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Product Review: Adidas F50i Boots

Product Review: Adidas F50i TUNit Boots

This week's NEW review is the Adidas F50i Soccer Boots, courtesy of look for it on Serie A Weekly this weekend

Listen To The Serie A Weekly Minute+10 Podcast

Listen To The Serie A Weekly Minute+10 Podcast

Join Kevin Walker and Dov Schiavone Thursdays for another Minute+10 on Serie A soccer.

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Product Review: PUMA v1.10 Boots

Product Review: PUMA v1.10 Boots

This week's NEW review is the PUMA v1.10 boot release, courtesy of PUMA look for it on Serie A Weekly this week The Fantasy Game For Calcio Italia Fans

Serie A Weekly is proud to announce the arrival of (formerly, as the online portal to fantasy football targeted specifically for fans of Serie A., ... VISIT

visit soccerpro and order an World Cup 2010 match ball

Roma 2 Inter 1, All The Highlights

Round 31 and Roma get the job done beating Inter 2-1 at the stadio Olimpico which was totally electric after Luca Toni's second half winner,... More

Enjoying SerieAWeekly, Try LaLigaWeekly

If you enjoy the posts and updates here at Serie A Weekly take a peek at La Liga Weekly ...

Serie A Match Day 38 Preview: And Second Place Goes To...

Posted by Kevin Walker Saturday, May 30, 2021
Final match day in Italian Serie A and the race for top four placing is still on. AC Milan, Juventus and Fiorentina are in the running and here are three of the most important match previews.

Fiorentina vs Milan

Should Fiorentina win this match by two goals they will overtake Milan in the table. Coming third or fourth makes all the difference, as the fourth team have to qualify for the Champions League. If Fiorentina or Milan come fourth they could be up against a side like Arsenal in their qualifying game. The home side has to do without the suspended duo F Melo and Dainelli, with Donadel and Zauri coming in instead. Ambrosini, who scored both the Milan goals vs Roma will be suspended for this match. D Beckham suffered an injury in the Thursday training session and he is a serious doubt for this match. Fiorentina played a strong game when they defeated Roma, 4-1, but apart from that display they have failed to impress this writer. Milan? Maybe it is too hot for the Milan old timers right now. Fiorentina will go for the two goal margin win and I think that this will back fire. Milan win in my opinion.

Juventus vs Lazio

Good start for the new interim Juventus coach, Ferrara last week, when his side won with ease, 3-0 away to Siena. Ferrara needs a good display again to have any chance of keeping the job. Juventus would want to come second in the table and it is fair to say that Juventus will be the only really motivated side on Sunday. Expect Juventus to be unchanged, with Marchisio playing from the start again. Lazio miss both their strikers Pandev and Zarate and their third striker, Rocchi is also in danger of missing the match. Mendicino and Kozak could start up front. Anyone ever heard of these guys? Very likely home win.

Napoli vs Chievo

It is amazing that only five points separate these two sides. A Napoli side with European ambitions, while Chievo were dead meat, bound to be relegated. I have enjoyed watching Chievo and their excellent brand of counter attacking football more than once in 2009. Napoli? Well, they won against Inter not so long ago, but that is it. Both Hamsik and Cannvaro are major injury doubts for Napoli and both Mannini and Pazienza will be missing. It looks like Lavezzi will play from the start this time, probably together with Denis. At the moment Pelissier, the Chievo striker, is probably hotter than Lavezzi. yes, Pelissier is included in the Italian squad. Why not the away win! (5.10).

(all games play Sunday May 31,2021)

Product Review: Puma King Allround TT

Posted by Kevin Walker Friday, May 29, 2021
This review has been a long time coming. I've had the King Allround Turf Trainer since early spring and have been wearing them not only for indoor play but also as a casual walking shoe. Quite simply the King Allround has an extremely comfortable feel for a sports shoe. Google the KING Allround TT and you'll discover numerous positive reviews across the web for example,

"awesome shoe - no more heel problems - My daughter has been experiencing heel problems on and off for about 2 years while playing soccer. A friend of mine recommended these turf shoes. I purchased them about 2 weeks ago and she has had no problems at all with her feet or heel. They work great in doors and out doors."

PUMA markets the shoe as a, "professional soccer shoe for use on hard natural surfaces and artificial turf" but the midsole CELL technology makes all the difference in the comfort zone.

King Allround TT Features
  • combines PUMA CELL ultimate cushioning and PUMA LITE leather for consistent comfort

  • PUMA LITE leather upper with a quilted vamp, Griptex ankle lining and distinctive pro-style foldover tongue

  • e+Cell in the heel, developed to address the weaknesses of a foam midsole. The Cell system has a structural array designed to ensure cushioning, stability and durability over the life of the shoe

  • everTrack multi-studded Ground Control outsole stud configuration design

  • bio-mechanically and anatomically proven stud positioning to evenly distribute pressure under a variety of conditions

  • utilizes "double-headed" studs designed for penetration without ground locking

An added bonus to comfort and a great fit is that the King Allround is quite reasonably priced and won't leave a dent in your wallet. I'd like to thank Puma Canada for supplying our test pair. I hope this review has been of help to Serie A Weekly readers and please leave your comments and opinions below. Next week we'll be looking at the PUMA LIGA XL TT boots.

