Archive for September 4th, 2007

Alessandro Del Piero wins ‘Golden Foot’ award

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

Alessandro Del Piero receives the Golden Foot 2007 award from Prince Albert of Monaco

The Golden Foot award is handed out by the World Champions Club in Monaco every year, rewarding the best combination of personal and team achievement amid players over the age of 29. A particularity of the award (apart from the age lower limit), is that a list of ten names is put to vote, and it is then the public that selects the winner. As a result, some rather unconventional achievements are rewarded, and some emotional aspects of the game are also considered.

The 2007 award has been won by Alessandro Del Piero for remaining at Juventus after its relegation, and inspiring the club back into Serie A in style, despite being handicapped by a points penalty. Roberto Carlos came in 2nd for winning the La Liga trophy in his farewell season with Real Madrid, David Beckham coming in 3rd for similar reasons. AC Milan skipper Paolo Maldini came in 4th, for lifting yet another Champions League trophy, and was followed by the likes of Luis Figo and Thierry Henry. Other names on the list included Fabio Cannavaro, Cafu, Ryan Giggs and Raúl.

This is the 5th edition of the award, which includes previous winners such as Roberto Baggio, Pavel Nedved, Andriy Shevchenko and Ronaldo, making the domination of Serie A players complete. Gazzetta dello Sport interviewed Del Piero after the ceremony, and I’ve translated part of his statements below:

As a winner of the award, Del Piero was allowed to leave his foot print on the Champions Promenade in Monte Carlo“Ranieri says that we can be the ‘pain in the neck’ of other teams for this season. I say there are at least 4 teams that can win the title: Milan, Roma, Inter, and Juve. Why not believe in our dreams? In addition we’ll also have the advantage of not playing in Europe…”. The Juve captain judges the Serie B exile of last year one of the main motivational factors of Juve’s great start of the season: “Last year we felt like we had to battle the entire world, as if everyone was against us, so we had to insert the word “suffering” into our DNA. We won our game in Cagliari because we were able to suffer”.

You can say what you want about Del Piero, but if there’s one thing that ‘Pinturicchio’ has been able to demonstrate over and over again, is his mental toughness, his ability to keep a cool head, and his undeniable leadership qualities. He is not only an example on the field with his skill & technique, but also off the field. If there’s anybody that deserves this award, it’s him.

Such a shame he never managed to get the Golden Ball.

Italian Players Around the World (2/09)

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

Continuing my weekly article inspired by Gazzetta dello Sport, here are the performances of all Italian players operating in foreign European leagues.

Emiliano Moretti, age 26, scored the winning goal for Valencia this week-end

Based on Gazzetta’s info, there are currently 24 Italians playing in first divisions abroad, and 17 of them stepped on the field this week-end.

The table below includes the team the player belongs to, their opponents for the week, the number of minutes they played, their contribution (goal, assist), and the final score of the game.
.

ENGLAND
Player Team Opp.
mins.
Contrib.
Score
Rolando Bianchi Man City @Blackburn
90
/
0-1
Carlo Cudicini Chelsea @Aston Villa
(bench)
/
0-2
.
SCOTLAND
Massimo Donati Celtic @St. Mirren
45
5-1
.
GERMANY
Luca Toni Bayern M. @Hamburg
injd.
/
1-1
.
SPAIN
Fabio Cannavaro Real Madrid @Villareal
90
/
5-0
Giuseppe Rossi Villareal Real Madrid
52
0-5
Christian Abbiati Atl. Madrid Mallorca
(bench)
/
1-1
Gianluca Zambrotta Barcelona Atl. Bilbao
90
/
3-1
Enzo Maresca Sevilla @Osasuna
postpo.
/
/
Morgan De Sanctis Sevilla @Osasuna
postpo.
/
/
Emiliano Moretti Valencia @Almeria
90
1 goal
2-1
Stefano Sorrentino Recreativo @Getafe
90
/
1-1
Marco Storari Levante Murcia
90
/
0-0
Bruno Cirillo Levante Murcia
90
/
0-0
Damiano Tommasi Levante Murcia
90
/
0-0
Christian Riganò Levante Murcia
45
/
0-0
.
FRANCE
Fabio Grosso Lyon Le Mans
90
/
3-2
Flavio Roma Monaco @Bordeaux
injd.
/
1-2
.
HOLLAND
Graziano Pellè AZ Alkmaar Excelsior
15
/
3-0
.
BELGIUM
Roberto Mirri Mons @Charleroi
90
1 goal 
1-3
.
SWITZERLAND
Stefano Razzetti St. Gallen @Young Boys
90
1-3
Andrea Guatelli FC Zürich @FC Aarau
90
/
1-1
.
UKRAINE
Cristiano Lucarelli Shakhtar D. Arsenal Kiev
(stands)
/
4-1
.
RUSSIA
Ivan Pelizzoli Lok. Moscow @Rostov
90
/
2-0

