Inter Eye Redemption Against Sampdoria Before Juventus Clash

Inter Milan’s Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku (L) reacts at the end of the Italian Serie A football match Lazio Rome vs Inter Milan on February 16, 2020 at the Olympic stadium in Rome.
Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

 

Antonio Conte warned Inter Milan need to bounce back from recent setbacks against Sampdoria on Saturday to keep pace with leading duo Juventus and Lazio, before their clash with the Serie A champions in Turin next week.

Inter dropped from first to third, three points behind champions Juventus, after losing 2-1 to second-placed Lazio last weekend, following an Italian Cup defeat to Napoli.

“It was a painful result,” said Conte of the loss in Rome’s Stadio Olimpico.

“We’ve now got back up with the desire to bounce back and move forward.”

Claudio Ranieri’s Sampdoria are 17th, just one point above the relegation zone, and lost the reverse fixture in Genoa 3-1 in September.

Juventus can open up a six-point gap on Conte’s side with a win at rock bottom SPAL, before hosting Inter in their Allianz Stadium on March 1.

Lazio are just one point behind Juventus as they chase their first Scudetto since 2000, and can push their unbeaten run to 20 games at third-from-bottom Genoa.

Maurizio Sarri’s Juventus have lost their last two away matches and need a win against SPAL before their Champions League last 16, first leg trip to French club Lyon.

But despite their low ranking SPAL have shocked both Lazio and Atalanta this season.

Sarri could rest goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny before their European game allowing veteran Gianluigi Buffon to line out for a record 648 Serie A games.

Napoli travel to Brescia before hosting Barcelona in the Champions League next week in their Stadio San Paolo.

Gennaro Gattuso’s side have moved up to ninth, two points off the Europa League berths, after three wins in their last four games.

In the race for Champions League places, Atalanta are fourth, six points ahead of Roma, with the side from Bergamo hosting Sassuolo on a high after their stunning 4-1 European win over Valencia.

Roma, in fifth, have earned just four points from seven games, and desperately need a result at home against lowly Lecce.

“Not many people think we can qualify (for the Champions League) via the league but we still believe it’s possible,” said coach Paulo Fonseca.

“Right now the most important thing is that we get back to playing the way we were before, without adding any sort of pressure.

“We must regain our swagger and believe.”

Hellas Verona, in sixth, occupy the final Europa League berth, four points behind the side from the capital and equal on 35 points with Parma and AC Milan.

Verona host Cagliari, who have lost momentum and slipped to 11th, after a ten-match winless run going back to early December.

AC Milan travel to 13th-placed Fiorentina, as Torino, just below the Tuscans, host Parma trying to avoid a sixth consecutive defeat.

 

 

One to watch

Former Eintracht Frankfurt forward Ante Rebic has burst through with six goals in AC Milan’s last seven games in all competitions.

The 21-year-old joined the seven-time European champions on loan last September, but has only played 13 games, and scored for the first time with a brace against Udinese on January 9.

The arrival of his childhood idol Zlatan Ibrahimovic last month has boosted confidence in the team, said the Croatian international.

Key stats

647 – Gianluigi Buffon’s matches in Serie A, one short of the all-time record

42 – Points between leaders Juventus and bottom club SPAL

10 – Cristiano Ronaldo’s successive games scoring streak

3 – Roma’s losing run

Fixtures (all times GMT)

Friday

Brescia v Napoli (1945)

Saturday

Bologna v Udinese (1400), SPAL v Juventus (1700), Fiorentina v AC Milan (1945)

Sunday

Genoa v Lazio (1130GMT), Atalanta v Sassuolo, Hellas Verona v Cagliari, Torino v Parma (all 1400), AS Roma v Lecce (1700), Inter Milan v Sampdoria (1945).