Additional Pictures of The PUMA KING Allround TT

The New 2009-2010 AC Milan Kit

Posted by Kevin Walker
team AC Milan models new 2009-10 kitHere are some pictures of the new 2009-2010 AC Milan kit, not much changed but some nice detailing on the back collar with AC Milan embroidered on the back and on the inside of the collar a Forza AC Milan label. Don't care for the white coloured collar but the all black version looks very nice.

Also the AC Milan website announced earlier today an auction of team jerseys from the final home match for Paolo Maldini against AS Roma from last weekend. These jerseys have a patch and embroidery to celebrate the day. Profit from the auction goes to Fondazione Milan.

For additional information go to

AC Milan Auction Jerseys

frontal view of 2009-10 ACM jerseyback collar embroidery

Italy coach Marcello Lippi has called up eight uncapped players for Saturday’s friendly against Northern Ireland.

Defenders Fabio Grosso and Nicola Legrottaglie are the only men whose caps are into double figures, still, looking at Lippi's choices and anyone knowledgeable of Serie A this season, will know the squad sent to Northern Ireland is an extremely hard nut to crack. Giampaolo Pazzini is once again called up and has been a utter scoring machine with a goal per game since January for his new club Sampdoria. Brighi, DD'Agostino, Montolivoo and Mascara are coming off very good seasons with their clubs and young Giuseppe Rossi is on the scoring charts with 12 goals in 29 games for Villarreal in La Liga.

Azzurrii squad: Goalkeepers: Morgan DSanctisisGalatasarayay), FedericMarchettitiCagliariri).

DefendersMattiaiCassanini (Palermo), AndreDossenana (Liverpool), AlessandrGamberininiFiorentinana), FabiGrossosoOlympiqueue Lyon), AndreEspositotoLeccece), NicolLegrottaglieieJuventusus), DavidSantonon (Inter).

Midfielders: MarcBiagiantitiCataniaia), MatteBrighihi (Roma)Gaetanono AgostinonoUdinesese), DaniellGalloppapa (Siena), Rino Gattuso (Milan), Riccardo Montolivo (Fiorentina), Angelo Palombo (Sampdoria).

Strikers: Pasquale Foggia (Lazio), Giuseppe Mascara (Catania), Giampaolo Pazzini (Sampdoria), Sergio Pellissier (Chievo), Giuseppe Rossi (Villarreal).

Related Posts: Otto novità tra i convocati per l’amichevole Italia-Irlanda del Nord

BARCELONA Wins Champions League Final!

Posted by Kevin Walker Wednesday, May 27, 2021
Hurrah for the Catalan club as Barça greatness overcomes it's critics.

32 goals in 13 matches, "Manchester United simply not good enough on the evening" said ESPN announcer Derek Rae, in my opinion not good enough before the match began.

The myth of English club domination is extinguished after the first 10 minutes and is now under foot in the dust of Roman streets encircling the stadio Olimpico, with Manchester United fans holding heads low as they escape the celebrations of their opposite numbers.
The group of three Swiss referees, Massimo Busacca and his aides Matthias Arnet and Francesco Buragina, received Benedicts blessing after the general audience. The fans of both teams also gathered at St. Peters square to listen to the pope and entrust their team.

After 80 minutes the blessing is working as the Latins are winning with an early goal by Samuel Eto in the 10th minute and Lionel Messi at the 70th minute mark. OLE!!!

A Message to all my Protestant Brethren, All Roads Lead to Rome

Hi this is Special K and today’s Minute+5 I’m joined by our own “El Presidente”, Mando Garcia from LaLigaWeekly and ForzaFutbol fame. We discuss this evenings Champions League Final between FC Barcelona and current Cup holders Manchester United.

A Mando Minute: The Champions League Final

Listen Now: OGN Minute+5 Podcast - Champions League Final

Champions League: Everything Heating Up With the Arrival of Barca

Posted by Kevin Walker Tuesday, May 26, 2021
One of our friend sites have some excellent pics posted on the arrival of Barcelona in Rome for the Champions League Final tomorrow evening, Bienvenidos, Barca!

“Manchester United have quality everywhere. So many good players. But if I had to pick one out it would be Ronaldo. We must not pay all attention to him and forget about Berbatov, Rooney and Carlos Tevez,” said Messi.

Are you ready to pick your all-star eleven for Serie A? Over the next 7 days I'll be asking OGN bloggers and podcasters who they think deserves the title of 2008-2009 all-star and look forward to see who makes the list. Please follow along and make your own comments here at Serie A Weekly on who you feel is deserving of the title Best XI.

