Monday, July 21, 2008

Ronaldinho, Number 80

The new Milan uniforms were presented today: Ronaldinho chose his birth year as his shirt number. In the meantime, shirt sales boom: 11,000 sold since the arrival of the Brazilian. Galliani on Kakà: "We would sell him only if he wanted out"

MILAN, 21 July 2008 - Mystery solved...if you can call a shirt number a "mystery": Ronaldinho will wear number 80. Not 10, 11, 20 or any other number; the inspiration for Ronnie's number is his birth year, 1980.

TRADITION - Milan's vice president Adriano Galliani, clears any potential doubts on the day of the presentation of the squad's new Adidas uniforms for the 2008-09 season: "In the last two decades of the club's history we have never, never asked a player to give up his number for another player. Therefore, no one has even dreamed of asking Seedorf to give number 10 to Ronnie. This matter has been resolved without the club's intervention." And that's the end of the speech. And Kakà, who joined Seedorf and Nesta in Milanello, jokes about it: he was in charge of giving Galliani a personalised Milan shirt, with number 9 on it. Then, turning to the press, he says with a smile: "You know how it is... number 10 wasn't available..."

REAL AGAIN - Although Kakà jokes about Galliani's words, Galliani does not joke when talking about Kakà: "Everyday I read on the papers astronomical contract offers for Ricky," says the VP. But we are not transferring him, ever, not even if we were to get a 250-300 million offer from Chelsea. The only reason why we would decide to sell him would be if he wanted out; but he is happy in Milan." About the London Blues, Galliani adds: "Yes, I have been on Abramovich's boat. I wanted Sheva, he wanted Kakà... And we ended nil-nil. But we never talked about numbers. However, I can tell you something: Real Madrid have been enquiring about Ricky. But he is not going anywhere."

THE RONNIE EFFECT - The news of the day in Milanello is the presentation of the new team apparel, that will be on sale starting tomorrow. The new shirts designed by Adidas (with which Milan have a partner contract until 2017) have larger red and black stripes than last season's shirts and a scoop neck design. The second shirt will be "lucky" white, and the third shirt will be black. The new outfit is already very successful: the requests of the new Milan shirts have skyrocketed to 11,000 in just a few days. It's the Ronaldinho effect: it doesn't matter if he wears number 10 or 80; the enthusiasm is back in Milanello.

Text Source: By Stefano Cantalupi,
Image Source:

Friday, July 18, 2008

Dinho Creates a Buzz

Ronaldinho has promised to take AC Milan back to the top of World football.

The San Siro was almost half full to see the official presentation of the Rossoneri's latest signing and the Brazilian promised to bring the glory days back.

The 28-year-old said: "I am here to win, I am still young and I have arrived at the right moment."

The signing of the former Barcelona front man has initiated a wave of enthusiasm with the fans and the Milan giants have had a surge in season ticket sales since the news was made official.

He added: "I can only thank everybody for the welcome and affection shown. I will repay them for what they have shown so far by giving them lots of goals and entertainment."

"For me it is a very special moment. I have no doubts, it was my dream to play for this team, for these fans - I wanted this shirt."

The lack of Champions League football was not a deterrant for a player who is used to setting the standards.

"This problem motivates me even more to try and do well and get Milan back into the competition."

The Milan faithful may be eager to see their new player in action but they will have to wait till the end of August when the Olympics will be over as that is the first objective for the former World Player of the Year.

"It is a very important comtetition for Brazil, we have never won it. It is fundamental for my career as well and will not create problems for anyone here at Milan."

Text Source: SerieA.Tv (
Image Source: SerieA.Tv

Friday, July 11, 2008

Lampard Set on Inter And at Odds With Scolari

The new Chelsea boss had said he was free to go, save any last minute changes of plan. A disappointed Frank accused him of being a "liar", adding, "I can't work with a coach who lies to me from Day 1." But Chelsea chief Keynon says, "Lampard's staying".

MILAN, 10 July 2008 - Frank Lampard is never one to shirk his responsibilities, both on pitch and off. He takes penalties like a true blue and will write off a new manager, even on the first day if need be. His relationship with Felipe Scolari was an non-starter from Day 1: Lampard, the top scoring midfielder, feels betrayed and wants to call it a day at Chelsea. Inter is now the only option he will consider. Inter and Mourinho, that is, and the feeling's mutual. Conflicting versions of the saga are doing the rounds, with Lampard's version poles apart from Scolari's. This means Roman Abramovich and Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon stand even less of a chance of persuading Lampard to stay in London.

PRESS CONFERENCE - At Tuesday's conference in London, everything seemed hunky dory. Scolari announced, "I spoke to Lampard on Monday to tell him how much I admire him as a man and a player. I told him I want him here at Chelsea and he said that he would like to stay for many years. We just have a few small details to sort out." Lampard's agent, Steve Kutner, on the other hand, was a little less less hearts and flowers in his statement: "Chelsea has put Frank in a very awkward position. He told Scolari he would like to end his career at Chelsea, but with the contract they've offered him, that would be impossible." Something is obviously amiss, and in all probability their talk didn't go quite like Big Phil's version of events.

