Posts Tagged ‘Ronaldinho’

Serie A Odds ‘n Ends – A Tribute to Martha

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

Those of you who have been reading the Italy Offside blog longer than 8 months now, know that February 13, 2008, was a sad date for Serie A fans worldwide. On that day, one of the greatest and most entertaining bloggers I’ve ever had the pleasure to read stepped down from her post, leaving hundreds and hundreds of readers (I’m exaggerating… thousands!) in sorrow & despair. I am talking of course about Martha.

With her wit, humor and intelligence, Martha could take any Serie A story and put a funny spin on it. I mean she could really keep us entertained for hours on Alberto Gilardino celebrations… or Christian Vieri transfers… or Luis Figo rumours… or Christian Vieri muggings… or Azzurri match reports… or what Christian Vieri had for breakfast…

Yes, Martha likes Bobo. Some might even say she’s so infatuated with him that were she living in Bergamo at this moment (then again, maybe she is), things could rapidly take the turn of an ugly lawsuit for stalking and all the restraining orders that would go with it. But I digress.


Serie A Matchday 5 – Week-End Review + GOALS of the Week (2008-09)

Monday, September 29th, 2008

Week-End Reviews

Sure was a busy week-end in Serie A this week. The Derby della Madonnina may not have provided a lot of goals, but excitement definitely wasn’t absent from San Siro on Sunday.

. week 5 review


Italian Calcio Blog week 5 review

Italian Calcio Blog 2008-09


Gazzetta in English week 5 review

Gazzetta dello Sport


Serie A started with Bianconeri and Viola involved on Saturday, on account of their mid-week commitments in the UEFA Champions League (against Bate and Steaua respectively). And while Fiorentina went on to beat Genoa 1-0 (thanks to yet another goal by Alberto Gilardino), Juventus was held to a 0-0 draw at Sampdoria. Not the best motivational result for Claudio Ranieri’s boys…

Fiorentina 1-0 Genoa Match Report (mCalcio)

Sampdoria 0-0 Juventus Match Report (mCalcio)


On Sunday, the big hero of the Serie A afternoon was Argentine forward Mauro Zarate, who scored twice and set up another goal to help Lazio beat Torino 3-1 Sunday (and assert itself as a serious challenger to Inter Milan atop the Italian league standings). Zarate drew three defenders toward him and passed to Goran Pandev for the opening goal in the 30th minute, then scored in the 63rd with a powerful, curling shot before adding a penalty in the 84th. Nicola Amoruso pulled one back for Torino with a penalty in added time.

With its fourth win in five rounds, Lazio took a two-point lead on Inter ahead of the Milan derby later Sunday, leading the Serie A with 21 points. Napoli, who beat Bologna 1-0, is next with 11 points while Inter, Udinese and Catania are tied with 10 each.

Torino 1-3 Lazio Match Report (mCalcio)


Of course, the biggest attention on Sunday was pointed toward Stadio Giuseppe Meazza “San Siro” in Milan, which hosted the 171st edition of the famous AC Milan vs. Inter Milan match. The great victors of the night were the Rossoneri and in particular a certain Ronaldinho Gaucho, who thanks to his first half header gave Carlo Ancelotti his first derby win of the season (and also José Mourinho’s first loss in the Serie A).

Milan 1-0 Inter Match Report (mCalcio)


In other matches, Fabio Quagliarella scored one and set up another goal as Udinese beat Siena 2-1, and Michele Paolucci found the net for Catania in a 1-0 win over Chievo. Roma beat Atalanta 2-0 for only its second win, with goals from Christian Panucci and Mirko Vucinic as captain Francesco Totti again sat out. Also, Fabrizio Miccoli scored his fourth goal of the season as Palermo beat Reggina 1-0, and Lecce had goals from Guillermo Giacomazzi and Jose Castillo in a 2-0 win over last-place Cagliari.



Nothing particularly extraordinary this week, with the exception of two very nice top-corner howitzers. Mauro Zarate is appearing quite regularly in this segment lately…


And the winner is… Guillermo Giacomazzi. You just gotta love it when someone blasts it into the top corner from 30 yards, and as far as this week goes, Giacomazzi’s was better than Zarate’s.


