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Ramadhan has been running a few days, Ramadhan is a month of fasting for the moslems. Fasting is an obligation for Moslem as well as for football players in European leagues. There are many football players who had a Moslem. While undergoing training and a rigorous game schedule and became the minority, many of whom still perform fasting.

This is an encouragement for us in implementing the fast. Besides being a trained service to keep our passions and concerns, fasting is also very useful for our health. I'm not going to write about the benefits of fasting, but just wanted to write about football players in European leagues is also a Moslem. They may also still be conducting their fasting. They are:

Name Club Nationality

LPF - Spanish League

Karim Benzema Real Madrid France
Lassana Diarra Real Madrid France
Mohamadou Diarra Real Madrid France
Yaya Toure Barcelona Côte d'Ivoire
Seydou Keita Barcelona Mali
Eric Abaidal Barcelona France
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Barcelona Sweden
Frederic Kanoute Sevilla Mali
Abdoulay Konko Sevilla France
Mohammed Tchite Racing Santander Burundi
Pascal Cygan Villarreal France

Premier League - English

Nicolas Anelka
(Abdul Salam Bilal) Chelsea France
Emmanuel Eboue Arsenal Côte d'Ivoire
Samir Nasri Arsenal France
Armand Traore Arsenal France
Salomon Kalou Chelsea Côte d'Ivoire
El Hadji Diouf Blackburn Rovers Senegal
Diomansy Kamara Fulham Senegal
Kolo Toure Man City Côte d'Ivoire
Abdoule Faye Stoke City Senegal
Ibrahima Sonko Stoke City Senegal
Papa Bouba Diop Portmount Senegal
Youne Kaboul Portmount France
Nadir Belhadj Portmount Algiers
Hameur Bouazza Birmingham Algiers
Nabil El Zhar Liverpool Morocco

Bundesliga - German

Franck Riberry Bayern Muencen France
Hamit Antiltop Bayern Muencen Turkey
Halil Antiltop Schalke 04 Turkey
Karim Ziani Vfl Wolfsburg Algiers
Ashkan Dejagah Vfl Wolfsburg Iran
Khalid Boulahrouz Vfb Stuttgart Netherlands
Sami Khedira Vfb Stuttgart German
Serder Tasci Vfb Stuttgart German
Mohamed Zidan Borusia Dortmund Egypt
Mohamed El Yaagoubi Real Sociedad Morocco

Eredivisie - Netherlands

Ibrahim Afellay PSV Eindhoven Netherlands
Ismail Aissati Ajax Netherlands
Miralem Sulejmani Ajax Serbia
Rachid Bouaouzan NEC Nijmegen Netherlands-Morocco
Tarik Elyounoussi SC Heerenveen Norway
Nuri Sahim Feyenoord France

Serie A - Italy

Hasan Salihamidzic Juventus Bosnian
Sulley Muntari Inter Milan Ghana
Mohammed Sissoko Juventus France
Mourad Meghni Lazio France
Samir Handanovic Udinese Slovenia
Blerim Dzemaili Torino Switzerland
Ahmed Barusso Siena Ghana
Ousmane Dabo Lazio France

Ligue 1 - France

Hatem Ben Arfa Olympique Marseille France
Djimi Traore AS Monaco Mali

Other League

Zlatan Muslimovic PAOK Saloniki Bosnian
Shefki Kuqi Ipswich Finland
Mohammed Camara St Mirren Guinea

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The Champions League draw always provides entertainment. Even though the random drawing and the whole ceremony is fairly boring, it’s always interesting because it always seems to draw clubs together that are related in some way. Sometimes they’ll gift a club with revenge against a club that knocked them out the year before, or other times provide a real group of death. This time, the interesting thing the Champions League draw did was bring Kaka and Zlatan Ibrahimovic back to Italy (and back to the San Siro more specifically). Yes, Kaka and Zlatan will face their former clubs for one game during the group stage and get to play in front of the fans that once idolized them. (Unless of course they are suspended or injured for the match, which makes this all moot.) Groups of the Italian teams after the jump.

Group A
Bayern Munich
Maccabi Haifa

Juventus got an ok group. Bayern Munich is their toughest opponent, while French champions Bordeaux could provide a tough test as well. Maccabi Haifa shouldn’t be a problem but away trips to Israel are never easy.

Group C

Real Madrid

Milan were handed a favorable group. Real Madrid aside, Marseille and Zurich shouldn’t provide big scares for the Rossoneri.

Group E

Fiorentina have a rematch with Lyon and have the tough task of facing Liverpool. Debrecen will probably be the group punching bag. Fiorentina’s matches with Lyon will be crucial as Liverpool will be tough.

Group F
Dynamo Kiev
Rubin Kazan

Inter get to face old friend Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and then face two Eastern European sides, and we all know how those winter trips to Russia and the Ukraine can be.

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Maurizio Berretta became Chairman Calcio League that was new. Former Director Confindustria this will become the leader in 36 sheltering clubs was supervised relieved calcio. The club that was protected by him was 19 clubs from Series-A and 17 clubs from Series-B. where during the election himself won the vote that was picked up from 40 delegations of the club that was present.

Voting box obtained from a majority vote for him and with one voice on behalf of the Italian Football Federation president Giancarlo Abete (FIGC), where he had served three months as extraordinary commissioner of the Calcio League
With results of this voting, after President Juventus left the Relieved Calcio headquarters in Milan, Gigli expressed satisfaction. "Finally we have also new rules which are starting with a new conclave, which is a sign of the evolution of body Calcio League. We need a wise leader in the Calcio League and now we've got it".

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Fiorentina booked their place in the Champions League group stage on away goals.
The Viola were held to a 1-1 draw by Sporting Lisbon in Florence but because of the two away goals they scored in Portugal.

The first leg in Lisbon ended in a 2-2 draw and the Viola had some anxious moments tonight after Sporting took a 35th-minute lead with Joao Moutinho's free-kick.