AFP

Ranieri Appointed Sampdoria Coach

(FILES) In this file photo taken on April 01, 2018 Nantes’ Italian head coach Claudio Ranieri attends the French L1 football match between Nantes and Saint-Etienne at The La Beaujoire Stadium in Nantes. LOIC VENANCE / AFP

 

Former Roma boss Claudio Ranieri has been appointed coach of Serie A strugglers Sampdoria, the club confirmed on Saturday.

Ranieri, who memorably guided outsiders Leicester City to the 2016 English Premier League title, takes over from Eusebio di Francesco, who was sacked after a poor start to the season.

The 67-year-old Ranieri, who took over as coach at Roma last March after di Francesco was sacked, has signed a contract until June 2021.

Ranieri guided the Roman outfit, who he played for during his football career and had previously coached, to a sixth-place finish, missing out on Champions League football.

Sampdoria finished ninth last season, with Di Francesco taking over after Marco Giampaolo left for AC Milan.

The Genoese club have just one win in seven games and are bottom of the table, with 16 goals conceded.

Ranieri’s vast coaching experience includes spells at Chelsea, Valencia, Monaco, Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan, Juventus and Napoli.

His first game in charge will be at home against former club Roma on October 20.

AFP

Fulham Sack Coach Ranieri, Appoint Parker As Caretaker Manager

Claudio Ranieri/LOIC VENANCE / AFP

 

Claudio Ranieri’s short, unsuccessful spell as manager of Premier League strugglers Fulham came to an end on Thursday, the club announced.

The 67-year-old Italian, who memorably guided Leicester City to the 2016 Premier League title, failed to ignite a revival in the club after he replaced the sacked Slavisa Jokanovic in November.

He was in charge for just 16 league games but won only three, and Wednesday’s 2-0 defeat to Southampton left them second from bottom, 10 points adrift of safety with 10 matches remaining.

“Following our discussion this afternoon, Claudio Ranieri agreed to my decision that a change was in the best interest of everyone,” said Fulham chairman Shahid Khan in a statement.

Khan, whose investment of over £100million in new players in the close season after they were promoted to the Premier League has backfired spectacularly, said Ranieri behaved like a “perfect gentleman” during the talks.

“Claudio’s tenure at Fulham didn’t produce the outcome we anticipated and needed when I appointed him as manager in November, but be assured he is not solely to blame for the position we are in today,” said Khan.

READ ALSO: Victory Over Tottenham Can Save Chelsea’s Season, Says Sarri

Ranieri, who was sacked by Leicester months after their fairytale success, said he was sad the good start the club had made under his charge had not been maintained.

“I am obviously disappointed with the recent results and that we could not build on the good start we made following my appointment,” said Ranieri, who took over at a time when Fulham had secured just one point from their previous eight matches.

Khan added former England midfielder Scott Parker — who ended his playing career at Fulham — is to be the caretaker manager.

“Scott’s immediate assignment is merely to help us stabilise, grow and rediscover ourselves as a football club,” said Khan.

“If Scott can answer that challenge, and our players respond to the opportunity, perhaps victories will follow in the months ahead.”

Ranieri is the sixth Premier League manager to lose his job this season and comes just days after Claude Puel was sacked by Leicester — Jokanovic, Mark Hughes (Southampton), Jose Mourinho (Manchester United) and David Wagner (Huddersfield) being the other casualties.

AFP

Ranieri Describes Vichai’s Death As Sad End To Leicester Fairytale

 Leicester City’s Thai chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha watches during the UEFA Champions League group G football match between Leicester City and Club Brugge at the King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on November 22, 2016. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Claudio Ranieri said on Tuesday the Leicester fairytale which he played such a pivotal role in came to an end with the death of Thai owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha in a helicopter crash in October.

Ranieri is preparing to welcome Leicester to bottom club Fulham on Wednesday, the first time the amiable 67-year-old Italian pits his wits against the club he guided to the title in 2016 but was sacked from in February 2017.

Vichai died with four other people when the helicopter they were travelling in crashed near the King Power Stadium shortly after taking off.

Ranieri — who was out of work at the time — travelled from Italy to pay his respects at a shrine set up outside the ground.

