Posts Tagged ‘Filippo Inzaghi’

Siena 1-5 Milan: Super Pippo & The Duck Make Milan… Rock (Serie A Matchday 28)

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

AC Milan's Andrea Pirlo (C) celebrates with his teammates Filippo Inzaghi (L), Pato (2nd L), David Beckham and Paolo Maldini (R) after scoring a penalty against Siena during their Italian Serie A soccer match in Siena March 15, 2009.  (REUTERS)

Yes, I didn’t look for that rhyme very far… sue me for lack of imagination. I stand by it: it’s an appropriate title, and something a bit more original than phrases including “Super Pippo” and “300″.

Milan‘s visit to Siena Sunday was really a one-way encounter for the Rossoneri, who saw the welcome returns of Kakà and Ronaldinho from injury as well as the confirmation that maybe, just maybe (and for one last season), old & new can blend together in this team. On the one hand we have Inzaghi, who followed last week’s Atalanta hat-trick with a brace today, just to confirm that even as a 35 year-old he’s lost nothing of his goalscoring cunning. On the other hand we have Pato, whom Inzaghi has apparently taught well and who quite happily seems be carrying the scoring torch at Milan. With his two goals today (one more spectacular than the other) the “Duck” rises to 14 goals in this Serie A season, just five behind capocannoniere Marco Di Vaio.

Oh, and for those still confused about my “Super Pippo” and “300″ reference: no, this isn’t another Zack Snyder movie. Simply, Serie A goalscorer extraordinaire Filippo Inzaghi just bagged his 300th professional career goal Sunday. Say what want about Inzaghi (he’s always offside, he dives, etc.) but… Mazel Tov! Few people can make that claim about their football career.


Werder Bremen 1-1 AC Milan: Inzaghi for the Opener, Diego for the Finale (UEFA Cup Round of 32, 1st Leg)

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

AC Milan's (from L) Mathieu Flamini, Clarence Seedorf, Filippo Inzaghi and Andrea Pirlo celebrate a goal against Werder Bremen during their UEFA Cup soccer match in Bremen February 18, 2009.  (REUTERS)

In times of fluctuating economy, shifting weather conditions, and Blatter’s opinion of South Africa (“2010, yes or no? Should we stay or should we go?”) there is one global truth we can always be sure of today (and probably for the next 10-20 years to come): there will be goals at Weserstadion. Indeed, no other team epitomizes the lack of defensive effort coupled with goalscoring power better than Werder Bremen, and as expected Wednesday’s Round of 32 UEFA Cup tie vs. AC Milan ended with goals. No shower mind you, just 1-1, but it’s a scoreline which leaves everything open for the return leg in Milan next week.

And since we’re speaking of goals, here’s one guy that’s been scoring lots in the past decade (especially in Europe). Wednesday’s tally marked Filippo Inzaghi‘s 66th goal in European competitions, a brilliant achievement for the Milan striker who got his party spoiled by Werder’s 84th minute equalizer. An equalizer bearing the signature of another player in search of European stardom (especially in the region of Turin): Diego Ribas da Cunha.


VIDEO(s) of the DAY: Vintage “Man Utd vs. Juventus” PEPSI Commercials

Sunday, August 10th, 2008

While we’re on the subject, I’ll take last week’s Manchester United vs. Juventus friendly match as an opportunity to show these cool PEPSI commercials. No commentary needed, just… enjoy! :)

Hey, isn’t that the Coca-Cola tagline?..

Inside the Man U Changing Room

On a Foosball Table

Becks vs. Juve Kid

Poor Ref Can’t Get a Drink

Euro 2008 Italy Pre-Selection: Donadoni’s “List of 24″

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

Tuesday morning in a press conference in Rome, the Azzurri coach announced his pre-selection for Euro 2008: 24 players (4 less than what everyone anticipated, and 1 to be trimmed down before May 28) which will be representing Italy in this Summer’s great European tournament. 

