Cagliari Sack Coach Massimo Rastelli

Cagliari’s Italian coach Massimo Rastelli. GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP

Cagliari’s Massimo Rastelli on Tuesday became the first Serie A coach to be sacked this season after the Sardinian club made a poor start to the campaign.

The 48-year-old took over in the 2015-2016 season, guiding Cagliari into the Italian top flight after winning Serie B in 2016.

Last season the club finished 11th but this term are trailing in 14th position with just two wins in eight games, against relegation rivals Crotone and SPAL.

“We thank Rastelli for over two years of work with professionalism and passion,” Cagliari said in a statement.

“He was a protagonist in winning Serie B and in reaching 11th place last season, and we wish him good luck for the rest of his career.”

Coaching assistants Nicola Legrottaglie and Dario Rossi were also sacked in the clearout.

Cagliari are on a run of four straight losses, the most recent a 3-2 defeat at home against Genoa.

Former Pescara coach Massimo Oddo and Giuseppe Iachini, who last season managed Palermo and Udinese, are being touted as possible replacements.

AFP

Seria A: Dybala Hat-Trick Silences Genoa

Juventus’ Argentinian forward Paulo Dybala celebrates after scoring during the Italian Serie A football match Genoa v Juventus at The Luigi Ferraris Stadium in Genoa on August 26, 2017.
Marco BERTORELLO / AFP

Argentina forward Paulo Dybala hit a hat-trick as Juventus recovered from two goals down after a dreadful start to win 4-2 at Genoa in Serie A on Saturday.

With confidence still flying high after last season’s shock 3-1 home win over the champions, Genoa looked on their way to causing another upset after breaching Gianluigi Buffon’s goal twice in the opening minutes.

Seconds into the game the Luigi Ferraris stadium erupted when Goran Pandev skipped past Alex Sandro, rolled the ball across the area and saw his effort deflect off Miralem Pjanic’s knee and into the net.

Memories of last season’s reverse must have come flooding back for visiting coach Massimiliano Allegri, especially when the hosts doubled their lead six minutes later.

For the second successive league game, Juve conceded a penalty following a decision by the video assistant referee (VAR) after defender Daniele Rugani kicked the back of Andrej Galabinov’s heel.

Although Galabinov looked slightly offside, officials consulted the VAR technology to award the penalty, which Galabinov got up to convert.

Juve, however, refused to buckle. Pjanic made part amends for his earlier mishap when he pulled back from the byline for Dybala to beat Genoa goalkeeper Mattia Perin at his near post before the quarter hour.

The goal was enough to instil Juve confidence and Perin was tested by both Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain shortly after, while Galabinov nodded just wide from Darko Lazovic’s cross at the other end.

Perin, making his first home appearance since rupturing his ACL last season, did well to thwart Dybala twice in succession after he latched on to Pjanic’s pass, scrambling to deny Mario Mandzukic on the follow-up, too.

The VAR was used again, this time to Juve’s advantage, when a penalty was awarded for a Lazovic handball from a Cuadrado pass. Dybala stepped up to convert and level four minutes into first-half stoppage time.

Juve completed their comeback just after the hour thanks to a fine piece of skill from Colombian forward Cuadrado, who controlled Mandzukic’s lob before beating Perin with a left-footed curler into the far top corner.

To their credit, Genoa dug deep and Diego Laxalt was unlucky when his strike skimmed the bottom of the far post, Buffon then hurrying to smother Raffaele Palladino’s close-range effort.

But hopes of snatching a share of the points were tempered by a fine third from Dybala, the diminutive number 10 collecting from Higuain before firing a low drive past Perin.

In Saturday’s late game Roma host Inter Milan and former coach Luciano Spalletti at the Stadio Olimpico.

AFP

UCL: Juventus Ready For Sevilla Clash

juventusJuventus and Sevilla will be hoping to leave their domestic woes behind as they meet in the Champions League Group D clash in Turin.

Both teams have had a difficult start to the season domestically, but put in a more positive performance in the Champions League.

Juventus opened with a 2-1 victory at Manchester City, while Sevilla beat Borussia Moenchengladbach 3-nil.

Serie A Champions, Juventus, who last season reached the Champions League final, have dropped to 15th place in the Serie A, after losing for the third time in six matches this season.

