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Last Sunday afternoon, calcio lost one of its most colorful and controversial characters in Giorgio Chinaglia. While most (including myself) tend to associate ‘Long John’ with his whirlwind stint with the New York Cosmos, the Tuscan-born striker enjoyed several fine years with Lazio, including winning both the scudetto and capocannoniere in the 1973-74 season. He finished out his career in the United States, playing alongside all-time greats such as Pele and Franz Beckenbauer for the New York Cosmos, where he [...]

Posted by Frank Lopapa On Apr - 6 - 2012 Comments Off READ FULL POST

If one were to view the rosters for each of Italy’s four World Cup triumphs, one would notice a pattern; the core of the team was comprised of Juventus players. Not only that, but Juventus players made key contributions in each of these championship winning sides, names such as Orsi, Monti, Rossi, Gentile, Buffon, and Del Piero spring to mind. Juventus also has the distinction of being the club that has produced the most Italian internationals as well as being [...]

Posted by Frank Lopapa On Mar - 29 - 2012 Comments Off READ FULL POST

One of Europe’s most promising defenders doesn’t play for a powerhouse like Manchester United or Milan or Real Madrid, nor does he play for a club more known for unearthing (or producing) gems like Porto or Udinese; rather, he plays in Serie B for a team who hasn’t won a major trophy in nearly twenty years. He plays for Torino. Ogbonna would certainly be more widely known if he left the Piemontese side in the past couple seasons; however, he [...]

Posted by Frank Lopapa On Mar - 22 - 2012 Comments Off READ FULL POST

One of the more intriguing battles in Serie A in recent years has often surrounded the fight for fourth place and a chance to play in the next season’s Champions League. Much of its intrigue stemmed from the fact that on some occasions, an unexpected team would occupy that coveted position by season’s end (see Sampdoria in 09/10 and Udinese last year). With Italy losing a Champions League spot, the battle is now centered on third place, and it is [...]

Posted by Frank Lopapa On Mar - 15 - 2012 Comments Off READ FULL POST

When we last left the relegation race, it looked as though there wasn’t much hope for any of the three teams rooted to the bottom. While that still may be the case for the bottom two, Lecce have gone undefeated in their past four matches which has left them only four points from safety. The biggest development so far, however, is that Parma have suddenly joined the race after a 2-1 defeat to Napoli last weekend. Last season Parma finished [...]

Posted by Frank Lopapa On Mar - 7 - 2012 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Saturday evening will be a strange one for Andrea Pirlo. This time last season he had fallen out of favor with his manager as his Milan teammates charged through Serie A en route to their 18th scudetto. Twelve months later he has become an integral part in orchestrating Juventus’ offense as they make their own charge for the league title. The midfield maestro was extremely important in the way Milan played in the early to mid 2000s; with the rossoneri [...]

Posted by Frank Lopapa On Feb - 24 - 2012 Comments Off READ FULL POST

This is the time of year when the table starts to balance itself out, and pundits start discussing who’s still a serious contender for the scudetto and who’s still competing for a Champions League spot. So what’s stopping us from taking a look at the other end of the table, seeing who’s in the relegation zone and who might be joining them? Right now the three teams in sitting at the bottom are Lecce, Cesena, and newly promoted Novara. All [...]

Posted by Frank Lopapa On Feb - 18 - 2012 Comments Off READ FULL POST

After weeks of rumours and hand-wringing negotiations, Martin Caceres finally returns to Juventus from Sevilla  on loan for the rest of the season. Juventus will initially pay €1.5 million and an additional €8 million in the summer to make the move permanent. The Uruguayan defender was already once on the books for Juventus during the disastrous 2009-10 season on loan from Barcelona; however, due to injuries and a high permanent transfer fee, he returned to Spain and eventually signed on [...]

Posted by Frank Lopapa On Jan - 26 - 2012 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Let’s rewind back to August, in the days leading up to the (delayed) Serie A season. If someone told you that Udinese would be tied for first place two games before the winter break, you would have probably laughed, and rightfully so, considering that the Friuli side lost two of their best players in Alexis Sanchez and Gökhan Inler to Barcelona and Napoli respectively. And yet, here we are; Udinese are currently tied for first with Juventus at 30 points, [...]

Posted by Frank Lopapa On Dec - 15 - 2011 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Tomorrow’s encounter at the Etihad stadium will prove to be one of Manchester City’s most important in its recent history, needing a win against an already-through Bayern Munich side as winners of Group A. Eyes in Manchester will also been on the Villarreal-Napoli tie where a Napoli win would eliminate the Citizens from the competition; otherwise, their Champions League adventure will be over with the Europa League beckoning. On the previous matchday, Bayern eased past a sinking Villarreal side on [...]

Posted by Frank Lopapa On Dec - 7 - 2011 3 Comments READ FULL POST

Juventus host Genoa Saturday night, with both teams coming off scoreless draws last weekend against Chievo and Lecce respectively. Juventus After last week’s 0-0 draw in Verona, Juventus remain at the top of Serie A, with 12 points from their first six games; along with Udinese they are the only team in the league without a defeat. News coming out of Italy yesterday reported that Gigi Buffon suffered a shoulder injury in training on Thursday, leaving him in doubt for [...]

Posted by Frank Lopapa On Oct - 22 - 2011 Comments Off READ FULL POST

On Sunday Juventus host Milan in the first big competitive match at their shiny new stadium. In lieu of writing a traditional preview, I’ve decided to take a look at some points to watch out for during the course of the match. 1) Which lineup will Antonio Conte deploy? During the first three games, Conte used his favored attacking 4-4-2 against teams that played similar formations in Parma, Siena, and Bologna. During last weekend’s match against Catania, however, Conte used [...]

Posted by Frank Lopapa On Sep - 30 - 2011 Comments Off READ FULL POST

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