BEHIND THE SCENES - What really happened? Lampard and Scolari talked a week ago before the new manager was signed on at Stamford Bridge. The midfielder asked to be released to go to Inter, bringing, in his mind, an end to his time at Chelsea. Scolari's reply went something like this: "Frank, I need you here, I want you to stay but I can't keep you here. If we sign Deco then you'll be free to go." With Deco then onboard to play for Chelsea, Lampard felt he was out of the woods. He speaks regularly with José Mourinho who is waiting to make him part of Inter's new midfield line-up. Scolari on the other hand, had a sudden change of tack.

U-TURN - Things started to go seriously wrong on Monday, 24 hours before the press conference. Scolari put Lampard in the picture: "you're staying at Chelsea". Incensed, the Blues captain hurled accusations at the Portuguese manager, calling him a "liar" and claiming, "There's no way I can stay at Chelsea. I can't work with a coach who lies to me from day 1. It's over." Worse was still to come when Lampard listened in disbelief to what Scolari had to say at Cobham. What now?

INTER STEP FORWARD - Lampard is now much closer to Inter, so much so that yesterday, Beppe Baresi, Mourinho's number 2, claimed, "Despite Chelsea's initial rejection of our first bid, I think negotiations are still on." It's highly unlikely Chelsea would be able to play with someone who had argued with the manager, who doesn't want to stay, and who would be up for free transfer within a year. At the same time, chances are Kenyon also wants to cash in on Mourinho and Moratti's burning desire for a star who, even at the age of 30, could still take the club to a new dimension.

STAND-OFF - You have to take all this into consideration to interpret the latest from Keynon, posted on the club's website yesterday: "The situation is ongoing. We have always maintained that we want Frank to stay and an offer was made to that effect. That offer is still on the table. Frank is under contract and he still has one year to run on that. We'd like to hope that we can reach an agreement but if we can't, we intend to keep him to see out the terms of his contract. If we receive a new bid, we will reject it".

Text Source: By Fabio Licari and Luca Taidelli,
Text Source:

Monday, July 7, 2008

Jose Mourinho Holds His First Press Conference

Jose Mourinho holds his first press conference as Inter coach

Text Source: SerieA.Tv (

Ranieri launches Juventus "The Title Is Not Taboo"

It’s already time for Juventus to get together. Ranieri: "I am very satisfied with the transfers. We must be ambitious right from the Champions League qualifiers.” Blanc: “Xabi Alonso? The midfielder is a 30 million investment. We need to assess him.”

VINOVO (Turin), 4 July 2008 – Everyone concentrated on the league. Juventus have quickly agreed their targets for the season. Claudio Ranieri’s words were endorsed by Jean Claude Blanc and each player in turn. Juventus have had a year's grace in which to work out how to return to the top. Now the aim is to triumph again. Blanc and Ranieri are aiming to win the championship without ignoring the Champions League. These are the club’s targets announced during the presentation of the new season’s shirts.

RANIERI - “We don’t have any taboos, not even the championship. We must be ambitious. We could have done it last year. This year we are aiming to win the title. I hope that this year’s team is not very different to last year’s. We need to improve and new arrivals will bring moral, technical and fighting spirit to an already competitive group of players. Regarding reinforcements I can say that we are only missing a second goalkeeper and a midfielder. We’ll choose a midfielder who’ll give me the option of changing things around. Someone like Stankovic? He is an all round quality player. He can play all midfield roles and is complete. The bad mood of some fans will pass after a couple of excellent performances. The three youngsters back from loan will be decisive. I don’t take age into account when choosing who to send onto the pitch. Giovinco had a great season with Empoli and is someone who knows how to beat a man and score.”

BLANC - “We always aim to do our utmost and to improve. We came third last year. That means that this year we should be second or first. We entered the transfer market in January with Mellberg and Sissoko. Then Amauri has further strengthened an already competitive forward line and none of the others will be leaving. With Giovinco, De Ceglie and Marchisio we are continuing with our project of going for young Italian players. The contract renewals for Nedved and Chiellini have been important while Ekdal was bought with the future in mind. After Knezevic we are looking for a second goalkeeper and a midfielder. Xabi Alonso is one of the names mentioned, but before deciding we must assess him carefully: an investment of between 10 and 30 million euros is an important matter. We’ll take someone whose technical qualities best suit this Juventus team.”

Text Source: By ALBERTO MAURO,
Text Source:

Inter Fax Chelsea Final Efforts For Lampard

Negotiations to take the Blues midfielder to Inter are at a turning point: a trip to London is imminent. And this week the offer for Roma's Mancini will go up to 12 million euros.