Paolo Maldini Farewell Pictures At The San Siro

Posted by Kevin Walker Monday, May 25, 2021

1. Captain Milan salutes fans end of final match at the stadio San Siro

2. Roma Captain and Azzurri teammate Francesco Totti says goodbye to Maldini

3. Farewell lap by Captain Milano

Monday Morning Football Paper Review

Posted by Kevin Walker
Lots of news from the weekend events in Italian football, kicking things off with Roma sending Milan spiralling, a channel4 match review. Roma continued in their winning ways at the San Siro on Sunday defeating AC Milan 3-2 with a deadball winner from captain Francesco Totti just outside the area. Second place is all in the balance as the Rossoneri risk losing automatic Champions League qualification after the epic defeat to Roma...

Francesco Totti's free-kick seal a Europa League spot and ruin Paolo Maldini's last home appearance before retirement. (see video highlight of the first Riise goal in our sidebar zone)

Next up, Ultras boo Captain Maldini and Milan delay decision on Carlo Ancelotti's future until end of season. As AC Captain Maldini made his farewell lap of honour to wave at San Siro fan a a small group in the Curva Sud staged a protest, holding banners and chanting the name of Franco Baresi, who wore the armband before Maldini took over in 1997. “There is only one captain,” said these supporters. Regarding Manager Ancelotti's departure, it seems the club have decided to delay the announcement after they failed to guarantee automatic qualification for next season's Champions League following the 3-2 defeat at home to Roma on Sunday.

L'Equipe is reporting in Monday's edition , Viera wants to stay at Inter Milan "I want to stay at Inter. I feel good here. However, this desire has to be shared by everyone,"

Finally, (AP)Del Piero speaks out on the sacking of Ranieri at Juventus with, Del Piero 'didn't understand' Ranieri senting a scathing message to Claudio Ranieri after scoring two on his comeback to the first XI.“I think that Ranieri has a way of seeing things that only he can truly explain” said Del Piero. Captain Juventus had been repeatedly dropped by the previous tactician, but Ciro Ferrara put him in the starting XI and he scored twice in the 3-0 win at Siena.
Once again I’m joined by Dave (Dov) Schiavone from Italian Football Fancast as we discuss the scudetto winners Inter Milan. What changes are we going to see at the club over the summer with several big names possibly moving on. Give the pod a listen and please leave us your comments.

Minute+5 On Internazionale

Poll: Shingle At Juventus Reads New Manager Required

Posted by Kevin Walker Sunday, May 24, 2021

Juventus have been linked with numerous managers since dropping the hammer on Claudio Ranieri, first time in over 40 years a Bianconeri manager has been let go during a season. Now the race is on to determine Ranieri's replacement. Will he be Italian? Will he be from abroad? Will he be an former Juventus player? Your guess is as good as mine so place your vote in this week's Serie A Weekly Poll.
Looks like little room for the reserves today as Inter Manager Mourinho prepares to put on a good show for the islanders of Sardinia.

Noticeables in the lineup are striker Mario Balotelli, midfielders Zanetti, Cambiasso, Viera, and defenders Samuel and Cordoba. Toldo will get the run out for Julio Cesar in goal and young Santon should be seen at right-back.

Swedish international Zlatan Ibrahimovic will also make an appearance in the starting XI as he tries to consolidate a golden shoe victory over current leader Bologna forward Marco Di Vaio.

Cagliari forward Robert Acquafresca will partner with Jeda as he faces-off against his owner-club. Aquafresca has been on loan from Inter since the beginning of the season. Acquafresca was involved in the David Suazo transfer, which saw him move to Cagliari on a co-ownership deal. There, he has played 22 games and scored nine goals.
On 25 June 2021 it was confirmed that Inter had bought Cagliari's 50% of Acquafresca, making them his sole club, however he will be loaned back to Cagliari for the 2008-09 season.

For the full Starting XI see: Cagliari v. Inter Milan Starting XIs


Posted by Kevin Walker

Ronaldo is in a pinch for hair pulling and will go to trial reports the AP this week. Yes it seems the Brazilian and former Galaticos, now with Corinthans will have to face a sports tribunal for pinching and hair pulling Botafago defender Fahel. TV images show the European Player of the Year grabbing Fahel inside the area as he tries to regain possession.

Player Profile: A Date With History For Paolo Maldini

Posted by Kevin Walker Friday, May 22, 2021
On Sunday May 24th Captain Paolo Maldini will say goodbye to the Rossoneri supporters at the San Siro stadium, in his final match for AC Milan against capital rivals AS Roma. Two months ago Maldini announced that he will be finally retiring at the end of the 2008-09 season and on May 17th Maldini played his 900th match for the Rossoneri against Udinese.