So without further ado, here are the “elected”:

Goalkeepers: Club:
Marco Amelia Livorno
Gianluigi Buffon Juventus
Morgan De Sanctis Sevilla
Andrea Barzagli Palermo
Fabio Cannavaro Real Madrid
Giorgio Chiellini Juventus
Fabio Grosso Lyon
Marco Materazzi Inter
Christian Panucci Roma
Gianluca Zambrotta Barcelona
Massimo Ambrosini Milan
Alberto Aquilani Roma
Mauro Camoranesi Juventus
Daniele De Rossi Roma
Gennaro Gattuso Milan
Riccardo Montolivo Fiorentina
Simone Perrotta Roma
Andrea Pirlo Milan
Marco Borriello Genoa
Antonio Cassano Sampdoria
Alessandro Del Piero Juventus
Antonio Di Natale Udinese
Fabio Quagliarella Udinese
Luca Toni Bayern Munich


So yeah, as you can see the never-ending issue “Del Piero vs. Cassano, which one to pick?” ended with the Don… selecting both. For Italy, I guess that can only be a positive thing: more talent to spare. We can only hope that the Sampdoria forward will keep the potential “Cassanata” locked in a drawer. Other stuff worth the mention is the non-selection of Filippo Inzaghi & Massimo Oddo (technical choice) as well as that of Vincenzo Iaquinta (injury).

In addition, Donadoni picked 24 players (i.e. 1 more than necessary) to begin pre-Euro training on Sunday, meaning one of them will have to leave the group on May 28 (date when the final lists have to be submitted to UEFA). In all likelihood, that player will either be Riccardo Montolivo (more likely) or Alberto Aquilani (less likely): despite the Fiorentina player’s recent run of form, Aquilani’s just been with the Azzurri group longer (albeit playing less and less with Roma recently).

Here’s what Roberto Donadoni had to say in his press conference (source: Gazzetta):

There are no reserves: these are 24 players, playing for a place. No decision has yet been taken, that wouldn’t be good for anybody. I put myself in the players’ shoes, it wouldn’t be nice to know that you’re in the 24 but then you’ll go back home. Everyone should feel in the same situation.”

BREADWINNERS – Donadoni hasn’t forgotten those who contributed to getting the national side into the final phase. “Those who are here have earned it. Others aren’t present, like Inzaghi and Oddo. For Pippo it’s not about his age, but purely a technical choice. I’m sorry for Oddo, who has been affected by an injury. It’s simply a physical situation. I believe that those who will be coming have displayed great commitment. In these two years, the team has proved something, playing in a certain way. But it can also change tactics, as has happened. The players need to feel that they are responsible.”

INZAGHI DISAPPOINTED – Pippo believed in it right to the end, then came the sad truth. “I am disappointed, above all on a personal level,” Inzaghi explained via the official Milan website. “I started this two years trying to build a positive relationship, frank and genuine. Among other things, I scored the first goal under the new manager, against Lithuania in Napoli. But seeing as goals aren’t the only thing which count in football, I thought I had displayed loyalty and commitment to the project, and to my relationship with the boss, both travelling to away games without playing, and accepting the call-up for the Faroe Islands last summer, in a European qualifier which offered three points just like all the others.”

The rossonero is bitter: “Then, silence. Despite my performances with Milan in all competitions, and my goals, 18, scored both in the winter and in April and May. Evidently my injury during the club season was sufficient to mean that I didn’t even deserve a phone call, to end what I had thought was an adult and mature relationship. I’m sorry I was mistaken, my sincere good wishes to the Azzurri for the European Championships.”

ANTONIO’S CHANCE – Donadoni also wanted to clarify his thoughts on Cassano: “Antonio isn’t a gamble. Enough talk of gambles, that’s OK at 16, 17, 18 years old. But the time for gambles is over. He has a great opportunity now, he knows what it means to be part of this group, and he will adapt himself to it. (…) I don’t want to think about the past any more,” the Azzurri manager confirmed. “I’m not very interested in what Cassano has been and done up to now. He needs to start again from scratch. Like everyone. Even those who have won something have to start over again. We have major task ahead and we must concentrate on this. If we live on memories then we will trigger negative reactions. He is part of a group of players who know one another, and as for what he can give in technical terms, I know very well. I wanted a complete squad.”

In search of the realisation of another dream. “There is no minimum objective. When we arrive on the pitch for the first match, we will try to win it, and so on for each game.”

ALE – On to the subject of Del Piero, Donadoni was clear: “Ale hasn’t surprised me. I already know the abilities of each individual player. Del Piero had a period of physical problems, and once these were overcome he was back to displaying the qualities he has.

