Reuters Soccer Blog
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Believe it of not but the mighty AC Milan are clear at the top of Serie A for the first time since May 2004, when they last won the scudetto.
For a team which won the European Cup in 2007, that is an awful long time to go without leading the table on your own, not even for a week in September.
Sevens wins out of eight have propelled the Rossoneri to the summit this term and that was after losing their first two.
Most of those victories have been far from pretty, however. Sunday’s 1-0 home win over Napoli was courtesy of a late own goal while Kaka had a penalty saved.
If David Beckham’s loan move to AC Milan goes through, one of the options coach Carlo Ancelotti has in mind is to use him as an alternative to Andrea Pirlo as a deep midfield playmaker.
It’s an interesting possibility which could help Beckham edge towards Peter Shilton’s record of 125 England caps as a protagonist rather than the bit player he is at the moment.
It’s not totally confirmed yet but it looks like David Beckham is joining AC Milan on a short-term loan deal.
The LA Galaxy midfielder, desperate to keep his fitness up and impress England coach Fabio Capello during the U.S. close season, is taking a big risk in coming to Italy.
“So we didn’t make a mistake after all,” quipped AC Milan owner and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi after Ronaldinho scored twice in the 3-0 win over Sampdoria on Sunday.
The Brazilian, who went badly off the boil in his final two seasons at Barcelona, has also had an inconsistent start to his San Siro career after a 21 million euro move.
Ronaldinho’s great bullet header in AC Milan’s 1-0 win over derby rivals Inter on Sunday surprised the Brazilian as much as everybody else.
The former Barcelona player was so shocked at scoring such a goal that he ran around the San Siro pitch like a headless chicken before being hugged by his team mates and performing his customary dance. (more…)
Families will be divided and bars will be filled with talk of nothing else this weekend when Everton host Liverpool on Saturday and the Milan derby takes place a day later.
Despite the plethora of foreign players on show at Goodison and the San Siro, as well as Spanish, Scottish and Portuguese managers, the two derbies will still sum up what is great about being a football fan.
AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti was told his position was secure after the 2007 European champions finished fifth in Serie A last term and missed out on this season’s Champions League.
However, two defeats in their opening two league matches have put him under pressure again. The arrivals of Ronaldinho and Andriy Shevchenko were designed to help stop the rot but Milan’s main problem last season was a static midfield and the issue remains unresolved.
Andriy Shevchenko has completed his move back to AC Milan but unlike Ronaldinho’s arrival in July, there was no fanfare from the Rossoneri.
Milan fans looked on with shock, pity and a small sense of ‘we told you so’ as Shevchenko struggled to fit in at Chelsea during two forgettable years in England.
Ronaldinho is finally leaving Barcelona after months of speculation and will sign for AC Milan on Wednesday.
Many questions remain, however. Will Milan let him play at the Olympics? Barca said no and Milan also stopped Kaka going so it seems unlikely he can shoot off to Beijing.
Turkey coach Fatih Terim said he would probably leave following their unlucky 3-2 defeat by Germany in the Euro 2008 semi-finals.
Given the way his determined and depleted side played and the gracious manner in which Terim conducted himself, a move to a big European club may not be far away.