This finale is not going to be a gentle affair as visitors Roma cannot afford to make it a meaningless encounter, with their European placing in the balance. With 2 matches to go in the 2008-09 Serie A season Roma are a mere 2-points ahead of Palermo in the race for sixth place while AC Milan require a win to maintain their 3 point lead over Juventus for an automatic birth in next season's Champions League. This match day should be a rock'em sock'em event between two traditional top four clubs and quite possibly one Maldini's most memorable appearances in the Milan jersey.

Paolo Maldini The Living Legend

In other news Maldini has tipped Milan midfielder and playmaker Kaka to replace him as captain.

Podcast: A Minute+5 On Winds Of Change At Juve

Posted by Kevin Walker Thursday, May 21, 2021
This Minute+5 I’m joined by Dave (Dov) Schiavone from Italian Football Fancast as we discuss the changes at Juventus, Goodbye Claudio Ranieri, Welcome back Fabio Cannavaro or maybe… not hmmm, give the pod a listen.

Serie A Weekly Minute+5 With Dov

Inter Milan: Scudetto Victory And Summer Transfers

Posted by Kevin Walker Tuesday, May 19, 2021
Congratulations to Inter Milan winning their fourth consecutive scudetto, now starts speculation on whose leaving and who is coming to the Nerazzurri in the off-season.

Word on the street is Swedish International Zlatan Ibrahimović might be on the way out. Surely Juventus his previous employer is not on the radar screen. Ibrahimovic was one of the players who jumped ship after the calciopoli scandal hit Turin, another player to leave was Fabio Cannavaro. That brings to mind the issue of a returning Cannavaro to Serie A.

It is beyond my understanding why Juventus, who are continually waging the attack on Champions League success, would attempt to bring back the aging Cannavaro. Lets face it his best years are fading and even though his current club Real Madrid still claim interest, they have yet to prove it with a new contract.

At the beginning of the 2008-2009 season speculation was Azzurri captain Cannavaro would find his way home in a bigger way with a move to Napoli. Naples of course is the city of his birth but with all the Juventus transfer maybees Silva, Diego, Cannavaro etc., I'm left wondering if Napoli is where Juventus should be in the selection process, already turning down any return of city favorite Cannavaro. Napoli, another club with huge expectations in Europe, is building a future centered on youth verse experience. I'll have to ask my Forza Futbol partner in crime Gene Gallucci his opinions on this intriguing situation in a future episode so stay tuned for a hot summer.

Back To Inter
Another name requiring mention as the summer transfer period rapidly approaches is, Hernan Crespo. Always the bridesmaid and never the bride is Crespo's dilemma never mind his inability to evade the reach of manager Mourinho. Here's hoping Hernan can make a jump he can live with and hopefully gain some quality playing time, something that will always be in short supply at Inter under a manager who has soured on him.

Finally, three other players up for grabs are Inter's loan transfers Ricardo Quaresma, David Suazo and Robert Aquafresca playing for Chelsea, Benfica and Cagliari respectively. Mourinho insisted Inter bring Quaresma to the club but so far it's all egg on your face Jose as Quaresma was the biggest Serie A transfer bust of the season. Quaresma was quickly carted off to EPL side Chelsea at the midway point of the contest.

Turning to the Imports
The gossip mill is churning overtime with names like Diego Milito, Fabio Quagliarella & Thiago Motta all making their way to Nerazzurri. Inter President Massimo Moratti said: "Our market will not be spectacular, but balanced, learning to sell to take the pieces we need. (which helps to confirm big names and/or expensive acquisitions are leaving) I hear I read that I have already signed Milito, but there are not the global conditions to do this!"

There are a number of clubs after Argentinean striker Diego Milito, scoring 20 goals in 29 appearances this season. To sign Milito’s Genoa team-mate Thiago Motta, Inter are willing to pay €15 million, give full ownership of Robert Aquafresca and Emiliano Viviano to Genoa and also send Leonardo Bonucci on loan as part of the deal. 26-year-old Fabio Quagliarella has scored 20 goals in all play for Udinese this season, and has been quoted recently saying he is ready for a move to a bigger club.

Noon Update
I've just been informed by Serie A Weekly guest writer Dave Schiavone Juventus have just signed Cannavaro this morning wow talk about a timely but late piece and shocking stuff, will Juventus Ultras and tifosi welcome back a man who left them in their hour of need? We shall see.

Related Articles

channel4 Football Italia: Official - Cannavaro joins Juve
Serie A Weekly: Poll-Will Didier Drogba Make The Move To Inter?
Serie A Weekly: Mourinho The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly
Special K at Serie A Talk: Ricardo Quaresma Unplugged Intro

SerieAWeekly Shirt Give Away

Posted by Kevin Walker Monday, May 18, 2021
Back in December announced Francesco Totti was going to change boots and go with a new supplier.I'm still in the dark on which company he has gone with and will find out today but to make things interesting I thought it was time to see whose reading those subscribed to emails so it's time for a Serie A Weekly Give Away.

