Sabtu, 16 Agustus 2008

Italy recall Gilardino for Austria friendly

Italy coach Marcello Lippi, naming his first squad since replacing Roberto Donadoni, recalled striker Alberto Gilardino on Saturday for the friendly against Austria in Nice on Wednesday.

Gilardino, a member of Lippi’s 2006 World Cup-winning squad, recently joined Fiorentina in a bid to revive his career after losing his international place because of indifferent form with his former club AC Milan.

The 26-year-old, who has not played for the world champions since October, scored in a 2-0 win over Slavia Prague in the first leg of a Champions League qualifier in midweek.

Lippi is without injured strike pair Luca Toni and Marco Borriello.

Defensive trio Daniele Bonera, Marco Cassetti and Andrea Dossena were also called up, with captain Fabio Cannavaro, Marco Materazzi and Alessandro Gamberini all out injured.

Sampdoria midfielder Angelo Palombo, who won the last of his four caps in a 2-0 win over South Africa in October, was also brought in while AC Milan’s Massimo Ambrosini was omitted from the 20-man squad.

Lippi largely kept faith with the players who disappointed under Donadoni at Euro 2008.


Striker Vincenzo Iaquinta returned after injury prevented him taking part in the Euros and defender Andrea Barzagli is also back after injuring his knee at the tournament.

There was no place for defender Christian Panucci and strikers Antonio Cassano and Fabio Quagliarella, all part of Donadoni’s Euro 2008 squad.

Wednesday’s friendly is a warmup for Italy’s World Cup qualifying campaign which starts next month.


Goalkeepers: Marco Amelia (Palermo), Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)

Defenders: Andrea Barzagli (VfL Wolfsburg), Daniele Bonera (AC Milan), Marco Cassetti (AS Roma), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Andrea Dossena (Liverpool), Fabio Grosso (Olympique Lyon), Gianluca Zambrotta (AC Milan)

Midfielders: Alberto Aquilani (AS Roma), Mauro Camoranesi (Juventus), Daniele De Rossi (AS Roma), Gennaro Gattuso (AC Milan), Angelo Palombo (Sampdoria), Simone Perrotta (AS Roma), Andrea Pirlo (AC Milan)

Forwards: Alessandro Del Piero (Juventus), Antonio Di Natale (Udinese), Alberto Gilardino (Fiorentina), Vincenzo Iaquinta (Juventus).


Kamis, 17 Juli 2008

Squillaci completes Sevilla switch

French international defender Sebastien Squillaci has officially completed his four-year move from French champions Lyon to Spain's Sevilla, the French club said on Thursday.

No financial details were given but the deal is estimated at 6.5 million euros (10.3 million dollars) plus bonuses depending on Sevilla's results and eventual Champions League qualification.

The 27-year-old passed his medicial on Thursday morning.

He joined Lyon from Monaco in 2006 for three million euros and has played in Lyon's last two title-winning teams.

Squillaci has played 13 times for France.


Rada appointed new Czech Republic coach

Petr Rada has been appointed the Czech Republic’s new national soccer coach, the Czech Football Association said on Thursday.

Karel Brueckner retired after the team’s group stage exit from the European Championships last month and Rada, who was his assistant in Euro 2008, has been elected his successor.

The 49-year-old Rada surprisingly beat another of his former bosses Jozef Chovanec, who led the national side from 1998 to 2001 and manages Sparta Prague.

“I would like to see the team uniting and pulling together for a single goal,” Rada said ahead of the selection vote held by the Czech FA on Thursday.

“There is World Cup qualifying (coming up) and there is no time for improvising.”

Chovanec bowed out as national team coach after failing to qualify for the 2002 World Cup.

Rada, assistant to Brueckner in 2006-2008 and Chovanec in 1998-2001, has coached Czech top league team Teplice since last year but his appointment was a surprise because he has not yet won a major cup or tournament as a head coach.

His first match in charge will be the friendly against England at Wembley on Aug. 20.

Brueckner announced his retirement plans before Euro 2008, but met an abrupt end when the Czechs were knocked out after letting slip a two-goal lead to Turkey.

Buffon Tips Milan For Scudetto

Juventus goalkeeping superhuman Gianluigi Buffon has tipped AC Milan to win the Scudetto this season.

The upcoming Serie A campaign promises to be one of the most exciting for a number of years, with Inter no longer it seems guaranteed of winning the title.

City rivals Milan have been making a big impact in the summer transfer market, signing Ronaldinho, Mathieu Flamini and Gianluca Zambrotta, among others.

With the Rossoneri out of the Champions League also, Buffon believes that they are the favourites for the Scudetto.

“If you want my prediction, I would go for Milan,” the 30-year-old told Panorama.

“The fact that they are not playing in the Champions League next year is an enormous advantage. “As for Inter, we will have to see what the Jose Mourinho effect is.”

Buffon also spoke about Juve’s two main summer signings Amauri and Christian Poulsen, and he has given his thumbs up to both players.

"I think that Amauri has the ability to make a big difference for us,” said the world’s number one goalkeeper.

“Christian Poulsen? He may not have the technical quality of Amauri, but he is the kind of player who makes a side solid.”

Buffon has been at Juventus since signing from Parma in 2001, and has since won four Scudetti (two revoked).


Ronaldinho sends Milan ticket sales soaring

Ronaldinho’s arrival at AC Milan has led to a huge surge in season ticket sales and hits on the club’s official website.

The Brazil forward, who has signed from Barcelona, will be formally unveiled to press and fans at a special party at the San Siro from 1830 GMT on Thursday.

The official website ( reported that it had received more than 10 times the average daily volume of visitors since news of the 28-year-old’s transfer.

On Wednesday, when Ronaldinho arrived in Milan, Rossoneri fans snapped up 5,230 season tickets out of a total of 18,518 sold during the whole of the close-season subscription period.

Supporters were unable to buy season tickets on Thursday though after Milan said there was a technical problem.

The club, who finished a disappointing fifth in Serie A last season, did not say if the glitch was because of the high demand.

Source: Reuters

Ferguson reveals United bid

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson revealed he has made a bid for a player who would significantly improve the European champions.

Ferguson refused to name his target but the Scot is known to be keen to sign Tottenham striker Dimitar Berbatov, who has been linked with a move to Old Trafford for several weeks.

"We have made a bid for one player who would enhance us a great deal," Ferguson said before boarding United's flight to Cape Town for their pre-season tour of Africa.

Tottenham are believed to want a 30 million pounds (37 million euros) fee for Berbatov, but Ferguson's offer is likely to be around 10 million pounds (12 million euros) less than that as he is confident Spurs boss Juande Ramos will want the cash quickly to strengthen his own squad.

Although Ferguson and chief executive David Gill will both be in Africa for the next two weeks, United still hope tie up a deal before the start of the season.

After their trip to Cape Town, United will move on to Durban and Pretoria before a flying visit to Nigeria to play Portsmouth.

They will then return home to face Espanyol, Peterborough and Juventus in a packed five-day spell before the Charity Shield clash with Portsmouth at Wembley on August 10.

Source: Reuters