazio have exceptional quality, but we need points,” confessed Milan assistant manager Mauro Tassotti.

It kicks off at San Siro at 19.45 GMT.

“At the moment games have extra value for us, as we need to get back to picking up points,” Tassotti told Milan Channel.

“Every now and then we lose, as we did against Parma. Lazio have exceptional quality, so we must be careful.

“Up until three days ago we were both on the same level, as Lazio were also coming off a draw in Europe. Now the situations have changed.

“Lazio have quality, but we need points. Sometimes it is an advantage for us to face a side that will try to take the initiative.”

Ancelotti announces new book
30.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti will release a new book on his tactical and managerial style, including a preface by David Beckham.

The Italian Coach announced ‘Il mio Albero di Natale’ (My Christmas Tree) will be in the stores and available as an eBook from November 6.

Written in Italian, it will cover his tactics – hence the title referring to his 4-3-2-1 system used at Milan – and experiences at clubs including Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid.

“Ancelotti opens up his notebook to reveal the secrets of how he deals with players (and men), the training methods, tactical solutions adopted in various teams depending on the story of the club and the missions set by Presidents.

“It is not all about theory, so for the first time Carletto watches back 10 games with us that marked his career: the derby with Inter in the Champions League semi-final, the Final in Manchester, the revenge mission in Athens against Liverpool, but also the debacle in Istanbul and the Juventus Scudetto that drowned in Perugia. It’s true that you learn from mistakes.”

AC Milan to rival Barcelona for Ter Stegen?
30.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan will look to add a goalkeeper to their squad in January, and reports in Bild suggest that they could go for Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

The Borussia Monchengladbach youngster has been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona, with stories emerging that he may have signed a pre-contract agreement with the Blaugrana.

However, the German newspaper believes that is not the case, with Tata Martino’s men offering €8m plus €2m in bonuses.

The Bundesliga are looking for €12m in full though, a fee that the Rossoneri would be willing to pay.

Massimiliano Allegri’s team will make Iker Casillas their number one target over the winter, but should that move fail to materialise, Ter Stegen is their backup option.

AC Milan insist Balotelli is staying
30.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani says the club has no plans to sell Mario Balotelli, while he’s also discussed the future of boss Massimiliano Allegri.

The striker, signed in January from Manchester City, has been linked with a move after a number of statements from his agent Mino Raiola.

“There is absolutely no problem with Balotelli,” the official noted on Wednesday. “Mario will continue to be our star. He is not going anywhere.

“He is a fascinating individual with global appeal. He will stay with Milan because he is happy here and has a long contract with the club.”

Allegri, on the other hand, doesn’t seeing as his present deal will expire in the summer. There are even claims that he could soon be axed if the Diavolo continue to struggle.

“Allegri will continue as Coach,” Galliani added. “At the end of the season we will analyse the situation as we always do.

“We are still in three competitions and all three of them can qualify you for Europe.”

Galliani was left angered at the weekend by the 3-2 loss at Parma, a defeat which was secured by a controversial Marco Parolo free-kick.

“In reference to what happened at Parma and the eight metres that they gained, I have also spoken to Riccardo Montolivo.

“I told him that he was captain and he should do more to make sure that free-kicks are taken from where they are given.

“The fault lies with the referee. The captain has responsibilities and must keep these incidents under control during the match.”

The official also dismissed speculation that, after Inter, Milan could also sell a share of the club to foreign investors.

“If it were true, I would know about it and there are no on-going negotiations with regards to selling the club.

“We have balanced the books and there is no need to sell the club.”

Milan entertain Lazio in Serie A this evening.

Ambrosini eyes AC Milan 'return'
30.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimo Ambrosini is desperate to be fit for Fiorentina’s Serie A game against former side Milan.

The midfielder has been sidelined since he picked up a muscle strain in the 4-2 win over Juventus on October 20.

The 36-year-old won’t be available for tonight’s tie versus Napoli, but he wants to take part in the weekend’s San Siro clash.

“Ambrosini is doing everything possible to return for the Milan tie,” agent Moreno Roggi told Radio Blu. “However, caution is needed.”

The former Italian international joined the Viola in the summer after Milan, a club who signed him in 1995, didn’t renew his contract.

Allegri sold on eBay!
29.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

An angry Milan fan has put Massimiliano Allegri on eBay for €1. “For sale: Coach without ideas or character.”

The unusual step was taken by an irritated Rossoneri supporter who wrote up a detailed product description.

“For sale: Coach Allegri without ideas or character. We offer you a pointless Coach who doesn’t know how to train, can’t motivate players and only makes absurd substitutions at the 70th minute.

“He is specialised only in games against Barcelona. If you pay immediately, you’ll receive Mauro Tassotti for free.

“It’s a real deal!!!! We will not be held responsible for errors in manufacture.”

This is not the first time fans have taken such a step, as players and managers have occasionally ended up on eBay as jokes before.

Abbiati back, Biglia out
29.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Christian Abbiati is back in the Milan squad, while Lazio lose Lucas Biglia and Diego Novaretti for tomorrow’s game.

Milan-Lazio kicks off on Wednesday at 19.45 GMT between two teams struggling for form and confidence.

Goalkeeper Abbiati returns for Massimiliano Allegri’s men, having missed the last few games with an injury.

Philippe Mexes continues his four-match ban, while Stephan El Shaarawy, Giampaolo Pazzini, Matias Silvestre and Daniele Bonera are sidelined.

Lazio make the trip without Novaretti, Biglia, Senad Lulic, Giuseppe Biava, Vinicius and Abdoulay Konko.

Stefano Mauri is suspended until February 2014 in the betting scandal.

Milan squad for Lazio: Abbiati, Amelia, Coppola, Gabriel; Abate, Constant, De Sciglio, Vergara, Zaccardo, Zapata; Birsa, Cristante, Emanuelson, De Jong, Kakà, Montolivo, Muntari, Poli, Saponara; Balotelli, Matri, Niang, Robinho.

Lazio squad for Milan: Marchetti, Berisha, Strakosha; Radu, Ciani, Pereirinha, Cavanda, Cana, Elez; Ledesma, Onazi, Ederson, Candreva, Gonzalez, Hernanes, Anderson; Floccari, Klose, Perea, Keita, Tounkara.

'Lazio will do everything to beat AC Milan'
29.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Vladimir Petkovic has insisted that Lazio will do ‘everything they can’ to beat Milan on Wednesday.

The capital club travel to San Siro tomorrow, looking for their fifth win of the season, that could move them up to sixth in the table.

The Biancocelesti Coach though, has admitted it will be tough beating the Rossoneri.

“We play at a stadium we have historically found it difficult to win at,” he told a Press conference.

“We need to build on what we’ve done and try and get some points on the road. Everyone here is confident, but we need to show that on the pitch.

“I expect an improvement from everyone, and we also need great support from the fans.

“If we want to win in Milan we have to do everything possible. The last time we went to Milan there was a penalty and an unjust sending off.

“We’re not using that as an excuse, but I hope this time we’re not talking about those sorts of things.

“My relationship with the team is good – I don’t want to say great because there is always room for improvement. We’ll try to resolve what’s been a difficult time, together.

“We’ve had a lot of injuries, which hasn’t helped. But we’re not far from where we should be. Milan are always a dangerous opponent, and will be desperate for a win.”

Allegri on Lazio, Balotelli and his future
29.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri has admitted that his Milan players will have to be ‘very attentive’ against Lazio tomorrow.

The Rossoneri host the capital club on Wednesday looking to bounce back from their loss to Parma at the weekend.

“Against Parma, we let in two avoidable goals in stoppage time,” he told a Press conference.

“We could have got a draw after a good second half. We have to reduce mistakes to a minimum and continue working. Up until nine minutes, we were the only team that had the ball. We didn’t approach the match badly.

“We gave away two counter attacks which turned into two goals. Unfortunately we have to improve on this. It’s always tough to play against a team that only thinks about defending. We knew it would be tough but we were punished anyway.

We’re up against Lazio tomorrow and they’re a team that are going through a good period at the moment despite the result against Atalanta. The played well against Fiorentina and got the win against Cagliari while keeping a clean sheet on Sunday and so it’ll be a tough match.

“We’ll have to be very attentive as they have good technical players. We need the result and so we’ll have to be much more attentive and like I said we have to cut out the mistakes that we’re paying a high price for at the moment.”

The Coach went on to explain his tactical decisions of late.

“We’ve been playing with four at the back and three in the middle for two and a half years now. Abate will play on the right tomorrow with Zaccardo and Zapata in the middle and De Sciglio on the left.

“Playing immediately after the Parma match could be an advantage. We need balance and focus. Never take anything for granted. It’s not a question of the player being difficult to manage.”

Allegri then commented on Mario Balotelli’s car accident yesterday, that saw the striker walk away from a minor crash.

“I judge Balotelli based on what he does on the pitch. He didn’t do well on Sunday against Parma and I took him off. He’ll be available tomorrow and I think he’ll play well. He trained well yesterday and I think he should be left in peace as well.

“There’s far too much discussion of the man’s private life. I think that Balotelli should be judged for what he does on the pitch like all other players. They’re football players and should be judged as such. Balotelli arrived at the club in January and has done great things with the team since his arrival. He got 12 goals in his first 13 games.

“He played well at the start of this season as well. It can happen that a player has a dip in form, but when it happens to Balotelli, it’s blown out of all proportion.”



The conversation then moved on to Kaka’s recent performances and his own position as Milan boss.

“Kaka has played well in the last two matches. He just needs to get back in top shape. I’m trying to manage him in the best way possible. He can give us added value both technically and morally. He has everything needed for a big season.

“It’s an aspect of my life as I’m the Milan coach. There are worst things in life. When you’re a football Coach, especially at a club like Milan, if results don’t go your way, the responsibility is always yours. I always accept my responsibilities and I’ll be trying to get the team out of the situation that we’re in.

“That’s something that needs balance and serenity. We have to solve our problems which didn’t disappear after the Barcelona match. That’s an easier match to play compared to when you’re up against team that play with 11 defenders, like we did against Barcelona and they had to the same problems that we had against Parma. On Sunday we had 73 per cent of possession during the game and we created much more than the adversary over the course of 90 minutes and in the end we lost, so it’s clear that we have to improve and we have to cut out certain things, certain mistake and that’s what the players will do, no doubt about it. It’s up to me to transmit serenity as that’s what’s needed.

“We have a game to play tomorrow evening and we have to make sure that we have what’s necessary to get a result. There are moments when you get a free kick from 35 meters out and it goes in the bottom corner and other moments when the same free kick goes out for a goal kick. But that doesn’t change the fact that we slipped up in the defensive wall. Certain mistakes have to be cut out regardless of the result.

“I spoke to the President before the Parma game. I have good relationship with him. I’ve always got results so far with Milan and the team will get out of this situation. The President and the club are close to the players and this is an advantage.

“Now we just need to think about getting results. Gallaini was explicit yesterday and made the club’s thoughts known. Milan are very respectful of match officials and even Balotelli has improved. It’s a fact that things haven’t gone our way so far this season. We just want what we deserve.

“If there are controversial decisions in the game at least it means that we’re attacking in the opposition penalty area. We just need to think about playing. On the other hand we have to analyze what happens in matches. The club has been clear an d we have to leave the referees in peace. “

Albertini: Don't sell Balotelli!
29.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Demetrio Albertini has urged former club Milan to keep Mario Balotelli at San Siro for as long as possible.

The striker’s future has been cast into doubt in recent weeks following the words of his agent Mino Raiola.

The latter has stated that Italy is unlikely to be the striker’s last stop and he last night suggested Chelsea could be a possible destination at some point.

“If I was a Milan director who signed him then I would keep a tight grip on him,” the Italian Football Federation Vice-President told Uno Mattina. “I would not sell him.”

Balotelli remains a controversial character who is often in the headlines for his actions in and away from the game.

“Mario is a personality,” Albertini added. “He’s a great talent, but he makes the front pages for negative things.

“Balotelli just needs to be left alone and he needs to learn to trust only those people who love him.

“We need to get to the stage where we are only talking about him for what he does on the field of play.”

Balotelli agent opens Chelsea door
29.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The agent of Milan’s Mario Balotelli has refused to rule out the possibility of a transfer to Chelsea.

Mino Raiola recently stated that he didn’t expect his client to remain at San Siro for the rest of his career and he’s now opened the door to a Chelsea future.

“Balotelli and Jose Mourinho could be reunited because they know each other and they didn’t leave each other with hate,” Raiola told Tiki Taka on Italia 1.

The two men worked together with success while they were on the books of Milan’s city rivals Inter.

“There was a not very nice incident between them, but they parted company on good terms,” Raiola added. “They have remained in contact and there is mutual respect.

“I know Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani will not agree, but Mario is a great striker. That is for certain and he could perhaps be that at Chelsea.”

Balotelli, 23, returned to Italy in January after a spell in England with Manchester City. He continues to make headlines on and off the pitch.

“I have other Milan players who I represent, but I don’t get questioned about them,” Raiola continued. “I just get asked about Mario and that irritates me.

“I never said to not judge the player or comment on his performances, but leave him in peace if he wears an earring, if he drives a certain car or wears a certain hat.

“I don’t see any other player in Italy who is gossiped about like Balotelli. Napoli’s Marek Hamsik has a crest hairstyle but nobody talks about him in such a way.”

Balotelli unhurt after crash
28.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sky Sport Italia have confirmed that Mario Balotelli is unhurt after it was revealed that he was involved in a car accident earlier today.

The striker crashed his vehicle in Brescia after he left training this afternoon, but the station have revealed that the Milan forward is okay.

The Italy international swapped insurance details with the other motorist, and both went on their way.

It will be good news for Coach Massimiliano Allegri after Matias Silvestre was revealed as the latest player to be injured for the Rossoneri this term.

Balotelli in car crash
28.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Reports in the Italian Press this evening have suggested that Mario Balotelli was involved in a car accident earlier on Monday.

Several outlets, including Sport Mediaset, have claimed that the Milan striker crashed on his way to Brescia to see some family members.

Details of the accident have not been released yet, with neither the Rossoneri nor the forward commenting.

Balotelli was said to have left Milanello at around 14.15 this afternoon, before crashing some time after.

Silvestre picks up injury
28.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There is more bad news for Milan on Monday after they confirmed an injury to defender Matias Silvestre.

The loan capture from Inter has pulled a muscle in his right calf and has thus been ruled out of the midweek game against Lazio.

The club have revealed that the Argentine stopper will be examined again in 10 days’ time.

The 29-year-old, who scored in the 3-2 loss at Parma yesterday, has only appeared in two top-flight ties so far this term.

AC Milan question Parma free-kick
28.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have published two pictures on their website which they claim prove Marco Parolo’s winning free-kick was taken from the wrong place.

The Diavolo were left unimpressed by the refereeing performance of Paolo Valeri in their 3-2 loss at Parma's Stadio Tardini on Sunday.

The defeat came in injury time thanks to a long-range effort from the former Cesena midfielder.

However, the San Siro side’s website have this morning claimed that the free-kick was taken eight metres closer to the goal than it should have.

Allegri: 'Balotelli had a bad game'
27.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri admits Milan did not perform up to par against Parma and was particularly unhappy with Mario Balotelli.