Serie A 2008-09
Matchday 5


UC Sampdoria
Juventus FC
ACF Fiorentina
Genoa CFC
Udinese Calcio
AC Siena
AS Roma
Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio
US Lecce
Cagliari Calcio
Bologna FC 1909
SSC Napoli
Torino FC
SS Lazio Roma
US Città di Palermo
Reggina Calcio
Calcio Catania
AC Chievo Verona
AC Milan
FC Internazionale Milano


AC Milan 1-0 Inter Milan: And Then Came Ronaldinho’s R10 Day… (Serie A Matchday 5)

Monday, September 29th, 2008

Or should I say… R80? Either way ladies & gentlemen, Ronaldinho could not have picked a better day to score the first Serie A goal of his AC Milan career. With the first edition of 2008-09′s “Derby della Madonnina“, the Rossoneri have struck a big blow to Inter and José Mourinho’s big “confidence plan”. No doubt the Portuguese manager will find the right words to re-motivate his team soon enough, but losing the Milan derby is never an easy thing to swallow. Even for ‘Special Ones’…

As for Ronaldinho, well… everyone was expecting his first goal, one he had promised to the Milan faithful before the match. And Ronnie delivered. Launching Kaká on the right wing, and then patiently waiting for the return cross… sailing high over Esteban Cambiasso and heading the ball with fury. Not exactly the kind of goal you’d expect from Mr. “crossbar challenge”, but what a vital goal nonetheless. Followed by the inevitable & traditional R10 Samba jig, and the Brazilian’s contagious smile, grinning below la curva rossonera. Boa vinda Ronaldinho!.

(From Gazzetta dello Sport): Fans of Inter Milan is San Siro’s Curva Nord proudly presented a “Ladies and Gentlemen… this evening Milan is pleased to present to you…” banner before the match. A great idea to celebrate the derby, but only for AC Milan. And that’s how it happened – Milan were pleased to present Ronaldinho’s first goal in Italy from an all-Brazilian move. A fiery derby, with the sending-off of Burdisso and (from the bench) Materazzi. The Rossoneri deserved their success because they worked harder for it – they were more organised, and willing to make the necessary sacrifices.

The clash of two strong forces: the light cavalry of Milan against the heavy one of Inter. Kaká-Ronaldinho-Pato against Mancini-Ibrahimovic-Quaresma. The resourcefulness of Carlo Ancelotti (who confirmed his pre-match starting line-up) against the shrewdness of Jose Mourinho (who at the last minute decided to switch Cordoba with Burdisso).

The first surge of the match came from the Rossoneri, and it was a declaration of war. A nice, rapid passing exchange between Pato and Kaká put the AC Milan nº22 in good position to cross, but Julio Cesar intercepted. Mancini replied 3 minutes later with a low shot past Abbiati’s post. In other words: the game was on!

Milan was all about pace, while Inter tried to suffocate the opposition with tight pressure & marking. The current Serie A champions have already burned the José-playing style deep into their skin: ball possession and a tendency to put the game to sleep, to then make a lethal strike when least expected. The kind you saw in minute 11, a fast exchange and touch to Ibrahimovic on the right kept out by Abbiati’s foot. As for Milan, their propensity to attack put Zambrotta in a good position to shoot in the 14th: his 30m shot was high, but only slightly.

At this point, Inter were givung the impression of being more of a team: authoritative and authoritarian when necessary, especially with the deep runs of Maicon down the right flank. The Brazilian wing-back provided a spark in the sometimes overly complicated play of the Nerazzurri, not shying away from the odd long-distance shot (such as in minute 24, hitting the side-netting).

The first real chance of the game however, came after 26 minutes for Ronaldinho: exploiting a Kaká back-pass Dinho’s rotating volley was perfect, but a huge deflection from Julio Cesar kept the ball from hitting the inside of the post. An indication that Milan had picked up the pace, and that Inter needed to match speeds. Ibrahimovic responded, making Abbiati’s hands sting in the 35th, but it was shot that lacked the full Zlatan-power, the Swedish striker being asphyxiating by his close Rossoneri man-marking.