Juventus goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon, said the similarities between the Bianconeri and Sevilla meant both teams would be hungry for a victory on Wednesday.

Bayern Munich Signs Vidal From Juventus

vidalGerman Bundesliga side, Bayern Munich, have confirmed the signing of Arturo Vidal after agreeing a deal believed to be €37 million fee with the Serie A champions, Juventus.

Vidal, who helped Chile to win the Copa America, signed a four-year deal with the Bavarian after successfully undergoing  medical.

Sport Director, Matthias Sammer, told reporters during the unveiling of  Vidal in Munich on Tuesday, that the Chilean signed a contract until 2019 and it contains an option for another year.

Vidal, who has 69 caps for Chile, won four consecutive Serie A titles and one Coppa Italia, as well as helping the club reach May’s Champions League final, where they were beaten by Barcelona.

“I’m very happy,” Vidal told Bayern’s official website. “This is a new step in my career and I hope I do well here. I want to help the team and win trophies. It’s a dream come true for me personally.

Vidal had been a target for the Bavarians when he joined Juve from Bayer Leverkusen for €12.5m in 2011, and Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge strongly criticised the player at the time for opting to move to Turin.

The midfielder, could make his debut in the German Supercup against Wolfsburg on Saturday.

 

Buffon And Chiellini Extend Juventus Contract

BuffonGianluigi Buffon and Giorgio Chiellini have signed new contracts with Juventus keeping them at the Serie A club until 2017 and 2018 respectively.

Buffon’s deal was due to expire by the summer of 2015, but his new contract has added 3 more years to his initially 13 years career for his club.

Chiellini, 30, had a contract until the end of this season, too, and has agreed a new deal that would keep him at the club for three additional years.

Club President, Andrea Agnelli, indicated that their leadership was key as their stay with Juventus has been helpful in bringing the club to the top.

“The fact that it will be my last contract was a factor, but I’m not worried about that: I feel energised. As both parties wished to continue, it was the natural choice to extend my contract for another two years. I’ll need energy and courage to make my career last even longer,” Buffon said.

Chiellini also showed his satisfaction by vowing to keep giving his all for the club

Buffon has won five Serie A titles with Juventus, plus two which were taken off the club as part of the 2006 match-fixing scandal.

Juventus Signs Evra From Manchester United

EvraFrance left back, Patrice Evra, has completed a £1.2m move to Juventus from Manchester United, signing a two-year contract with his new club after eight-and-a-half years at Old Trafford.

Evra signed a one-year extension to his contract in May but asked to leave when Juventus approached United over his availability.

The former Monaco defender would have been competing for a starting berth next season against £27m signing, Luke Shaw.

Evra, who featured for France as they got to the last 8 of the just concluded 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, reflected happily on his time with United, where he made 379 appearances and scored 10 goals for the club since he joined in January 2006.

He said of his departure: “After a great deal of thought I have decided the time is right for me to leave Manchester United. It is the biggest decision of my career as this club is, and will always remain, in my heart.

“Joining and playing for Manchester United has been a privilege, a dream come true and my time here has been so memorable. Through the good times and the bad times we have all stuck together and remained loyal. I have always said you don’t just join Manchester United, you join the family and long may that tradition continue.

“This club is steeped in history and I feel privileged to have become a part of that. Over the past nine years I have met and worked with some incredible people, many of whom will remain friends for life. I would like to thank everyone at the club – teammates, coaches and in particular all the staff who made every single day in Carrington or at Old Trafford a special day.

He also thanked former manager, Sir Alex Ferguson and the club’s fans.

“An immense thank you to Sir Alex for making it all possible, for giving me the privilege to be a captain and to understand that nobody is bigger than the club”, he said.

“My biggest thanks go to the fans. We have had some fantastic times together and every single time I stepped out in that shirt I knew I was playing for a very special club.

“My passion for this club will live on and I know you guys will go on to enjoy more success in the coming seasons.”

It is understood that the Serie A Champion would pay an initial £1.2m for Evra, plus an extra £300,000 if they qualify for the Champions League in 2015-16.

Evra won five Premier League titles, three League Cup triumphs as well as an UEFA Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup winner’s medal.