The hosts, who mustered little in the opening half, came to life after the restart mainly due to the play of substitute Stevan Jovetic.

Jovetic replaced Massimo Gobbi after the break and scored the equaliser in the 54th minute.

The visitors controlled possession and had the first chance on 12 minutes.

An unmarked Yannick Djalo surged inside the area and struck just wide of Fiorentina goalkeeper Sebastien Frey's far post.

Shortly after, Matias Fernandez warmed the hands of Frey with a stinging free-kick which the keeper saved.

With Fiorentina unable to put a good move together due to Sporting's well-placed defence, it was the Portuguese who looked more deadly.

Midway through the first half, Frey was again called into action and was forced to dive to the near post to clear Miguel Veloso's powerful free-kick.

But there was little Frey could do to stop Moutinho's curled free-kick towards the far post as Sporting took a deserved lead.

Fiorentina reacted and Adrian Mutu tried his luck from distance but his effort was off target.
Jovetic had Fiorentina's first real chance early in the second half with the forward latching onto Riccardo Montolivo's cross and firing just inches wide of the far post.

It wasn't long after that the substitute hit the back of the net. Jovetic's angled strike from the left side of the area beat Sporting goalkeeper Rui Patricio.

Sporting reacted quickly with Moutinho forcing Frey to make a good save.

Shortly after the hour mark, Juan Vargas' left-footed volley went high over the bar as Fiorentina pursued a second goal.

In the 70th minute, Frey had to come off his line as an unmarked Bruno Pereirinha threatened with a surge into the area.

With time running out, the Portuguese pushed all of their players forward in search of a winner.

Frey and the Fiorentina defence held firm with the goalkeeper punching away Liedson's desperate header in the final moments of the game.[www.espnstar.com]

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AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi has risked undermining new coach Leonardo before the city derby by saying he prefers a different formation to the one used by the Brazilian.
Milan won 2-1 at Siena on Saturday in their Serie A opener with the impressive Ronaldinho playing behind frontmen Alexandre Pato and Marco Borriello.

However, Berlusconi wants to see Ronaldinho pushed further forward for Saturday's meeting with champions Inter Milan, who were held 1-1 at home by Bari on Sunday.

"If I was choosing the formation, I would play Clarence Seedorf in the hole, Pato as the main striker with Ronaldinho as second striker," the Italian prime minister told 7 Gold television late on Monday.

New striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar is available for the derby after serving a ban against Siena carried over from his time at Real Madrid.

Inter are close to a deal for Real playmaker Wesley Sneijder, media reports have said, with the Dutchman possibly starting the derby after coach Jose Mourinho questioned Sulley Muntari's fitness given the Ghanaian's commitment to Ramadan.[Reuters]

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Commented Jose Mourinho the Ramadan matter that was connected with the physical condition for the football player received the criticism. A Moslem group in Italia, Union for the Communities and Organisations of Islamic in Italy (UCOII), considered the coach Inter Milan has spoken apart from the limit.

"I thought Mourinho should not often speak." The religious Islamic player did not appear weaker in the field. We knew if the medicine in the world of sport but also the mental stability as well as psychology knowledge could make the player appear good, said the leader UCOII Mohamed Nour Dachan to La Repubblica.

What was said by Dachan was the reaction from the Mourinho explanation concerning his attitude interesting went out Sulley Muntari in the first round in the Inter opener fight the end last week.

"Muntari had the problem that be connected with Ramadan." Possibly when the hot weather was not good for him fasted. Ramadan came when that was inexact for the player, said Mourinho that time.

Muntari from Ghana fasted when his team competed against Bari. He was attracted outside Mourinho in the minute to-29

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Samuel Eto'o says Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola never told him why he was sold to Inter Milan.

The Cameroon striker moved to Inter as part of the deal that took Zlatan Ibrahimovic the other way despite scoring more than 30 goals for Barcelona last season, including the opener in the Champions League final win against Manchester United.

"I was waiting to be told the reason why they wanted me to go, but there wasn't one," Eto'o said Sunday on French television. "I never got an answer and I'm not waiting for one anymore. For me, it's over."

Eto'o achieved the rare feat of scoring in two Champions League finals, having also found the net in the 2-1 win over Arsenal in 2006. He scored more than 100 league goals in five seasons with the Catalan club.

"I would never criticize a coach if another player is better than me," the 28-year-old Eto'o said. "But it's what you do on the field that matters. And until there is proof to the contrary, I deserved to play every Sunday."

Eto'o now hopes to impress Inter coach Jose Mourinho.

"The coach wanted me for several years," Eto'o said. "I spoke to him two or three times on the phone and it was easy to make my decision after that."[msn.foxsports.com]

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Alessandro Del Piero was in the stands for Juventus’ opener against Chievo, but is confident he’ll be ready to face Roma this weekend.

The captain had been expected to start on Sunday evening before he was ruled out by back pain. His replacement Vincenzo Iaquinta scored the only goal.

“We are very happy to have started this new season with a victory,” said ‘Alex.’

“It was a tough game and we struggled a lot, but at the end of the day we took home the three points.”

Their next challengers are Roma, who lost 3-2 at Genoa for a poor start to the campaign.

“I did not play against Chievo because of the after-effects from an inflammation, but I am counting on being there in Rome on Sunday.”

Roma-Juventus kicks off at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday with a 17.00 UK time start, a game you can watch LIVE on ESPN.[football-italia.net]

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Palermo got off to a flying start and Walter Zenga insists he didn’t target the Scudetto as a joke. “We really believe we can do it.”

They are temporarily top of the table following a 2-1 victory over Napoli with goals from Edison Cavani and Fabrizio Miccoli.

The Coach caused shockwaves in his presentation Press conference for the club when declaring his ambition this season was not European qualification, but the Serie A title.

Palermo got off to a flying start and Walter Zenga insists he didn’t target the Scudetto as a joke. “We really believe we can do it.”