The most positive performance this week came from Emiliano Moretti, who scored the winning goal for Valencia in the match against Almeria. The duel between Fabio Cannavaro and Giuseppe Rossi turned decisively to the advantage of the Real Madrid defender, who kept his Italian colleague in check and went on to win the match with a whopping 5-0 scoreline.

Italian keepers also a good week, with Stefano Sorrentino pulling key saves on Pablo Hernandez and Kepa in the match vs. Getafe, as well as Marco Storari (two supersaves against Baiano) and Ivan Pelizzoli (clean sheet in the match against Saturn).

Serie A day 2 – Monday’s Milan-Fiorentina

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

I was supposed to watch this one, but for some reason 15 minutes before the match started God decided to punish me (for something I’d done obviously, or for bashing a player he liked) and blow out the power in my entire building. Couldn’t even catch a live stream. :cry:

Oh well, here’s the match report from fellow blogger calciofan:

Milan-Fiorentina, 1-1 tie

With Juventus and Roma winning for the second time this season on Sunday, both sides knew a win here would take them into a three-way tie at the top of the Serie A standings. Milan took control after a slow start, with French goalkeeper Sebastien Frey pulling off two superb saves in rapid succession to keep out Kaka and Gilardino. The home side finally took the lead in the 27th minute when visiting captain Dario Dainelli brought down Massimo Ambrosini and Kaka converted the resulting penalty. It was the Brazilian’s fourth goal in three competitive games this season.

Mutu scores the header to bring the game levelThe Viola equalised ten minutes after the break when Adrian Mutu headed in a right-wing cross by Mario Alberto Santana. Frey then saved again brilliantly from Kaka, while Mutu screwed his shot wide with only Dida to beat. Substitute Filippo Inzaghi (on for a yet again disappointing Gilardino) was also left frustrated after spurning an opportunity to restore the hosts’ lead following a defence-splitting pass by Kaka, completely missing his kick from close range. It was Fiorentina, however, who came closest to winning the match as Zdravko Kuzmanovic hit the post with a low shot from just inside the penalty area.

A 1-1 draw was about right in a game between two sides who, on this evidence, will play a leading role in Serie A this season.

”AC
MILAN-FIORENTINA 1-1
 ACF Fiorentina
GOALSCORERS: 27′ pen. Kakà (M), 56’ Mutu (F)
MILAN (4-3-2-1): Dida – Oddo (61’ Cafu), Nesta, Kaladze, Jankulovski – Gattuso, Pirlo, Ambrosini (77’ Emerson) – Kakà, Seedorf – Gilardino (65’ Inzaghi). (bench: Kalac, Bonera, Brocchi, Gourcuff). Coach: Ancelotti.
FIORENTINA (4-3-3): Frey – Ujfalusi, Dainelli, Gamberini, Pasqual – Donadel (57’ Kuzmanovic), Liverani, Gobbi, Santana (62’ Semioli) – Pazzini (62’ Vieri), Mutu (bench: Lupatelli, Kroldrup, Potenza, Osvaldo). Coach: Prandelli