“I think we spoke a lot about the fairytale,” said Ranieri at his eve of match press conference.

“Now the chairman, Vichai, has died the fairytale has finished but the memories remain and the achievement too.

“I am very sad for what happened and we have to continue with our lives.”

Ranieri is held in great affection by the Foxes fans and those supporters who travel to London for the match are expected to give him a warm reception.

“It will be very strange. A very emotional moment, but it’s OK, that is football,” he said.

“It will be a good moment, for sure, but we have to win.”

Ranieri, who replaced Slavisa Jokanovic after the Serbian was sacked last month due to a terrible start to the campaign, has guided them to a win and a defeat in his first two games in charge.

They are presently bottom of the table, two points adrift of fourth from bottom Huddersfield.

AFP

Ranieri To The Rescue As Fulham Sack Jokanovic

 Nantes’ Italian head coach Claudio Ranieri attends the French L1 football match between Nantes and Saint-Etienne at The La Beaujoire Stadium in Nantes. English Premier League strugglers Fulham sacked manager Slavisa Jokanovic and appointed former Leicester supremo Claudio Ranieri on November 14, 2018. LOIC VENANCE / AFP

 

Fulham appointed Italian veteran Claudio Ranieri as manager on Wednesday after sacking Slavisa Jokanovic in a bid to beat the drop from England’s Premier League.

Jokanovic led Fulham back into England’s top flight in May 2018 but the 50-year-old Serbian has struggled to adapt to life in the Premier League.

After 12 games, Fulham sit bottom of the pile with just five points and one win from 12 games.

Jokanovic becomes the first managerial casualty of the season in the Premier League.

Ranieri, who famously led Leicester to a fairytale Premier League title in 2016, was a free agent after being sacked by French Ligue 1 club Nantes one game before the end of last season.

His appointment comes only weeks after his former boss at Leicester, club owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, died with four others when his helicopter plummeted into a car park outside the King Power stadium shortly after his side’s 1-1 draw with West Ham.

“I was terribly shaken by the news,” Ranieri told Sky Sport Italia two weeks ago in what was his first public reaction since the tragedy.

“He was a good man and always had a positive word for everyone.”

Italian journeyman Ranieri has previously coached Napoli, Fiorentina, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Valencia, Juventus, Roma, Inter Milan and the Greece national team.

But winning the title with Leicester two years ago remains the affable 67-year-old’s biggest career achievement.

Although Leicester started that 2015-2016 league campaign on odds of 5000-1 to win the Premier League crown, Ranieri faces a similar challenge if he is to lift Fulham out of the doldrums.

He will take charge of his first game in 10 days’ time when Fulham welcome fellow strugglers Southampton to Craven Cottage.

AFP

Ranieri To Quit Nantes For Italian Team

Ranieri Ready To Quit Nantes For Italy Job
Nantes’ Italian head coach Claudio Ranieri reacts during the football match against Nice on  at the “Allianz Riviera” stadium in southeastern France. VALERY HACHE / AFP

 

Claudio Ranieri, who led Leicester City to an unlikely English Premier League title, has revealed he is ready to quit French Ligue 1 club Nantes if he is asked to become Italy coach.

The 66-year-old has been one of the names touted as a possible replacement for Gian Piero Ventura who was forced to resign after Italy’s shock failure to qualify for the World Cup in Russia.

“Any Italian coach would love to be in charge of the national side,” Ranieri, who guided Leicester to their first ever Premier League title in 2016, told Sky Sport Italia.

“I have a contract with Nantes for two years and I have not received any messages, so I can’t say anything.

“But if I were to be contacted for the Italy job, I’d go to the Nantes president and ask to be released,” said the widely-travelled Ranieri, whose former clubs include Juventus, Napoli and Roma in Italy, Premier League giants Chelsea and Valencia and Atletico Madrid in Spain.

He also had a brief stint in charge of the Greek national side.