They are temporarily top of the table following a 2-1 victory over Napoli with goals from Edison Cavani and Fabrizio Miccoli.

The Coach caused shockwaves in his presentation Press conference for the club when declaring his ambition this season was not European qualification, but the Serie A title.

“Will we win the Scudetto? We said we would aim for the top, both myself and the team. I like sharing this view that has to be a dream for everyone working with us.

“If at the end of the year we reach a position that allows us to avoid the Champions League preliminary round, then that will be important.

“There is enthusiasm, we won a difficult game and compared to last season we are already making strides forward.”[football-italia.net]

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Jose Mourinho's Internazionale could only draw their opening match at home to Bari 1-1, Vitali Kutuzov equalising Samuel Eto'o's first Serie A goal for the Nerazzurri.

Eto'o opened his account from the penalty spot 11 minutes into the second half after fellow arrival from La Liga Diego Milito was fouled by Leonardo Bonucci.

Eto'o was guilty of missing a glorious chance with the goal gaping 10 minutes afterwards, placing his low shot wide of the post - and he lived to regret it when an increasingly adventurous Bari struck in the 74th minute.

Substitute Antonio Langella, who strayed offside too often but nevertheless added an incisive edge on the left flank, was sent down the left side of the penalty area and squared for Belarusian Kutuzov.

He controlled and placed his finish in the corner as Julio Cesar dived out to meet him.

Eto'o was mostly quiet after an exciting early effort, playing a one-two with Milito and forcing visiting captain Jean-Francois Gillet to save with his legs.

Argentine Milito almost scored on two occasions in the first half, volleying over from a lofted Patrick Vieira ball through and seeing a low deflected cross dart behind Gillet and along the goal-line before racing to safety.

But it was Bari who could have snatched the three points on the counter-attack, a Kutuzov strike tipped round the post by Brazil's Cesar before Argentine Emanuel Rivas blazed over in injury-time with the Inter defenders flailing.

Juventus recorded a 1-0 win over Chievo in their opening match in Turin, Vicenzo Iaquinta heading the winner in the first half from a cross by promising debutant Diego.

Chievo created chances and looked capable of taking something from the game, but Juve held firm - and also struck the foot of the post through Amauri from 20 yards.

That was also created by Diego, who left the field to an excellent reception from the home fans late on.

Iaquinta should have doubled the lead before the break but could only head Amauri's cross against the legs of away keeper Stefano Sorrentino.

Luciano and Giampiero Pinzi were the main danger to Juve on the counter-attack, while captain Sergio Pellissier in attack was well marshalled by Giorgio Chiellini and Fabio Cannavaro.

Zdenek Grygera also put in a couple of important last-ditch blocks in the danger area in the second half.

Genoa, fifth ahead of Roma last term, beat their rivals 3-2 in a thrilling game and promoted Parma drew 2-2 at Udinese.
Jonathan Symcox / Eurosport

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In an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport, AC Milan captain and midfielder Massimo Ambrosini (32) said : "AC Milan's only objective is always winning. We never start a season thinking we could lose. We want to win trophies and we are very motivated. .... As always, the Serie A championship will be hard. Our opponents are all worthy. Inter won the last three titles, they are used to winning and have a strong squad. Juventus are solid and now have Diego, who is great. However, AC Milan can still achieve great things because we also have top players, despite Kaka's departure. For example, we have Nesta - who has recovered from injury - the very reliable Thiago Silva, the tenacious and hardworking Pippo Inzaghi, Borriello - who will be very useful once he fully recovers from injury - Pirlo and Gattuso as well as Ronaldinho. I am not worried and I am optimistic with these great team mates".
Source: Gazzetta dello Sport

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Mourinho launched a furious attack on Lippi, fuming that the former Juve coach had shown "a lack of respect".

This was after Lippi predicted his old charges would end Inter's stranglehold on the Serie A title.

And the ongoing spat between the pair continued on Wednesday.

Mourinho told www.inter.it: "I don't want to lose more time replying to our national coach because I work every day for my club and, on the pitch and in the dressing rooms, with my squad.

"I don't spend my time waiting for a game every so often.

"I think I have the right to express an opinion.

"Someone might not agree with my opinion, no problem, but I repeat that, I think, a national coach can not predict in such a direct matter who will win the league.

"Lippi did that on TV the other night.

"Would Fabio Capello in England respond with the name of a team to such a question? And Vicente Del Bosque in Spain?

"I don't think so, they are too intelligent to do so."

Roma captain Francesco Totti chimed in this morning to defend Lippi.

The former Italy international said: "Lippi made a joke, a prediction.

"Whether it comes true or not we will see, however one of the likely scudetto winners is Juventus."

Lippi steered Juve to five Serie A titles and the Champions League during two spells in charge of the Bianconeri.

The new season is set to kick-off this weekend with Inter, who took the scudetto by a 10-point margin over Juve last season, looking for a fourth successive crown.

Mourinho's Roma counterpart Luciano Spalletti has also defended the Azzurri boss.

"For me what Lippi said seemed a normal prediction, as he did last year saying Inter were the strongest team," said the Giallorossi coach.

"From a personal view I don't see it as a lack of respect. Lack of respect comes when you dismiss the professional capacity of the team you're talking about.

"When you say 'zero titles' to a team that's still in a competition, that's a lack of respect."

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Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso believes there is nothing wrong with Marcello Lippi’s predictions ahead of the start of the new campaign.

The Italy boss was strongly criticised by Jose Mourinho, who claimed his comments were out of place and highly disrespectful.

“Lippi didn’t say anything strange,” claimed Ringhio. “It is just normal that he hopes the best for his own interest. After all he has six or seven national players at Juve while at Inter there is only Marco Materazzi.” he argued.

Regarding footballers’ wages and Silvio Berlusconi’s advice to reduce it, Gattuso had also something to say.

