Italy Camp Focus – Lippi packs no punches with predictable preliminary World Cup 2010 squad

Anyone who has followed Italy under Marcello Lippi cannot be too surprised by the preliminary 30-man squad the Commissario Tecnico announced yesterday. Nicola Leggrotaglie, Juventus’ 33-year-old centre-back was the only shock omission, with youngsters Salvatore Bocchetti and Leonardo Bonucci chosen ahead of him after impressive seasons in Serie A for Genoa and Bari respectively. Indeed, beyond the first-choice back five of Gianluigi Buffon, Gianluca Zambrotta, Fabio Cannavaro, Giogio Chiellini and Fabio Grosso, Lippi has selected five defenders with only 14 caps between them, leaving the side a few injuries away…

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Lessons in Calcio – Franco Baresi

Few defenders in the modern era have emanated greatness, professionalism and loyalty to such a degree as Milan’s Player of the Century 1899-1999, Franco Baresi. Although a defender, Baresi is considered alongside football’s greatest visionaries for what he brought to the game and the art of defending. Born in Brescia and spending his whole career with Milan – after being rejected by Inter – Baresi was a centre-back by trade, and went on to make the position his own in a career spanning 20 years. He was the defensive rock…

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Inter 1-1 Roma – Roma hold-off Inter to earn a point

The first-half of this match was Roma’s for the taking. For the initial 20 minutes, Inter allowed the capital club more than their fair share of possession and a team containing Sulley Muntari, Thiago Motta and Patrick Vieira failed to press their opponents at all. The first chance of the game came from a Jeremy Menez through ball – Mirko Vucinic latched on, rounded the keeper but was unaware of Lucio close behind. Roma enjoyed plenty of time on the ball, with Daniele De Rossi and David Pizarro not closed…

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2009/10 season preview – Livorno

2008/09 – The 2008/09 campaign was all about bouncing back to Serie A at the first time of asking for the Tuscan outfit. Led by Leonardo Acori for 41 of the 42 weeks in Serie B, Livorno were already assured a spot in the play-offs, but decided to sack Acori for missing out to Parma and Bari on automatic promotion after a season-long battle (and two-month winless run). Gennaro Ruotolo was brought in for the final games and led the team to a 5-2 play-off aggregate win over Brescia. 2009/10…

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Azzurri World Cup coverage preview

The Confederations Cup is over and after some amazing football played out to the vuvuzela soundtrack, South Africa 2010 cannot come fast enough. Except that is, for Marcello Lippi and his Italy squad after a desperate showing that saw them drop out of the tournament with some dismal displays. Football Italiano was there following the entire event and we hope you enjoyed our coverage of the Azzurri. However, our maniacal support of the Azzurri doesn’t end there. Over the next 300-odd days, in anticipation of the world’s biggest showcase event…

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Italy Camp Focus – Worst. World champions. Ever?

Could it be that the Italy team – current owners of the world’s most prestigious footballing trophy – can be thought of as one of the worst teams to ever play with the tag “current World Cup holders?” The past week will not have helped anyone looking to discredit such a bold question. Lets start with the Italy-Egypt game. What happened? One of the sides started the encounter incredibly reluctant to attack, even inviting pressure, before managing to nick a goal from a set-piece to then sit on until the…

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Milan vs. Juventus – Past meetings

With Sunday’s clash between Milan and Juventus set to play a major role in who finishes runner-up to champions and champions-elect Inter, Football Italiano looks back at two previous clashes between the Serie A superpowers of yesteryear. Milan 1-6 Juventus April 6, 1997 is the date of one of the more surprising and one-sided results between the two sides as the Old Lady ran out comprehensive victors at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. By the time these two sides met on Matchday 26, Marcello Lippi’s Juventus were top of Serie A…

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Week 29 Serie A Analysis – Form is temporary, class is permanent, Ibra is Ibra

As good as Inter is – as much of a unit of solidarity, sleek passing and machine-like efficiency Jose Mourinho’s men can be painted as – they are a side heavily reliant on their stars and their stars are too few and far between – namely Julio Cesar at the back and Zlatan Ibrahimovic at the front. Inter don’t just depend on them performing to their maximum in the big games against title rivals or in Europe , but also week-in, week-out against teams even as dire as Sunday’s opposition…

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All the highlights and goals from 22a Giornata in Serie A

Week 22 proved a happy one for Milan, as title rivals Juventus and Inter both dropped points at home whilst the Rossoneri demolished Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico. Elsewhere Roma failed to beat lowly Reggina, relegation contenders Lecce and Chievo picked up points and Udinese’s Fabio Quagliarella scored a contender for goal of the season against Napoli. Juventus 2-3 Cagliari Lazio 0-3 Milan Inter 1-1 Torino Reggina 2-2 Roma Napoli 2-2 Udinese Genoa 1-0 Palermo Atalanta 1-0 Catania Chievo 1-1 Sampdoria Siena 1-2 Lecce

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Week 20 Serie A action round-up – King Kaka returns for Milan in weekend full of goals

Cynics may suggest the Kaka-City saga was a PR show put on by Silvio Berlusconi, but the Milan circus continue to make headlines for the results they are achieving on the pitch too. In a round that saw 30 goals scored in the 10 games, both the Rossoneri and Roma put in imperious performances to come away with impressive away victories whilst Juventus and Inter secured 1-0 home wins. Sunday Bologna 1-4 Milan After the week that saw Kaka pledge his allegiance to the Milan faithful, it was inevitable that…

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