The Rossoneri had fought back from 2-0 down, but were beaten 3-2 at the death at the Stadio Tardini today.

“In the first half we created little and conceded twice on the counter-attack,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“After the break we did more and went close to a third goal, but then that free kick happened at the end. We were naive and conceded two goals just before the end of each half.

“We should’ve closed down and not allowed any more space, but instead we got it wrong.”

Allegri made surprising substitutions, replacing Balotelli and Andrea Poli when still 2-0 down.

“We had to change something for the second half. I took off Balotelli because he didn’t have a good game, while Poli had done well and it was a tactical issue.

“Balotelli had a few good moments, but overall it was not a good game. I needed a centre-forward who could really play that role and Balotelli wasn’t doing it, although he has the characteristics.

“We are not balanced yet, as we go from great focus in the Champions League to distractions in Serie A. I said this game was fundamental for us to keep up with the top six, but as they all won this weekend it becomes even more difficult.

“We need to improve a great deal away from home, as we’ve only picked up two points this season on our travels.”

Finally, Allegri confirmed the January deals have already been secured.

“Adil Rami and Keisuke Honda will be joining us in January and strengthen our squad.”

Serie A: Parma 3:2 AC Milan - match report
27.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Parolo 10, 94 (P), Cassano 45 (P), Matri 61 (M), Silvestre 63 (M)

Milan fought back from 2-0 down, but Marco Parolo’s free kick gave Parma victory with the last kick of the game.

The Rossoneri were buoyed by a 1-1 midweek draw with Barcelona, although the injury crisis dragged on with Christian Abbiati, Stephan El Shaarawy, Giampaolo Pazzini, Daniele Bonera and the suspended Philippe Mexes unavailable. Parma had ex-Milan men Roberto Donadoni and Antonio Cassano in control, but Stefano Okaka, Daniele Galloppa and Gabriel Paletta were sidelined.

Parma had won just one of the last 10 editions of this fixture, both 1-0 results in 2003 and 2009. There was a minute’s silence for Ferdinando Pasotti, the grandfather of Parma President Tommaso Ghirardi.

Mario Balotelli was in a new trident and had a new look, shaving off his trademark Mohican and removing his diamond earrings.

Parma broke the deadlock with Marco Parolo, though much of the credit goes to Jonathan Biabiany. He burst past Kevin Constant and his cross was deflected into the path of Parolo to fire in from seven yards.

Parolo threatened again, this time firing at Gabriel, while Matias Silvestre stopped Cassano’s cross from coming through to Amauri.

Andrea Poli came very close to an equaliser just past the half-hour mark, but his angled drive shaved a coat of paint off the upright.

Balotelli went down in the box, but was booked for allowing himself to fall far too easily. Robinho only scuffed his volley off target after great work from Poli.

Parma made it 2-0 in first half stoppages when Biabiany again burst down the right, Parolo knocking the cross back in for Cassano to pick his spot from 12 yards, beating Gabriel at the base of the near post.

Straight after the restart Cassano and Biabiany tested Gabriel again, so Max Allegri took drastic measures, replacing Balotelli and Poli with Alessandro Matri and Kaka.

Cristian Zapata’s deflection took a Walter Gargano attempt off target, but Gargano couldn’t believe he hadn’t scored on the hour mark when he gathered from Cassano and smacked his shot on to the underside of the crossbar.

Moments later Matri got Milan back into the game with his first goal for the club. He held of a marker to place a precise snooker-shot into the far bottom corner.

It was like a light suddenly coming on, as Milan were now a totally different team and turned the match around completely. Zapata’s header from a corner hit the bar, but Silvestre turned in the rebound.

Riccardo Montolivo almost made it 3-2, hitting the side-netting, while Valter Birsa’s free kick skimmed the bar. It was all Milan now, aided by the fact Cassano had to go off due to a headache when colliding with Gabriel.

Kaka dribbled through the Parma defence and Mirante needed a knee to deny his finish, but the hosts were furious when Nigel De Jong was booked for a foul on Aleandro Rosi and they claimed it was a clear scoring opportunity, but was too deep into midfield for that.

In the final minute Constant completely missed a cross and Gabriel was decisive in blocking at Rosi’s feet.

Just as Milan thought they had done enough to earn a point, Parma restored their lead at the Stadio Tardini. Parolo had opened the scoring and his free kick from a good 30 yards out flew past a surprised Gabriel into the near bottom corner. The Rossoneri wall clearly split in two.

Parma: Mirante; Cassani, Felipe (Benalouane 76), Lucarelli; Biabiany, Gargano, Marchionni, Parolo, Gobbi; Cassano (Rosi 73), Amauri (Sansone 64)

Milan: Gabriel; Abate, Zapata, Silvestre, Constant; Montolivo, De Jong, Poli (Kaka 52); Birsa, Balotelli (Matri 52), Robinho (Saponara 88)

Ref: Valeri

De Sciglio back for AC Milan
26.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mattia De Sciglio is back in the Milan squad travelling to Parma tomorrow, but Christian Abbiati and Philippe Mexes miss out.

The Rossoneri visit the Stadio Tardini on Sunday at 14.00 UK time.

Full-back De Sciglio is yet to make his first Serie A appearance of the season, as for Milan he only featured in a Champions League play-off 3-0 win over PSV Eindhoven on August 28.

Goalkeeper Abbiati is again absent after picking up an injury last week, while Mexes sits out the second in his four-match ban.

Daniele Bonera, Stephan El Shaarawy and Giampaolo Pazzini remain long-term absentees.

Milan squad for Parma: Amelia, Coppola, Gabriel, Abate, Constant, De Sciglio, Silvestre, Vergara, Zaccardo, Zapata, Birsa, Cristante, Emanuelson, De Jong, Kaka, Montolivo, Muntari, Poli, Saponara, Balotelli, Matri, Niang, Robinho.

Agent: 'Is Balotelli in Italy a mistake?'
26.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli “would never accept a tutor,” but cannot live a normal life under this pressure. “Perhaps it was a mistake to bring him back to Italy.”

Mino Raiola arrived at the Milanello training ground this morning and spoke to Milan Channel on reports the club will hire a ‘tutor’ to help him through, something usually only reserved for players still in school age.

“There is no tutor for Mario, as this was another invention from Italian media,” blasted Raiola.

“This story is ridiculous. Why can’t we just leave him alone like every other player? Why is the attention always on him? I’ve been with Mario for three days in a four-month period and suddenly I’m his tutor?

“Milan never dared to propose a tutor and we would never accept one. If people keep saying this, I will sue.”

The agent also reiterated that the situation in Italy could force SuperMario elsewhere.

“When I took him to Manchester City, it was because I thought he’d suffer less of this pressure. Perhaps it was a mistake to bring him back to Italy.

“Am I scaring the fans with this talk? I am realistic, even if in reality I said it would be a truly awful thing if Mario were to leave the country for these reasons.

“Anything Mario does gets blown up into a story. His private life is a public life, so it becomes very difficult for him to do his work. He does not have a normal life.

“I truly admire Mario, because I couldn’t put up with the pressure he has for 365 days a year. There was even a huge story in the papers because he was looking for a dog. What kind of a story is that?!”

Allegri: 'Parma is fundamental'
26.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri considers more tactical and personnel changes against Parma. “It’s a fundamental game.”

The Rossoneri visit the Stadio Tardini on Sunday at 14.00 UK time.

“We have done better defensively of late, but above all working as a team unit,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

“Tomorrow is a fundamental game, as we are still without an away win this season and need results to stay close to the top six.”

There was also a psychological boost for the team after a 1-1 Champions League draw with Barcelona on Tuesday.

“The team did fairly well, but we cannot rest on the laurels of a good result against Barça. Tomorrow Serie A returns and we cannot afford another mistake.

“Parma have players of real quality and a fearsome front two of Amauri and Antonio Cassano, the pace of Jonathan Biabiany and midfielders who can push up between the lines. We’ll need a great performance.”

There are a few injury concerns, as Mario Balotelli is back, but Christian Abbiati is still unavailable.

“Marco Amelia did well against Barcelona and Gabriel impressed with Udinese, so I’ll have to decide today who starts in goal,” continued Allegri.

“I tested out a trident in training with M’Baye Niang, Balotelli and Robinho, but then changed them with Valter Birsa, Alessandro Matri and Kaka. I could end up using neither of the two line-ups.

“Mario needs to relax, learn from the things he hears and reads so he can understand he has to improve in certain areas. It’s not a State problem, he’s just a young player who needs to do his work. He is not a ‘normal’ player, as his qualities are above the norm and he is paid to play at his best for the team, club and fans.

“Riccardo Montolivo had a knock to the tibia against Barcelona, while we have Mattia De Sciglio back. Giampaolo Pazzini is running again and will have a check-up, while it will take a little more time for Daniele Bonera to recover.”

Reports resumed today that Milan are considering Clarence Seedorf to be the Coach next season, especially after President Silvio Berlusconi took credit for the 1-1 draw with Barcelona.

“My work will be evaluated at the end of the season, checking whether pre-defined objectives have been achieved. There has always been a rumour mill with regards to Coaches. You need balance, a cool head and nerves of steel to sit on such an important bench.

“If at the end of the season we still agree, then we will go on together, if not then we won’t. I like to listen to everyone, especially the President. At times our ideas don’t connect, but I am the Coach and I make the tactical decisions. My rapport with the President is excellent.”

Silvestre: Balotelli will be vital
26.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Matias Silvestre believes that if Milan are to do well this season, Mario Balotelli will have to perform.

The central defender is currently on loan at the Rossoneri from Inter, and has spoken of his first few months in the red and black side of the city, whilst also commenting on the controversial striker and Kaka’s arrival.

“I’m fine here,” he told Milan Channel. “I’m getting on really well with all my teammates. We train every day together and there has been no problems.

“I think Balotelli is very important to us. He will show his value to this team as the season goes on.

“Kaka played a great game against Barcelona. He trains at 100 per cent every day and will become even more vital as the campaign goes on.

“I think everyone can learn from his behaviour.”

The Argentine concluded by remarking on Sundays match with Parma.

“We just want the three points – they have some tough defenders and some great strikers, so we’ll have to be focused on the job in hand.”

Ganz has faith in AC Milan's Matri
25.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan’s signing of Alessandro Matri will turn out to be good business, says former Diavolo hitman Maurizio Ganz.

The Italian international joined the Rossoneri in the summer after an €11m fee was agreed with Juventus.

However, the ex-Cagliari centre-forward has yet to score for the club in nine appearances so far this term.

“Matri has always shown excellent qualities in front of goal,” Ganz, who spent two years with the San Siro boys, told Ita Sport Press.

“Evidently he doesn’t have the calmness right now to stick the ball into the back of the net.

“Nevertheless, I’m convinced that Matri will eventually be an important player for Milan. He will score vital goals for the cause.

“He is not a problem for the Rossoneri.”

AC Milan on the up, says Amelia
25.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marco Amelia is convinced Milan are now in the right condition to start climbing up the standings.

The Diavolo have had a problematic beginning to the season after collecting just 11 points from eight games this term.

However, the goalkeeper thinks his side proved a point to onlookers in their 1-1 draw with Barcelona on Tuesday.

“We are picking ourselves up after a not very easy start to the campaign,” the World Cup winner told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“We did well in the Champions League against Barcelona and now we have to start climbing in the championship.

“On Tuesday we collected an excellent point, but what was more important was the performance.

“Not only did we play on a level par with Barca, but we actually caused them problems. This should be used to push us on and give us belief in Serie A.”

Milan are away at Parma on Sunday.

Gargano ready for AC Milan arrival
25.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Walter Gargano is looking forward to taking on Nigel De Jong when Parma entertain Milan this weekend.

“It will be a nice battle,” noted the Uruguayan international to Parma Channel. “But I don’t believe that the match will be decided in the midfield.

“We need to stay compact and play as a team. If we do this for 90 minutes then we will take something home.”

The Gialloblu are only two points behind the Rossoneri in the standings after a difficult beginning for both outfits.

“We all know what Milan represent,” the former Napoli man continued. “It was a big game for me last season as I was at Inter, but now I've turned the page.

“They’re a great team with great players and they're back on form after Tuesday's match against Barcelona.

“We'll need to be at our best to get a result as it'll be tough.”

Zapata: 'AC Milan gained confidence'
24.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Cristian Zapata said Milan’s performance against Barcelona allows them to “look to the future with a lot of confidence.”

The 1-1 draw in the Champions League on Tuesday was their best showing of the season so far, despite numerous injuries.

“We played well against Barcelona and that allows us to look to the future with a lot of confidence,” Zapata told Milan Channel.

“We want to keep growing and continue on this path. We embarrassed ourselves against Caen, so the only way to make up for that is to train well and do as well as possible.”

The Rossoneri were crushed 3-0 by the French minnows in a friendly test during the international break.

“We’ve all got to work together to emerge from this situation. I think this was clear against Udinese and Barcelona, as we are working very hard.

“When things go wrong, it is down to everyone, so we are all trying to resolve the problems.”

Zapata commented on his new partnership with Matias Silvestre, who received his Milan debut in the 1-0 win over Udinese.

“I get along very well with Silvestre. He is a talented player and I think he showed that last Saturday, so he can really help us this season.”

Berlusconi tactics for AC Milan - Barcelona
23.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

President Silvio Berlusconi’s “tactical suggestions” were behind Milan’s 1-1 draw with Barcelona, claimed his daughter.

Last night the Rossoneri largely neutralised the Blaugrana in their Champions League encounter, moving to a 4-3-3 with no recognised strikers.

“My father is happy, as some of the tactical suggestions he gave to Massimiliano Allegri were received,” Barbara Berlusconi told ANSA news agency.

She is also on the Board of Directors at the club and was until a few months ago the girlfriend of Alexandre Pato.

“The performance was decent, made of heart and character. Now we need the right mentality in the next games, especially in Glasgow, as it’s going to be a cauldron there.”

Milan’s next Champions League fixture is away to Barcelona on November 6, then at Celtic Park on November 26.

They have five points compared to Barcelona’s seven and Celtic on three.

No injury concerns for Balotelli
23.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli has not suffered any repercussions after his return to action for Milan last night.

The Italy international came on in the second half during the Rossoneri’s 1-1 draw with Barcelona, as he continues to recover from injury.

And the club have confirmed this afternoon that the controversial forward has trained normally and should be available for the game with Parma on Sunday.

“The day after the 1-1 draw against Barcelona, the team are straight back to work at the Milanello sports centre,” a statement on their official website read.

“The players that started last night warmed down in the gym while the rest of the squad came out to the raised pitch behind the gym.

“After a stretching session and some sprint drills, the players started working with the ball. The team worked firstly on possession and then a three touch practice match.

“Balotelli and Saponara trained with the group for the entire session.”

Montolivo and Behrami on racism
23.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Montolivo and Valon Behrami have come together to try and eradicate racism in football.

The Milan and Napoli midfielders have both taken part in a UEFA objective to try and stop racist abuse in the game.

“Football can send out a big message in this fight,” Behrami told uefa.com. “We all have the same mentality - football has to be an example in the fight against racism and that's the message we can give.”

The Rossoneri captain meanwhile insisted: “We have to do everything we can to eradicate racism from football.

