Posts Tagged ‘SAN SIRO’

JUNE 26-SHORT CORNERS:SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

June 26, 2010

Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images

JUNE 26 – SHORT CORNERS-INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

BALLACK RETURNS TO LEVERKUSEN

Michael Ballack has returned to his former club, Bayer Leverkusen, on a two-year contract.

The German International is returning to his old Bundesliga side, with whom he reached the Champions League final in 2002.

“With my transfer to Bayer Leverkusen a circle is complete. I had a beautiful and successful time here, on which I like to look back on a lot,” Ballack told the club’s website. “That was a factor in my decision.”

“But above all the good sporting potential of this young and attractive team were persuasive.

“I am especially looking forward to the great fans, who naturally have been key in my decision to return to Bayer.”

Rudi Völller, Bayer sporting director, is excited to see what a player of Ballack’s experience can bring to such a young side.

“With Michael Ballack our team is getting an enormous boost in quality,” he said. “Especially our many young players will benefit from his abilities and his experience.

“We did everything to convince Michael. That his preference was for Bayer despite our limited financial possibilities in comparison to the competition, shows his emotional attachment to the club.”

ALLEGRI TAKES HELM AT MILAN

AC Milan confirmed Massimiliano Allegri as their new manager replacing Leonardo who quit after just one season in charge at the San Siro.

Allegri, who has signed a two-year contract with Milan, comes from a Cagliari club he had great success with, but was released after a disagreement with the club in April.

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SHORT CORNERS – JUNE 14 : INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

June 14, 2010

SHORT CORNERS – JUNE 14 : INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

AL FAYED CONFIDENT HODGSON WILL STAY AT FULHAM

Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed is sure Roy Hodgson will decide to remain at Craven Cottage if Liverpool is indeed targeting the 62-year-old manager as Rafa Benitez’s successor at Anfield.

Hodgson is the odds on favorite to replace Benitez having enjoyed a tremendous season by steering Fulham to the Europa League final, last month.

Hodgson has enjoyed a successful run at Fulham since taking the reigns at Craven Cottage in January 2007, and has the unwavering support of his chairman.

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SHORT CORNERS: Soccer News and Notes From Around the World

May 24, 2010

SHORT CORNERS: SOCCER NEWS AND NOTES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

INTER MILAN: CHAMPIONS OF EUROPE

Inter Milan won the 2010 Champions League Final in Madrid on Saturday calmly and confidently, emulating their manager Jose Mourinho, by beating Bayern Munich 2-0 and thus claiming their first European title in 45 years.

The win over Munich was powered by Diego Milito who scored both goals for Inter in the 35th and 70th minute. “Il Principe” Milito’s composure, confidence and skill personified Inter’s play and he walked away with a deserved Man of the Match award.

Though Bayern had chances, they never looked like challenging after Milito’s first strike and Inter Milan were happy to pack the back and keep ten men behind the ball at all times.

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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: DID INTER MILAN DO ENOUGH AT HOME?

April 22, 2010

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SEMIFINALS

The First Legs of the Champions League semifinals are in the book, and though we some spectacular individual skill and brilliant tactical football, these two ties are far from over.  In reality, all four teams will have a reason to think the tie is theirs to win come next week.

DID INTER MILAN DO ENOUGH AT HOME?

Tuesday saw Inter Milan do what no one seems to have been able to do lately and that is to stop the outright onslaught that is FC Barcelona.  For all the self-love that exudes from Jose Mourinho and all the press he gets (good and bad) we sometimes forget that he is a brilliant tactician and manager. His strategy Tuesday at the San Siro, frustrated and slowed the impossibly quick defending champions to a normal pace.  He forced them to play football, which is something few understand as well as he does.  Pep Guardiola likes to let his team run and once they find their stride, they will run you into the ground and have you playing from behind.

Arsene Wenger saw this in the quarterfinals when in the first 20 minutes of the first leg. His Arsenal side could have been well and truly out of the tie. Fortune and the fact that Arsenal is a fast and free team also, helped save them and challenge Barcelona at their own game.  It didn’t work at the end of the day, as no team in the world right now is as good as Barcelona at that style.

It looked as if we were in for more of the same on Tuesday when Pedro scored for Barca inside of the 20 minute mark. Pedro has scored a goal in six (yes, that’s right… SIX) different competitions this season for Barcelona, and the goal Tuesday was his 20th of this, his first season.

Wesley Sniedjer equalized for Inter 10 minutes later and suddenly Barcelona slowed down a bit to settle into a football match.  That was a mistake

Inter continued to try and slow down Barcelona.  Ball possession, ball control and some fortune from the referees helped The Special One’s side regain a firm footing in the match, and eventually when the teams were both playing the same game, Inter took over.

Maicon’s Second Half goal was set up by the hard working Diego Milito and then Milito himself scored. the Argentine being the beneficiary of a blown offsides call.

Too late, Barcelona started attempting to ratchet up the pressure to counter the 3-1 scoreline, but Inter held fast against seemingly overwhelming Barca pressure. The score line became a result and Inter had claimed a famous victory, but was it enough to secure the tie

Barca are surely capable of outscoring anyone at the Camp Nou, so will Pep Guardiola  unleash the hounds?  Send everyone forward and try to get the goals back in front of their rabid fans? Perhaps Barca will sacrifice some of their offensive prowess in lieu of keeping Inter off the score sheet and thereby keeping the vital away goal out of Jose Mourinho’s reach.

Regardless, everything is left to play for next Wednesday in Barcelona.