Juventus D.G. says club is not interested in Drogba

Giuseppe Marotta the Director General of Italian giants Juventus has declared that the club does not have any interest whatsoever in signing former Chelsea forward now plying his trade for Shanghai Shenhua Didier Drogba.

Juventus we hear is said to be monitoring Roma’s Pablo Osvaldo and Athletic Bilbao’s Fernando Llorente.

Didier Drogba we hear is not happy in his new club and because of this the Ivory Coast international has been linked to Turin to probably join Juventus so as to strengthen the squad with some firepower which the Ivorian is known for during his day at the London club.

This information prompted the reaction of the Juventus Director General saying the former Chelsea striker is not one of the candidates to strengthen the Serie A leaders’ attack in the January transfer window.

He said further that Juventus has never considered making a move for Drogba, that it is just a rumour and speculation.

Del Piero moves to Sydney FC

It can now be confirmed now that foremost Juventus player Alessandro Del Piero will be moving to Australia to play his trade for Sydney FC in a transfer deal worth $4 million after so much speculation, confirmations, retractions and negotiations as he has also become the most expensive football player from anywhere in the world to play in Australia particularly the A-League.

The $2 million a season contract was concluded last night in an event that had been as eagerly awaited in Italy as it has been in Australia, as the Juventus frontman appeared at a press conference beside Tony Pignata the chief executive of  Sydney in Turin at the Principi Hotel.

Sydney’s interest in Del Piero was revealed exclusively a week ago, and the club went public that a deal had been agreed last Friday, only for all parties to cool on that talk at the weekend, insisting there was more work to be done before the contract was signed.

After the deal was concluded last night around 8pm Australian time, Del Piero in confirming the deal at the press conference said ‘For the next two years, I am Australian, so to speak’.

The 37-year-old declared he will be spreading the word of football in Australia and that while he would keep his house and business in Italy, he wouldn’t be treating his A-League stint ”like a holiday”.

Club chairman Scott Barlow added it was a landmark day for the club owned by his father-in-law David Traktovenko, who is also the man who put up the massive wages to make the signing a reality.

“This signing is a major coup for Sydney FC, and marks a historic day for football in this country,” he said. “This is for all Australian football fans.

“Alessandro Del Piero is a global icon of the game, and we are honoured he has chosen Sydney FC, ahead of many other options, as the club where he will begin the next chapter of his illustrious football career.”

Del Piero began his professional career with Padova in 1991 but would make only 14 appearances there before making the switch to Juventus as a 19-year-old. It was there with the ”Old Lady” that Del Piero’s star shone brighter than anyone dared dream during an incredible stint spanning two decades.

He boasted a magnificent record of 208 goals in 513 league matches – and then scored a further 25 goals in 56 Italia Cup matches and another 53 goals in 129 European matches, all despite playing the majority of his career as a trequartista – a link player behind the strikers.

Despite his age, and despite being released at the end of last season, Del Piero still played 28 matches and scored five goals for Juventus – a season when they went undefeated in the league.

He is expected to move to Sydney in two weeks’ time, giving him a fortnight’s preparation before the Sky Blues’ first match of the new season, against Wellington Phoenix.

 

Chelsea to face Juventus in Champions’ League group

Chelsea; last season’s Champions League winner and a first timer in the realm of Champions League winners has been pitched against Italian giants Juventus in the race to defending their title which they were crowned with last season in the group stages of the competition.

Last season EPL champions Manchester City has also been fixed to face Spanish giants Real Madrid who has been said to have been handed the toughest of all the draws by pundits because Real Madrid will be locking horns with three league champions in Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund and Ajax in Group D.

The Spanish champion beat Ajax 3-0 both home and away in last season’s competition as it will be itching to bid for a record 10th title at home against the Premier League champions.

Champions League winner Chelsea will begin the defense of its title at home against Italian giant Juventus, while Real Madrid will face Manchester City in the tournament’s toughest group.

The group stage pitched the holders against a Juventus side that stormed to the Serie A title and was unbeaten in all competitions last season apart from the Italian Cup final was done today.

Group E includes Shakhtar Donetsk and Champions League debutant Nordsjaelland of Denmark.

With all four teams winning their leagues last year, it is no surprise Group D has been pinpointed as the toughest group.