“Obviously it's difficult because it's really in the culture of certain people so the road is very long. I think we must start from education in schools – a long-term approach.

“We must start early so that there will not be any more episodes of racism in the future.”

Emanuelson questions Barcelona style
23.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Urby Emanuelson has questioned Barcelona’s dominance in possession against Milan last night.

The Blaugrana had over 65 per cent of the ball at San Siro on Tuesday, but could only draw 1-1 with the Rossoneri.

“Of course, Barcelona had more of the ball in the game,” he told reporters.

“But the question is – what use is that if you don’t score?

“I thought we played well and kept them at a distance. We can definitely be satisfied with a point.”

Amelia: We did well to stop Barcelona
23.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marco Amelia was left impressed with the tactical discipline of Milan in their 1-1 Champions League draw against Barcelona.

The Diavolo took the lead at San Siro last night, only to be caught out by a Lionel Messi goal for the Spanish giants.

“They usually have 10 chances per match, but it wasn’t like that against us,” the goalkeeper noted.

“In fact, had Sulley Muntari and Robinho done better with their opportunities then we’d be talking about other things…

“Tactically we did well and we slipped up for their goal, it wasn’t credit to them. Apart from that things went well.

“It’s a good point for us and a big push for our morale. With Barcelona you have to try and limit them – there’s no other way. We played a good game and we had our chances too.

“We didn’t play Catenaccio and always tried to play on the break. We had to suffer in certain stages of the game as they chased us back a lot, but we played well.”

The Diavolo have had a rough start to the season, but the 2006 World Cup winner is convinced the future is bright.

“We’re on the up now after a tough start,” he added. “We know we have to do better, but you can’t go from zero to 10 without steps in between.

“Now we’re getting players back from injury and against Parma we have to get back up the table. We want to be in the top spots for Christmas.”

Martino: 'Barcelona deserved victory'
23.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino believes Barcelona “dropped two points and deserved to win” after their 1-1 draw with Milan.

Robinho had opened the scoring at San Siro before Lionel Messi’s response in the Champions League Group H tie.

“We dropped two points and deserved to win this game against Milan,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“We created more scoring opportunities and that is why we would’ve deserved the victory. We made a mistake leaving the initiative to the Rossoneri when Milan scored their goal. We paid for that error.

“Messi played well, as did the rest of the team. He was in the thick of the action.”

Barcelona were beaten 2-0 at San Siro last season and drew here 1-1 this term, so does this stadium cause them problems?

“It is not easy to play with so many opponents in their own half. We had the chances to score and it’s just a shame we didn’t make the most of them.”

Kaka: 'Anything for AC Milan'
23.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kaka reveals his experience of facing Barcelona in La Liga prepared him for the extra work with Milan.

The Brazilian seemed to be everywhere in tonight’s 1-1 Champions League draw, including as a full-back.

“Playing against Barcelona so many times, I saw the importance of wingers in marking them, so I realised how to counter them and that it required sacrifices,” the former Real Madrid star told Sky Sport Italia.

“Both Valter Birsa and I did well in playing that tactical role. The Coach knows where I like to play, but at times like this I needed to help out.”

“I try to rediscover my best form. As for Milan, I will do whatever it takes for the group. Tonight I needed to help out, work as a full-back and then send passes to Robinho.”

It was Kaka’s first Champions League appearance of the season and he was invigorated by the San Siro crowd.

“All this affection really helps and is more motivation. I hear them sing every time I step on to the field and there was a really special atmosphere at San Siro tonight. It’s the right place for me to play well.”

Iniesta: 'A good point'
23.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Andres Iniesta saw Barcelona’s 1-1 draw with Milan as “a good point” for both clubs in Champions League Group H.

“Milan put in a great defensive performance, making it difficult for our style of play,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“We had a few chances to make the difference, but at the end of the day this is a good point. We’re in a good position in the table and look forward to the second match on home turf.”

Barça lead with seven points, followed by Milan on five and Celtic three. Ajax have one point.

“I expected Milan to stay close and when we attacked with many players we couldn’t find space. We still tried to win the game and a point each is a good result.”

Iniesta was asked whether Barcelona had changed much in recent years from Pep Guardiola to Tito Villanova and now Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino.

“I don’t think much has changed. The foundations and essence of the football remain the same. Every Coach has his method and tries to bring us his ideas, but the principle characteristics are the same.”

Galliani: 'AC Milan had to play this way'
23.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani claims Milan “have to play like this against Barcelona” after using an atypical 4-3-3 formation.

There were no centre-forwards in the starting XI, as Robinho, Kaka and Valter Birsa lined up for tonight’s 1-1 Champions League draw.

“We have done our best work against the big clubs with a centre-forward and someone behind him,” said Vice-President Galliani.

“When we saw 10 men behind the ball, we realised this was the right way you have to play when facing Barcelona.

“I like this Milan, where the 4-3-3 still means everyone working very hard for the team. Perhaps against Barcelona everyone concentrates that bit more than in other matches. We know it shouldn’t be like that, but players inevitably raise their game in these situations.”

Robinho could’ve won it in the second half, but hit a fresh-air shot when sent clear by Sulley Muntari.

“It was an extraordinary chance to take the lead and I won’t sleep tonight, as I keep wondering whether he missed the ball or had left it because he thought Kaka was behind him.

“The goal we conceded was exactly like the one we let in against Juventus, with a mistake passing our way out from defence.”

Galliani was asked about agent Mino Raiola’s comments before the game that Mario Balotelli could move on if the media pressure continues.

“Raiola is sneaky.... He likes to move and shake things up. He’s a great agent and you have to be careful with him.”

Allegri: 'Kaka is a champion'
22.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri singled out Kaka for praise due to his work ethic as Milan held Barcelona to a 1-1 draw.

“I’d say the lads had a good performance and we allowed little to Barcelona, as well as creating our own chances. We made a mistake on the goal and were penalised,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“It followed the same path as last season’s game, even if we defended a little deeper this time, but had more scoring opportunities.

“I’m happy with what the lads did tonight, it’s a good point, especially looking at Celtic’s result this evening.”

Kaka made his Champions League ‘comeback’ for Milan and was all over the pitch.

“Kaka had an extraordinary game and he proved he is a champion. I don’t mean just in technical terms, as we all know that, but he worked so hard and even acted as a full-back at times when harassing the Barcelona players.

“Kaka proved once again to be a champion it’s not enough to have great feet, but to work hard and put the effort in.”

The Rossoneri seemed much more attentive at the back compared to recent outings.

“When you play these games, especially against Barcelona, you need a thousand eyes because they come at you from all angles. The concentration was there from defenders, but also midfielders and forwards.

“Concentration is crucial against a side like Barcelona. We played well going forward, though we should’ve changed the moves around a bit more. I’m satisfied with what we did.

“It becomes difficult for Barcelona to find space. We suffered a little on our left in the first half, as Kevin Constant was forced to stay closer to Alexis Sanchez and that left Dani Alves too much room. The midfielder should’ve gone to help and he did in the second half, when we suffered much less.”

Montolivo hails 'team spirit'
22.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Montolivo praised Milan’s team spirit and Kaka’s performance, but rued missed chances against Barcelona.

“It was a bit like last season, as we allowed Barcelona possession and went on the counter-attack. We had two or three great chances to really hurt them, but it didn’t go well,” he said of the 1-1 Champions League draw.

“It’s a shame, as we had the opportunities to win this match and we really wanted to.”

Coach Massimiliano Allegri changed tactics, adopting a front three without a recognised centre-forward.

“If we play as a team, then we can challenge anyone. I think tonight we had the right attitude, as tactics and shapes can only count for so much without team spirit.

“Kaka had a great performance. He went on counters, provided some wonderful passes and he obviously can’t be 100 per cent yet, but he was great tonight.”

Champions League: AC Milan 1:1 Barcelona - match report
22.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Robinho 9 (M), Messi 23 (B)

Robinho and Lionel Messi found the net as Milan earned a 1-1 draw with Barcelona, wasting some great chances to win.

Elsewhere in Group H, Celtic beat Ajax 2-1, leaving Barca top on seven points, followed by Milan on five and Celtic three.

The Rossoneri were without Christian Abbiati, Stephan El Shaarawy, Giampaolo Pazzini, Daniele Bonera and Mattia De Sciglio, while Mario Balotelli was only fit for the bench after a thigh problem, so Kaka, Robinho and Valter Birsa started in a ‘strikerless’ system. Barca missed Jordi Alba and Ibrahima Afellay, but could count on a star trio of Leo Messi, Neymar and Alexis Sanchez.

They’ve become old enemies, as these teams have met in the last three consecutive campaigns. Milan had a very aggressive start and the ball was in the net after seven minutes, but Sulley Muntari – who scored against Barcelona last season – was offside on the Robinho through ball.

It was just a warning, as soon after Robinho robbed Javier Mascherano and Gerard Pique in possession and exchanged passes with Kaka to prod past the on-rushing Victor Valdes. It was the first goal Barcelona have conceded so far in the Champions League this term.

Messi’s free kick struck the side-netting, but he got his goal when Milan lost the ball in midfield and he cut in past Cristian Zapata to fire low at the near post. The Argentine was in acres of space because Kevin Constant had pushed up and left a gap down Milan’s left, his sixth goal against the Rossoneri.

Philippe Mexes went very close to restoring their lead, but his header was off target from a Robinho corner that Victor Valdes completely misjudged.

Zapata charged down a Messi volley and Neymar flashed a solo effort across the face of goal, then Marco Amelia smothered an Alexis Sanchez volley after another Constant error.

Kaka looked sharp and had his shot charge down in the box, but Neymar aimed another volley just wide of the far post after Zapata’s poor clearance.

Robinho somehow failed to score at the start of the second half. Muntari’s assist was rolled across and the Brazilian just had to tap it past Valdes, but he incredibly hit a fresh-air shot.

Amelia did very well to deny Andres Iniesta, who had burst through the middle of the Milan defence only to scuff his finish, allowing the goalkeeper to block.

Balotelli came on for Robinho in the final 25 minutes at San Siro. Constant hit a screamer off target and Adriano turned wide from close range after running on to a Messi searching pass.

Muntari had a great chance on 81 minutes when he burst between centre-backs, but was tripping as he got there and could only scuff the finish at Victor Valdes.

Messi hit a free kick at the wall and Dani Alves tested Amelia from distance in the final minutes.

Milan 1-1 Barcelona

Scorers: Robinho 9 (M), Messi 23 (B)

Milan: Amelia; Abate, Zapata, Mexes, Constant; Muntari, De Jong, Montolivo; Kaka (Emanuelson 71), Robinho (Balotelli 64), Birsa (Poli 80)

Barcelona: Victor Valdes; Adriano, Mascherano, Pique, Dani Alves; Iniesta, Busquets, Xavi; Neymar (Pedro 81), Alexis Sanchez (Fabregas 74), Messi

Ref: Brych (GER)

Champions League: AC Milan vs. Barcelona - lineups
22.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan: Amelia; Abate, Zapata, Mexes, Constant; Muntari, De Jong, Montolivo; Kaka, Robinho, Birsa.

AC Milan bench: Coppola, Silvestre, Emanuelson, Nocerino, Poli, Matri, Balotelli.

Barcelona: Victor Valdes; Adriano, Mascherano, Pique, Dani Alves; Iniesta, Busquets, Xavi; Neymar, Alexis Sanchez, Messi.

Barcelona bench: Pinto, Montoya, Bartra, Fabregas, Song, Pedro, Tello.

AC Milan and Napoli lose in UEFA Youth League
22.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The UEFA Youth League doesn’t bode well, as Napoli and Milan lost with Olympique Marseille and Barcelona.

The tournament, introduced this year, is a youth version of the Champions League and has groups mirroring the main competition.

Today Milan under Coach Pippo Inzaghi were hammered 6-2 on home turf by Barcelona’s teenagers, while Celtic beat Ajax 4-1.

The Blaugrana lead Group H on nine points, followed by Milan on six, Celtic with three and Ajax zero.

Napoli also lost today, falling 2-1 away to Olympique Marseille despite taking an early lead.

Arsenal-Borussia Dortmund completes Group F tomorrow, but for the moment the Gunners have six, followed by Napoli, Dortmund and Marseille on three.

Brocchi: 'Matri just needs one goal'
22.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alessandro Matri will ripple the net with consistency at Milan once his goal drought ends, says Cristian Brocchi.

Brocchi, a youth team boss with the Rossoneri, is a good friend of the striker who joined for €11m from Juventus in the summer.

“Matri is trying to settle into a new formation and in a different environment,” the former midfielder told Milan Channel.

“He has joined from Juve, a club who play in a very specific way. The style of play has changed, as well as his teammates.

“But he is living through this moment with calm and he is giving everything.

“Now he just needs to unblock himself and he will then return to being the decisive striker which he was at Juventus.

“It was no fluke that he was Juventus’ best scorer for the last two seasons…”

The forward has yet to score in nine appearances for the Diavolo.

He is expected to start on the bench in the Champions League clash against Barcelona on Tuesday night.

Kaka to start for AC Milan
22.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri is expected to give Kaka a starting shirt in tonight’s Champions League game against Barcelona.

The summer signing from Real Madrid has only been limited to 88 minutes of Serie A action since his return to the club because of injury.

The Brazilian, however, will be unleashed against the Spanish giants according to various sources, including the Gazzetta dello Sport.

Allegri will reportedly go with a 4-3-3 formation which will see Valter Birsa and Robinho complete the attacking trident.

Milan probable: Amelia; Abate, Mexes, Zapata, Constant; Montolivo, De Jong, Muntari; Birsa, Robinho, Kaka.

Barcelona probable: Valdes; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Adriano; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Sanchez, Messi, Neymar.

'Barcelona have learned from AC Milan loss'
21.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez has admitted that the Blaugrana have learned from their loss to Milan last year.

The Catalan club went down 2-0 at San Siro last term in the last 16 of the Champions League, and will return to Lombardy tomorrow evening for a group stage encounter.

“We learned from last year's experience (2-0 loss against AC Milan in the San Siro),” he told a Press conference.

“Milan has always shown great heart, it is important to play 90 minutes with great concentration. I always give my 100 per cent.

“In Barça there are so many good players, I am ready to play but I do not feel a starter. The criticisms gave me more strength. Playing with Neymar gives me happiness and confidence.”

AC Milan squad for Barcelona
21.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan have named their squad for the Champions League games against Barcelona on Tuesday night.

The Rossoneri play the Blaugrana tomorrow evening looking to cement their second place in the group.

And they will do so with Mario Balotelli amongst their ranks, who could well be in for an unexpected start after injury.

AC Milan squad for Barcelona: Amelia, Coppola, Andrenacci (N.60), Abate, Constant, Mexes, Silvestre, Zaccardo, Zapata, Birsa, De Jong, Emanuelson, Kakà, Montolivo, Muntari, Nocerino, Poli, Balotelli, Matri, Robinho.

Montolivo and how to beat Barcelona
21.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Montolivo insists Milan will have to stay compact if they are to have any chance of beating Barcelona on Tuesday.

“We need a high level of concentration and attention, limiting the spaces between the lines,” the midfielder told Milan Channel ahead of the Champions League tie.