“I thought it was excessive to claim footballers should reduce their wages up to 50 per cent,” he said.

“We didn’t make the contracts ourselves. Clubs negotiate them and agree to them so it is not our fault.”

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As the dawn of the league draws closer, Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has called upon his team-mates to treat each round in the league as they would treat a Cup final.

“We have to take the field in every match with the desire to not allow points for our opponents, because every point could weigh on the final standings,” the shot-stopper explained on his official website.

“We expect 38 finals and the one with Chievo will be the first. They arrive in Turin on the wings of enthusiasms they achieved salvation last year. We should beware of their pace and [striker Sergio] Pellissier.”

The Old Lady is preparing for a campaign to break the dominance of Inter, who have won four consecutive Scudetti.

Football Italiano

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The massive wages being paid to players are unacceptable in the current tough economic climate and a salary cap should be brought in, according to Silvio Berlusconi.

"Footballers' salaries are outside reality. It is necessary to introduce a salary cap," Berlusconi was quoted as saying by Italian media. "They are unacceptable, distant from the real economy in which we live in a difficult time like this. They are outside every parameter."

He said he believed a European salary cap was feasible after discussing the issue with UEFA President Michel Platini.

"I think we should do like they do in the United States and reach a decision for a law to have a salary cap throughout Europe," he said.

"I've spoken to Platini and I think we'll work in this direction very soon."

Berlusconi, who also denied speculation he intended to sell part of his Milam stake, said he was not taking aim at big spending Real Madrid, who lured Brazil playmaker Kaka away from his club in the close season, but at the "phenomenon" of soaring wages.

His proposal won immediate support from Lazio President Claudio Lotito but past and present players were less enthusiastic.

"You don't resolve all football's problems by reducing our salaries," said Italy captain and Juventus defender Fabio Cannavaro.

"If you cut our wages, you should cut the prices of many things, starting with the tickets to the stadium."

Italian Football Federation vice president Demetrio Albertini agreed.

"We should stop blaming the footballers all the time. The issue is the system, not the players," the former Milan and Italy midfielder said.

"The players earn what the club presidents offer them."

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Alberto Gilardino feels Fiorentina gave their best and worst in Lisbon last night. “It was an insane second half, but we never give in.”

Juan Manuel Vargas had put them in front in the Champions League play-off, but even after going down to 10 men, Sporting had managed to turn it around. Gilardino snatched a 2-2 result late on.

“We saw a bit of everything,” sighed the striker on Sky Italia television. “It was a balanced first half with few real risks and we were in front.

“It was an insane second half, as we conceded a goal and then pulled back so much that we were under a lot of pressure.

“Yet once again we saw the spirit of this side, we never give in, and I must praise all my teammates for the grit and determination they showed.”

Gilardino went close to the Serie A Capocannoniere title in his debut season for Fiorentina and is taking a commanding role again this term.

“I will try. I think the team is the most important thing and we have a squad with both experienced and young players. It’s a great mix and we can do very well.

“We hope that this start, this 2-2 in Lisbon, can bode well for the future.”

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The hard man believes that his club are still struggling ahead of the new campaign.

Milan registered their first win of the pre-season over Juventus last night, albeit in a penalty shoot-out to claim this year’s Trofeo Berlusconi.

It ended 1-1 after 90 minutes, with Diego and Alexandre Pato grabbing the goals for their respective clubs, meaning that a shoot out was required to find a winner. Yago Falque’s miss with the first spot kick was all it took, allowing the Rossoneri to clinch a 5-4 victory.

Despite the eventual outcome, Gennaro Gattuso is aware of the fact that his club’s problems are still present, as they failed to win a single match to this point in the pre-season.

“It is our first victory of the pre-season, even if it was obtained on penalties,” Gattuso explained to Sky.

“This is important for us, as we did go a month without winning. However this is still our problem at the moment, because it was the players who have been letting the club down.

“We have not solved our problems with this victory tonight, because there is still a lot of work to be done.

“The older players like myself, [Andrea] Pirlo and [Massimo] Ambrosini have been struggling a bit with injury recently. But when anyone wears the Milan shirt, you’re accustomed to winning, and this is not what we have been doing.

“It’s hard to accept the criticism we have been getting lately, so again, there is a lot of work that still has to be done.”

The Rossoneri kick start their campaign this weekend, with a trip to Tuscany to face Siena at the Artemio Franchi stadium.

Adrian Del Monte, Goal.com

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Amauri believes Juventus “can win the Scudetto and Champions League. After all, we’ve already beaten Inter once.”

The Bianconeri got the better of their rivals on a penalty shoot-out in the Trofeo TIM last Friday, although the game only lasted 45 minutes.

“The team is in good shape and is absorbing the winning mentality that our Coach reminds us of every day,” he told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“[Ciro] Ferrara was very clear from the first day of pre-season training, he said we have to win even against the youth side. It doesn’t matter who you are facing. You are Juventus and you must win.”

Inter have dominated the Scudetto race since Calciopoli, but losing Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be a big blow.

“They still look strong and you can already tell they are more of a team, but we have closed the gap,” continued Amauri.

“Alright, it was a friendly, but we drew and then won on penalties. We could have had another goal when [Vincenzo] Iaquinta’s spot-kick was saved. This is our spirit, to bring home the result, whether it’s against Inter or a Serie C side.

“We have improved a great deal with champions like Diego, Felipe Melo and Fabio Cannavaro. We can win the Scudetto and Champions League, we must try to conquer every trophy.”

This is also going to be a decisive season for Amauri, as in the lead-up to the World Cup he is in the process of gaining Italian citizenship.

“We’re in the final countdown, it will take more or less another 23 days. [Italy Coach Marcello] Lippi said when I become Italian, he will consider me for the squad. This is already a huge honour for me and I can’t wait for that moment to come.”

The Brazilian has been criticised for turning his back on his home country just because he never received a call from the Selecao.

“Italy embraced me and I want to return the hug. My children were born here and my third, hopefully, will also come soon.”