Juventus should qualify for the knockout stage, along with Chelsea, which knocked the Serie A side out of the competition in 2009.

Meanwhile, Nordsjaelland is expected to do little more than make up the numbers in Group E.

Bayern Munich, last season’s runner-up, is in Group F with Valencia as well as Lille and BATE Borisov.

Four-time winner Barcelona faces Benfica, Spartak Moscow and Celtic.

Manchester United, which failed to clear the group stage last season, also has a relatively weak group with Braga, Galatasaray and Cluj.

Seven-time winner AC Milan was drawn with Zenit St. Petersburg, Anderlecht and Malaga – another Champions League debutant.

French champion Montpellier makes its debut in the competition against Arsenal, Schalke and Olympiakos. Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud scored 21 goals for Montpellier last season, finishing as the joint top scorer in the French league.

Big-spending Paris Saint-Germain returns to the Champions League after an eight-year absence and will play Porto, Dynamo Kiev and Dinamo Zagreb.

AC Milan in talks with Man. City over Dzeko – Agent

Bosnia and Herzegovina international Edin Dzeko’s agent, Sead Susic has confirmed that Italian Giant AC Milan are in transfer talk with recent EPL winners Manchester City over the striker.

This is coming after the agreed transfer of Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Paris Saint-Germain in a reported 23-million-euro deal by the Italian giants.

Dzeko’s transfer to Milan is more than likely because there’s an urgent need for a replacement which why Edin Dzeko is AC Milan’s main priority right now, his agent Sead Susic said.

Dzeko signed for the Premier League club only last off-season after impressing at Wolfsburg, but it is believed that he has been deemed surplus to requirements by City manager Roberto Mancini.

Sead said there has been continued talks and the conclusion of talks will be in the next few days as Dezeko himself love the Serie A and AC Milan too apart from that, the deal is 70% possible.

Gattuso,Inzaghi ready to leave San Siro

The duo of Gattuso and Inzaghi confirmed their exits from San Siro come season end after over a decade of fruitful service to AC Milan; one of the powerful clubs in the Serie A.

after an infrequent season and expiring contracts, they were given a green light to move and their release has made it the third football veteran to leave the Rossoneri with days in between, the first being Alessandro Nesta who revealed on Thursday that he will be exiting the club too this summer.

 

Players Info

Gennaro Gattuso

Gattuso started his career with Umbrian side Perugia and at the age of 19 took a transfer to Scottish team Rangers FC in July 1997 and with the exit of the coach Walter Smith who signed him, Gattuso left the club in 1998 as he never got constant playing time with the new coach and he often played out of position too. Gattuso moved to Salernitana for £4 million; an Italian club which was recently promoted to Serie A.

Gattuso joined Milan from Salernitana in 1999 for 8 million Euro,His style allowed Milan manager Carlo Ancelotti to place midfielder Andrea Pirlo in a more attacking position as Gattuso plays deeper in midfield as Gattus will often move forward to win the ball for the forward players and then return to his defensive position.

His style of play is characterised by fierce tackling and hard work — a style which has earned him the nickname of Ringhio (Growl).

He signed a contract extension in June 2003 and in October 2004 has made only six appearances this season after a serious eye problem forced him to spend several months on the side-lines.

Gattuso initially had the thought of staying at AC Milan if guaranteed an active role by the next season but changed his mind on leaving as he said there will be opportunity for young players to grow.

 

Filippo Inzaghi

Inzaghi commonly known as Pippo was born August 9th 1973,is a World Cup and Champion League winner who signed for  AC Milan in 2001 with a transfer from Juventus with a deal of 37 million Euro and so far he has scored 125 goals in 296 appearances for AC Milan.

Inzaghi became the first striker to score in all international club competitions open to European teams after his double against Boca Juniors during the FIFA Club World Cup final in 2007.

Filippo Inzaghi is currently the second all-time most prolific goal scorer in European club competitions with 70 goals only beaten by Raúl’s 77 goals. He is also Milan’s top international goal scorer in the club’s history with 43 goals. He also holds the record for most hat-tricks in Serie A (10), and the UEFA Champions League (three – tied with Michael Owen and Lionel Messi).

He has only made eight appearances to date in 2011-12.

He announced his plan to move on with an open letter which was published on the club’s website.