Posts Tagged ‘Thiago Motta’

Euro 2012 ITALY ROSTER – Official List of 23 Players

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

National team coach Cesare Prandelli has made the Azzurri’s roster official, and communicated his list to UEFA.

Compared his previous version, the manager has left out Andrea Ranocchia and Mattia Destro. Doubts remain on the eligibility of Leonardo Bonucci, currently under investigation in the massive betting scandal surrounding Italian soccer this week.

The list also made the squad numbers for the final phase of the tournament official.


AC Milan 0-4 Inter Milan: Yes Way José, the “Real” Serie A Can Begin

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

Inter Milan's Serbian midfielder Dejan Stankovic, second from left, reacts after scoring their fourth goal with from left to right, Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder, Argentine defender Walter Samuel, Brazilian defender Maicon, Romanian defender Cristian Chivu and Brazilian defender Lucio, during their Serie A soccer match against AC Milan at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Saturday, Aug. 29, 2009. Inter won 4-0. (AP Photo)

In many ways a new year of Serie A doesn’t truly begin until it features one of thee Big Matches. It is often said that over the course of the season it’s the the “little games”, those against teams battling for relegation, that pave the road for a championship title. Often true, but the “little games” certainly are not those everyone is waiting to see. And thanks to Lega Calcio’s new fixture drawing system, this year we have the opportunity to see two ‘Big Games’ as early as Matchday 2, starting with Saturday’s Derby della Madonnina.

And what a derby it was. With 4 goals against their most bitter rival this match featured a true display of power by Inter Milan, highlighted by the shining performances of Thiago Motta, Eto’o, Diego Milito and with and a clear clear message to their harshest critics: Zlatan who?

As for Milan, to quote Gazzetta Inter were “giants without an adversary”. AC Milan cannot hide behind their good performance of today’s first 15 minutes. A team which completely disintegrates both tactically and psychologically (see Gattuso’s red card) at the first sign of trouble cannot, for lack of a better phrase, call themselves a “team”. At least for the moment. Until Leonardo figures out a solution out of this mess.


Genoa 3-2 Juventus: Bianconeri Say Good-Bye to Scudetto, Genoa Say Hello to Champions League (Serie A Matchday 31)

Monday, April 13th, 2009

Genoa defender Thiago Motta reacts after scoring during the Italian Serie A soccer match between Genoa and Juventus in Genoa, northern Italy, Saturday April 11, 2009. (AP PHOTO)

In Italy we have a saying that goes “the sadness of one makes the happiness of the other”. One being Juventus and the other being Genoa in this case.

For all extents and purposes, the Bianconeri’s Scudetto dream is over. I know I already said that last week but that was my own personal prediction. This week’s loss, which effectively pushes Inter’s lead to +10, pretty much makes the demise of Ranieri’s team official, limiting the usefulness of next week’s Juve vs. Inter clash only to bragging rights.

From a neutral point of view, Saturday’s evening match was an action-packed, entertaining affair, features which have started to become common with Gian Piero Gasperini’s side. It’s still fairly early to be talking about “Champions League football” for Genoa, but surely the Rossoblu and their president Enrico Preziosi must be fancying their chances by now: if the team continues to play like they are currently doing, they are sure to feature prominently in next season’s European scene.


Genoa 3-3 Fiorentina: Adrian Mutu in the Come-Back Story of the Month (Serie A Matchday 24)

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

Genoa 3-3 Fiorentina: Adrian Mutu in the Come-Back Story of the Month (Serie A Matchday 24)

Everyone expected the Inter vs. Milan derby to be an epic showdown, but ironically Serie A’s biggest entertainment this week-end came from Genoa vs. Fiorentina. Although to be fair to both teams, this match had already been anticipated as a “Champions League” battle: a showdown between 4th and 5th-placed usually always gives rise to interesting results.

But who on Earth could have predicted six goals and one of the most dramatic come-backs of the year, an equalizer deep into stoppage time and everything. Not only that, but the added bonus of a “hero” (these matches usually have at least one): the one and only Super Adrian Mutu who marked a top-notch performance with the first hat-trick of his Italian career.


Top 11 Serie A Rejects: Ronaldo Leads “Unemployed FC” Roster

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

So, the transfer deadline (August 31) has passed and the football market is now closed. Closed? Not quite. Indeed, while transfers from one club to another will have to wait until January to resume, teams may still sign players as free agents (and that until March 31, 2009).

And speaking of free agents, Gazzetta dello Sport had the great idea of rounding up all these “Serie A rejects”, and see what kind of a team one could come up with. And the result lies much further from mediocrity than you might think.

The transfer market ended with some big explosions: Quaresma, Milito, Robinho, and with the new Manchester City Saudi owners ready to buy back half of the Premier League (fortunately they’ll have to wait until January to do so).

However, the big “sales” period is only just beginning: all the players out of a contract are looking to be the next “bargain” purchase, and while we probably won’t see them out on the street any time soon, these guys could (if they wanted) form a team of their own. Definitely not Scudetto, Champions League, or even UEFA Cup material, but probably just enough to avoid relegation. How does “Unemployed FC” sound like?

In goal, ex-Parma nº1 Luca Bucci looks like a good choice. For the backline, how about Valerio Bertotto (Siena, once even a hot Azzurri prospect), Fernando Couto (ex-Lazio and Parma Portuguese international), Fabio Galante (ex-Inter, just unloaded by Livorno) and Aparecido Cesar (kicked out Inter Milan’s door, just like his mentor Mancini).

Further up, there should be no shortage of midfield muscle with Stephen Appiah (ex-Juve, just released by Fenerbahce), Alessio Tacchinardi (another ex-Bianconero, released by Brescia), and Giuliano Giannichedda (ex-Lazio and Juve, unloaded by Livorno). And who better than the great Euro 2000 revelation Stefano Fiore (ex-Udinese and Fiorentina, released by Mantova) to fill the trequartista role?

In attack, we are looking at Inter Milan. No really, no joke. A pretty fearsome Nerazzurri duo… circa 1998 that is: Alvaro Recoba (Torino) and Ronaldo (AC Milan). If love handles could score goals, these two would make a killing…

No team would be complete with a bench. So here are the “elected ones”: Cristiano Lupatelli (Palermo) as a backup keeper, Gaetano De Rosa (Genoa), Fabio Gatti (Modena) and Johan Micoud (ex-Parma, released by Bordeaux) are pretty good options too. Oe how about Emanuele Manitta and Domenico Giampà, left out in the street after Messina’s bankruptcy? And who could forget one of AC Milan’s “legends”: Patrick Kluivert (just ditched by Lille).

Finally, who better to pick as manager than this year’s Serie A reject par excellence: one mister Roberto Mancini.

So there you have it: eleven starters, seven substitutes, one manager.

Do YOU have another name to propose? Fire away! (doesn’t necessarily have to be an ex-Serie A player)

Update: Also see my “Top 11 Football Rejects: Ronaldo, Ljungberg, Appiah, Canizares and Davids lead the way” article on Soccerlens.