The first Serie A Weekly reader to email owngoalnetwork[at]live[dot]ca identifying the name of the shoe manufacturer Totti is currently sporting gets him or herself a free MySerieA T-shirt. Contest is open to Canadian and US readers only.

The shirt is black with the MySerieA logo over the left chest with a map of all the 08-09 Serie A clubs on the back and comes in either L or XL sizing.

If you enjoy following Italian Serie A Football and haven't visited yet, I suggest a visit soon and make sure to join up for a season of fantasy football before September. the fantasy football website specifically designed for that Serie A fan experience.

Hi folks I bet you've been wondering where Special K has gotten to?

Well I've been watching an abundance of good footie. This weekend was jam packed with good sport including, ...

  • the Ligue One leaders race of Bordeaux, Marseille and Lyon,

  • a goal-fest between Captial side Roma and Sicilian visitors Catania,

  • anti-climatic events as scudetto winners Inter and premiership winners Manchester United were decided prior to matches on Sunday.
I thought I'd start things off with a quick review of the morning articles across the net already making waves.

Right away let us mention the sacking news of Juventus manager Claudio Ranieri. Channel4 was reporting earlier today the demise of Ranieri but really was it that much of a surprise? The Bianconeri have been out of sorts ever since their defeat to Chelsea in Champions League those many weeks ago and all of us have been debating the when and not why of this managerial change. Oh poor Claudio out in the cold yet again as his side have not been able to deliver on the promised return to leadership glory domestically or on the European club stage better known as Champions League. The real salt in the wound for Ranieri and club was obviously allowing arch-rivals AC Milan to slip by them into second place in Serie A, oh the shame of it. Ciro Ferrara will be caretaker Coach for the two match finale to the season.

Next on the to-read-list would have to be the Battle in France as Gourcuff Strikes Again with Sports Features mentioning the incredible performance of AC Milan's loan player at Bordeaux. Bordeaux went three points clear after fighting out a narrow 3-2 victory at home to Le Mans in which they had to come from behind not once but twice. It was their ninth successive league win and ensured an end to Lyon’s record-breaking run of seven consecutive championship victories.

Strike Three! for Relegation Blues as West Brom in the EPL are officially on their way down. My local paper the Toronto Sun reported on this wowful story as yet again West Brom fail to remain in topflight. West Brom's 22nd loss means hello Championship and this will be the third time in seven seasons the Baggies are sent relegation packing.

Finally, with a lack luster season at AC Milan for Brazilian playmaker Ronaldinho, Fox Sports has just printed an article on the South American super-star rejecting reports linking him with a move to Manchester City. The question(s) now are, is Ronny going to stick with Serie A? What about that possible return to the motherland and a spot along fellow party animal Adriano at Flamengo? And will the British ever find themselves a new super-star EPL arrival to gab about? Stay tuned folks as the summer transfer window opens for business.

Podcast: A Minute+5 On Coppa Italia

Posted by Kevin Walker Wednesday, May 13, 2021
This Minute+5 I’m joined by David (Dov) Schiavone from Italian Football Fancast as we discuss the midweek Coppa Italia between Sampdoria and after four long years the return of Lazio to the Cup final, give it a listen.

Both clubs have won the Coppa Italia a total of four times, Sampdoria's last win was the 1993-94 season against Ancona with Lazio winning Coppa Italia 2003-04 against Juventus.

Serie A Weekly Minute+5 With Dov

Podcast: A Minute+5 On AC Milan - Juventus Holding Hands

Posted by Kevin Walker Tuesday, May 12, 2021
This Minute+5 I’m joined by David (Dov) Schiavone from Italian Football Fancast as we discuss the weekend events of Matchday 35. First up, the battle for second place between AC Milan and Juventus at the San Siro.

Sit back and enjoy the show and please send us your feedback to,

Serie A Weekly Minute+5 With Dov

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Serie A Match Day 35 Round Up: Juventus No Closer

Posted by Kevin Walker Monday, May 11, 2021
Three games left in the season and the standings in Serie A are pretty much decided at the top. Juventus failed to pull back any points from AC Milan with the clubs drawing 1-1 on Sunday. Goals came from Clarence Seedorf and Vincenzo Iaquinta as the teams approached the final 30 minutes. Veteran defender Favalli was sent off in the 86th minute.

One man very pleased by the outcome was Inter president Massimo Moratti as his team was unable to overcome the flying donkeys of Serie A , AC Chievo and would require a second goal by young Inter forwarder Mario Balotelli to salvage the point with Luciano scoring moments later for the homeside.

Moratti told SkySports, “Certainly my spirit is better now because Juventus have given us a hand in a beautiful game between two sides that gave their all and in the end 1-1 was the right result,” Moratti told Sky Italia.

Other good news for AC Milan , Football Italia are reporting Kaka Will Stay

With 6 draws on match day 35 we saw a punters nightmare, yet the league clubs would combine for a total of 28 goals and yet again surpass the lagging EPL in offensive output.