CONTRACT – Aside from Euro 2008, Abete has settled the situation with Donadoni: a two year contract (up to and including the next World Cup). The agreement includes a free and reciprocal annulment clause, which can be activated to end the agreement within 10 days of the end of the European Championship. “I would like to thank President Giancarlo Abete for his recognition of my work. If Euro 2008 goes badly, I shall leave, there will be no need for the annulment clause,” Donadoni concluded.

Go bad? Let’s all hope that it won’t huh? ;)

You can further discuss the selections at here.

AC Milan 2-1 Inter Milan: Northern Italy Gets Painted in Rossonero, Champions League Gets Closer (Serie A Matchday 36)

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

Inter Milan vs. AC Milan 2007-08 - The ‘Derby della Madonnina’ is Upon Us

Three weeks ago, at the end of the 3-2 match lost to Juventus (Matchday 33) Milan manager Carlo Ancelotti had declared: “Our objective for the rest of the season, in order to qualify for Champions League, will be to win all of our next 5 matches“. With the important fixture vs. Inter in the Rossoneri’s calendar, this was much easier said than done… but what do you know? AC Milan might just have achieved their objective.

To quote Gazzetta, some people had already nicknamed this title ‘The Scudetto of Hardships’ (more or less a translation of Lo Scudetto della fatica), and that may be why Inter continue to make things harder for them. 2 years and 18 days since their last derby victory, AC Milan have reclaimed the “Derby della Madonnina” and made a key step towards Champions League qualification. Indeed with the concurrent loss of Fiorentina at Cagliari, the Rossoneri now find themselves in 4th spot with a 1-point advantage over La Viola. In other words: their destiny is entirely in their own hands.

As for Inter well… it will take nothing short of a Roman miracle for the Nerazzurri to lose their grip on the Scudetto (on account of their head-to-head record with AS Roma, a win to Siena next week will effectively seal the deal for Roberto Mancini’s team), but today’s loss is certainly very sour. Is it a coincidence that when Filippo Inzaghi scores on Inter (today was the 4th time it happened), Il Diavolo always ends up victorious?

(From Gazzetta): MILAN, 4 May 2008 - The first exchange of opinions came from the fans. On one side, Interisti mocking the unavoidability of the AC Milan situation: seeing Inter triumph in Serie A again and perhaps miss out on the Champions League (“Oggi puoi dire quello che ti pare ma il tuo incubo si sta per realizzare” or translated: “Today say whatever you want, your worst nightmare is about to come true”). On the other, a real spoilsport motto exposed by AC Milan’s ’Curva Sud’: a big banner with the message “Even in the year of the centennial celebration… always the same scenario” (“Anche nell’anno del centenario… sempre il solito scenario“) and the Champions League final date (May 21), alongside an obviously drunk Homer Simpson character, watching TV. Hanging on the wall: a badly shaped and damaged Scudetto. Any reference to Inter’s Champions League elimination this year is entirely and purely… intentional.

Oh and by the way, I know: it sounds a lot better in Italian, and whoever translated the banners on the Gazzetta in English site needs to be flogged. Repeatedly. But I digress.

These fan banners, on top of outlining the creativity and rhyming ability of ultrà fans, were a good representative of the great tension running at San Siro before today’s match. In a derby, show & technique comes second to winning at all costs, and this kind of approach was probably the reason why Roberto Mancini opted to leave out Mario Balotelli, in favor of pure strikers Julio Cruz and Hernan Crespo. Interestingly enough, on such an important day the Nerazzurri manager gave a chance to the “bench warmers” (the aformentioned Crespo, plus Maniche for the injured Stankovic), an approach quite different from that of Carlo Ancelotti. Indeed, the AC Milan manager didn’t make a single change in regards to the expected line-up, relying instead on experience and technique of his (aging) veterans.

DOUBLE PIPPO CHANCES - It was a sea of red and black on the San Siro stands today, with Rossoneri fans clearly dominating their Nerazzurri counterpartts and celebrating every good play created by their team, be it a corner-kick or a goal. It was also a game of fair play, as evidenced by Crespo’s admission to referee Roberto Rosetti that he didn’t deserve a corner-kick. Nice to see stuff like this, especially in a derby. 