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David Beckham insists he has given little thought to a much-touted return to Europe in the New Year.

The England international is adamant that his sole focus at present remains on helping LA Galaxy enjoy a productive end to the MLS season.

Beckham did take in a successful loan spell at AC Milan during the American off-season last term, with England boss Fabio Capello keen for the experienced midfielder to play as much competitive football as possible.

With attention already starting to drift towards next summer's World Cup in South Africa, Beckham knows a similar deal in 2010 will be required if he is to make the final cut.

The former Manchester United and Real Madrid ace is confident a short-term deal can be put in place, but claims he will put the issue to one side until the Galaxy's current campaign comes to a close.

"At the moment all I am concentrating on is the MLS," he told Sky Sports News following England's 2-2 draw with Holland on Wednesday.

"When you are back with the England squad, of course you concentrate on that and what game is coming up, but I am going to concentrate on the rest of the MLS season with the Galaxy and then after that finishes, in a few months, I will make plans. But that is news that I already knew.

"I'm 95-99 per cent certain that it will happen. It's important that I concentrate on the season with the Galaxy, and when that's over there will be a decision by myself and the club that I will be going to. But it's important I concentrate over there first."
Speculation continues to suggest that Beckham could make an eagerly-anticipated return to the Premier League, but the 34-year-old believes Italy remains his most likely destination.
"I'm not sure. You never know," he said on the English links.

"I'm not going to say it will never happen, but I enjoyed my time in Milan and they have expressed that they would like to take me back. AC Milan are one of the best clubs in the world, but I have quite a few months to decide on that."[skysports.com]

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Gianluigi Buffon is already welcoming Juventus teammate Amauri into the Nazionale. “He will bring immense enthusiasm.” The Brazilian has not yet completed his paperwork to achieve Italian citizenship, but should be eligible from next month. “I am certain of one thing: Amauri will come to the Azzurri and bring immense enthusiasm and I am sure he’ll do all he can for the team,” said Buffon.

“However, we must not forget those who have done and can still do a lot more for the Nazionale. I’m thinking of people like [Alberto] Gilardino and [Luca] Toni, especially Luca who was not called for yesterday’s game against Switzerland.” The 0-0 draw in Basel saw Claudio Marchisio and Domenico Criscito made their debuts, but Coach Marcello Lippi has hinted he will call Amauri when he becomes eligible. “Many of us have been putting the pressure on him, not just the players but also the media. I am not absolutely certain Amauri will play for Italy, but the important thing is that he is sure. This is not a decision to be made lightly.” Buffon also turned his attention to the new boys in the Azzurri squad, as the renewal process begins after the Confederations Cup debacle. “In the first half-hour I saw a good Italy performance with many scoring opportunities that we were unable to convert,” continued the goalkeeper.

“We played with a different spirit and there were some changes to recent games. Criscito, Marchisio and also Angelo Palombo showed they are ready and mature. If they continue like this, they can make their mark for Italy.” There has been debate over Italy’s chances of winning back-to-back World Cups, but Buffon has a different take on the issue. “I think our chances are very slim, but no worse than our odds before lifting the trophy in 2006.” [SuperSportManager.com]

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The construction works of the new stadium and the sports centre in Vinovo are proceeding and today the Juventus general manager Jean-Claude Blanc, visited the two sites. He was accompanied by Engineer Riccardo Abrate, the person responsible for Juventus’ investments in immovable property, architect Griffith, the directors of the works at the new stadium and by professor Ossola, the director of works of the structural operation. Blanc first visited the construction site of the new stadium, where after the demolition process the first phase of construction is underway. The first two foundations of the four supports of the cover are visible as well as the base of the structure of the East stand.

After the visit to the area which was once occupied by the Delle Alpi, Blanc then visited Vinovo, where he saw for himself the significant progress in the works on the expansion of the Juventus training centre and the new stands overlooking the fields used by the youth sector and the senior squad. «After visiting the construction site of the stadium – declared Blanc – I was impressed by the quality of the works which are proceeding according to schedule. The construction companies are doing their utmost to make it possible for us to play in the new stadium as from the 2011-2012 season. Witnessing the first phases of the construction is very emotional and I think it would be comforting for all the Juventus supporters to know that I can’t wait to enter the new “home”.

Even the exrtension of the training centre in Vinovo is preoceeding perfectly: in a few months time all the Juventus players, from the youngest to the senior squad, will be able to train within the same structure. This is an important step in our strategy to give value to the nursery because it consents to the total integration of the senior squad technical staff and that of the youth sector. Besides, when the works are complted, our training centre will be able to host the public in an adequate manner both for the senior squad and the youth sectors. It is an important development which bears witness to our will to continue improving and be close to our people».[Juventus.com]

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St Jakob Stadium, Basel

Claudio Marchisio and Domenico Criscito made their debut, but Italy failed to break the deadlock in a 0-0 friendly with Switzerland.

This was the Azzurri's first game since the Confederations Cup debacle and Marcello Lippi introduced two new faces - Claudio Marchisio and Domenico Criscito. It was also an historic game, as Fabio Cannavaro marked his 127th cap, overtaking Paolo Maldini's all-time record.

There was a minute's silence for Espanyol captain Dani Jarque, who died this week aged 26 from heart failure after a training session at the Coverciano ground in Italy.

The Azzurri were immediately more aggressive with Giuseppe Rossi threading through for a hesitant Alberto Gilardino's shot at the goalkeeper. Switzerland threatened from a corner, but Gianluca Zambrotta charged down Udinese midfielder Gokhan Inler's strike.

Italy had a goal disallowed in chaotic circumstances. Rossi's backheel allowed Zambrotta to cross for a towering Criscito header, denied by a great one-handed save and then Gilardino was just offside as he bundled the loose ball over the line.