Complete Match Day 35 Results

Saturday, May 9th
Sampdoria 5 - 0 Reggina
Lazio 1 - 3 Udinese

Sunday, May 10th
Atalanta 1 - 1 Genoa
Cagliari 2 - 2 AS Roma
Catania 0 - 2 Fiorentina
Chievo 2 - 2 Inter Milan
Lecce 1 - 1 Napoli
Siena 1 - 0 Palermo
Torino 1 - 1 Bologna
AC Milan 1 - 1 Juventus

Il Grande Torino: Gone but not Forgotten

Posted by David Schiavone Wednesday, May 6, 2021
May 4th 2009 witnessed the 60th anniversary of the Superga air disaster. It is a day remembered throughout Italy, with a sense of tragedy and mysticism, but ultimately fondness. Il Grande Torino as the side were affectionately known, were undoubtedly the best side in Italy, in Europe and arguably the World. It is a tragedy in itself that this moment is not given the worldwide coverage, Il Grande Torino deserve.

The players and staff of Torino perished when the Avio Linee Italiane Fiat G-212 plane carrying them crashed into the side of the Basilica of Superga, situated on a hill overlooking Turin. It was a tragedy that shocked the world of Calcio and the city of Turin even more so. Two days later, 500,000 people attended the funeral procession in Turin and at the time the cities population was 600,000. A staggering figure that merely cements the value this team had to the city itself.

At the time Torino were well on the way to a fifth straight Serie A title. They were a symbol of hope and the regeneration of Italy, as the country rose from the ashes of Fascism and the Second World War. They were pioneers, being the first Italian side to play in South America, and could count Eva Peron as a fan.

Torino were returning from a match against Benfica, the game was a testimonial of sorts for Jose Ferreira, a very good friend of Torino captain Valentino Mazzola. After being diverted to land in Milan due to a thunderstorm and subsequent low cloud and poor visibility then at 5:04pm precisely the plane went down. The entire 18-man squad perished, as did the coaching staff, journalists and crew. There were no survivors.

Il Grande Torino was the vision of club President Ferruccio Novo. He was a paternal and personal in his relationships with players and staff, he created a special atmosphere in Torino, he employed the best coaches who could nurture the talent he brought to the club. He brought in foreign coaches such as Englishman Leslie Lievesley and Hungarian Egri Erbstein. Both brought new ideas, better training methods and innovative tactics.

With the outbreak of war it took a quick thinking man in Novo to keep his players at home in Torino by citing they were working at his FIAT plant on the production line. This man had kept the players together, even if they weren’t playing football, the bond of the team was being formed

The leader of the side was captain Valentino Mazzola, he was an exceptional man, with the charisma and character with drove the side forward during times when all looked lost. He had quick feet, a masterful touch complimented with the physique of an ox. His presence was most prevalent during a match against Lazio in 1948, Torino were 3-0 down but came back to win 4-3. This match was also made famous by a legendary banner that read ‘il quarto d’ora Granata’ which translates as ‘the maroon 15 minutes’.

Il Grande Torino holds the record of most consecutive league titles jointly with Juventus at five. Most consecutive games undefeated in a year at 21. Most points and most home wins in a season. In 1947/48 Torino scored 471 goals in five seasons between 1945 and 1949, and during their peak in 1948 only 15 players featured in the campaigns 40 matches. At the Stadio Filadelfia Torino were unbeaten in 93 matches between 1943 and 1949 laying down a record of 83 wins and 10 draws.

This team was truly remarkable. If disaster hadn’t have struck maybe Torino would be the most successful club side in the world.

Another event, which highlights the importance of Il Grande Torino, took place during 1947 when Italy played a Hungary side containing Ferenc Puskas, and all ten outfield players were from Torino.

Immediately after the disaster, Torino did secure their fifth consecutive Serie A title by playing their youth side and as a mark of respect their remaining four opponents, Palermo, Sampdoria, Fiorentina and Genoa all played their youth sides.

The heartbreak of the club lasted until 1976 when they won their only Scudetto after Superga. The day after the league was won the Torino fans marched up the hill to Superga. They players also tried to make their way to pay tribute as well but as club captain Renato Zaccarelli explains, it was impossible, “The day after the match there was a massive march when all the fans walked to Superga. It was spontaneous and the team tried to go up to it, but there was such a line of people.”

The only player from the legendary side did not make the trip and survived, he was Sauro Toma. Toma makes a pilgrimage to Superga every year and despite being over 80 years old, the sadness and heartache such an event must cause can only be imagined.

Regarded as the best club side Italy has ever produced, Il Grande Torino shall never be forgotten in the minds of all Calcio fans.

Player Focus: Fabio Cannavaro, A Step In The Wrong Direction?

Posted by Kevin Walker Monday, May 4, 2021
Real Madrid's Fabio Cannavaro and Liverpool's Fernando Torres (R)fight for the ball during their Champions League soccer match at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid February 25, 2009.Juventus need to strengthen their back line, that is apparent, but is Fabio Cannavaro the right man to lead the Bianconeri in the next decade? His protracted return to the Old Lady seems like a step in the wrong direction for Italy’s most successful team.