In minute 36, finally the deliverance. Served by Ronaldinho, Kaká (perhaps in offside position) found a way through on the right and invited his Brazilian buddy to dance. R80 did not need to be asked twice: spreading his wings and rising above Cambiasso, Ronnie slotted his header out of Julio Cesar’s reach and into the top-right corner. Samba-time at the San Siro, and 1-0 Milan.

Inter got angry, put their heads down and charged. The Rossoneri closed up like a clam, shutting down spaces and doubling the marking, not ignoring the opportunity to counterattacking however. The Nerazzurri pushed forward but they had to reckon with a gritty AC Milan side that was workmanlike when necessary, without sparing anyone; Ronaldinho and Pato included. It was the recurring theme of the second half as well, in which Milan played with an attitude in line with the scoreline: cautious defence and assertive counterattack that put Inter’s rearguard under pressure.

With about 30 minutes to go, Mourinho decided to play the all-out-attack card: exit Materazzi & Mancini, enter Julio Cruz & Adriano. Inter switched to a 4-2-3-1 formation that saw Javier Zanetti move back to defence, but the more convincing team still remained AC Milan, making the most of their fine all-Brazilian evening up front. Losing their shape and coordination, instinct took over for the Nerazzurri, such as in minute 72 when Ibrahimovic found some space in the middle but sent his low shot wide. Ancelotti noticed that he needed to add some muscle between the defence and the midfield, so Pato left to make room for Mathieu Flamini.

The Milan box siege (which highlighted the covering & defensive qualities of Massimo Ambrosini), turned into a double-edged sword for the Nerazzurri, because with 15 minutes to go yet another counterattack forced Nicolas Burdisso to upend Kaká in the middle of the field. The center-back had already been booked, which meant Inter were now down to ten men. Nerves started to flare amongst Inter ranks: Materazzi was sent off from the bench for protesting with the fourth official, while Stankovic (on for Vieira) came close to another red card for an ugly challenge on Kaká.

In the final minutes, Andriy Shevchenko (on for Ronaldinho) had the opportunity to show he’s still miles away from his golden-days-self, but nonetheless had a good shot on target that only Julio Cesar’s attentive reflexes kept out of the goal. The final moments saw an Adriano header (well served by Maicon) from point-blank range finish inches wide of the left post, the last chance for Inter in a now lost derby. The referee’s final whistle added itself to San Siro’s samba beats: it was most definitely Ronaldinho’s day.


 AC Milan
[Match Highlights]
F.C. Internazionale Milano
GOALSCORERS: 37’ Ronaldinho (M).
MILAN (4-3-2-1): Abbiati – Zambrotta, Maldini, Kaladze, Jankulovski – Gattuso (88’ Bonera), Seedorf, Ambrosini – Kaká, Ronaldinho (84’ Shevchenko) – Pato (73’ Flamini). (bench: Dida, Cardacio, Antonini, Emerson). Coach: Ancelotti.
INTER (4-3-3): Julio Cesar – Maicon, Burdisso, Materazzi (59’ Cruz), Chivu – Vieira (80’ Stankovic), Cambiasso, J.Zanetti – Mancini (59’ Adriano), Ibrahimovic, Quaresma. (bench: Toldo, Córdoba, Rivas, Balotelli). Coach: Mourinho.


Ronaldinho’s Shooting Hoops – Nike’s ‘Momentum’ Commercial

Saturday, October 13th, 2007

Ronaldinho‘s back in the advertising world, meeting up with his best friend Nike. This time, he’s playing some Basket-Ball for Nike’s Summer advertising campaign exclusive to Spain, “Momentum“.

Ronaldinho in Nike’s ‘Momentum’

After his ‘hitting-the-crossbar-4-times-in-a-row’ stunt (which many people still believe to be real), this time Ronnie has to score a basket with his feet. Much easier, right? 

However, kudos to Ronnie for acing it on his first try! :cool: Ronaldinho was called to comment on the ad at the Seleçao training ground in Teseropolis, and guaranteed there’s no trick. ”That ad is 100% real, I really scored that basket with my foot“. If you’re still doubtful, proof of the feat is all here.

Below is the original ad, which also features tennisman Rafael Nadal, Memphis Grizzlies center Pau Gasol, as well as Fernando Torres and Sergio Ramos in minor roles.