“We need to be compact and use the counter-attack. The squad spirit, the attitude and the approach are fundamental to doing well against Barcelona.”

Barcelona will start the tie as favourites, but the midfielder is keen to use Fiorentina’s 4-2 win over Juventus as an example that anything can happen in football.

“The match between Juve and Fiorentina shows how strange football can be,” continued the former Viola man.

“The match can change from one moment to the next and this is what is beautiful about football. We believe.

“This team has not shown its full potential and this game can give us the necessary motivation to improve.

“The team made big steps forward on Saturday in the 1-0 win over Udinese and we were all on the same wavelength.”

Montolivo is also confident that summer signings Kaka and Alessandro Matri will soon start making an impact for the Diavolo.

“Kaka can give us something more in terms of experience and personality. He can add quality to our side and I am sure he will achieve great things with us.

“Kaka is priceless and he will give us a hand on the pitch.

“We have lots of faith in him and also in Matri. He hasn’t as yet found the net, but his performances have always been good.

“We play with one forward who is always surrounded by defenders and he works to support the team. He has always scored goals and he will start hitting the back of the net. He does not need to worry.”

Sanchez set to face AC Milan
21.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Former Udinese ace Alexis Sanchez is being tipped to start in Barcelona’s Champions League game at Milan on Tuesday.

The Chilean sat out the trip to Osasuna this weekend, but, according to Mundo Deportivo, will line up alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar in attack tomorrow.

The 24-year-old has scored four goals and provided three assists so far this term.

Meanwhile, Milan could line-up like this: Amelia; Abate, Mexes, Zapata, Constant; Montolivo, De Jong, Muntari; Birsa; Matri, Robinho.

Allegri has Balotelli hope for Barcelona
21.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri is hoping to have Mario Balotelli available for Tuesday’s Champions League tie against Barcelona.

The Italian international missed the 1-0 win over Udinese on Saturday with a thigh problem, but he could make his return to action at San Siro.

“Balotelli is doing better,” the tactician noted. “We’ll check on his condition in training today and we’ll see if he can be called up.”

While the Coach is keen to have his main striker back, he is well aware that Balotelli won’t be able to beat the Spaniards on his own.

“Football is a team game, if you don’t play as a team then you lose,” he added. “The physical condition of the side is improving. We all have to work in the same direction.

“Milan will have to repeat the performance they put in against Barcelona last season [2-0]. We have to limit their characteristics as best as possible and we have to be courageous.”

Barca have a 100 per cent record in the group so far, while the Diavolo have picked up four points from their two games.

“Qualifying from this group will not be simple and we’ll look to get a result tomorrow. Now we need to find a bit of consistency.

“Barcelona have improved with Neymar because he is one of the best in the world.

“They have changed their style of play slightly and they have new solutions in attack. Patience will be necessary.

“It will be an important game and playing against Barcelona is always fascinating. They are the strongest team around.”

Turning to team matters, Allegri wasn’t exactly keeping his plans for the starting XI a secret.

“Marco Amelia will play in goal tomorrow and he’s always done well when called upon. Nigel De Jong and Philippe Mexes will play because they didn’t on Saturday.

“I’ll decide between Andrea Poli and Sulley Muntari in midfield today, even if the Ghanaian remains favourite. Poli did really well on Saturday, but he is also really good at coming off the bench.

“Antonio Nocerino played well on Saturday too, while Muntari was tired.”

Valter Birsa is again tipped to start given that Kaka is still not totally fit after recent injury.

“Kaka has arrived with great enthusiasm, it’s just a shame he got injured. He’s an important signing for us as he raises our quality.

“He can’t play 90 minutes right now, but he knows how he can help his teammates.

“I’m not surprised by Birsa,” he insisted. “He has great quality. He’ll certainly do well tomorrow if he plays. He’s in good form and I’m happy as he deserves it.”

AC Milan - Barcelona is the Champions League
21.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Barcelona director Andoni Zubizarreta is again looking forward to a European Cup clash against Milan.

The two teams have been regularly drawn with each other in recent seasons and they will meet at San Siro again on Tuesday night.

“It wouldn’t be the Champions League unless we played Milan,” Zubizarreta smiled on Monday ahead of the trip to Italy.

“We have played each other a lot. We are going to a stadium in which the opponent does not mind closing up against us and that to us will make things more complicated.

“In no way do we have to explain to our players the trajectory of Milan. It is always a good time to play Milan – whether before a Clasico game against Real Madrid or not.

“It’s another opportunity to play against a great side. If you were to ask Carles Puyol, he will tell you that this is the best team that we can play.”

Barcelona have a 100 per cent record in Group H, while Milan have beaten Celtic and drawn with Ajax in their two games so far.

Barcelona squad for AC Milan
20.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Barcelona are without Jordi Alba, Ibrahim Afellay and Isaac Cuenca for the Champions League match with Milan.

The Blaugrana step into San Siro on Tuesday evening in this Group H encounter.

Coach Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino is without Jordi Alba and Afellay, while he has chosen to leave behind Isaac Cuenca.

UEFA have chosen German referee Felix Brych to officiate.

Milan will name their squad later today, but are pessimistic on Mario Balotelli, Christian Abbiati or Mattia De Sciglio being able to make it.

Barcelona squad for Milan: Victor Valdes, Pinto, Olazabal; Montoya, Piqué, Puyol, Mascherano, Bartra, Adriano, Dani Alves; Fabregas, Xavi, Iniesta, Jonathan Dos Santos, Busquets, Song, Sergi Roberto; Pedro, Alexis Sanchez, Messi, Neymar, Tello.

Nesta hangs up his boots
20.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alessandro Nesta has retired from football at the age of 37. “Now I want to try being a Coach.”

The former Lazio and Milan defender will hang up his boots at the end of the MLS season in Canada, where he plays for Montreal Impact.

“Now I want to try being a Coach,” he said. “I think I’ll rest for a few months before I start studying.”

The lifelong Lazio fan started with his hometown club in the youth academy and stayed there until 2002, when he completed a transfer to Milan.

Following another 10 years at San Siro, Nesta joined Montreal Impact in 2012.

In 2004 FIFA named him one of the top 125 living players and he won the 2006 World Cup with Italy along with three Scudetti, two Champions Leagues, a Club World Cup, three Coppa Italia trophies, a Cup Winners’ Cup, three European Super Cups, four Italian Super Cups and the Canadian Championship.

Silvestre: 'AC Milan a new beginning'
20.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Matias Silvestre made his Milan debut against Udinese and sees this as “a new beginning for me.”

The 29-year-old defender was given this chance with Philippe Mexes suspended, Daniele Bonera and Mattia De Sciglio injured.

“I am very happy for my debut, but above all for the team’s victory. I’ve very happy with this result,” he told Sky Sport Italia of the 1-0 win.

“Tonight we showed great character and this is the path we need to continue on. I had been out for a while and I have to thank the medical staff for helping me to recover so quickly. Perhaps because of that, I was a little more cautious than I usually am.”

Silvestre is on loan from Inter, who were forced to buy him outright from Palermo over the summer.

“Unfortunately last season I was unlucky, now I have this opportunity and am trying to make the most of the time I’m given on the field by the Coach.

“The season has just started and I hope to continue doing well so I can earn my place in the side.”

Mexes will be available on Tuesday in the Champions League against Barcelona, so Silvestre is likely to be on the bench.

“It will certainly be difficult against Barcelona. This evening we enjoy this victory, then from tomorrow we’ll start thinking about Barcelona.”

Kaka dreamed of San Siro return
19.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ricky Kaka confessed he had “spent all day thinking of the moment” he’d step on to the field at San Siro.

He returned from a month out to play as a substitute in the 1-0 victory over Udinese, his first time in this stadium with a Milan jersey since May 2009.

“It was a great feeling and difficult to explain,” he told Milan Channel.

“I spent all day thinking of the moment I’d come on. I will hold a fond memory of my Milan comeback.

“It was crucial to win today, as slowly the injured players are recovering and the team is getting stronger. This side can do well right to the end.

“I was out for a month and now lack match fitness, so it’s difficult to say how long it’ll take me to find my form.

“It is nice to know the fans expect something wonderful from you and to hear the chants from the crowd.”

While Kaka made his return after four years, fellow Brazilian Gabriel had his Serie A debut at the age of 21.

“Gabriel did very well and he performed a very important save on Antonio Di Natale,” continued Ricky.

“It isn’t easy to make your Milan debut at San Siro, but he has a great future ahead of him. I am one of the oldest in the squad now and will try to help the team any way I can, showing what Milan mean to me.”

Gabriel 'very happy' with AC Milan debut
19.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gabriel was “very happy” with his Serie A debut, as the Milan goalkeeper kept a clean sheet in the 1-0 win over Udinese.

“It was a great debut for me and I am very happy,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“Of course there’s going to be a little tension at the start, as this was a difficult game we had to win. We slowly started to gain confidence and it went very well at the end.”

It wasn’t too simple for him, as Gabriel had to fingertip an Antonio Di Natale free kick on to the crossbar.

“The Coach had already warned me Di Natale took great free kicks and I had seen some of his games before. When I saw it was his free kick, I expected him to go near post and thankfully I was able to get a hand to it.”

The 21-year-old Brazilian was picked after Christian Abbiati suffered a calf injury this morning, but can he be the present as well as the future of Milan?

“I am not the one to answer this question, as that is down to the Coach and club. I am working to grow and to learn, so good things will happen, such as this debut.”

Gabriel cannot play against Barcelona on Tuesday, as he is not in the Champions League squad, so Marco Amelia will start instead.

“When the Champions League list was drawn up, I was not 100 per cent due to a shoulder injury, so the Coach made the right choice. Now I am fit, thank God.”

Allegri: 'Why I chose Gabriel'
19.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Max Allegri praised his Milan midfielders for protecting the defence and explains why Gabriel faced Udinese.

“It is normal that with so many players out of action, and we lost the goalkeeper this morning, there were question marks,” he told Sky Sport Italia after a 1-0 victory.

“We played well in the first half and wasted a few too many counter-attacks, but then we created more chances after the break and it was a deserved victory.

“Even if he missed a lot of chances, M’Baye Niang got himself into the right positions, while it was important to have Kaka come in at a time when we were struggling physically and psychologically.

“We were concentrated in defence, having conceded 13 goals in the previous seven rounds. We did well to remain solid and tight. When our team is so compact, it becomes difficult for opponents to break through.

“The midfielders worked well, as did Robinho and Valter Birsa, while Riccardo Montolivo won back possession several times with smart interceptions.

“Nigel De Jong has also learned how to play in front of the defence, whereas Montolivo played there in extraordinary fashion last season when Massimo Ambrosini was injured.

“Alessandro Matri? It’s never easy to play as a centre-forward, but he fought hard, had a few opportunities and will find the goal soon. The important thing is that he doesn’t let his head drop, as he has always scored goals and will do again.”

After Christian Abbiati picked up a calf injury, Allegri gave 21-year-old Gabriel his Serie A debut in goal.

“Tonight I chose Gabriel because I have a lot of faith in him. I evaluated he is not in the Champions League squad, as when we drew it up he had a shoulder injury, so Marco Amelia will have to play on Tuesday against Barcelona.

“Seeing as we get one injury after another, I tried not to risk Amelia! Gabriel has great qualities and is a prospect for the future.”

Barcelona drew 0-0 with Osasuna in La Liga this evening and face Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday.

“The important thing was to win tonight. We’ll need a perfect performance on Tuesday to get a result.”

Serie A: AC Milan 1:0 Udinese - match report
19.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorer: Birsa 22 (M)

Valter Birsa’s scorching strike and debutant goalkeeper Gabriel gave Milan a much-needed 1-0 victory over Udinese.

The pressure was piling on the Rossoneri and an injury crisis made matters worse, ruling out Mario Balotelli, Christian Abbiati, Stephan El Shaarawy, Giampaolo Pazzini, Mattia De Sciglio and Daniele Bonera, plus the suspended Nigel De Jong and Philippe Mexes. Therefore 21-year-old Brazilian goalkeeper Gabriel received his Serie A debut. Valter Birsa and Matias Silvestre returned with Kaka on the bench. Udinese missed Maurizio Domizzi and Zeljko Brkic, while Luis Muriel was rested after international duty in Colombia.

Birsa’s long-range strike tested Ivan Kelava, then Robinho drilled wide of the near post. Milan went on a counter-attack with Birsa from Udinese’s free kick, but Alessandro Matri’s pullback flashed across the box with nobody ready to turn in. Birsa was hacked down from behind during that move and Gianpiero Pinzi was perhaps fortunate to only get booked.

Birsa recovered quickly from that knock to open the scoring. He curled a sensational left-foot finish into the far top corner from the edge of the box, his second Serie A goal of the season.

Udinese fought back with a Gabriel Silva screamer that was not far wide and Dusan Basta’s snapshot deflected off target.

Gabriel’s first real save came on 54 minutes on a scuffed Antonio Di Natale effort, but the veteran tested him considerably more on 63. Di Natale curled a free kick over the wall and Gabriel fingertipped it on to the crossbar.

Andrea Poli did everything right in the build-up, but misplaced his ball across the face of goal. Poli tried again and this time went for goal, forcing Kelava to parry at the near post.

Kaka replaced Matri for his first Milan appearance at San Siro since May 2009, having been out for a month after his lone game of the season against Torino. The Brazilian went out to the left in a 4-3-3.

Ignazio Abate was decisive with an intervention to stop Luis Muriel turning in Di Natale’s through ball from 10 yards. Moments later Kaka went on a mazy run to set up M’Baye Niang, who ballooned over the bar. Niang was also wasteful in stoppages on the counter and earned jeers from the crowd, though his third effort was inches past the upright.

Milan: Gabriel; Abate, Silvestre, Zapata, Constant; Poli, Montolivo, Muntari (Nocerino 86); Birsa (Niang 68); Robinho, Matri (Kaka 77)

Udinese: Kelava; Heurtaux, Danilo, Naldo; Basta (Muriel 51), Pinzi (Zielinski 74), Allan, Lazzari, Gabriel Silva; Pereyra (Ranegie 89), Di Natale

Ref: Guida

Balotelli and Abbiati to miss Barcelona match
19.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani confirms “it will be very difficult” for Mario Balotelli and Christian Abbiati to face Barcelona.

Balotelli returned from international duty with a thigh problem and there are reports he could be out for up to three weeks, while Abbiati has a calf strain.

“I have total faith in Professor Enrico Castellacci, so if Italy allowed him to play then they must’ve been convinced he was fit,” Galliani told Sky Sport Italia.

“From what our staff tell us, it will be very difficult for Balotelli and Abbiati to recover in time for Barcelona on Tuesday.

“People say we have multiple muscular injuries, but that’s not true. Only Balotelli and Abbiati are muscular, but most others were fractures and knee operations.”

Galliani reiterated Massimiliano Allegri is safe regardless of tonight’s result against Udinese.

“Allegri’s bench is absolutely solid. Now we’ll see how many points we pick up tonight, but either way it is only Week 8 and there’s no need to panic.

“Admittedly 13 goals conceded are a great deal. We need to be more attentive in defence. I don’t know whether the problem is tactical, but most of the time I tend to see distractions.