Moments later Gilardino's chip was over the on-rushing goalkeeper and the bar. 30 seconds after that Marchisio sprung the offside trap and was clear on goal, but turned it past the far post with the inside of his right foot.

Rossi set up Angelo Palombo on the edge of the box, but he hesitated and was crowded out when he really should've hit it first time. Zambrotta drilled just wide with his left after skipping past his former teammate Philippe Senderos.

Mauro Camoranesi tried to carry on, but was forced to limp off with a left ankle problem after half an hour to make way for Udinese's Simone Pepe.

Switzerland had a great chance on 33 minutes when Giorgio Chiellini was caught out by N'Kufo, who pulled back for Barnetta to smack the crossbar. Inler thumped a screamer from almost 30 metres that Gigi Buffon did well to smother.

Gila almost intercepted a poor Senderos header back to his goalkeeper and Zambrotta had a shot from distance. In first half stoppages, Gilardino flung himself at a Pepe cross from the right, but was smothered at the near post.

Lippi made changes at the break, introducing Vincenzo Iaquinta and Davide Santon for Gilardino and Zambrotta. Switzerland threatened again with a touched on free kick for Inler to blast inches over the bar.

Barnetta was at full stretch to turn wide from an intelligent N'Kufo cutback past Chiellini, while at the other end Pepe was crowded out by red shirts in the box. Chiellini had to nod a cross off N'Kufo's head as Switzerland continually went on the counter.

Iaquinta also pounced on a defensive error, poking Marchisio's through ball wide after anticipating Senderos. Fabio Quagliarella and Gaetano D'Agostino replaced Pirlo and Rossi. The Napoli striker livened things up a bit and forced Benaglio into a tricky intervention.

Switzerland Coach Otto Hitzfeld made three changes, while Fabio Grosso came on for debutant Criscito. One of the substitutes, Hakan Yakin, curled a free kick over with his left foot.

There was controversy 10 minutes from time, as Iaquinta hooked a long ball over the top and was clear on goal, but was incorrectly flagged offside.

Pepe hit the side-netting from a corner to the back post, but Switzerland had an excellent chance with 120 seconds left on the clock. Yakin flicked on to send Derdiyok running down the right flank and Buffon got his fingertips to slow down the angled drive enough for his defence to clear.

In stoppages Italy evened out the score in terms of opportunities. Santon crossed low for Quagliarella to come sliding in at the near post, the ball turned out by a combination of Benaglio and upright. From the following corner, Quagliarella forced another save.

Switzerland: Benaglio; Degen (Schwegler 69), Senderos, Grighting, Magnin (Ziegler 86); Padalino (Derdiyok 83), Huggel, Inler, Barnetta (Vonlanthen 79); Frei (Streller 69), N'Kufo (Hakan Yakin 69)

Italy: Buffon; Zambrotta (Santon 46), Cannavaro, Chiellini, Criscito (Grosso 73); Camoranesi (Pepe 31), Pirlo (D'Agostino 61), Palombo, Marchisio; Gilardino (Iaquinta 46), Rossi (Quagliarella 61)

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Davide Ballardini has given Jose Mourinho a lecture on “humility” after Lazio’s Italian Super Cup triumph.

The Biancocelesti were the underdogs in Beijing on Saturday, but emerged 2-1 winners against Inter thanks to Francelino Matuzalem and Tommaso Rocchi.

Mourinho complained after the final whistle that his team deserved to win and had at least a dozen chances.

“That’s not true,” replied Ballardini. “Inter only scored from a mistaken back pass from our defenders, had a couple of good chances, but I consider it a balanced encounter.

“If we analyse the game in terms of possession, then Inter had something more, but if we look at the humility and hunger for the result, then Lazio deserved the victory.”

The Biancocelesti returned to Rome late last night and were greeted at the airport by 3,000 celebrating fans.

This was Ballardini’s first ever piece of silverware and he had a special dedication to make.

“I want to thank Delio Rossi. If Lazio were in Beijing at all to compete for this trophy against Inter, it is thanks to him and his hard work.”

Rossi parted company with Lazio this summer despite winning the Coppa Italia.[http://www.football-italia.net]

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In the first official game of the Italian season, Lazio produced two sucker punches to beat Mourinho’s Inter and lift their third Supercoppa Italiana. Goal.com rates the participants….


J.Cesar: 6.5 - The Brazilian didn’t have much to do for large spells of the game but when he was called into action he made some decisive interventions. There was little he could do for either of Lazio’s goals.

Maicon: 6.5 - The Brazilian wasn’t at his peak but he still got forward on regular occasions and gave Kolarov a lot to think about at the back.

Lucio: 7.0 - Good first half in which he dealt with the sustained Lazio pressure. The former Bayern Munich stopper looked extremely dangerous going up for corners, and he could have opened the scoring if it wasn’t for an incredible save from Muslera.

Chivu: 5.5 - The Romanian had little to do in the first period but he showed poor gamesmanship in the second half with some dirty challenges on the Lazio forwards. The former Roma man can do much better.

Zanetti: 7.0 - The Inter captain lead by example throughout and pushed the Nerazzurri forward after Lazio’s double strike. Despite his age Zanetti still has an incredible engine and is an example to all.

Cambiasso: 6.0 - Battled hard throughout the game but faded significantly as the fatigue of a speedy first half set in. The Argentine could have done better to stop Rocchi slipping through for Lazio’s goal.

Muntari: 5.0 - Good going forward but missed a couple of sitters in the first half which would have gifted Inter a commanding lead. He will be ruing his poor shooting when he looks back on the game in the days to come.

T.Motta: 6.0 - A key player in the middle but failed to have the same impact on the side that he displayed in Genoa. He was lucky not to be shown the door following some last ditch tackling. Mourinho had to substitute him to save him from an early bath.

Stankovic: 7.0 - A constant threat down the middle, the Serbian proved to be in electric form in the first half. He could have had a better rating had he finished some clear cut chances in the first period.