Ranieri joined Nantes this season and the club are in fifth position in Ligue 1, 10 points behind Lyon, who are in the fourth and final European qualifying spot.

“The day it’s decided we’ll see … if the opportunity arises I’ll discuss it (with him),” said Nantes president Waldemar Kita.

“I would also understand, in a way, that at the end of his career as a top coach, it could end well for him (with an offer) that will not present itself twice.

“I’m not one to curb professional and personal ambitions, so I’m not going to. If I was in his position I would do the same thing.”

Italy’s 1-0 aggregate play-off defeat to Sweden last year meant the Azzurri failed to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1958.

Former Italy head coach Antonio Conte, now coaching Chelsea; Carlo Ancelotti, sacked by Bayern Munich last September, and Zenit Saint Petersburg coach Roberto Mancini are also among those linked to the coaching job.

Italy Under-21 boss Luigi Di Biagio has been appointed interim coach to oversee friendlies against Argentina and England next month.

AFP

Ranieri Ready To Quit Nantes For Italy Job

Ranieri Ready To Quit Nantes For Italy Job
Nantes’ Italian head coach Claudio Ranieri reacts during the football match against Nice on February 18, 2018 at the “Allianz Riviera” stadium in southeastern France. VALERY HACHE / AFP

 

Claudio Ranieri, who led Leicester City to an unlikely English Premier League title, has revealed he is ready to quit French Ligue 1 club Nantes if he is asked to become Italy coach.

The 66-year-old has been one of the names touted as a possible replacement for Gian Piero Ventura who was forced to resign after Italy’s shock failure to qualify for the World Cup in Russia.

“Any Italian coach would love to be in charge of the national side,” Ranieri, who guided Leicester to their first ever Premier League title in 2016, told Sky Sport Italia.

“I have a contract with Nantes for two years and I have not received any messages, so I can’t say anything.

“But if I were to be contacted for the Italy job, I’d go to the Nantes president and ask to be released,” said the widely-travelled Ranieri, whose former clubs include Juventus, Napoli and Roma in Italy, Premier League giants Chelsea and Valencia and Atletico Madrid in Spain.

He also had a brief stint in charge of the Greek national side.

Ranieri joined Nantes this season and the club are in the fifth position in Ligue 1, 10 points behind Lyon, who are in the fourth and final European qualifying spot.

Italy’s 1-0 aggregate play-off defeat to Sweden last year meant the Azzurri failed to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1958.

Former Italy head coach Antonio Conte, Carlo Ancelotti and Roberto Mancini are also among those linked to the coaching job.

Italy Under-21 boss Luigi Di Biagio has been appointed an interim coach to oversee friendlies against Argentina and England next month.

AFP

Nantes Kick Off Training With Newly-Signed Ranieri

Nantes FC newly appointed coach, Claudio Ranieri, has led his first training at the team’s sports centre just north of Nantes on Monday.

It will be Ranieri’s second stint in France after he led AS Monaco out of the Second Division in 2012-2013 and then to second place in Ligue 1 the following season.

The 65-year-old Italian coach signed a two-year contract with the Ligue 1 club on June 15.

Read AlsoClaudio Ranieri Takes Over As Coach At Nantes

Claudio Ranieri Takes Over As Coach At Nantes

Nantes Football Club presented their new coach Claudio Ranieri at a news conference at the Beaujoire Stadium in Nantes on Monday.

The 65-year-old Italian coach signed a two-year contract with the Ligue 1 club on Thursday.

Ranieri was sacked by Leicester in February only nine months after leading them to the Premier League title.

He has coached eight different clubs in his homeland, including Juventus, AS Roma, Inter Milan and Napoli, plus Atletico Madrid and Valencia in Spain, Chelsea and Leicester City in England and the Greek national side.

Claudio Ranieri Takes Over As Coach At Nantes

Ranieri Takes Over As Coach At NantesVeteran Italian coach Claudio Ranieri has taken over at Nantes, the Ligue 1 club said on Thursday.