“Adil Rami will arrive in January and is a very good defender, but we’re not clinging to him. We had a very strong defence in the last six months of last term.”

The Vice-President insisted Milan had no need to make public the punishment for Balotelli and Philippe Mexes receiving three-match bans.

“Balotelli was given a severe punishment, but we don’t go around telling people what it was. He was given a very heavy fine, I can assure you, as was Mexes.”

Serie A: AC Milan 1:0 Udinese - Valter Birsa goal (VIDEO)
19.10 || webmaster



Serie A: AC Milan vs. Udinese - lineups
19.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan: Gabriel; Abate, Silvestre, Zapata, Constant; Poli, Montolivo, Muntari; Birsa; Robinho, Matri.

Udinese: Kelava; Heurtaux, Danilo, Naldo; Basta, Pinzi, Allan, Lazzari, Gabriel Silva; Pereyra, Di Natale.

Abbiati out of AC Milan - Udinese
19.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Christian Abbiati won’t face Udinese this evening, as Milan’s injury crisis intensifies.

The Rossoneri host Udinese at San Siro tonight at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).

While Abbiati was originally named in the squad for this game, Milan confirmed the goalkeeper picked up a calf injury during the last training session.

Either Marco Amelia or Gabriel will therefore start against the Friulani.

It’s another blow for Milan, as question marks continue to swirl around Mario Balotelli’s condition.

The striker returned from international duty with a thigh problem and there are growing rumours it is a serious injury.

Balotelli could well miss out on Udinese, Barcelona and next weekend’s Serie A match with Parma.

The Corriere dello Sport even suggests Balo could not recover in time to face Lazio on October 30.

Balotelli to miss Barcelona?
19.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli’s injury is worse than previously thought and could rule him out of Milan-Barcelona on Tuesday.

The striker returned from international duty with a thigh problem that means he’s not in the squad for tonight’s Serie A match against Udinese.

La Gazzetta dello Sport now claims the setback is even more serious than at first thought.

Further tests are required, but the newspaper believes Balotelli will be ruled out of Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Barcelona and next weekend’s Serie A game against Parma.

It would be a heavy blow for the Rossoneri, who are already without Giampaolo Pazzini, Stephan El Shaarawy, Mattia De Sciglio and Daniele Bonera.

Balotelli also missed last season’s encounter with Barcelona, as he was Cup-tied after making the move from Manchester City in January.

There is some good news for Coach Massimiliano Allegri, as this evening against Udinese he has Kaka, Valter Birsa and Matias Silvestre back at his disposal.

Kaka back for AC Milan - Udinese
18.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kaka, Valter Birsa and Matias Silvestre are back in the Milan squad for Saturday’s match with Udinese, but Mario Balotelli misses out.

Balotelli returned from international duty with a muscular problem and is out of tomorrow’s game, while he could also be at risk against Barcelona next week.

Kaka, Birsa and Silvestre return to the side after long injury lay-offs, as the Brazilian managed just one appearance before suffering a thigh strain.

Coach Massimiliano Allegri is still without Mattia De Sciglio, Giampaolo Pazzini, Daniele Bonera and Stephan El Shaarawy.

Also absent against Udinese are the suspended Philippe Mexes and Nigel De Jong.

AC Milan squad for Udinese: Abbiati, Amelia, Gabriel, Abate, Constant, Silvestre, Vergara, Zaccardo, Zapata, Birsa, Cristante, Emanuelson, Kaka, Montolivo, Muntari, Nocerino, Poli, Saponara, Matri, Niang, Robinho.

Guidolin fears focused AC Milan
18.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Udinese boss Francesco Guidolin doesn’t believe opponents Milan will be preoccupied by next week’s Barcelona clash on Saturday.

“Milan are Milan,” the tactician stated ahead of the San Siro tie. “They will be determined to trouble us.

“We know it is going to be a tough match and the Rossoneri are focused on just this fixture.

“They won't be distracted by the Champions League because they haven't spoken a single word about it lately.

“They are focused and determined to win. As for us, we can't feel content with our performances in away games so far – we need something more.”

Udinese have lost all three games away from the Stadio Friuli in 2013-14.

“We know we need to do better and I expect Udinese to be courageous,” he added.

It’s unclear whether promising striker Luis Muriel will be handed a starting shirt by the former Parma and Palermo boss.

“We’ve been working without him because he only arrived back here last night. I will consider every possibility and I'll take my time to make the right choice.

“All of the players who were away on international duty have come back. Some of them played more, some less, but there are no problems.”

Udinese chief eyes San Siro upset
18.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Udinese owner Gianpaolo Pozzo is optimistic his side will ask some serious questions of struggling Milan on Saturday.

The Diavolo have picked up just eight points from their opening seven games this term – two points less than the Bianconeri.

“I perfectly understand that it is going to be a very tough match, but I believe in my team,” Pozzo told Udinese Channel.

“I am sure the squad will put in an incredible performance. It's going to be an entertaining and fascinating encounter.”

He added: “Milan are a great club who have been having a few troubles of late and they’ll be looking to recover.

“It’s not going to be easy as they want to win just as much as we do.”

Allegri on the defense
18.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has conceded that his side must improve defensively if they are to climb the table.

The Rossoneri, like last season, have made a stuttering start to the campaign after collecting just eight points from their first seven games of term.

“To comeback as we did last year is not impossible,” the Diavolo tactician stated on Friday afternoon.

“But if we have conceded 13 goals then we have made some mistakes. It is hard to win games when you concede on average two a tie…

“We have to eliminate the errors which are costing us.”

Milan will entertain Udinese on Saturday night at San Siro.

“Udinese won’t be an easy game. They are a team who make you play badly and they have Antonio Di Natale, a player who is always dangerous.

“We’ll go out there with 11 players and those who play will be up to the standard to those who are unavailable. We’ll certainly play a good game, even if we’ll perhaps need some luck.”

Star striker Mario Balotelli won’t be available after he picked up a thigh problem on his return from international duty.

“After his three-game ban, it is disappointing that I will be without him tomorrow as well. The doctors will decide what to do with him on Monday and we’ll see if he will be available for Tuesday’s game against Barcelona.

“Birsa, Silvestre and Kaka are back though,” Allegri continued. “Kaka is at my disposal, even if he will only have 30 minutes in his legs.

“I’m edging towards playing Silvestre in defence alongside Zapata.

“The ritiro? It wasn’t a punishment. It was necessary to look at the errors we have made. We have thus had more time to prepare for this game.”

Matri has eye on Azzurri
18.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alessandro Matri says he was also considering his international career when he decided to leave Juventus for Milan.

The striker moved to San Siro in the summer after an €11m fee was agreed between the two Italian giants.

“Apart from wanting to return to Milan, I left Turin because I wanted to play more and try to win a place back in the Italy squad,” he told Forza Milan!

The 29-year-old has struggled to impress after re-signing for the club where he grew up in. He has yet to score for the club after eight appearances.

Matri was called up into the Italy squad for the first time in February 2011, but he has only won five caps since. He has scored one goal.

Casillas: I may have to leave
17.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan target Iker Casillas has admitted that he may leave Real Madrid in January.

The club captain has spent his entire career at the Santiago Bernabeu, but finds scrutiny on his immediate future and his continued involvement at international level increasing, in light of nine months of struggle to dislodge Diego Lopez from the Madrid starting XI.

“Of course I want to play, but you have to respect the Coach. These are his decisions,” Casillas has reflected to reporters today.

“The selfish players always want to play, but a good professional accepts things. I’d like to stay at Real Madrid because it is what I have dreamed of since childhood.

“What I must to is train as much as I can in order to play.

“Players go through times when if they are not a protagonist, many options run through their head. I’m human, I’m only a footballer. I’ve not played for nine months and it has also happened with me. I’m not a machine.

“Of course I want to stay here, win more titles with Real Madrid. Since my childhood I have wanted to be here, but one day I may have to take a decision.

“Today my goal is to fight, to try and play every day. If I didn’t want to, I would have gone to the President in September asking to leave, regardless of anything at Christmas. But I have decided I want to be a part of this team for a long time.

“But within three months if the situation doesn’t change and I am asked the same question, maybe the answer is that I am considering leaving.”

AC Milan have Balotelli concern
17.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli could be missing from Milan’s upcoming games against Udinese and Barcelona because of injury.

The Diavolo have this afternoon confirmed the striker is suffering with muscle pain in his right thigh.

The former Inter and Manchester City forward will undergo tests over the next few days to ascertain how serious the problem is.

Balotelli had missed the previous three Serie A matches through suspension.

Rami: AC Milan is a big family
17.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Valencia’s Adil Rami has immediately been struck by the family atmosphere at Milan ahead of his January move.

“It’s a good feeling, I am very happy to be here,” the defender told Milan Channel. “The Milanello complex is the best in the world.

“Milan is a big family and I like that very much.

“I have been following Milan for some time, it is a club which I have always liked.

“I already know Kevin Constant and Philippe Mexes. Their presence will help me to integrate more quickly into the squad.

“I’m trying to talk to everyone here, even if I’m a bit behind with the language. For the moment I am communicating in French and Spanish.”

Rami will join the Diavolo officially on loan at the start of next year, but he’s been allowed to leave Valencia with immediate effect after some disciplinary problems there.

“I thank Valencia for giving me the opportunity to train in advance with Milan. During this time I will be able to get to know my new teammates and Coach.

“I have a very strong character, I think I can help the team and increase the competition for places.”

Rami accepts Valencia cut
17.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adil Rami will reportedly net a reduced salary from Valencia until his move to Milan is finalised in January.

The Spanish club have confirmed that the defender will join the San Siro giants on a loan deal at the start of next year.

In the meantime, the player has been given permission to train with the Diavolo with immediate effect after he publicly criticised the Liga club recently.

According to sources in Spain, Rami has agreed to forfeit as much as €100,000 a month.

OFFICIAL: Adil Rami to AC Milan
17.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Valencia have officially confirmed Adil Rami will join Milan in January, as he is already training in Italy.

The France international underwent his medical last week and has been training at the Milanello ground.

This evening Valencia released a statement announcing a deal between the clubs for the defender.

“Valencia CF and AC Milan have reached an agreement for the transfer of player Adil Rami to the Milanese club in the Winter window.

“Rami, awaiting the opening of the window, has received permission from Valencia to train with Milan.

“The Italian club has an option to buy the French international as part of this deal.”

It has been widely reported Milan’s option to buy at the end of the season is worth €7.5m.

AC Milan lockdown 'not punitive'
17.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan go into a pre-match training camp decided by Max Allegri, but Adriano Galliani insists the measure is “not punitive.”

The Rossoneri had a series of poor results recently, culminating in a 3-0 friendly defeat to Ligue 2 side Caen.

Now that the internationals are coming back to base, the team will be locked down into a training camp ‘ritiro’ from Thursday.

“It is not a punitive ritiro,” Vice-President Galliani told Milan Channel.

“We certainly told the players and coaching staff that Milan cannot be satisfied with 12th place in Serie A. They must be concentrated and stay together, so in that sense the ritiro seems to be the best option.

“It is a decision made by the Coach, shared by the club, so no players complained. When results are lacking, there is always a reason and we have to find it. This is a useful ritiro for everyone and not just an empty gesture.

“Milanello is a lovely place, so it’s hardly a jail cell. It is a place to stay together, concentrate and prepare the climb back up the table.”

Milan will face Udinese on Saturday evening and it will have fans in the stadium after a one-match ban on San Siro was suspended on appeal.

Today there was an in-house friendly in which the Milan Primavera youth team squad beat the senior side 1-0.

“I believe we can get Kaka, Valter Birsa and Matias Silvestre back this weekend,” continued Galliani.

“We need to wait a little more for Mattia De Sciglio. He won’t be fit for Udinese, but we’ll see against Barcelona.”

Rules on fan insults adjusted
17.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The FIGC has adjusted the rules on racist and ‘territorial’ discrimination, taking into account how many fans are behind the abuse.

Ultras had threatened to simultaneously break the rules in order to force an entire Serie A round to be played behind closed doors after Milan were handed a one-match ban, later suspended on appeal.

The suspension was so that the Federation would have the opportunity to discuss the proposed changes and that meeting occurred today.

A statement was released confirming a modification to the rule was “passed unanimously.”

While ‘territorial discrimination’ will continue to be punished on a par with racist abuse, the sanctions imposed on clubs will be eased in the presence of different factors.

Above all, the Disciplinary Commission will take into account how many fans were behind the insulting chants or banners, therefore only the area of the stadium where these occurred will be closed off.

“There has been no lowering of our guard on racism or territorial discrimination,” insisted FIGC President Giancarlo Abete.

“If we had done, we would’ve brought back simple fines or given a different connotation to territorial discrimination. We have not done that.”

The entire stadium could still be locked down for one game if there is a particularly serious offence involving thousands of fans, but a handful of abusers can no longer force all fans to miss matches.

El Shaarawy: I'll be back for Barcelona
15.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Stephan El Shaarawy has revealed that he should be back and fit enough to face Barcelona on November 6.

The striker has been out for the past few weeks with a hairline fracture to his fourth metatarsal. But the forward has claimed that he will be playing soon, whilst also commenting on his future with the Rossoneri.

“Next week I’ll do an ultrasound on my foot,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport. But I should return for the game with Barcelona on November 6.

“I’ve done some great things in a Milan shirt, but I’ve also done some bad things. I just want to be judged by what I do on the pitch though.

“My mind is only on Milan. I have already stated on several occasions that I want to stay here.”

Rami to start AC Milan training
15.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adil Rami is expected at Milanello this afternoon to begin training with his new Milan teammates ahead of a move from Valencia.

The Frenchman underwent a medical with the Rossoneri over the weekend and is seen alongside Los Che as having signed off on an agreement to transfer to the Serie A side.

Joining on a provisional loan deal to the end of the season, the 27-year-old is ineligible to play for Milan until January, but today he is set to start training with the Italians.

Valencia have been keen to offload Rami as soon as possible after his public outburst at his teammates and Coach Miroslav Djukic a fortnight ago.

Milan will apparently only take up the player’s wage from the moment they can register him at the start of the winter transfer window.

Galliani, Allegri to meet team
15.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani and Max Allegri will meet today to discuss reversing Milan’s fortunes, before a meeting with the players is set to be held.

Vice-President and Coach are reported as having already spoken this week regarding the Rossoneri’s surprise 3-0 friendly reverse at the weekend to French outfit Caen.

On from the performance in that match and the team’s overall unsteady start to the season that has left them mid-table in Serie A, Galliani and Allegri will reportedly meet in person today to strategise how to reverse the situation.

The Gazzetta dello Sport believe that on from this, the duo will then meet with the players at Milanello to ask for greater ‘effort and concentration’.

It is also understood that at this moment, Allegri and Galliani do not rule out putting the team into a training retreat to try and focus their efforts better.

Reports also are that Allegri’s position as Coach is not in question at this time, but that if the situation is not improved in the coming weeks, attention may turn to the bench.

AC Milan target Forster
14.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster could be a target for Milan, according to reports in the Scottish Press.

With Christian Abbiati expected to call it a day at the end of the season, the Rossoneri are on the lookout for a new shot-stopper.