D.Milito: 7.0 - ‘El Principe’ proved to be his usual threatening self, leaving the Lazio stoppers with a mountain of work for the duration of the game. He was unlucky not to get on the score sheet when Eto’o interfered from an offside position to deny the Nerazzurri an equaliser.

Eto’o: 7.5- The Cameroonian displayed a world class level of play and ran rings around the Lazio backline for large periods of the game. He has settled immediately in his new surroundings and will undoubtedly be one of the stars of the season.

SUBS: Balotelli (6.5), Vieira (6.5), Suazo (N/A)


Muslera: 8.5 - The Uruguayan was undoubtedly the man of the match following a host of world class saves. Without such a commanding performance between the sticks, Lazio would not have been in a position to take a double lead to devastating effect.

Lichtsteiner: 6.0 - The Swiss international put in a shift but was left for dead on a number of occasions by the Inter forwards.

Siviglia: 6.0 - The vice-captain had his work cut out keeping Eto’o and Milito at bay and for large periods he managed to succeed. He couldn’t really do much on the Inter goal following Dabo’s inattention on the ball.

Diakité: 6.5 - The Frenchman produced a mature performance in the first period and managed to make some decisive headed interventions. After the break he faded a little, but the Parisian is certainly a talent for the future.

Kolarov: 6.5 - Good going forward but made heavy work in getting back and found it hard to deal with the lightning quick pace of Sammy Eto’o. The Serbian will try to claim an assist for the first goal despite the fact it took a nice ricochet off the Inter wall.

Baronio: 6.0 - The veteran Lazio midfielder did well to cover the absent Ledesma in the first period, but he is clearly lacking the legs to become a regular first team player.

Brocchi: 6.5 - The former Milan man put in a solid shift despite the intense Chinese heat. After arriving at Lazio last summer he has quickly become a reference for the rest of the Biancocelesti squad.

Mauri: 6.0 - His rating would have been lower had he not produced the clever through-ball for Rocchi on the second Lazio goal. The trequartista seems to be lacking in fitness with the start of the season still a fortnight away.

Matuzalem: 8.0 - The Brazilian was bought outright this summer by Claudio Lotito and he wasted no time in repaying the faith shown by the Lazio patron. He may have been a little lucky on the opening goal, but it proved to be a massive opener for the Aquilotti as they suffered under intense Inter pressure.

Zarate: 7.0 - The Argentinean youngster took a while to find his feet but popped up on a number of occasions to question Julio Cesar’s alertness between the sticks. He has the ability to take Lazio to new heights in the coming years.

Rocchi: 7.5 - The Lazio captain was always second to the ball in the first period as Lucio proved far too good at the back. After the re-start TommyGol popped up in spectacular fashion to float a delicious lob over the Inter keeper and give Lazio a commanding two goal lead.

SUBS: Dabo (5.5), Cruz (6.5), Cribari (N/A)


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The Juventus board of directors has approved the figures relative to the fourth trimester.

Which show that the net result up to the 30th June is a positive €6.6 million. This is a significant improvement compared to last year when the result was €20.8 million in the negative. This is relevant data which is associated with a net positive financial position of 25.6 million, which represents an improvement of over 14 million over that of the 2007/2008 season. Takings have also risen for this season – thanks especially to the effect of the Champions League – touching the 20.4 million mark, an 18% improvement over last year. The figures are at the level of the 2005/2006 season.

With regards to the data relative to the 4th trimester, the takings are equal to 53.4 million (+26.1% compared to 2007/2008) and expenses at 56.2 million (an increase of 28.1% compared to last year). The trimester has a net negative result of €15.1 million, an improvement of over 5 million when compared to 2007/2008.

«The figures approved by the board – declared Juventus general manager Jean-Claude Blanc at the end of the meeting – confirm the quality of the work done, on all levels, and represent a solid base for next year, for which we have formulated a foreseen sustainable break even. These figures consolidate the idea of sustainable football: an objective which is practical thanks to a careful management and the dedication and professionalism of all the employees and collaborators of the club».

The details of the fourth trimester are published in the press release.[www.juventus.com]

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Schedule of competition for the Italian Serie A 2009/2010 season, the first weekend held on 23 August'09 and the final will be held on 16 May 2010.

SERIE A 2009/2010

1) 23.08.09 dan 17.01.10
bologna - fiorentina
catania - sampdoria
genoa - roma
inter - bari
juventus - chievo
lazio - atalanta
livorno - cagliari
palermo - napoli
siena - milan
udinese - parma

2) 30.08.09 dan 24.01.10
atalanta - genoa
bari - bologna
cagliari - siena
chievo - lazio
fiorentina - palermo
milan - inter
napoli - livorno
parma - catania
roma - juventus
sampdoria - udinese

3) 13.09.09 dan 31.01.10
atalanta - sampdoria
bologna - chievo
fiorentina - cagliari
genoa - napoli
inter - parma
lazio - juventus
livorno - milan
palermo - bari
siena - roma
udinese - catania

4) 20.09.09 dan 07.02.10
bari - atalanta
cagliari - inter
catania - lazio
chievo - genoa
juventus - livorno
milan - bologna
napoli - udinese
parma - palermo
roma - fiorentina
sampdoria - siena

5) 23.09.09 dan 14.02.10
atalanta - catania
bari - cagliari
bologna - livorno
fiorentina - sampdoria
genoa - juventus
inter - napoli
lazio - parma
palermo - roma
siena - chievo
udinese - milan

6) 27.09.09 dan 21.02.10
catania - roma
chievo - atalanta
juventus - bologna
lazio - palermo
livorno - fiorentina
milan - bari
napoli - siena
parma - cagliari
sampdoria - inter
udinese - genoa

7) 04.10.09 dan 28.02.10
atalanta - milan
bari - catania
bologna - genoa
cagliari - chievo
fiorentina - lazio
inter - udinese
palermo - juventus
roma - napoli
sampdoria - parma
siena - livorno

