Thu, March 6th 2008

From: The Guardian - Sid Lowe finds the Spanish media desperate to put some kind of gloss on the unthinkable - that their rivals across the Med play better football

Over here, people think Italian football is dirty, cynical, talentless and boring. Few Italians have succeeded in Spain because they are rubbish, they say, while few Spaniards have succeeded in Italy because the football is rubbish - and full of cheats.



Mon, November 6th 2006

Ronaldinho heads FIFPro poll of 40,000 players

Italians and French dominate best eleven

Barcelona and Brazil’s Ronaldinho has been named the world’s top player for the second time in succession in FIFPro’s poll of over 40,000 players worldwide.

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Tue, August 15th 2006

The Sun newspaper is reporting that Newcastle will tell Inter Milan to drop the £10m asking price for Obafemi Martins because the Magpies are looking into rumours from Nigeria that the striker is possibly six years older than his reported age of 21.

Via: BBC



Fri, July 21st 2006

Materazzi banned for Zidane insult

FIFA set dangerous precedent

FIFA have announced that Italy defender Materazzi will receive a £2,170 fine and 2 game suspension, and Zidane a £3,260 fine and 3 game ban.

In choosing to punishing the ‘victim’ nearly as strongly as the perpetrator, FIFA have given players a who commit serious foul play a dangerous ‘get out’ by allowiing provocation to be blamed. In Zidane’s case, the provocation does not even seem that great - a verbal insult - that the player must have heard countless times through his career.

FIFA’s attempts (however weak) to remove racism from the game on and off the pitch should be encouraged, but when it transpired that the abuse Materazzi hurled at Zidane was not racist, there seems little grounds for his punishment.

If Materazzi can consider himself unlucky, Zidane must be very pleased. Rooney received an almost equivalent penalty for his red card against Portugal. With Zidane retiring after the World Cup final the 3 match ban is irrelevant, and £3,000 pocket money for a top class (and top paid) footballer.

Former Rangers and Everton attacker Duncan Ferguson received a 3 month jail sentence for assault and a 12 game ban from football for a similar head butt on Raith Rovers defender John McStay in 1994.

As the event happened in the World Cup Final, FIFA could be expected to react in one way or another: to set a severe precedent and impose a stringent penalty, or to try and brush the incident under the carpet and forget about it.

Zidane, probably due to his reputation and the fact he has retired, has got away lightly. Materazzi, probably due to his reputation, has not.


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Mon, July 17th 2006

With Juve effectively relegated for 2 seasons due to their 30 point deduction in Serie B it seems inconceivable that they will be able to hang on to all their players or even loan them out for a year.

Not too many leagues will be able to match the Italian clubs’ salaries, so England will be a likely destination for many who leave.

Here’s a list of transfer speculation of England’s top clubs and who they are targetting.


Alessandro Nesta (Milan), Fabio Cannavaro, Pavel Nedved, Gianluca Zambrotta (Juve);

Manchester United

Patrick Vieira, Pavel Nedved (Juve), Gennaro Gattuso (Milan), Luca Toni (Fiorentina)


Mauro Camoranesi, David Trezeguet (Juve)


Gianluigi Buffon, Lilian Thuram, Patrick Vieira, David Trezeguet (Juve), Filippo Inzaghi (Milan)


Lilian Thuram (Juve), Filippo Inzaghi (Milan)

Source: BBC


Serie A sides Juventus, Lazio and Fiorentina have been demoted to the second division for their involvement in Italy’s match-fixing scandal.

Juventus were also stripped of their last two Serie A titles and had 30 points deducted, meaning they are likely to stay down for two seasons.

AC Milan will stay in Serie A but will start the season docked 15 points.

All are barred from playing in Europe.

Inter, Roma, Chievo and Palermo, who finished third, fifth, seventh and eighth, are in line to take the places of the penalised clubs in next season’s Champions League.

Lecce, Messina, and Treviso will avoid relegation to Serie B and keep their places in the top flight as a result of the verdict.

From: BBC


All 4 clubs are expected to appeal.

Related: Juventus face relegation from Serie A



Tue, July 11th 2006

After an exhaustive study of the match video, and with the help of an Italian translator, Rees claimed that Materazzi called Zidane “the son of a terrorist whore” before adding “so just f*** off” for good measure.

From: The Times


Seems to be corroborated here: The Daily Mail


Mon, July 10th 2006

Zidane red card overshadows Italian triumph

Italy 1 - France 1 (Italy win on penalties)

Zinedine Zidane’s career came to a staggering end as he saw red for his brutal head butt on Italian Materrazi.

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Wed, July 5th 2006

Italy dump out hosts in game of the tournament

Italy 2 - Germany 0

After a raft of uninspired knock-out phase matches, the hosts Germany and Italy fought out one of the most exciting semi-finals of all time, and restored the reputation of the World Cup.

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Tue, July 4th 2006

The Italian Football Federation’s prosecutor has called for all four clubs at the centre of the match-fixing scandal to be thrown out of Serie A.

From: BBC



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