And as such, The Scotsman have claimed this afternoon that the San Siro side could target the Bhoys’ boy.

Iker Casillas has been rumoured as a target, but Forster would seem a more realistic buy, and is priced at around €9m.

Abete: Balotelli in eye of the storm
14.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

FIGC President Giancarlo Abete has defended Mario Balotelli, claiming that the Milan forward is ‘in the eye of the storm’.

The Rossoneri striker has come in for criticism recently after he was seen striking a camera crew in Naples.

“Balotelli is going through a challenging time,” he told ANSA. “We have to be careful with him.

“But at the end of the day, you have to understand that the media pressure on the lad is excessive.

“He is in the eye of the storm.”

Carboni believes Rami will be success
14.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Former Valencia and Roma defender Amedeo Carboni believes that Adil Rami will be a success at Milan.

The French centre-back had a medical at the Rossoneri over the weekend in preparation for his loan move in January.

And the 48-year-old ex-left back has insisted that the Bleus international will do well at San Siro.

“Rami has a great physique and is great with his feet,” he told Tuttosport. “He reminds me of Lucio in terms of his movement.

“Maybe, sometimes, he takes too many risks on the pitch. He could perhaps just boot it into the stands on occasion.

“But I think he’ll fit in at Milan straight away. They have a good defender on their hands.”

Inzaghi: AC Milan comeback difficult
14.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Filippo Inzaghi says that Milan’s poor start to the season is down to injuries and presents a difficult position from which to recover.

The Rossoneri come out of October’s international break 12th in Serie A and already 13 points off the pace.

“Milan are paying for a number of injuries, but they are recovering many of the players now,” mused Inzaghi to Milan Channel today.

“It will be hard to make up the points gap with the other direct competitors, but I think that with a full team we can do it.”

The Rossoneri will not play their next match behind closed doors, after the initial one-match stadium ban for supporters was suspended.

“There cannot be a match without supporters, it was right to reopen the stadium to the fans.”

Allegri plans AC Milan shuffle
14.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

January will apparently see Massimiliano Allegri look to adopt a new tactical system with Milan, to incorporate Keisuke Honda but not Stephan El Shaarawy.

Speculation from the Corriere dello Sport today indicates that the Rossoneri will develop a 4-2-3-1 system from the turn of the year, if Honda’s anticipated arrival from CSKA Moscow goes through.

Putting aside the team’s current 4-3-1-2 module, Allegri reportedly will opt for a shape placing Ricky Kaka, Honda and Mario Balotelli as three behind single striker Giampaolo Pazzini.

Pazzini is seen as Allegri’s preferred striker over Alessandro Matri, whilst the indication is that El Shaarawy’s first-team opportunities will be increasingly limited in this new system.

Nigel de Jong and Riccardo Montolivo would be the Rossoneri’s first-choice duel axis in midfield, backed by a defence set to include Adil Rami.

Galliani wanted Allegri explanation
14.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan’s 3-0 defeat to Caen on Sunday prompted Adriano Galliani to call Massimiliano Allegri immediately after for an explanation.

The Rossoneri fell to a surprise reverse in the weekend’s friendly and drew fierce criticism from their Coach post-match, as he labelled their performance ‘unacceptable’.

On from this, reports are that club Vice-President Galliani contacted Allegri for a full explanation of what happened to lead to the result.

Kaka back for Udinese
14.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ricky Kaka is believed set for a place on the Milan bench next weekend as he verges on a return to full fitness.

The Brazilian has seen his return to the Rossoneri this season somewhat tempered by an early issue with a thigh strain picked up in mid-September.

However, reports in Italy today suggest that the 31-year-old is nearly a return to optimum condition and will make the bench for Milan’s home fixture with the Zebrette set for next Saturday evening.

Whilst medical staff at the club have been seen as cautious in their treatment and recovery programme for the attacking midfielder, it is understood that on from possibly featuring in the Udinese game, Kaka will be available for the midweek Champions League meeting to follow at home to Barcelona.

Since picking up his thigh strain midway through last month, the player had opted not to be paid until fully fit again.

Balotelli clashes with TV crew
13.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Video here.

Italy arrived in Naples this evening, but Mario Balotelli hit headlines for striking a camera crew.

The Azzurri made the journey by train from Florence to Naples, where they will play Armenia in a World Cup qualifier on Tuesday night.

There were hundreds of fans waiting for the squad at the train station and several camera crews.

However, Sport Mediaset reported Balotelli had struck one of their television cameras and tried to knock it to the ground.

It is a particularly unusual gesture considering Mediaset are owned by Milan President Silvio Berlusconi.

Balotelli had already been irritable this morning when posting a photograph of a headline in the Gazzetta dello Sport via Twitter: ‘Balotelli is ill, but will be there in Naples as a symbol against the Camorra.’

“This is what you say! I am coming because football is wonderful and everyone should play it where they want, plus there’s a game!!!!”

Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier against Armenia will be preceded by a training session at a football pitch built on land confiscated from the Camorra – the Neapolitan Mafia.

Allegri: 'Unacceptable AC Milan'
13.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri was furious with his players after Milan’s 3-0 defeat to Caen. “Technique is not enough.”

The Rossoneri played the friendly test in France this afternoon and were fortunate to keep the scoreline down thanks to the saves of goalkeeper Gabriel.

“It’s a shame, because when you play it should always be to get a result,” said Allegri.

“In the first half we made several mistakes and overall it was not a good game. I was interested to see those who were returning from injuries or hadn’t played as much. I knew with so many kids on the field we’d risk an embarrassment.

“In football technique is not enough. You also need character, hunger and enthusiasm. When called upon, a player must always give their best.”

Milan should have Kaka and Valter Birsa available for the next Serie A match against Udinese, while doubts remain over Matias Silvestre and Mattia De Sciglio.

“It’s not a positive moment, but we have to stay calm and get through it,” continued Allegri.

“Gabriel, Riccardo Saponara, Mastalli and above all Rondanini played well today. Rondanini had the right spirit that all players ought to have when they step on to the field.

“Even if it is just a friendly, the players must give a response to the Coach. I am not naming anyone in particular, but as a team we played very badly. This sort of performance is unacceptable.”

Friendly: Caen 3:0 AC Milan - match report
13.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan’s second-string side was defeated 3-0 in France by Caen in today’s friendly test.

The only bright spot of the game was the performance of goalkeeper Gabriel, who kept the scoreline down with a series of saves.

Without all the players on international duty, including the Under-21 and Under-19 teams, Coach Max Allegri had precious few figures to choose from.

This was a homecoming for Mbaye Niang, who joined Milan from Caen, while Riccardo Saponara and Jherson Vergara were able to play after long injury lay-offs.

It took just three minutes for Caen to break the deadlock with Appiah tapping in from a parried free kick.

The Rossoneri defence was disastrous throughout and Duhamel sprung the offside trap to beat Gabriel one-on-one.

Koita was also on his own against goalkeeper Gabriel after bursting down the right undisturbed.

Caen 3-0 Milan

Scorers: Appiah 3, Duhamel 17, Koita 55

Milan: Gabriel; Rondanini (Pacifico 76), Zaccardo, Mexes (Vergara 46), Constant; Mastalli (Di Molfetta 60), Nocerino, Emanuelson; Saponara (Cerigoi 82), Niang, Matri (Claveria 70)

Balotelli is 'feeling better'
13.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli “is feeling better” and scored in today’s game between ranks ahead of Tuesday’s qualifier with Armenia.

The striker missed the 2-2 draw in Denmark on Friday due to an illness and only jogged a little in yesterday’s training session.

However, this morning he played in Italy’s game between ranks alongside Giuseppe Rossi and even scored a goal.

“Mario is feeling better,” said Coach Cesare Prandelli.

This was also evident by his interactions on Twitter, as Balotelli posted a picture of the Gazzetta dello Sport headline: ‘Balotelli is ill, but will be there in Naples as a symbol against the Camorra.’

“This is what you say! I am coming because football is wonderful and everyone should play it where they want, plus there’s a game!!!!”

Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier against Armenia will be preceded by a training session at a football pitch built on land confiscated from the Camorra – the Neapolitan Mafia.

Niang welcomes Rami to AC Milan
13.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan play Caen today in a friendly, so Mbaye Niang discusses his old club and new teammate Adil Rami.

“This is my second year at Milan and there is a lot of competition, but I am growing on a psychological level too,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“I hope that this season I will score more goals. I have to work hard, but the important thing is that the team wins.

“Our objective is to finish in the top three, as we are a great team with quality players. I believe we can do it.

“As for myself, I want to go as far as possible, to become the best. I know I have to work on that, though. I am happy to be back in Caen and hope it will be a celebration, as I had happy years there.”

Milan are due to sign Rami on loan from Valencia, as he underwent his medical on Saturday.

“Rami is a great defender. I knew him in the United States and also saw him in the France side, so I can say he’s a very good player. We hope his qualities can help the team.”

Zanetti: 'Balotelli a jazz man'
13.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Javier Zanetti describes his former Inter teammate Mario Balotelli as “a jazz musician” of football.

The Argentine spoke to TG1 about his upcoming autobiography and discussed his time with SuperMario.

“I think he needs to find his balance and I hope he does. Mario has immense talent, but he needs to stay calm and do what he knows how to do.

“We spoke many times and he listened, but he is one of those young people who will continue to make mistakes at his age. When you realise you’ve made a mistake, it helps you to grow.

“He is a jazz musician and that is certainly a quality, as he’s one of those players who at any moment can bring out the winning move. He’s good for Milan and especially for Italy, seeing as we are close to the World Cup.”

Balotelli’s career with Inter effectively came to an end after he threw his jersey to the ground at the final whistle of the Champions League semi-final with Barcelona in 2010.

“It was something he should not have done,” added Zanetti. “I think after that gesture he immediately realised it was a mistake. I didn’t say anything at the time, as it wasn’t the right moment to explain. In the locker room he apologised and that was the end of it.”

Balotelli 'will stay with Italy'
12.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli will stay with the Italy squad despite more fitness problems ahead of Tuesday’s game with Armenia.

The striker was not even in the stands for last night’s 2-2 draw in Denmark, as he was suffering from a temperature and stomach problems.

Today he resumed training in Florence, but managed only a couple of jogs round the ground before going back in.

“The player will stay with us,” said Professor Enrico Castellacci. “It’s impossible right now to say what his chances are of playing on Tuesday.

“It is encouraging that he returned to training after five days out, but he is debilitated by gastroenteritis. We will evaluate his condition day by day.”

Rami 'passes AC Milan medical'
12.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adil Rami underwent his medical for Milan, but Valencia warn there is no official deal yet.

The defender flew in to Italy on Friday accompanied by FIFA agent Ernesto Bronzetti and had dinner with Rossoneri Vice-President Adriano Galliani.

Sky Sport Italia report Rami underwent a medical today and passed with flying colours, as he is 1kg below his ideal weight.

However, Valencia sources pointed out the deal on loan with option to buy for €7m was not completed yet.

Rami is expected to fly back to Spain tomorrow. When the move does go through, he will only be eligible to play for Milan from January.

AC Milan look to Casillas?
12.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan are targeting Real Madrid’s Iker Casillas, but face competition from Arsenal and Manchester City.

It is widely believed this will be Christian Abbiati’s final campaign as first choice for the Rossoneri, so plans are taking shape for the future.

Initially it had been suggested their favourite was Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, but reports suggest the Borussia Monchengladbach shot-stopper is closer to Barcelona.

Milan therefore turned their focus on to Casillas, who continues his battle of wills at Real Madrid and has shown appreciation for the San Siro option.

However, Manchester City and Arsenal are also thought to be keeping an eye on the Spain international’s situation.

There are too concerns that at 32 Casillas is perhaps too old to be making this move, so the Rossoneri should look for a younger alternative.

Allegri: 'Players must set example'
12.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan Coach Max Allegri reminded players they have to “set an example” with more than just exotic hairstyles.

“Players shouldn’t just set an example by having mohican hairstyles or wearing three earrings,” said Allegri at an event educating children in schools about the risks of cancer.

“They have to realise the responsibility that rests on their shoulders and send positive messages to the youngsters who watch how they behave on television.

“From the outside players might look like grown men, but they are just lads who need to be guided. Like every youngster, they make mistakes.

“When I see a player smoking, I immediately tell him to stop. If they are eating unhealthily, I send them to the doctor. As for sex, it’s important they use protection.

“In life nobody is a saint, but I can say I’ve been fortunate to not smoke, I don’t like alcohol and I am careful about my nutrition.”

Udinese and Fiorentina back AC Milan
12.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Udinese and Fiorentina have supported the decision to play Milan-Udinese with a crowd, albeit as part of a suspended sentence.

The Rossoneri had been ordered to play their next Serie A home game with Udinese behind closed doors after anti-Neapolitan chants were considered ‘territorial discrimination’ and treated with the same rules as racist abuse.

This evening the Federal Court of Appeal delayed giving its verdict until there can be further consultation, so the ban is suspended.

“This is the right thing to do!” said Udinese patron Gianpaolo Pozzo on the club’s official website.

“We wanted San Siro open for Milan-Udinese because the fans are the essence of football. It’s better late than never, but I can’t help thinking of those clubs who paid beforehand with stadium or the curva closed, such as Lazio and Inter.

“We are happy to find an open stadium so we can challenge the Rossoneri on a par. I reaffirm my idea, which is to punish those who are guilty, not the clubs.”

Inter, Lazio and Roma had been penalised for racist abuse rather than that of ‘territorial discrimination,’ so Fiorentina backed the probable change in regulations.

“We need to distinguish between different forms of discrimination,” said general manager Sandro Mencucci.

“In Tuscany the local rivalries are dominant. I remember when our fans chanted to Empoli that their stadium was made by IKEA. For these mocking chants, I think the term ‘discrimination’ is excessive.

“If Fiorentina had been in Milan’s place, we too would’ve lodged an appeal. The chants were not that dramatic and I think this has all been blown out of proportion.”

Rami arrives for AC Milan medical
12.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Valencia defender Adil Rami landed in Milan this evening and will undergo his medical tomorrow.

The deal was struck this week for Rami to join the Rossoneri on loan with an option to buy for €7m.

He will not be eligible to play until January, but can train and get to know his new teammates for the next few months.

Rami was photographed at the airport in Milan this evening accompanied by FIFA agent and intermediary Ernesto Bronzetti.

The 27-year-old France international stands at 1.90m and will reinforce the Rossoneri’s back four.

AC Milan - Udinese ban suspended
12.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan - Udinese will not be played behind closed doors, as the appeal verdict has been postponed.

The club took its appeal to the Federal Court of the FIGC today after it was ordered to play the game with Udinese behind closed doors on October 19.

This punishment was inflicted for repeated anti-Neapolitan chants that were considered ‘territorial discrimination’ and therefore treated with the same severity as racist abuse.

The decision prompted a wide debate around Serie A and B on what constitutes ‘racism’ in stadiums and what is simply banter between rival towns.

Lawyer Leandro Cantamessa represented Milan at the tribunal and initially a verdict was expected this evening.

However, the Court wants more time to consider the evidence, especially as the FIGC is due to hold a meeting next Wednesday or Thursday to discuss changing the application of the rules.

