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23 June 2008 @ 07:13 pm

Gennaro Gattuso believes the only problem with Italy’s Euro 2008 was physical, causing their “lack of sharpness.”

“Aside from the opening match, the only thing we were really lacking was the sharpness we had in the World Cup.

“The spirit was the same and so was our desire to amaze and find our place in history, but our legs didn’t carry us as well.”

The Azzurri crashed out of the competition in a quarter-final penalty shoot-out to Spain after 120 minutes of goalless football.

“We are very upset, which is natural when you are part of a squad and wear the Azzurri shirt. I am very proud to wear this jersey and be part of this team, as we proved we never give in.

“We won the World Cup on penalties and lost Euro 2008 on spot-kicks, so it’s understandable. You can train for penalties all you like, but when you get there the legs are shaking and it can go against you.

“Sometimes it goes well, sometimes it doesn’t. It is human to make mistakes. Practising isn’t really effective, as when you are there in front of the fans with the whole nation hanging on your shoulders, it does things to your mind.”

Gattuso was suspended for this match and watched from the stands along with teammate Andrea Pirlo.

“The team was missing Pirlo for the way he moves the ball around, without taking anything away from the other players,” noted Rino.

Now question marks hang over Roberto Donadoni’s future, as it was reported before the tournament that anything less than a semi-final would be considered a failure.

“We have great respect for Donadoni and he is a good man who puts a lot of passion into his work and tells you to your face what he thinks, which in my view is very important.”


Channel 4 
 
 
23 June 2008 @ 07:12 pm
Quarter-finals, 22/6/08 (19.45 UK)
Spain 0 - 0 Italy aet (4-2 on pens)
 
Vienna, Austria
  

Italy are out of Euro 2008 after a penalty shoot-out, Iker Casillas saving from Antonio Di Natale and Daniele De Rossi. Spain go through to face Russia in the semi-final.

The statistics were on the Azzurri's side, as they were undefeated in competitive matches against Spain since the 1920 Olympics and their last official meeting was a 2-1 win in the 1994 World Cup quarter-final. The Iberians qualified from the group phase with a 100 per cent record, but in all the quarter-finals so far the group winners had gone out.

Andrea Pirlo and Gennaro Gattuso sat out bans and were replaced by Alberto Aquilani - making his Euro 2008 debut - and Massimo Ambrosini, but the rest of the line-up that defeated France 2-0 remained unchanged. Luis Aragones rested his stars in the 2-1 win over Greece and returned to the same XI that won its opening two games. In a bid to end his goal drought, Luca Toni grew a moustache as a superstitious gesture.

A deflected David Villa effort was easy pickings for Gigi Buffon and Antonio Cassano's wonderful turn and pass for Simone Perrotta was intercepted at the last second, but Spain were giving away a lot of free kicks and Andres Iniesta was booked after 11 minutes for a late challenge on Fabio Grosso.

Ambrosini did brilliantly to perform a crucial tackle on Fernando Torres in the box. However, moments later Ambrosini was fortunate to get away with a touch on Villa's calf in the penalty area.

Ambrosini crossed for Perrotta's fairly weak header straight at Iker Casillas, then the Milan midfielder dispossessed a Spaniard only to pass it too long for Toni.

Buffon smothered a low Villa free kick that whizzed through the defensive wall. Ambrosini was booked for a late tackle on Senna and Buffon got down well to block a hopeful Silva strike from distance.

Italy's plan was to leave possession to Spain, but they began to take it a bit too far and were pinned back. Xavi Hernandez took advantage of Daniele De Rossi's slip for a deflected effort off target.

Cassano's chipped cross found a Toni header charged down by Marchena from six yards on 36 minutes. At the other end Torres had an angled drive slam into Chiellini and as the move continued Silva flashed wide of the far post from outside the box.

A couple of set-pieces caused problems for the Spanish defence and at the other end Villa wanted a free kick inches outside the area, but the referee waved play on. It was a fortunate decision for Italy, as Grosso stamped on Villa's foot.