MILAN, 7 July 2008 - Yesterday Inter sent a fax to Chelsea requesting a meeting to negotiate the purchase of Frank Lampard. It was to be expected, but this is a decisive step since this is the first official move in the long talks focused on the 30 year old English midfielder. In fact up until yesterday Inter's Branca and Oriali have been seeking agreement with the player's agent, Steve Kutner, while Mourinho has been talking to Lampard himself, after three seasons as his manager in London. Today Branca is expected in the English capital.

TURNAROUND - It's no surprise that Inter made their move over the weekend: Chelsea's pre-season training begins today. Inter want to assist Lampard in what will be a difficult stage for him: explaining to the club that after seven years in which he has both given and received a great deal, he wants to join Mourinho in Milan. It's one thing to turn down the generous contract renewal offer of €8.5 million a season (his current deal expires in 2009), it's another matter to explain to the Blues' directors that today they may have to cash in on a player who otherwise could leave for nothing next year. Inter are ready to pay €10 million to the club, though the bulk of the cost will be the player's wages: a four year deal has already been agreed for €7.5 million (net) per season. Ultimately, the deal is on, despite the last-ditch efforts by Deco. Denying that his arrival will push Lampard towards Milan, the Portuguese player yesterday claimed: "I think I can be compatible with Lampard on the pitch. It will be for Scolari to decide, but I've watched a lot of Chelsea games on TV and together Frank and I can create a lot of danger for other teams." But perhaps for Chelsea themselves too, since they need to fit in Ballack, and a tackling midfielder wouldn't hurt...

MANCINI DEAL CLOSE - This week Inter could pull off a double transfer coup. By Tuesday it is expected that there will be a meeting with Roma for Mancini, whose agent Gilmar Veloz is expected in Italy by the weekend. On Friday, Roma reiterated that they are only interested in a cash deal but lowered their demands from 15 to 13 million euros. Inter offered 10 and could reach 12, so an agreement is not far off. Not least since without this cash, the giallorossi can't operate on the transfer market.

QUARESMA UNLIKELY - The prospect of Ricardo Quaresma seems ever less likely. As if the difference between demand (€30 million plus Pelè) and offer (€20 million) weren't enough, yesterday Porto President Pinto da Costa denied the story, despite the meeting which took place, under pressure from fans, saying that "I haven't received any official offer for Quaresma. Nor has he asked to leave."

TIME TO SELL - Branca and Oriali must also work on outgoing players. Costs must be recouped, but the squad must also be reduced to the 24 players requested by Mourinho. With Lampard, Mancini and Obinna (agreement with Chievo is expected this week) added there would be 28. Burdisso (who Inter have banned from taking part in the Olimpics), Stankovic and one of Crespo or Suazo may leave. But there are rumours that Adriano could go to Chelsea in exchange for Drogba. Another of Mourinho's favourites.

Text Source: By LUCA TAIDELLI,

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Lippi Takes Over as Italy Coach Again

ROME (AP)—Marcello Lippi gave up a life of leisure to return as Italy’s national team coach, less than two years after guiding the Azzurri to their fourth World Cup title.

“Naturally, I’m very happy to pick up where I left off. But picking up where I left off also means that the Euros didn’t go so great, or I would still be on the beach in Viareggio,” the well-tanned Lippi said at a news conference Tuesday, referring to his hometown on the Tuscan seaside.

Lippi was rehired last week when Roberto Donadoni’s contract was terminated after Italy lost to eventual champion Spain on penalty kicks in the European Championship quarterfinals last month.

“We’re still the World Cup champions. We’ve got the team that won the Club World Cup (AC Milan). We have a top under-23 squad. And we are one of the favorites for the Olympics,” Lippi added. “The world of Italian football should hold its head high.”

Lippi’s first task it to qualify Italy for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The Azzurri are grouped with Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Ireland and Montenegro, with the group winner advancing and the second-place team most likely going to a playoff.

“These last two years were not completely lost,” Lippi said. “A large number of players from the World Cup stayed in the group, and Donadoni inserted some key new players.”

Italy looked old, slow and overly defensive, and no Italian forward scored at the Euros.

“We’ve got to show a bit of daring in certain situations, like in the semifinal with Germany, when I put four forwards on,” Lippi said, recalling the 2-0 extra-time win in the World Cup semifinals. “We’re going to try and show some aggressive football right away.”

Lippi resigned immediately after leading Italy to its fourth World Cup title in Berlin, largely because he was uncomfortable that he and his son had been linked to the Italian match-fixing scandal.

“I would never have left if it wasn’t in the middle of that situation,” Lippi said. “It was very tough to see my name and family members linked to those things. At that time, it wasn’t possible to continue. Now the situation is different, the discussion is open and we’ve gotten through that period.”

Lippi’s first game back in charge will be an exhibition against Austria on Aug. 20 at Nice, France.

Text Source: By ANDREW DAMPF, AP Sports Writer ( -;_ylt=AlbvRfcxlcqpIkbEUtQ1S3smw7YF?slug=ap-italy-lippi&prov=ap&type=lgns