Tuesday, September 29, 2009


(ANSA) - Rome, September 29 - AS Roma on Tuesday unveiled plans to build a new stadium on the outskirts of the Italian capital.

Roma President Rosella Sensi said the idea of the club having its own stadium, instead of renting one from the city council, had ``always been at the centre`` of her late father Franco`s plans, as well as those of another historic club president, Dino Viola.

The 55,000-seater stadium, billed as family friendly and eco-advanced, is expected to be called after Franco Sensi.

Coach Claudio Ranieri said he liked the idea that the so-called `technical area`, where coaches sit, would be inset into the terraces like at Premier League grounds such as Chelsea`s, where he coached for two years. ``You feel like you`re together, a part of the crowd,``he said.

Roma skipper Francesco Totti, who is about to sign a three-year contract extension, said he ``hoped`` to see the new ground finished. ``It looks beautiful. I`d like to tread the turf of such a stadium,`` said the 35-year-old club icon. ``It will be tough for me to play long enough. I hope they get it built fast, he said.

Daniele De Rossi, widely touted to take over Totti`s mantle, said upon seeing the plans: ``You`ll be able to feel the fans living the game with you. Just imagine what it`ll be like having 60,000 Roma fans around you, so close``.

One of the longstanding gripes about Roma`s present home, the 1960 Olympic Stadium, is that the stands are too far back from the pitch to allow fans to make a full connection with the players.

No firm completion date has been set for the ground, which is yet to get full planning approval. The architect, Gino Zavanella, said it would be the first
``eco-sustainable`` stadium, with solar panels and a non-degradable and non-polluting titanium-zinc structure. ``It will be naturally ventilated and the turf will be irradiated,`` he added. Stressing that the stadium will be able to be evacuated ``in five minutes,`` Zavanella said it would have ``spaces set aside for families, children in particular...as well as a museum on the club`s history``.
``This stadium will be alive, on the inside and the outside, and it will continue to provide services to people all week``.

According to media reports the ground will be surrounded by a huge leisure and residential complex including a mall,cinemas, restaurants, bars, a swimming pool and perhaps also a new hotel.

Roma hopes its future home, backed by City Mayor Gianni Alemanno, will generate income comparable with that of the big Premier League or Liga clubs where a family atmosphere has kept hooligans at bay and a range of shops and other facilities have generated income for the transfer market. Mayor Alemanno insisted ``the ground is the club`s right``. He said initial reports from planning agencies had been``positive``.

Roma Administrative Director Cristina Mazzoleni said the club had not yet put a final price tag on the project. She cited construction experts as saying the ground would take ``24-26 months to build, once started``. ``We will try to involve local firms as much as possible,`` Mazzoleni added.

The other Roman club, SS Lazio, is also trying to get away from the Olimpico, which it rents along with Roma, and build its own ground on the other side of the city. But both projects still have to approved. ``If the culture ministry doesn`t say Ok they won`t go ahead,`` Culture Undersecretary Franco Giro said at the
presentation at Rome`s training camp. Giro said he ``knew nothing`` about reports that a Roman villa and necropolis had been unearthed during preliminary digs at the site opposite the Ancient Roman Via Aurelia about 10km from the city centre.

So far the only Italian soccer club to start work on a stadium it will own, rather than rent, is Juventus. Packed with amenities, the 105-million-euro stadium,
already rising from the ashes of the old Delle Alpi ground, is scheduled to open in northern Turin in 2011.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Mourinho Talking Again, But for How Long?

by Gareth Freeman - Inter Milan manager Jose Mourinho has always had a bit of a reputation as an outspoken type of fellow but that looked like it had all changed when he imposed a ‘media blackout’ last weekend.

The former Porto and Chelsea boss decided to snub the press after he was sent to the stands during Inter’s win over Cagliari last weekend.

However, due to the club’s contractual obligations with the media Inter have told Mourinho he has to speak to the press so the Portuguese tactician has no other option – and he isn’t happy about it.

Speaking to Sky Italia Mourinho said: “I’m not continuing the silence because the club asked me because of contracts with you,

“If it were up to me the silence would continue.”

The Nerazzurri slipped to a disappointing defeat at the hands of Sampdoria at the weekend and Mourinho was in no mood to discuss his tactics with the the press. When asked why he decided to substitute Mario Balotelli he replied: “I’m the coach, and don’t have to explain my decisions to you.”

It is not the first, or probably last, time the special one will fall out with the Italian press. At the start of the season he told reporters ‘if something happens to me it is your fault’ when Islamic extremists issued death threats against him for his reported decision not to play Sulley Muntari who was fasting during Ramadan.

His decision not to talk to the press was a disappointing one, after all his quotes are at times priceless. On the state of the Stamford Bridge pitch in his time at Chelsea he once said:

“Sometimes you see beautiful people with no brains. Sometimes you have ugly people who are intelligent, like scientists.”

What does that even mean? I’ve got no idea but it is brilliant anyway and one of the reasons why, love him or hate him, no one can deny Mourinho is not entertaining.

It would seem for now that Mourinho has no choice but to speak to the media if Inter have forced him. The question is will he opt to move on because of it? The press in Italy are known for grilling the manager on tactics and team selections and it seems this is what Mourinho has a problem with, if he can’t learn to deal with it he may chose to leave.

Written by Gareth Freeman for Seria Talk (http://www.serieatalk.com/)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Italian Soccer School Instructors to Visit India

Delhi, India September 12th, 2009 - In September 2009 one of best Italian Youth Soccer Programs in the world, Scuola Calcio (Italian Premier Soccer School), will run a soccer training program in India.

This International program is being made possible by a relationship between Deeksha Sports Management (DSM) an HTC Group Company and Scuola Calcio, the Italian Premier Soccer School a Soccerkix Company.

Antonio Saviano the Scuola Calcio Director, will travel to India to direct the soccer program for boys and girls ages 6 to 16 years-old and work with local coaches during the week of September 14th thru 19th, 2009.

Saviano, a former North America Director for many Italian professional soccer clubs, including AC Parma Scuola Calcio, AC Perugia Scuola Calcio and Ascoli Calcio Soccer Academy has worked in many different capacities and has been helping, leading and developing coaching and player development programs for over 140 affiliated soccer schools across North America and Europe. Mr. Saviano also serves as the Academy Director for Cape Fear Soccer Association in Wilmington, NC (USA) where he resides. Cape Fear Soccer Association has over 2000 players in its program and is one of the biggest clubs in the state of North Carolina.

“It is very exciting to have the Mr. Saviano come to India to teach our children and our coaches” said, Hemanshu Chaturvedi, DSM President and Managing Director for HTC Group.

“This is really just the beginning,” Mr. Chatuverdi said. “Many people don’t realize the number of children playing soccer in India. We are excited that Mr. Saviano will share his experiences with our youth soccer players and coaches. They will experience some of the best training a program can offer”.

Mr. Saviano feels that the timing is perfect to open doors for youth soccer players in India, to work hard and get noticed by International coaches.

The week long program will use Italian Youth Soccer Development Methodologies to influence positive technical-social growth. “The number one priority is the confidence and lessons the youth soccer players will take away. The goal is to work with the coaches and players, taking easy steps in order to educate them” said Mr. Saviano.

The training program follows a set curriculum that has been tested throughout the years and is examined in detail yearly by a coaching staff called the “Task Force”. These coaches have the sole responsibilities to improve all aspects of the youth soccer players in the best way possible.

“I am very confident that this event will be a success. We will deliver the best Italian soccer program in India”, said Mr. Saviano.

For more information on the Scuola Calcio, Italian Premier Soccer School email: info@soccerkix.com