Iniesta drilled past the near post after combining with Villa. There was a testy incident on the stroke of half-time, as Perrotta reacted to a sneaky kick from Xavi.

There was a major scare straight after the restart, as a lucky ricochet gave Silva the ball from seven yards, but Chiellini threw himself at the shot to charge it down.

Cassano horribly wasted a golden opportunity on the counter by sliding an imprecise ball past Ambrosini. A splendid Chiellini tackle stopped Torres short at the end of a sprint.

There was another fright as Torres won a battle of strength with Panucci to pass in to Villa, but again Chiellini intercepted with great timing and positioning. The Juventus defender blocked another cross off the head of Torres, confirming his excellent individual performance.

It was a far more open game now with both sides leaving and taking advantage of extra space. With this in mind, Mauro Camoranesi replaced Perrotta to bring more pace to the Azzurri.

Buffon punched away a Xavi curling corner and Silva blasted the follow-up well wide. Spain also made a substitution, Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas and Santi Cazorla coming on for Xavi and Iniesta.

Italy had a fantastic chance on the hour mark as some slack defending and Toni's physicality saw the ball ping-pong around the six-yard box before Casillas performed a desperate reaction save on Camoranesi with an outstretched left foot.

Aquilani scuffed a volley off target and a Villa free kick clipped the wall to land on the roof of the net. Toni nodded a curling Gianluca Zambrotta cross wide between two defenders.

Villa was rather harshly booked for diving, as he seemed to slip when Chiellini stood his ground and he had to change direction quickly. Torres was angry and had a coming together with Grosso.

Sergio Ramos fired past the near post with a hopeful attempt. Donadoni's second change saw Antonio Di Natale replace Cassano. A dangerous corner found Buffon crowded out, but got enough to it to send it clear.

Buffon's first real save of the game was on 80 minutes, as he punched away a Senna free kick from 28 metres. Moments later the goalkeeper fumbled another Senna missile from distance that rolled on to the base of the upright and back into his grateful arms!

Sergio Ramos did enough to put Toni off his header, but a poor Torres first touch accidentally turned into an assist for Villa and Chiellini again stood his ground.

There was a great chance wasted by the Azzurri! Di Natale's cross was heading for the unmarked Grosso at the back post, but Toni went for it and took the ball off his foot!

Getafe striker Daniel Guiza replaced Torres in a surprise substitution six minutes from time. Spain have had a tendency to score very late goals in all their games in Euro 2008, so they began to pour forward in the hope of sealing this before it went to extra time.

Guiza escaped a booking for a double handling offence that looked more like volleyball than football, though Buffon had saved it anyway. Zambrotta smartly got his body between Villa and the ball, then cleared a dangerous Fabregas cross off Villa's foot with only Buffon to beat. It was crucial, as this quarter-final went to extra time.

Sergio Ramos tussled with Chiellini as a free kick was floated in, but it looked like a mutual movement. Spain had two chances in the same move, as Chiellini charged down Villa's effort and the Silva follow-up flashed inches past the upright.

Di Natale flicked a fine ball on for Grosso, whose cross was reaching Toni's foot before a crucial defensive intervention. From the following throw-in Di Natale got a firm header to Zambrotta's centre, bringing a fantastic fingertip save out of Casillas.

Italy strung together a series of corners and Toni's stooping header landed on the roof of the net. Villa slipped, but still managed to get a backheel to Silva from the floor, then Guiza's angled drive was well wide.

Casillas plucked a Grosso free kick off Chiellini's head and it was still 0-0 15 minutes into extra time. Sergio Ramos' high foot kicked Camoranesi in the shoulder for a free kick just outside the box, but Grosso's effort was off target.

The final substitution saw Alessandro Del Piero replace Aquilani, pushing Camoranesi back into central midfield in a very attacking change with 12 minutes to go before penalties.

