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Under pressure Juventus boss Ciro Ferrara has come out fighting after a fourth defeat in five matches but it may not be enough for another first-time coach to save his job.
“One of my friends, one of the few I have at the moment, said to me, ‘you are like Rocky’. I am full of punches and blood but I say to my opponent, I am not hurt, punch harder because you are not hurting me,” Ferrara said in the wake of a 3-0 home defeat by AC Milan.
“There is nothing that could knock me down, my mother punched harder.”
His determination is admirable but are Juve now regretting appointing a man with no real managerial experience to replace Claudio Ranieri last May?
Juventus have been fined 20,000 euros rather than receive a stadium ban for an offensive chant their fans sing about Inter Milan’s black striker Mario Balotelli.
As songs go, it is pretty insulting. “Se saltelli, muore Balotelli” (If you jump up and down, Balotelli will die).
Resurgent AC Milan host Real Madrid in the Champions League later having beaten the Galacticos 3-2 at the Bernabeu two weeks ago.
Meanwhile Inter Milan are seven points clear in Serie A after just 11 games. All would seem to be rosy in one of Europe’s greatest soccer cities, but in reality Italian football is in the doldrums.
The coaches of the three biggest Serie A clubs recently indulged in what has always been one of the favourite pastimes of the older and wiser — picking fault with today’s youngsters.
Inter Milan boss Jose Mourinho kicked things off when he criticised 19-year-old forward Mario Balotelli’s approach in training and suggested that footballers of his age were more interested in Ferraris and Bentleys than getting on with the job.
from Left field:
It had long been decided that Italy's rugby team would host world champions South Africa in Florence on Saturday Nov. 21.
Then soccer got in the way. Fiorentina, who use Florence's only big stadium the Stadio Franchi, were due to play Parma at home on the 22nd but when they were drawn to play at home on Tuesday Nov. 24 against Olympique Lyon in the Champions League, the Parma game was moved to the 21st.
Brazil-born Juventus striker Amauri failed to get an Italian passport in time for Italy’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and Bulgaria but he hopes the documentation will come through soon.Azzurri coach Marcello Lippi has indicated he will then consider Amauri for international duty but said he did not want the situation to be repeated.This seems to have ended any chance of Inter Milan midfielder Thiago Motta following Amauri’s lead. The former Barcelona and Atletico Madrid player could qualify for Italy if FIFA decided his two Brazil appearances in the CONCACAF Gold Cup did not count as full caps because it was a under-23 team.After Diego’s classy brace in his second game for Juventus, many Italians became excited when they realised the playmaker has Italian lineage. However, they forgot the basic rule that Diego had played competitively for Brazil and therefore was not eligible for Italy.Arsenal striker Eduardo da Silva plays for Croatia despite being born in Brazil while the London club’s uncapped Spanish goalkeeper Manuel Almunia has often been talked about as a potential England candidate.Is the situation out of hand? I’m just old enough to remember when domestic clubs had a majority of players from the local town. Now few top sides have players from the same country.Is international football going the same way? Why not have Premier League v Serie A rather than England v Italy?Liverpool’s Alberto Aquilani and Andrea Dossena may feel a bit torn.PHOTO: Juventus forward Amauri warms up during a training session at the Stadio Olimpico in Turin March 9, 2009.REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
Jose Mourinho is no stranger to run-ins with rival club managers, but this week the Portuguese raised his aim and had a swipe at Italian national team boss Marcello Lippi.
The Inter Milan coach had taken exception to Lippi tipping Juventus for this year’s Serie A title.
He accused him of lacking respect, arguing a national team coach should be seen to be impartial even if deep down he wants Juve to win (Lippi had two glorious stints at the Turin club split by a dismal, short one at Inter).
While everyone at AS Roma would probably do the Birdie song standing on their heads if Francesco Totti asked, the Italian capital’s golden boy learned his charms have limits this week.
The striker has been hinting for some time he’d like to come out of international retirement, having quit Italy after being part of Lippi’s 2006 World Cup-winning team.
Italy’s entire soccer infrastructure needs an overhaul, captain Fabio Cannavaro said after the world champions arrived home from their Confederations Cup nightmare.
Elimination in the group stages after defeats to Egypt and Brazil followed a difficult few weeks for Serie A, with AC Milan’s Kaka sold to Real Madrid and other top players threatening to leave the stuttering league.
American soccer fans aren’t noted for their nastiness but the reaction to Giuseppe Rossi, New Jersey native, scoring twice for Italy against the U.S in their 3-1 Confederations Cup defeat on Monday has been surprisingly vitriolic.
What has upset U.S fans is that Rossi was born and bred in the U.S. but chose to play for another country and then — to add insult to injury — celebrated when he scored twice against his country of birth.