A delay in delivering the verdict will effectively mean suspending the ban, so fans would be allowed into the game with Udinese.

There was also a presentation from a lawyer representing a group of season ticket holders, who joined in the appeal.

Niang can't wait for Caen friendly
12.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan play French side Caen in a friendly on Sunday, and former player M’Baye Niang has admitted it will be a great occasion.

The young forward left the Ligue 2 side in 2012 for the Rossoneri, and the 18-year-old has conceded it will be great to go back this weekend.

“Leaving Caen was not easy,” he told Milan Channel. “But sometimes you have to make sacrifices.

“I’m glad we’re going back for a friendly – it’s the team I made my professional debut for and I still have a lot of friends there.

“Since I arrived in Italy though, I have matured as a player.”

'World Cup without Balotelli unthinkable'
12.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Cesare Prandelli has insisted that an Italy without Mario Balotelli is ‘unthinkable’.

The Azzurri are set to be without the Milan striker for the World Cup qualifier with Denmark on Friday, but the Coach has claimed that the forward will be first on the plane to Brazil.

“A World Cup without Mario is absolutely unthinkable,” he told reporters. “I’m convinced that from now on he will not do anything out of the ordinary and will be completely prepared for the tournament.

“Mario has to break away from his problems and try to get out of these difficulties.”

'There is no Balotelli case'
12.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Giancarlo Abete says that he ‘does not feel disappointed’ by Mario Balotelli’s believed request to leave the Italy camp due to injury.

The Milan man is a doubt to feature for the Azzurri in Friday night’s World Cup qualifier with Denmark and was understood to have asked to leave the training camp.

On from Coach Cesare Prandelli denying the situation, FIGC President Abete has also played down the significance of the reports.

“Balotelli is not a case,” Abete commented this week.

“Balotelli is a guy who attracts all the media attention, but his relationship with the national team is frank, clear and solid.

“I did not feel disappointed by his request. We can all improve and so can he.”

Abete was asked for his view on the continued unrest among Italy’s football fans for Milan’s stadium ban for ‘territorial discrimination’.

“You need to find the right overview. We need to isolate individuals who go to the stadium only for violent acts and distinguish light hearted teasing from discrimination and racism.”

Prandelli: 'Italy will enjoy Denmark'
11.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Cesare Prandelli is confident Italy “will enjoy ourselves” without pressure for a result in Denmark and defends Mario Balotelli.

The Azzurri have already qualified for the 2014 World Cup, so their final two games against Denmark tomorrow evening (at 19.15 UK time, 18.15 GMT) and Armenia on Tuesday give Prandelli the opportunity to experiment.

“We do not have the pressure of needing three points, but it will be important to win in order to keep our position in the FIFA world ranking and gain even more confidence,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

“Without that pressure, we can enjoy ourselves. You’ll see, we will play good football. There is everything in place to have a great game.

“Denmark are one of the most interesting teams in Europe. In the first game we suffered very badly before the break, while in the second half we went down to 10 men and paradoxically played better. We hope to be strong tomorrow night, because there will be many difficulties.”

Balotelli, Marco Verratti and Lorenzo Insigne have suffered from injuries during the last few days and there were even reports the Milan striker wanted to leave the camp.

“I spoke to Balotelli, just as with Verratti and Insigne. They are all players with minimal problems and I am convinced they can recover in time for Tuesday.

“Did Mario ask to go home? Absolutely not, Mario never did that. I listened to him and he said nothing about that,” insisted Prandelli.

“Mario needs to take the drama out of every situation, as people treat the ‘star’ as more important than the man and the player. We should tell him to relax and not worry so much at the age of 23. If there are problems, then he should face them and not run away.

“I can say one thing about the team: Andrea Pirlo will not be in the starting XI, though he could play later in the match.”

Italy are expected to adopt a 4-3-2-1 system with Antonio Candreva, Riccardo Montolivo and Claudio Marchisio in midfield, then Emanuele Giaccherini and Alessandro Diamanti supporting Dani Osvaldo.

“When players are absent, we have the opportunities to see others and the players must learn to make the most of those opportunities.

“Osvaldo seems relaxed and if he is on the pitch tomorrow then he should focus only on football. It’d be ideal if everyone could do that!”

Prandelli was asked whether in future he could pair Southampton striker Osvaldo with Milan forward Balotelli.

“They did well together against Brazil in Geneva. We played in that game with Giaccherini behind and he caused the most problems for the Brazilian defenders. On paper they are an interesting pair, both technical, powerful and who give depth. We’d like to test them, but aren’t ruling anything out.

“We analysed the goals we conceded in the last few matches. There will always be mistakes, but in recent situations they were more individual errors than the whole defence. These are easily fixed.”

The Italy Coach was questioned on the closure of San Siro for anti-Neapolitan chants and the question of whether the anti-racism rules should be expanded to include ‘territorial’ rivalries.

“When a stadium is closed, it means everyone is wrong. We all lose. Are the ultras holding the clubs to ransom? Some protagonists think they are absolute protagonists, but they are not.

“I would like that, just as against Palermo, after a few jeers at the Bulgarian anthem the rest of the crowd drowned them out with applause. I’d like the majority of fans to contrast certain chants.”

Reina: 'I sleep in Balotelli shirt!'
11.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina reveals he sleeps with the jersey Mario Balotelli “was wearing when I saved his penalty.”

The shot-stopper became the first to parry a Balotelli spot-kick in a competitive senior match when securing Napoli’s 2-1 Serie A victory at San Siro.

“I wear very special pyjamas now,” Reina told Spanish radio station Onda Cero.

“It is made up of the Milan shirt Balotelli was wearing when I saved his penalty and some Napoli shorts.

“After saving the penalty, I couldn’t resist asking him for his jersey, as it was an historic event. He gave it to me and I brought it here to create an unusual pyjama kit.”

Reina is in Spain for tonight’s World Cup qualifier against Belarus, but went back on that Balotelli incident.

“How did I save the penalty? By waiting one second more than Mario did. His strength from the spot is that he’s so calm he is able to wait until the last second before deciding where to place the ball and how to hit it. I waited more than he did and it went well.”

AC Milan ultras: 'We are not racist'
11.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan ultras insist it is “senseless” to say they are racist, instead “they’re trying to create monsters to hide the real problems.”

The Rossoneri have been ordered to play their next home game against Udinese behind closed doors after chants against Neapolitans that constituted ‘territorial discrimination.’

Other ultras from around Italy have said they’ll join in a protest, including Inter, Juventus and Brescia.

“Have we ever had racist attitudes, sung racist songs or shown racist banners?” Luca Lucci of the Curva Sud Milano group told SenzaBarcode.it.

“To think the words ‘racism’ and ‘Curva Sud’ could be placed together is senseless and unfair. We are evaluating what to do next, but we certainly will not stop!

“It is an issue of liberty. They want to gag us and create monsters to slap on the front page of their newspapers, perhaps to hide the real problems that afflict the clubs.”

Meanwhile, police in Rome are on high alert for the rescheduled Serie A match between Roma and Napoli.

It had been due for Saturday October 19, but moved to Friday October 18 because it would have clashed with a huge protest march in the city.

Even though the match is now 24 hours earlier, there are still fears as over 3,000 Napoli fans are expected to travel for the game.

Agent: 'Rami going to AC Milan'
11.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

FIFA agent Ernesto Bronzetti confirms Adil Rami’s move to Milan “is complete” after the Valencia man turned down Napoli.

The defender is due to arrive in Italy over the next few days to seal the loan with option to buy worth €7m, though he won’t be eligible to play until January.

“I have just concluded the transfer, so it is complete,” Liga specialist negotiator Bronzetti told Radio Kiss Kiss.

“The player will go to Milan despite a recent interest from Rafa Benitez at Napoli. The Frenchman was wanted by many clubs, including more abroad, but at the end of the day he chose the Rossoneri.”

Rami is expected to fly in for a medical on Saturday.

Kjaer: Balotelli is the key
11.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Danish defender Simon Kjaer has claimed that without Mario Balotelli, it is easy to see why Milan and Italy are not the same.

The striker is unlikely to be fit to face the Danes in Copenhagen on Friday evening, and the centre-back has singled out the Rossoneri man as the Azzurri’s key man.

“I have played against him many times and he really has improved as a striker,” the Lille man told reporters.

“Unfortunately there are still those who judge him for what he does off the pitch. But you can certainly see his behaviour has improved.

“Mario is a key player and you can see why the teams he plays for are worst without him.”

Rami move set to be completed
11.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adil Rami’s loan move from Valencia to Milan is expected to be completed within the next few days, according to reports.

Gazzetta dello Sport claim that the French defender will arrive in Italy by the end of this week to undergo some medical examinations.

He will then start training with the Rossoneri next week, but will be unable to play for another two and a half months.

Rami can only start playing for Massimiliano Allegri’s from January 2 onwards.

Ibrahimovic set for Maldini talks
11.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be sent by Paris Saint-Germain to try and convince Paolo Maldini to join the French club.

Les Parisiens have tried to persuade the Milan legend to become an executive for 18 months now, but the 45-year-old has continually turned them down – reportedly holding out for a role at San Siro.

However, according to Afton Bladet, PSG have turned to their Swedish striker to try and talk his former Rossoneri colleague into coming to the capital.

Di Natale on Udinese, San Siro and Italy
11.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Antonio Di Natale has given an interview to Gazzetta dello Sport, commenting on Udinese, playing behind closed doors at San Siro and the Italian national team.

The Zebrette travel to Milan during the next round of League matches, but will do so at a closed San Siro, following incidents of ‘insulting’ chanting from the Rossoneri fans.

“We are all focused on the game,” he told the paper. “But it will not be nice to play behind closed doors.

“Udinese have to get 40 points this season – after that we can just have fun.

“I think the fight for the League will be between Juventus, Napoli and Roma – they are the three teams that are stronger than anyone else.”

The striker then remarked on the Azzurri and Francesco Totti’s current form.

“Totti is just a unique player – the number one. He always gives his best whenever he plays. Right now, I think he deserves to go to the World Cup.

“My regret is never having played with him.”

Torino set defensive targets
11.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Torino have listed a number of players they want to strengthen their back line this January, reports have revealed.

Tuttosport believe that Il Toro have targeted Milan’s Cristian Zaccardo and Luca Antonelli of Genoa as the main men they want over the winter.

But Inter centre-back Marco Andreolli and Sebastian De Maio from the Grifone are also back-up targets for Gianpiero Ventura’s side.

Galliani on Adidas partnership
11.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has admitted he is looking forward to working with Adidas, as the club sign a new decade-long deal with the company.

The Rossoneri announced a 10-year deal with the German shirt manufacturer at a Press conference this afternoon, and the board member conceded that it was a great partnership.

“Today, we lay the foundations for writing new pages of this relationship that gave us great satisfaction,” he told reporters.

“We will reach 25 years together because starting from 1998 we shared values, strategies, will to excel, innovative spirit and many victories.

“The three stripes brand was with us in all the great dates, on and off the pitch.”

Adidas CEO Herbert Hainer meanwhile said: “During these first 16 years I have always appreciated the Milan attitude and commitment to reach great victories on the pitch but also to consolidate Milan as a global brand, becoming the most winning club in the world but also one of the most beloved teams worldwide.

“I am very happy to see the three stripes associated for the next 10 years to an asset with which we celebrated great victories.”

Third generation Maldini at AC Milan
4.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

A third generation of Maldini started his Milan career today, as Christian – son of Paolo – trained with the senior squad.

The Rossoneri have been home to Cesare Maldini, who as captain lifted the European Cup in 1963, his son Paolo and now also Christian.

Born in 1996, Christian plays as a full-back and took part in his first senior training session with Massimiliano Allegri’s squad today.

He was one of several youth team players who joined in, as the rest of Pippo Inzaghi’s Primavera side were returning from yesterday’s impressive 3-2 UEFA Youth Cup win away to Ajax.

Robinho: 'Juve - AC Milan is decisive'
4.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Robinho is happy he stayed at Milan, but reveals they are viewing the clash with Juventus as “a decisive match.”

The Brazilian had been very close a return home with Santos both in January and over the summer, but could not agree terms and recommitted himself to San Siro.

“I am very happy that I remained with this great club and that Milan wanted to keep me. I hope to play here for many years to come,” he told Milan Channel.

“As a team we have to improve, but we are on the right track and I hope it can be the year of Milan. My dream for this season is to win with Milan and then go to the World Cup with Brazil.

“Unfortunately we are missing great players through injury, such as El Shaarawy, Kaka, De Sciglio and others, while Montolivo only just returned. In order to soar, we need everyone.”

The Rossoneri have stuttered this season in Serie A and the Champions League, scraping a last-gasp 1-1 draw with Ajax on Tuesday.

They have the opportunity to close the gap on the leading pack on Sunday evening when visiting the Juventus Stadium.

“We realise the importance of this game, as we are experiencing this as a decisive match. We are extremely motivated and working well, so we hope to play good football and above all to win,” added Robinho.

“Massimiliano Allegri is a great Coach and he was always with the team, even during the most difficult moments.

“Kaka is a very close friend and a great player, so it’s wonderful to see him back at his real home. I hope he can be back on the field as soon as possible. We really miss his quality, as Kaka is a decisive player.”

Mario Balotelli also misses out on the Juventus trip, as he continues a three-match ban for insulting the referee.

“Mario is a champion and one of those players who can make the difference when he’s in good shape. I hope he can relax, even if he has a strong personality.”

Vucinic to miss Juve - Milan
4.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Juventus will take on Milan at the weekend without the injured Mirko Vucinic, reports Sky Sport Italia.

The Montenegro international limped out of the 2-2 draw with Galatasaray last night and tests are thought to have shown a left thigh strain.

It is unclear at this stage how long the former Roma ace will be sidelined for.

Stephan Lichtsteiner also picked up a muscle problem on Wednesday, but his condition will continue to be monitored.

The Gazzetta dello Sport, meanwhile, is suggesting Andrea Barzagli is again struggling with a tendon problem in his ankle. They believe he will make the game though.

Honda to get shirt no. 10?
4.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Reports in Italy are suggesting Keisuke Honda will be given the prestigious No 10 jersey when he joins Milan in January.

The midfielder, 27, will move to San Siro at the start of 2014 when his contract with CSKA Moscow expires.

Honda, who the Italian club tried to sign in the summer for a nominal fee, scored in his club’s 3-2 Champions League win against Plzen last night.

Prandelli 'won't drop Balotelli'
3.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Cesare Prandelli will call Mario Balotelli against Denmark and Armenia despite his ban. “He has paid for his actions.”

The Italy Coach had taken to dropping players who were suspended for breaking the ‘code of ethics,’ so Balotelli’s three-match ban for insulting the referee would fall into that remit.

However, Prandelli today assured there is no need to freeze the Milan striker out of his squad for the next two World Cup qualifiers.

“Balotelli sat out his ban and paid for his actions, so not calling him for Italy would be adding further punishment to the one he already had,” the Coach told TG1.

“Milan were exemplary in not appealing against the ban. Am I angry with Mario? Yes, like all those who care about him are.”

Italy have already qualified for the 2014 World Cup, but play their final games against Denmark and Armenia later this month.

Blind thought Ajax were 'destined' to win
3.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ajax defender Daley Blind thought his side were ‘destined’ to beat Milan on Tuesday night.