Now, there weren’t many scoring opportunities in the first 45 minutes, but if there was any team that was dominating the play it was AC Milan. Determined to win the game, the Rossoneri were attacking convicingly out of their own half, and even Daniele Bonera (usually occupying more of a defensive role) was openly challenging Cristian Chivu and creating good chances through the opponent’s defence. Fortunately for Inter, Julio Cesar kept a close guard, especially when the Brazilian goalkeeper made a great save by stopping a short-range Inzaghi finish, three meters away from goal. Super Pippo obtained yet another chance before the half ended, hitting the post on a Seedorf-inspired and Kaká-assisted play from the right wing. 

DOUBLE STRIKE – 4 minutes from the end of the half, Giuseppe Favalli picked up a knockand was forced off in favor of Marek Jankulovski. On his part, Roberto Mancini decided not to make any substitutions, confident that Maicon would quickly recover from his limping injury and that his defence would keep a tight lock on the fort. Oh, silly Mancini…

In the 47th minute, Patrick Vieira almost scored on his own goal to deflect Gattuso’s shot, while 2 minutes later Massimo Ambrosini‘s header barely missed the target. A prelude for things to come, because in minute 51 came the goal putting a damper on Inter’s hopes: Kaká broke through along the goal line, finding enough space to avoid Materazzi and center towards Filippo Inzaghi‘s head. The noggin of Super Pippo connected with the ball from short range, and put the Rossoneri in the lead. 1-0 AC Milan.

Inter went haywire, and not even 5 minutes later two consecutive passing errors cost them the second goal: Patrick Vieira lost the ball to Kaká on the right wing, enabling Kaká to get within shooting range and place an accurate instep past fellow Auriverde Julio Cesar. 2-0 AC Milan, and big joy in the San Siro stands.

Two goals down, Inter decided it was time to stick the head out of the hole. It went something like this: Maniche kicks the ball, his shot is deflected by Kalac; Crespo is in the right place, his shot deflected by Kalac; Maicon picks up rebound, his shot is deflected by Kalac. No doubt about it: Milan and their Australian goalkeeper seemed to be in control, and it took all of 20 minutes in the second half before Mancini finally realized it was time for Turbo Mario. Indeed, with Balotelli on the field Inter seemed somewhat to regain their fighting spirit, and they were also aided by good fortune (and Kalac’s poor placement) on Julio Cruz‘s 25-yard free-kick delivery. 2-1.

After a few plays worth of inclusion into the highlights reel (a Bonera-Suazo clash where Rosetti gave the advantage to Milan; followed by a Marco Materazzi fall in the penalty area, not called by the referee), Andrea Pirlo came very close to tasting the 3-1 goal. Alas his kick from a great position was stopped by Julio Cesar, as the Brazilian goalkeeper kept Inter alive yet again. Tensions increased almost to breaking point, and Adriano Galliani’s hair (the few he has left on the head) must have turned white when Alexandre Pato (on for Inzaghi) lost possession with 20 seconds to go, and enabled Inter to get a free-kick right on the edge of the Milan box. Cristian Chivu‘s set-piece delivery went sky high however, much like Inter’s dreams of celebrating a Scudetto against their cousin arch-rivals.

The lead over Roma is now reduced by 50% with two more rounds to go: nothing is lost really, but a Serie A epilogue as close as this one was unthinkable just a few weeks ago. Inter will have some more sweating to do for this Scudetto…


[Match Highlights]
F.C. Internazionale Milano
GOALSCORERS: 51’ F.Inzaghi (M), 56’ Kaká (M), 75’ Cruz (I)
MILAN (4-3-2-1): Kalac – Bonera, Nesta, Favalli (41’ Jankulovski) – Gattuso (66’ Brocchi), Pirlo, Ambrosini – Kaká, Seedorf – F.Inzaghi (76’ Pato). (bench: Fiori, Oddo, Serginho, Gilardino). Coach: Ancelotti.
INTER (4-3-1-2): Julio Cesar – Maicon, Rivas (80’ Maxwell), Materazzi, Chivu – Vieira, Cambiasso, J.Zanetti – Maniche (65’ Balotelli) – Cruz, Crespo (72’ Suazo). (bench: Toldo, Burdisso, Pelé, Jiménez). Coach: R.Mancini