Club Focus – Milan – Rossoneri trying to regroup amid rumours about Ronaldinho’s partying

Coach Leonardo must have hung his head in disbelief after reports claims his star player Ronaldinho was partying ahead of the Milan derby. The Brazilian playmaker is renowned for his partying habit but has lately been praised for his resurgence which coincided with the Rossoneri’s surge up the standings. Obviously Ronaldinho was credited with being one of the main reasons behind the club’s rise after a dismal start to the season which featured a 4-0 drubbing by Inter.

Unfortunately for the gifted Brazilian, they succumbed to their city rivals once again and have struggled in their two matches following the Milan derby. They failed to beat Livorno after losing to Udinese in the Coppa Italia. With the club eliminated from the cup and virtually incapable of challenging Inter for the Serie A title, it looks as if the Champions League will be Milan’s only hope for glory this season. The main problem is the club’s lack of depth which limits the options at Leonardo’s disposal. For instance, the team has struggled since Alessandro Nesta’s injury forced him to skip the derby followed by the two other matches. Milan’s defense looks shaky in his absence and veteran Giuseppe Favalli cannot properly deputise. Speaking of Nesta, he has had a solid season so far prompting calls for his return to the squad from a plethora of sources with the latest praise coming from none other than Inter’s outspoken defender Marco Materazzi, who referred to Nesta as his idol.


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Going back to the Ronaldinho topic, the player took the opportunity to release an abrupt yet clear message denying he was involved in organising a party, while claiming he was simply an invited guest at a hotel. The statement itself does not completely exonerate the player as the correct message given by Ronaldinho does not really exclude his involvement in a party. He is actually denying the notion he was the person behind it yet he confirmed he was invited to a hotel as a guest. Apparently, Ronaldinho still has his priorities mixed up as his minor drop in form in the last couple of games has coincided with his team’s inefficiency in front of goal. Ronaldinho’s most notable contribution in his last couple of appearances has been the missed penalty-kick against Inter. Leonardo will have his hands full trying to steady the slightly sinking ship while trying to balance between managing Ronaldinho’s behaviour and setting example for others. The club reportedly fined Ronaldinho, yet Vice-President Adriano Galliani refused to discuss the details and did not confirm whether the Brazilian forward was indeed fined. The fact Galliani did not deny the fining of the player suggests it is likely to be true.

In a week during which few of Milan’s key figures emerged unscathed, Galliani was at the centre of President Silvio Berlusconi’s rant against the signing of Brazilian winger Amantino Mancini. Berlusconi appeared to be unhappy about the loan signing, stating the club was in need of finishers more than anything. This comes as another slap on the face for Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who is struggling to find playing time in Milan. Huntelaar has not started a game for a long time, with the sole exception of the Coppa Italia match against Udinese which he did not play from start to finish. Next up is Bologna which will serve as a test prior to the start of a tough schedule which includes the Champions League tie against Manchester United. Leonardo will be demanding his players get all three points against Bologna in order to fend off Roma’s charge. The Giallorossi are the team of the moment as they have emerged from their early season slump to reach third place with just goal difference separating them from the Rossoneri.

While Milan appear to be running out of steam and their Serie A challenge is nearing the end, their former star Kaká does not seem to be having a great time either as he has failed to live up to the lofty expectations in Spain. He has struggled with injury and has not succeeded in settling down with his hefty price tag clearly a burden on his shoulders. Prior to the end of 2009 rumours emerged about a possible shock return to the San Siro but these were quickly mooted only for a more ridiculous claim to surface in the past couple of days. There were rumours of a potential swap between Juventus and Real Madrid which would see Kaká return to Italy but with the Bianconeri. Clearly not something to be fancied and unlikely to happen as he would risk the wrath of the tifosi.

Milan Club Focus 2009/10

Pre-season


Pre-season expectation
– August 18, 2009

Week 1


Leonardo breathes as Brazilians relieve pressure
– August 25, 2009

Week 2


Kaka returns to the San Siro
– August 27, 2009


How to play 4-3-1-2, a lesson from their rivals
– September 1, 2009


Reshuffle the current squad, regain the winning mentality
– September 4, 2009

International week (Georgia-Italy, Italy-Bulgaria)


Leonardo’s time to react
– September 7, 2009

Week 3


Livorno springs opportunity to end crisis
– September 11, 2009


Serie A slides down priority list
– September 15, 2009


Leonardo lurches into decision-making territory
– September 18, 2009

Week 4


Off the pitch rumours continue to swirl
– September 22, 2009

Week 5


Old legs cannot win forever, will Berlusconi follow in Della Valle’s footsteps?
– September 25, 2009

Week 6


A powerhouse that no longer strikes fear
– September 29, 2009

Week 7


Time is running out to save il Diavolo’s season
– October 2, 2009


A draw as bitter as a defeat
– October 6, 2009


The club is not for sale
– October 9, 2009

International week (Republic of Ireland-Italy, Italy-Cyprus)


In search of strikers and defenders
– October 13, 2009

Week 8


Berlusconi reiterates he will not sell as the Rossoneri prepare for Roma
– October 16, 2009


Brazilian duo see off Roma
– October 20, 2009

Week 9


Rossoneri record famous win in Madrid
– October 23, 2009


Leonardo stumbles upon the 4-2-3-1
– October 27, 2009

Week 10


Two precious points dropped
– October 30, 2009

Week 11


Borriello strikes twice as Milan continue climbing the table
– November 3, 2009


A bitter draw after Pato’s disallowed ‘goal’ as Huntelaar emerges unscathed
– November 6, 2009

Week 12


The Rossoneri challenging Juventus for second place
– November 10, 2009

International week (Italy-Holland, Italy-Sweden)

Week 13


Crucial stretch begins as Dzeko linked again
– November 20, 2009


Rossoneri continue impressive run
– November 24, 2009

Week 14


Missed opportunity to qualify
– November 27, 2009


Huntelaar breaks his duck with a late double to lift Mila to second
– December 1, 2009

Week 15


Season-defining week looms ahead
– December 4, 2009


Sunshine glimmers from the San Siro, but those clouds won’t leave
– December 8, 2009


Qualification secured after a scare
– December 11, 2009

Week 16


Gattuso to help the aged a little longer
– December 14, 2009

Week 17


Staying away from the market
– December 18, 2009


Winter break starts early
– December 22, 2009

Winter break


Beckham lands in town
– December 29, 2009


Giants on the transfer horizon
– January 5, 2010

Week 18


Beckham makes second Milan debut
– January 8, 2010

Week 19


Ronnie puts the breaks on in Turin
– January 12, 2010


Weakened Rossoneri scrape by Novara
– January 15, 2010

Week 20


Ronaldinho is enjoying playing again and soaking in the love
– January 19, 2010

Week 21


Milan derby looms large
– January 22, 2010


Inefficient Rossoneri surrender to Inter’s title assault
– January 26, 2010


Coppa Italia defeat reveals once again the lack of depth
– January 29, 2010

Week 22


Mancini joins from Inter
– February 2, 2010

Week 23


Rossoneri trying to regroup amid rumours about Ronaldinho’s partying
– February 5, 2010

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