8) 18.10.09 dan 07.03.10
catania - cagliari
chievo - bari
genoa - inter
juventus - fiorentina
lazio - sampdoria
livorno - palermo
milan - roma
napoli - bologna
parma - siena
udinese - atalanta

9) 25.10.09 dan 14.03.10
atalanta - parma
bari - lazio
cagliari - genoa
chievo - milan
fiorentina - napoli
inter - catania
palermo - udinese
roma - livorno
sampdoria - bologna
siena - juventus

10) 28.10.09 dan 21.03.10
bologna - siena
catania - chievo
genoa - fiorentina
inter - palermo
juventus - sampdoria
lazio - cagliari
livorno - atalanta
napoli - milan
parma - bari
udinese - roma

11) 01.11.09 dan 24.03.10
cagliari - atalanta
chievo - udinese
fiorentina - catania
juventus - napoli
livorno - inter
milan - parma
palermo - genoa
roma - bologna
sampdoria - bari
siena - lazio

12) 08.11.09 dan 28.03.10
atalanta - juventus
bari - livorno
bologna - palermo
cagliari - sampdoria
catania - napoli
genoa - siena
inter - roma
lazio - milan
parma - chievo
udinese - fiorentina

13) 22.11.09 dan 03.04.10
bologna - inter
fiorentina - parma
juventus - udinese
livorno - genoa
milan - cagliari
napoli - lazio
palermo - catania
roma - bari
sampdoria - chievo
siena - atalanta

14) 29.11.09 dan 11.04.10
atalanta - roma
bari - siena
cagliari - juventus
catania - milan
chievo - palermo
genoa - sampdoria
inter - fiorentina
lazio - bologna
parma - napoli
udinese - livorno

15) 06.12.09 dan 18.04.10
bologna - udinese
fiorentina - atalanta
genoa - parma
juventus - inter
livorno - chievo
milan - sampdoria
napoli - bari
palermo - cagliari
roma - lazio
siena - catania

16) 13.12.09 dan 25.04.10
atalanta - inter
bari - juventus
cagliari - napoli
catania - livorno
chievo - fiorentina
lazio - genoa
milan - palermo
parma - bologna
sampdoria - roma
siena - udinese

17) 20.12.09 dan 02.05.10
bologna - atalanta
fiorentina - milan
genoa - bari
inter - lazio
juventus - catania
livorno - sampdoria
napoli - chievo
palermo - siena
roma - parma
udinese - cagliari

18) 06.01.10 dan 09.05.10
atalanta - napoli
bari - udinese
cagliari - roma
catania - bologna
chievo - inter
lazio - livorno
milan - genoa
parma - juventus
sampdoria - palermo
siena - fiorentina

19) 10.01.10 dan 16.05.10
bologna - cagliari
fiorentina - bari
genoa - catania
inter - siena
juventus - milan
livorno - parma
napoli - sampdoria
palermo - atalanta
roma - chievo
udinese - lazio

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Ciro Ferrara’s team have lived up to the coach’s words fielding a great match and cruising to the final of the Peace Cup after beating the merengues featuring Cristiano Ronaldo. The bianconeri had a fiery start immediately scoring the lead on the 4th minute. A free-kick by Del Piero is headed home by former-galactico Cannavaro with a helpless Dudek sent to the other side of the post. Four minutes later, it was Torres who cleared a dangerous cross destined to Amauri.

On the 9th minute the Brazilian goes close tos coring after receiving from Del Piero with the ball going inches or rather millmetres wide. Another absolute protagonist is Buffon who on the 16th minute saves greatly on a Guti shot. Real try to react and on the 21st minute it is Raul who sees the ball go slightly high over the post. Juventus however continue to have the upper hand and on the 24th minute a defensive error by Real sees Amauri shooting at goal and Metzelder saving on the line with the ball destined for the net. Amauri wins the ball again and dribbles even the goalkeeper but finds Pepe in opposition. On the half hour mark it is Chiellini who saves on Cristiano Ronaldo after a good run by the Portuguese ace.

Nine minutes later Chiellini fouls Raul in the area and the referee orders a penalty for the merengues. Cristiano Ronaldo scores from the eleven metres. The last chance of the half is for Real with Benzema left unguarded by the defence but the ball goes slightly high over the bar. The second half sees Legrottaglie coming on for Cannavaro and also a substitution of the referee. Juventus continue wither agressive and brilliant approach to the game and exactly on the same minute another cross by Del Piero, this time finds Salihamidzic who heads behind Dudek into the net. Two minutes before Giovinco shows great footwork to enter the area and cross towards Amauri who forces the keeper to a difficult save. One minute after the second Juve goal, Ronaldo enters the area and shoots but finds Buffon in great shape who saves. From the rebound the ball reaches Raul who shoots hitting the post. The best keeper in the world saves again 3 minutes later following a powerful free-kick by Metzelder.

On the 60th minute Giovinco makes way for Zanetti. Four minutes later Raul sends the ball very high over the bar in what seemed a dangerous opportunity and two minutes later it is Benzema who is not precise enough on the shot. The 68th minute sees Del Piero being replaced by Iaquinta and four minutes later Marrone comes on for Felipe Melo. Juventus administer the match with great personality and go extremely close to scoring a thrid goal when a brilliant shot by Tiago hits the post in what seemed a sure goal. On the 89th minute Camoranesi dances the samba with the ball as he goes past two defnders with a magnificent move worthy of Nureyev and shoots with Dudek saving with some difficulty. The dying minutes see Real in a desperate attempt to equalize and the galacticos go close twice. First on the 90th minute with a Benzema header going high over the post and then on the on the 93rd with Buffon finding some difficulty to hold the ball after a cross from the right but blocking Cristiano Ronaldo from shooting at goal.

The match ends in a well deserved victory for Ciro Ferrara’s bianconeri who on Sunday will play against Aston Villa in the final of the Peace Cup.[www.juventus.com]

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