The 65-year-old led Leicester City to their English Premier League title last season, despite facing a number of challenges at the club.

Nantes confirmed that he had signed a two-year contract in what the club described as a “nice coup by the Nantes directors.”

It will be Ranieri’s second stint in France after he led AS Monaco out of the second division in 2012-13 and then to second place in Ligue 1 the following season.

He replaced Portuguese Sergio Conceicao, who led Nantes from the relegation zone in December to a seventh-place finish this season, but then resigned to take charge of Porto in his homeland.

The well-travelled Italian has coached eight different clubs in his homeland, including Juventus, AS Roma, Inter Milan and Napoli, as well as Atletico Madrid and Valencia in Spain; Chelsea and Leicester City in England; and the Greek national side.

Ranieri was sacked by Leicester in February only nine months after leading them to the Premier League title.

Cristiano Ronaldo Crowned FIFA Player Of The Year

Cristano RonaldoCristiano Ronaldo has been crowned FIFA Men’s Player Of The Year.

Ronaldo was announced winner on Monday in Zurich where the world’s best football players and coaches were recognised at the inaugural edition of “The Best Fifa Football Awards”.

The Ballon Dór winner beat Antoine Griezmann and Lionel Messi to win the award which was presented by FIFA President, Gianni Infantino.

“Wow. It’s incredible. It’s not the first time but this award is the first time.

“I want first to thank my team-mates, my coach. I want to thank my family, my whole staff.

“I tell you, 2016 was the best year of my career. I had a lot of doubts but the trophy showed that I lived up to that.

“After I won what I did, I had no doubts.

“It was a year that was magnificent on a personal level, on a sports level. I would like to thank very warmly everybody who voted for me.

“To the fans, to the other players, to the media: thank you,” he said.

Other winners on the night:

– The Best FIFA Women’s Player Award: Carli Lloyd.

– The Best FIFA Men’s Coach Award: Claudio Ranieri.

– The Best FIFA Women’s Coach Award: Silvia Neid.

– The FIFA Puskás Award 2016: Mohd Faiz Subri.

The FIFA Fair Play Award: Atletico National.

– The FIFA Fan Award: Dortmund fans and Liverpool fans.

– The FIFA lifetime achievement award: Falcao.

– The FIFA FIFPro World11: Neuer, Dani Alves, Pique, Ramos, Marcelo, Modric, Kroos, Iniesta, Messi, Suarez, Ronaldo.

 

Conte, Hazard Win Manager, Player Of The Month Award

Conte, Hazard Win Manager, Player Of The Month Award Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has been named the English Premier League Manager of the Month for October.

Conte saw off competition from Mark Hughes, Jurgen Klopp and Arsene Wenger to take the prize following a brilliant month for the blues who won all four of their games scoring 11 goals without conceding any.

He is the sixth Chelsea manager to win the award after Claudio Ranieri, Jose Mourinho, Avram Grant, Carlo Ancelotti and Rafa Benitez.

“It’s a great honour and I will share this with my players and the club,” Conte said. “It is the first time I work in another country with a different culture, and when you want to bring your own philosophy it is not easy, but now I am glad for this choice.”

The basis for this was a tactical tweak to a 3-4-3 formation which brought 11 goals, four clean sheets and a maximum return of 12 points with victories at Hull City and Southampton, a 3-0 home success over Leicester City and a 4-0 triumph over Manchester United.

Before the turnaround, Chelsea won only a point in September.

The winner was decided by a combination of votes from a panel of experts and the public.

Chelsea forward, Eden Hazard was also named the Player of the Month for October.

Hazard’s brilliant form last month included goals against Leicester City, Manchester United and Southampton.

He is the first Chelsea player to win the award since Diego Costa in August 2014.

It is also the first time Hazard has claimed the monthly award and the 17th time for a Chelsea player.

He continued his great start to the season in October with three goals and an assist. He created seven chances for team-mates and completed 17 dribbles.