The Dutch team looked to have scored a 90th minute winner against the Rossoneri, only for Mario Balotelli to net a penalty deep into injury time.

“It’s a shame about the result because I thought we played very well,” he told uefa.com. “We dominated in the first half without really creating many chances.

“In the second Milan improved and we were no longer able to impose our game on them.

“When we scored late on and Ricardo van Rhijn stopped a shot on the line, I thought we were destined to win.

“Then came that penalty!”

Birsa out for 10 days
2.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have confirmed that Valter Birsa will be out for 10 days after picking up a thigh injury before Ajax yesterday.

The summer signing from Genoa limped out of the warm-up prior to Tuesday’s Champions League clash with the Dutch side.

And tests this afternoon have confirmed that the Slovenia international will be out for the next 10 days, and will therefore miss the weekend match against Juventus.

Birsa set for AC Milan tests
2.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Valter Birsa will undergo tests on Wednesday after the Milan man picked up an injury ahead of the Ajax game.

The Slovenian international limped out of the warm-up before last night’s 1-1 Champions League draw in Amsterdam.

The summer signing from Genoa is understood to have picked up a muscle strain and is thus a doubt for Sunday’s tie against Juventus.

The midfielder has scored one goal in four Serie A appearances for the Diavolo this term. He’s also played in one Champions League tie.

Poli not looking for excuses
2.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan’s Andrea Poli has dismissed the idea that tiredness was a factor in their 1-1 draw at Ajax on Tuesday.

The Rossoneri conceded a late goal, but a controversial injury-time penalty from Mario Balotelli salvaged a Champions League point.

“I don’t think we were tired,” the summer signing from Sampdoria commented. “We had a lot of chances and so I don’t think it makes sense to talk about the team being fatigued.

“The excuse of absent players can’t be used either. We have a lot of players and the squad is a rich one, one which gives us a lot of options.

“We gave something away in the first half and Ajax are very good on the ball. We did better in the second half and came close to scoring a few times.

“We conceded in the 90th minute after having conceded very little, but, again this evening, after going behind and it’s not the first time this has happened to us, we managed to get back into the game.”

De Boer: 'Balotelli created theatre'
2.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ajax Coach Frank De Boer accused Mario Balotelli of “creating theatre” for Milan’s last-gasp penalty.

It did seem a very soft decision, as Balotelli and Van Der Hoorn appeared to be pulling at each other’s shirts, but the same player had a much clearer tug on the Italian’s neck earlier in the second half.

“With Balotelli you know he can score from scratch and create theatre. That cost us two points,” slammed De Boer after the 1-1 draw.

“This point comes with a bitter taste. At the end of the day I can live with a point, but to concede with the penalty was disappointing. There are always moments of contact in the box. It’s about letting go at the right moment and Van Der Hoorn did that. It was ridiculous that penalty was awarded.

“We dominated the first half with very good positional play and also had our chances. After the break we made more wrong choices and were restless. Milan were more in the game.

“If you create three or four good chances in today’s football, you must score at least one.”

Montolivo: 'AC Milan too deep'
2.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Montolivo concedes Milan were “a little too deep” against Ajax and they need Mario Balotelli.

“Ajax started very strong and they make possession their greatest weapon,” he told Mediaset after a 1-1 draw in Amsterdam.

“Perhaps we were a little too deep in the first half, but the game changed after the break and we could’ve taken the lead.”

Balotelli was available, as his three-match ban only applies to Serie A, and converted a last-gasp penalty.

“Balotelli is our added value and simply too important for this team. He made mistakes, but these things happen and you can’t make someone carry the cross forever.”

Montolivo had to move into a more advanced trequartista role after Valter Birsa picked up an injury in the warm-up.

“It’s a shame for him and I hope he’ll be back soon.”

Allegri: 'Tactically smart game'
1.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri insists Milan’s defensive first half was a “tactical” decision against Ajax. “It was overall a good performance.”

The Rossoneri had only 30 per cent possession in the first half and not a single shot on goal, but emerged with a 1-1 draw. Elsewhere in Champions League Group H, Barcelona squeezed past 10-man Celtic 1-0.

“We knew the difficulties would be in the first half, as the same happened in Eindhoven with PSV,” Allegri told Sky Sport Italia.

“There was no point pushing early and risking to get caught up in their passing, so we played very well in a defensive fashion and risked very little.

“In the second half it was normal their tempo would drop and from that point on we could win the game. We lost a few balls at the end and conceded from a corner.

“It’s a good point for qualification and overall I think we played well. In the first half it was tactically a good performance, while after the break we took it to Ajax.

“I think it’s difficult to play 90 minutes with great intensity and constant pressing, especially when we’ve had a packed fixture list with few players available.

“We did make mistakes to give Ajax too much space in the first half, as we kept giving the ball away. The team wasn’t spectacular, but it played the way I asked in the first half.

“The second was in our hands and we didn’t have enough quality in the final pass, but overall it was a good performance. A game lasts 95 minutes generally and you have to be in front at the end.”

Mario Balotelli is available for Europe, as his three-match ban for insulting the referee applies only to Serie A. He converted the last-gasp penalty to grab a point.

“He played well tonight and had a few promising opportunities, including one that hit the bar. It’s only normal he hadn’t played in a while and will be out again on Sunday, so when he’s available we want to make the most of him.”

Ajax had taken the lead at the 90th with a header from a corner, the sixth header Milan have conceded this season.

“When there are corners we don’t mark properly and therefore concede. We often lose our marking and it’s down to distraction. I was afraid after such a good second half we’d concede at the end and in fact we did.”

The Coach had to change his approach when Valter Birsa pulled out in the warm-up.

“Tonight’s approach with a trequartista behind two strikers could be an idea. Until last Sunday we played with two trequartisti, the so-called Christmas Tree formation. Tonight we were solid defensively for 90 minutes, just like against Sampdoria, and that’s what we have to build on. The better you defend, the better you can attack.

“We were going to play Birsa this evening, but he had an injury and I put Montolivo behind the strikers, though Robinho is someone who moves around a lot.”

Champions League: Ajax 1:1 AC Milan - match report
1.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Denswil 90 (A), Balotelli pen 94 (M)

Mario Balotelli converted a last-gasp penalty to give Milan a point with Ajax after a chaotic finale in Amsterdam.

Balotelli was available, as his three-match ban for insulting the referee applies only to Serie A, while Riccardo Montolivo returned from injury. Still sidelined were Stephan El Shaarawy, Kaka, Daniele Bonera, Riccardo Saponara, Matias Silvestre, Giampaolo Pazzini, Mattia De Sciglio and Daniele Bonera. Ajax were without ex-Rossoneri striker Bojan Krkic due to a hamstring injury and wanted a result after their 4-0 defeat to Barcelona.

There was a last-minute change when Valter Birsa pulled out in the warm-up, so Andrea Poli came in and pushed Riccardo Montolivo to a more advanced role.

Ajax had a strong start as Lerin Duarte skipped past Cristian Zapata and set up Kolbeinn Sigthorsson, but Christian Abbiati got down to parry the left-foot shot.

The hosts pegged Milan back in the opening stages by dominating possession and Viktor Fischer’s long-range snapshot skimmed the woodwork, while Montolivo blocked a Siem De Jong effort from the edge of the box.

A poor Zapata pass was intercepted by Fischer, but Sigthorsson just failed to get on the end of the assist.

Abbiati was again called into action, forced into a tough save on Duarte’s powerful free kick. From the resulting corner, it fell to Niklas Moisander for a half-volley over the bar.

Balotelli was fortunate not to be booked just before the break for a thoroughly unconvincing dive when he probably should’ve stayed on his feet to have a shot on target. Milan had an incredible 30 per cent possession in the first half.

The Rossoneri finally had their first shot on goal after the restart with Montolivo, his left-foot strike forcing a save out of Jasper Cillessen. Moments later Balotelli’s free kick went off the wall for a corner, as the half-time team talk evidently did its job.

Abbiati was fortunate Sigthorsson turned the header straight at him after good work from Fischer, but Balotelli was in the thick of the action on 63 minutes. SuperMario was booked for a foul, then moments later forced the goalkeeper to fingertip his fantastic curling strike on to the crossbar. He also set up Poli for an effort charged down in the box.

Milan protested on 68 minutes, as they had penalty appeals for a suspected Stefano Denswil handling offence on Robinho’s cross. Balotelli went down again in the area, but there was only a small tug from substitute Van Der Hoorn.

The lack of options available to Massimiliano Allegri was evident by the fact he only made his first substitution after 80 minutes, introducing Alessandro Matri for Robinho, then Urby Emanuelson came on against his former club.

Cillessen was again called into action with a desperate reaction save to palm away a fierce Balotelli strike that was heading under the bar from a tight angle.

Despite the pressure, it was Ajax who thought they had scored in the final minutes. Abbiati didn’t deal with a shot at all well, but play had been halted for a handling offence.

However, moments later the Dutch side did break through with a Denswil header from a corner, the classic situation Milan have difficulty defending against.

The Rossoneri sprinted straight down the other end and Ignazio Abate was denied by a crucial goalline clearance from Kevin Constant’s pull-back.

Deep into stoppages the referee pointed to the spot for a very dubious penalty, as Van Der Hoorn and Balotelli appeared to be tussling with each other rather than one dragging down the other. Balotelli failed to convert the first penalty of his senior career last week against Napoli, but he kept his cool to score low at the near bottom corner.

Ajax 1-1 Milan

Scorers: Denswil 90 (A), Balotelli pen 94 (M)

Ajax: Cillessen; Van Rhijn, Moisander (Van Der Hoorn 78), Denswil, Blind; S De Jong, C Poulsen, Duarte (Schone 59); De Sa (Andersen 64), Sigthorsson, Fischer

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Mexes, Zapata, Constant; Poli (Emanuelson 84), De Jong, Muntari; Montolivo; Robinho (Matri 80), Balotelli

Ref: Eriksson (SWE)

Champions League: Ajax vs. AC Milan - lineups
1.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ajax: Cillessen; Van Rhijn, Moisander, Blind, Denswil, C Poulsen, Duarte, S De Jong, Fischer, Sigthorsson, De Sa

Ajax bench: Vermeer, Van Der Hoorn, Boilesen, Schone, Andersen, Klaassen, Hoesen

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Mexes, Zapata, Constant; Muntari, De Jong, Birsa; Montolivo; Robinho, Balotelli

Milan bench: Amelia, Zaccardo, Poli, Nocerino, Cristante, Emanuelson, Matri

'Montolivo important for AC Milan'
1.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani is delighted Riccardo Montolivo will be available for tonight’s Champions League tie at Ajax.

The Diavolo are struggling with injuries right now, but the midfielder has returned to the squad for the Dutch trip.

“It is important that Montolivo is here,” the official noted. “Montolivo can play on the left or right of a three-man midfield or play behind the front two…

“Speaking to boss Massimiliano Allegri this morning, we said to each other that we should have everyone back for Milan-Barcelona on the 19th.

“We should have everyone available again after the international break.”

The Rossoneri are currently without the likes of Kaka, Daniele Bonera, Mattia De Sciglio, Matias Silvestre, Giampaolo Pazzini and Stephan El Shaarawy.

AC Milan victory expected, says Kluivert
1.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Patrick Kluivert says Milan will start tonight’s Champions League game against Ajax as overwhelming favourites for victory.

The Dutchman was interviewed by the Gazzetta dello Sport this morning ahead of the clash between his two former clubs.

“They are two sides who in some ways are very similar, because they are not going through a great period of form,” the former striker noted.

“But Ajax are a very young team and the quality is on the side of Milan.

“It is not just a question of experience though and I don’t think anyone here is expecting an Ajax win. That, ultimately, could be an advantage for them.”

Milan will be boosted by the return of Mario Balotelli who is currently unavailable in Serie A because of suspension.

“If I was his Coach I think I could influence him a bit, help him in certain situations,” Kluivert continued. “But you can do no more.

“Balotelli is unique. He has a peculiar character, but he is a star who would be of use to any side and is doing great things with the national side.

“So you have to respect his character and leave him in peace. He’ll obviously pay for his mistakes on the pitch, but it would be useless to think you can change his brain.”

San Siro avoids 'anti-Naples' ban
1.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

San Siro will not be closed after Milan fans reiterated their ‘discriminatory’ chants against Neapolitans.

There were fears Milan would be made to play a game behind closed doors, as the Curva Sud had already been shut as punishment for ‘discriminatory’ chants and banners insulting the people of Naples.

The ultras protested the decision during Saturday’s Milan-Sampdoria by printing up posters of the offensive chant and hurling other insults at the city.

However, the Disciplinary Commission released its report today and will not take any further action against Milan.

The rules introduced to combat racism in stadiums have also been widened to protect ‘territorial discrimination,’ as clubs from the poorer South of Italy are often insulted by Northern sides.

Roma are fined €5,000 and Atalanta €4,000 after fans threw fireworks on to the pitch.

There are also four players suspended for one match due to an accumulation of four yellow cards: Daniele Conti (Cagliari), Andrea Costa (Sampdoria), Nenad Krsticic (Sampdoria) and Marco Marchionni (Parma).

Bojan admires Balotelli
1.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Bojan Krkic is disappointed to be missing tonight’s Ajax-Milan against his former teammates and praised Mario Balotelli.

The Barcelona-owned striker spent last season on loan at San Siro and is now playing for the Dutch giants, but cannot play this evening due to an injury.

“This is an important match tonight and Milan have great players, above all Balotelli,” Bojan told Sky Sport Italia.

“He is their most representative player and he creates 80 per cent of their scoring opportunities.

“We know how Milan play and are aware of the difficulty of this test, but if we play in our style then we can get points from this match.

“Our secret must be to press them high and play with the ball to feet, just like we did in the first half against Barcelona.”

Ajax eventually lost that game 4-0 in Champions League Group H.

De Jong: 'Ajax like PSV'
1.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan face Ajax in the Champions League this evening and Nigel De Jong trusts it’ll be “more or less the same as PSV.”

The Rossoneri are currently joint top of Group H after a 2-0 victory over Celtic, while Ajax were beaten 4-0 in Barcelona.

This is the second trip to Holland in just over a month, as Milan played PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League preliminary round.

The first leg ended 1-1 before a 3-0 result secured qualification at San Siro.

“Ajax will be more or less the same as PSV, so I expect pretty much the same type of match,” said the Dutch midfielder.

“They are young and have a lot of courage, so we will have to be careful.”

Mario Balotelli is available, as his three-match ban only applies to Serie A, but Stephan El Shaarawy is out of action for 20-30 days after suffering a microfracture in his foot during training on Monday.

Emanuelson ready for Ajax challenge
1.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Urby Emanuelson has admitted that it will be a ‘nice challenge’ when Milan come up against Ajax on Tuesday.

The Rossoneri face the Dutch champions in the Champions League tomorrow, and the Netherlands international will be back at the club he left in 2011.

“It’s going to be a nice challenge against Ajax,” he told nusport.nl. “There are going to be a lot of my relatives and friends in the stands.

“Allegri has often changed my role in the team, but I have continued to do my best for the club.

“It would be better for me though when I have a defined role in the team.”





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