Villa sprung the offside trap from Silva in a very close decision, but Buffon followed him and forced a corner with his legs, from which Sergio Ramos nodded wide. Chiellini's sliding tackle stopped Santi Cazorla from turning in Villa's through ball and avoided a corner, for which Cazorla was booked for dissent.

There was fair play from Spain, who put the ball out when Di Natale was down injured with a bruised thigh. Marchena charged down a Del Piero strike and on the counter Chiellini and De Rossi needed a double intervention to keep the Spaniards at bay.

A magnificent bit of play from Del Piero left his marker for dead, but the pass to Grosso was intercepted just inside the box. Guiza and Di Natale ballooned hopeful attempts off target, but a good counter from Spain in the final minute saw Santi Cazorla flash an angled drive acros the face of goal. It was the last kick of the game and it went to penalties.

The first up was David Villa, who buried it past Buffon. Grosso smashed a powerful finish to level it, just as he had against France in Berlin. Santi Cazorla rolled it low to send Buffon the wrong way. De Rossi hit it hard, but Casillas guessed the direction and it was saved. Senna lifted a fine right-foot penalty over the goalkeeper. Camoranesi kept Italy in it by firing into the top corner. Guiza stepped up and Buffon levelled the scores with a save on the substitute. Di Natale was next up and his was saved, too, as Casillas got the right angle on a fairly central kick. Fabregas converted the final kick to send Spain through to the semi-finals.

Shoot-out: :

Spain: Villa (goal), Santi Cazorla (goal), Senna (goal), Guiza (saved), Fabregas (goal)

Italy: Grosso (goal), De Rossi (saved), Camoranesi (goal), Di Natale (saved)


Spain: Casillas; Sergio Ramos, Puyol, Marchena, Capdevila; Senna; Iniesta (Cazorla 59), Xavi (Fabregas 59), Silva; Villa, Torres (Guiza 84)

Italy: Buffon; Zambrotta, Panucci, Chiellini, Grosso; Ambrosini, De Rossi, Aquilani (Del Piero 108); Perrotta (Camoranesi 57); Cassano (Di Natale 74), Toni

Ref: Fandel (Ger)
Channel 4
 
 
02 April 2008 @ 03:19 pm
=x =x
-=more=-
 
 
20 March 2008 @ 03:37 am
Serie A Week 29 - 19/3/08 (19.30 UK)
Milan 1 - 2 Sampdoria
Maggio 12 (S), Delvecchio 25 (S), Paloschi 71 (M)
Stadio Meazza

Milan tumbled to a shock home defeat that sees Sampdoria close to within a point and the Champions League dreams perhaps evaporate completely.

Few would have expected it at the start of the season, but this was effectively a head-to-head for UEFA Cup football. Just two points divided the teams going in. Milan were still smarting from their 2-1 loss at Roma and were without Ronaldo, Pippo Inzaghi, Marcos Cafu, Serginho and Yoann Gourcuff. Antonio Cassano continued to sit out his five-match ban and was joined by Daniele Franceschini on the naughty step.

Samp had not won here since a 3-2 result on February 2, 1997. Zeljko Kalac recovered from injury to start this game and took the sting out of an early Emiliano Bonazzoli attempt.

Milan were forced to change their tactics when Kaka limped off after just 10 minutes to make way for teenage striker Alberto Paloschi.

The Blucerchiati were more confident and took a deserved lead after 12 minutes. The Milan defence was caught napping, as the ball took two touches from Sampdoria players in the box before Christian Maggio's tap-in from five yards.

Massimo Ambrosini had penalty appeals waved away for a Maggio shirt tug and Paloschi fired wide of the near post from Clarence Seedorf's pass.

Instead, Sampdoria doubled their lead. Seedorf's backheel for Alexandre Pato was intercepted and they completed a classic counter-attack with Gennaro Delvecchio's finish.