It has come to light this week that Fabio Cannavaro may be on the verge of a sensational return to Turin. As has been the case since January, Cannavaro has been free to negotiate with other clubs as his contract with Real Madrid expires in the summer. Rumours have flown from Russia to France via Manchester and Milan, whilst not forgetting hometown club Napoli. A club he has said he wants to end his career with.

But a curveball from leftfield was thrown when Cannavaro’s agent Enrico Fedele confirmed he was in talks with Juventus. “A month ago, Juventus asked if Fabio was still available and we began discussions after I had spoken to the player. Juve behaved totally correctly and approached Real Madrid first. Fabio would be very, very happy to return to the Bianconeri and would take a sizeable pay cut.”

This move has had a varied response from those associated with Juventus. Manager Claudio Ranieri has been very welcoming of the Azzurri captain. “When I was consulted about this I gave the go-ahead”, Ranieri said.

Giorgio Chiellini has also been supportive of the move, adding, “He would be a great signing for Juventus. We cannot forget that Cannavaro is a Ballon d’Or winner and the captain of the Italian national side. You can talk about his decision to leave the club when we were demoted to Serie B, but you cannot question his value as a player and as a man. We can all learn something from him.”

It is this decision to leave Juve that has left a bitter taste in the mouth of the tifosi, and the general consensus from them is that he would not be welcome at the Stadio Olimpico. However, much to Fabio’s credit he has made a plea to the fans, “I have explained my decision to leave 1000 times and I am ready to do it again. I am not worried because I will talk to the supporters.” Cannavaro states.

Juve legend Jose Altafini is critical of the decision to sign the 35 year old, “I don’t see how Cannavaro alone can resolve Juventus’ defensive problems. Age counts more in defence than in any other position and Juventus’ backline is already slow.”

It is believed Cannavaro will be offered a 4-year deal. One year playing with the opportunity to extend if he intends to carry on playing after the 2010 World Cup. After retirement Fabio will then move into a directors role.

If the move turns into reality then Fabio will link up with Chiellini in defence, a man he knows very well from the national side and thus will form a strong partnership quickly. He will also have behind him an old friend and teammate Gianluigi Buffon, who he spent 8 years at club level with. His experience will also prove invaluable to the young players at the Bianconeri.
But to me this move is a step in the wrong direction for Juventus. They do need to improve the defence, but at full back not centre. Chiellini and Legrottaglie have formed a formidable partnership this season, but Grygera, Molinaro and Mellberg have not been up to the Juve standard.

Whether his acquisition will be a success remains to be seen, but I feel Juve should be looking to strengthen the backline with more youthful talents not an aging star, regardless of how good he once was.

- Guest writer, David Schiavone

Serie A Match Day 34: All The Scores

Posted by Kevin Walker
Genoa and Fiorentina continue to battle for fourth position as both win on match day 34. In the Genoa derby David Milito scored another 3 goals taking him to 19 on the top goalscorers chart. The Argentinian should have scored a fourth goal but Sampdoria keeper Castellazzi was able to make an incredible one-handed save to deny the South American. After slipping from his defender at the top of the box, Milito swiveled quickly switching the ball to his right foot,and placed (what seemed an impossible strike to stop) the ball just inside the post, low and away from Castellazzi. (see goal highlights of the Genoa derby below)

Milito is just two goals behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marco Di Vaio in the race for this year's golden boot award.

Genoa Derby Highlights

Juventus slip another 2 points behind AC Milan after drawing Lecce 2-2. For much of the game the Old Lady trailed their visitors and required second half goals from their Czech veteran Pavel Nedved to hold Lecce at bay.

Finally, five-star Milan beat Catania 2-0 and keep stride with Inter. Once again Pippo Inzaghi proves his detractors wrong and continued to be the poacher extreme scoring his 14th goal of the season.
Inzaghi had at least two more excellent opportunities in front of goal with one hitting the post, the other over the bar. Club Vice-president Adriano Galliani spoke to Sportmediaset after the match, “Inter are more consistent, but we are playing the better football,” Thanks to Juventus' 2-2 draw with Lecce, the Rossoneri have extended their lead to four points.

At one point TV cameras panned the seating area where Galliani was sitting to record his disappointment as Inzaghi failed to convert the additional chances. It felt to me like the entire club was urging Inzaghi on in the goal race.

Saturday 2 May 2021

Bologna 1 - 2 Reggina
Inter Milan 2 - 0 Lazio

Sunday, 3 May 2021

AS Roma 0 - 0 Chievo
Catania 0 - 2 AC Milan
Fiorentina 1 - 0 Torino
Juventus 2 - 2 Lecce
Palermo 5 - 1 Cagliari
Siena 2 - 1 Napoli
Udinese 3 - 0 Atalanta
Genoa 3 - 1 Sampdoria

Mourinho: "I'm Man Enough To Apologise To Milan If..."