Sergio Volpi's fierce free kick flashed across the face of goal with several Samp players flying in to get the decisive touch.

Alessandro Nesta had a rare crack at goal from 30 metres that was not too far off the target, then Seedorf was flagged offside - incorrectly - and fired wide anyway with only the goalkeeper to beat.

Maggio could so easily have made it 3-0 on the counter only to blast over the bar.

A well-timed Daniele Gastaldello tackle stopped Paloschi from scoring just inside the box. Alberto Gilardino came off the bench at half-time for a more attacking formation and with his first touch had a header deflected over from a corner. Gila also felt he deserved a penalty for a Stefano Lucchini challenge.

Milan were unlucky not to re-open the game as Pirlo's free kick smacked the base of the upright thanks to a Castellazzi fingertip save.

The Rossoneri finally got a goal back through their liveliest and most effective player - 18-year-old Paloschi - who got a glancing header to a Pato cross on 71 minutes.

Kakha Kaladze had more penalty appeals for a shirt-tug and Giuseppe Favalli's snapshot flashed past the near post.

Lucchini saw red in stoppages for a second bookable offence and Pirlo's free kick took a series of deflections in front of the goal.

Gennaro Gattuso was so nearly the San Siro hero with the captain's armband on, but Castellazzi did well to palm his shot out for a corner.


Milan: Kalac; Oddo, Nesta, Kaladze, Jankulovski (Favalli 55); Gattuso, Pirlo, Ambrosini (Gilardino 46); Kaka (Paloschi 10), Seedorf; Pato

Sampdoria: Castellazzi; Lucchini, Gastaldello, Accardi; Maggio, Sammarco, Volpi, Palombo, Pieri (Zenoni 74); Delvecchio (Ziegler 88), Bonazzoli (Bellucci 76)

Ref: Banti

Sent off: Lucchini 91 (S)

 
 
19 January 2008 @ 08:21 pm
Hi, guys!

 Rino Gattuso, "Serata per Padre Bossi"




Special thanks!!!

Laudy Gattuso, from http://gattusotutu.gigafoto.com.br
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13 January 2008 @ 11:12 pm
MILAN: Dida; Bonera, Nesta, Kaladze, Maldini; Seedorf, Pirlo, Ambrosini; Kakà; Pato, Ronaldo.
NAPOLI: Iezzo; Cupi, Cannavaro, Domizzi; Garics, Hamsik, Gargano, Bogliacino, Savini; Sosa, Lavezzi. 

ACMilan.com
 
 
23 November 2007 @ 10:19 pm
Serie A’s first Ballon d’Or winner Gianni Rivera claims that Andrea Pirlo deserves this year’s award as much as Milan teammate Kaka.

Brazilian ace Kaka is the overwhelming favourite to claim the European Footballer of the Year prize after his heroics in last season’s Champions League triumph.

Pirlo is an outsider to clinch the silverware, but 1969’s winner believes that the Azzurri star would be a worthy winner.

“Kaka is one of the most exciting and important players of a generation,” Rivera told Sky Calcio.

“But Pirlo is a player who has consistently achieved great things and I would say that he is just as good.”

Rivera also stated that, like Ronaldo, he can see Milan overcoming their dismal start to win the Scudetto.

“I think that they can still win the title even if it is more difficult than it was at the start of the season and it is clear that the Club World Cup and the Champions League will take their toll,” he maintained.

Finally, the former Milan hero gave his view on the thorny issue of controversial refereeing decisions.

“The fact that sides like Milan are complaining is positive because it means that they are human errors,” he claimed.

“I remember the 1971-72 season when we lost the title due to a very debatable penalty.

“It was the final straw and at the end of the game I made some strong accusations that earned me a ban for two months.

“There will always be mistakes and we need to avoid reading anything into them.”

Channel 4
 
 
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11 November 2007 @ 07:08 pm
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24 October 2007 @ 09:46 pm
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13 October 2007 @ 01:44 pm
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