Posted by Kevin Walker Friday, May 1, 2021 - In today's press conference ahead of Saturday's clash against Lazio, Mourinho responded to the comments made in recent days by AC Milan, who claimed that the gap at the top would be smaller if it hadn't been for Adriano's goal in the derby, and their midfielder Massimo Ambrosini, who said that Mourinho will live to regret saying that the Rossoneri will end the season with 'zero titles'.

"I think it's right to talk about a goal that some people think is dubious, but we should also talk about how many points have been won with irregular penalties," pointed out Mourinho. "But I prefer not to talk about it because if I do, I will have to talk about many many other things, and it's not worth it. In a championship with human errors, the best always wins. We just have to wait a while longer, but there's not long to go."

"I have no regrets. I'm man enough to apologise to Milan if, at the end of the season, I'm wrong," said the Inter coach about his 'zero titles' taunt. "I remember Ambrosini insulting ten million Inter fans when he celebrated the Champions League victory. Many years have passed and I have never seen him apologise. He's a charismatic player who has captained a great club like Milan, but I have never heard him apologise to the Inter fans, many of whom live in his same city."

Turning his attention to Saturday's visit of the Biancocelesti, Mourinho commented on the absences of Mario Balotelli and Dejan Stankovic, who miss the match through suspension, before hinting at the return of Sulley Muntari.

"Balotelli was playing very well but suspensions come in the championship and I don't see his absence as a drama because it means there won't be any risk of suspension in the last four games," Mourinho said. "Mario had adapted very well to our way of playing and so had Stankovic, who is a very important player for us when we play with a diamond midfield because he's the man we have used most behind the strikers. But Muntari trained fully with the team today and he didn't have any negative reaction."

With five games of the season left to play and a seven-point advantage at the top of the table, Mourinho has reason to be optimistic. "I'm expecting a very difficult game against Lazio, but we need three victories to win the championship. We just have to think about ourselves, and having a seven-point lead is important because it increases our confidence," he said. "I'm confident in the team. In Palermo we played one of our best first halves of the season, then we went to Turin where we played our most complete game of the season. Then we got knocked out of the Tim Cup against Sampdoria but the boys played with great spirit and empathy with the fans. And then we dropped three points in a very difficult game against Napoli, even if we deserved to draw, but this is football.

"This story of seven points is a curious story because we had this advantage for months, then we had a ten-point lead for a few games, but the lead has always been between five and seven points. Now there are just five games left and we still have this lead. Excluding the Dutch and Cypriot championships, where two teams are already champions, no other team in Europe has a lead like ours, and everyone here is talking about this story of the 5th of May."

On 5 May 2002, Inter lost out on the league title after a 4-2 defeat to Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico. Mourinho's memory is filled with more significant dates. "I remember the 1st of May, the 25th of April, which has a special meaning for you Italians and another for us Portuguese," he said. "I remember the 25th of December and the 26th of January, which is my birthday. I remember the 4th of November and the 2nd of February, but I don't know what significance the 5th of May has. If you ask me when I won the Champions League with Porto, I can tell you, but I don't know the day I lost the Champions League semi-final. Inter has to remember its important dates, not necessarily the 5th of May. And I can promise you that the day I win the Scudetto, I will remember it forever."

Serie A Match Day 34: Preview

Posted by Kevin Walker

This weekend's matches to watch are,

Genoa vs Sampdoria (4th place vs derby pride) ,

Inter vs Lazio (scudetto run),

Cagliari vs Palermo (a battle for Europe)

(home team listed on the right for 2nd leg)

Will Sampdoria be spoilers in the Derby della Laterna?

In 78 meetings Sampdoria has gained the upperhand with Genoa winning only 17 times. Latest odds have however tipped the hottest match of the week to go to Genoa CFC. Genoa won 1-0 in their first meeting of the season, but I wouldn't bet against Sampdoria getting their revenge against their derby opponents, who also happen to be battling Fiorentina for that forth Champions League spot.

The Rossoblu currently sit fourth, but are just two points ahead of Fiorentina as they dream of a first ever appearance in the Champions League. Coming off of back to back defeats to Bologna and Lazio, Genoa will be looking to regain their prior form which enabled them to win 4 straight, including a memorable victory against the Old Lady (Juventus). In that match Brazilian midfielder Thiago Motta netted two crucial goals against Gigi Buffon.

Both sides should be fully fit for this match with Sampdoria hitmen Cassano and Pazzini in top form and Genoa ace Diego Milito and back in the drivers seat with his returned from injury.

"I am happy to prove I can score even without Cassano"
- Giampaolo Pazzini SOURCE: Irish Examiner

Special K prediction: over 2.5 goals

Related Posts

AFP - Genoa target Champions League spot, Inter eye Serie A

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