This man stole my Halloween costume!
It’s a tense week in Milan as the battle over which color stripe best matches black rages on in the fashion capital of the world.
Inter sit in a comfortable 3rd position while just edge out powerhouse Pescara for 11th on goal differential.
So you could say there’s more at stake for the Rossoneri in this one as another league loss, against their hated rival no less, would surely send the fan base back into despair even following a nice win in Russia midweek.
Allegri is still on the hot-seat, while Inter’s young manager Andrea Stramaccioni has done well to blend the old and the new in a formula that has been balanced and effective.
Milan have won the most of these contests overall, but Inter have the edge in Serie A play, 66 wins to 60. This will be the 179th time the two squads have met in the Italian top-flight since 1908.
If you are one of the 17 people who gets beIN Sport you can actually watch this match… but only the second half because El Clasico is on.
So grab yourself an illegal stream and enjoy Serie A like it fell off the back of a truck this weekend.
Massimo Cellino has your FIGC regulations right here.
It’s been a busy week for me personally and in Serie A, which after this weekend will have completed a full three rounds in just nine days.
So like my beloved Rossoneri it’s time for me to play catch-up.
There’s been a lot of hub-bub in Italy these past few days with the first manager sacking (right on schedule), reported conflicts between current employees and club legends, and an owner gone wild resulting in a match forfeited due to safety concerns.
I can’t prove this (and neither can Italian prosecutors) but I’m sure there were several bunga bunga parties as well.
Just another week in the world’s most entertaining (for so many reasons) league!
Further proof that you should never, ever let Sepp Blatter touch you.
In the United States, being a whistleblower can get you 104 million dollars, even if you initially participated in the criminal activity you ultimately have a part in exposing.
In Italy, it can leave you without a job, ostracized from the sport you love and had the dignity and strength to protect.
You might remember the case of Simone Farina, a little known defender from Lega Pro outfit Gubbio, whose testimony came at a vital time in the breaking of the Calcioscommesse scandal still reverberating through Italian football.
Farina was rewarded with an Azzurri call up for a friendly match and praised across Italy for his actions. He was even declared a Football for Hope ambassador by FIFA at the Ballon d’Or ceremony in January.
But months later, his contract with Gubbio rescinded (supposedly amicably and by mutual agreement) a 30-year-old with years of experience near and in Serie B can’t even get a free transfer on minimum wage. Ridiculous, considering someone even wanted Michael Owen.
There was apparently talk of him getting a contract with Aston Villa, not to play, but to perform a role teaching young footballers about fair play. Understandably still wishing to play, Farina declined, but with the transfer window now closed in Italy this former “hero” is without a club.
Come on dude! You’d fit right in in Italy!
It briefly looked like there would be one more “boob” for me to include in your weekly dose of Serie A but, in a move so typical of Italian football right now it appears that Fiorentina and Juventus wasted enough time battling each other to allow Dimitar Berbatov to likely sign for Fulham instead.
Just another example of Italian on Italian crime.
Now I am obviously biased, and Fulham did shock the Turin giants a few years back in the Europa League, but who in their right mind would choose Fulham over Juventus?
EPL mid-table over Serie A Champions?
Cold nights at stoke over Champions League football?
Fucking Fulham over one of the most decorated clubs in soccer history?
And what better place to launch your line of designer mittens than Italy? This guy really is a boob.
So Juve appear to have settled for Nicky “Pinkboots” Bendtner instead, while La Viola continue to scramble for a suitable partner for Stevan Jovetic (or someone to replace him when he inevitably leaves).
The transfer market closes in Italy today, so pay attention to the continued comings, goings, and chicanery that always accompanies the calciomercato and join me after the jump for your weekly Serie A tour.
The quest for the badge begins.
England has had its day but this weekend top-flight club calcio returns to Italy!
Unfortunately, very few of you will see it.
Al Jazeera has the TV rights to Serie A. beIN Sport, the awkwardly-named sports station run by the Qatar based company is currently available only to Dish Network and DirecTV customers. Comcast seems to have made a deal for the network to appear as part of its Xfinity Sports Entertainment Package (an additional fee) but the station is so far scheduled to show just 2 Serie A matches per week.
I am not sure what is going on with the digital rights, but I know that ESPN3 currently does not have Serie A in its lineup.
Exactly what this means for me, a blogger who has regularly tried to convince people to do exactly what it is now going to be harder to do (watch Serie A, legally) and my Serie A table predictions and punditry after the jump.
Kids love meeting the manager.
Just like all of the other cool clubs, AC Milan have been spending part of their summer in America.
In these days of crazy football finances expanding your global brand over the offseason is a no-brainer and it has the added benefit of giving already die-hard fans the chance to see their favorite squads live and up close.
Hell, it doesn’t even have to be your favorite squad. I once got to geek out (with dignity of course) in the presence of some of those bastards from Manchester United.
Getting in on the U.S. outreach action, the Rossoneri recently visited the adidas store in Manhattan for a meet and greet and autograph signing for Tri-State Area tifosi. The team is in the Big Apple to face Real Madrid in the new Yankee Stadium.
In addition to the signing, there was also a special offer which would guarantee the first 150 people who purchased $75 worth of Milan merchandise from the store a special wristband and the chance to meet the team.
$75 isn’t all that cheap, but when you consider the gear is about to be filled with signatures, you have to assume that’s actually a pretty good value.
Now, me being in Boston, I could have easily hopped on a train or more likely a Chinatown bus (Fung Wah baby) and gotten the type of access to the team that I will rarely ever be offered again.
But I’m actually holding out for a much more exclusive wristband, and it’s going to take a lot more than 75 bucks.
Should have painted the Monstah red.
When Fenway Sports Group, the American investment company that also owns the Boston Red Sox, purchased Liverpool FC in 2010 it was clear that the storied club would be getting a lot more attention in New England.
Early on, some of that attention was negative, with many Sox fans I knew fearing the acquisition would lead to the owners neglecting their duties with the baseball team or being a little more tight with their spending.
But almost two years later, Liverpool came to visit historic Fenway Park in my adopted city, and judging by the crowd and atmosphere little of that initial wariness remains.
FSG and Liverpool did a fantastic job promoting this game and the stadium, which was adorned with some nice touches to recreate a real English football match in Liverpool, was practically full. And I’d conservatively estimate that 75% of the reported 37,169 fans at Fenway were wearing Liverpool gear and not giallorossi.
And despite losing 2-1 to the visiting Italian side, the club and stadium hosted a good match and surely won over some of their newer fans.
Some more details about the fan experience and amateur iPhone photography after the jump.
Is that the Eiffel Tower or an oil tower?
I’m finally back from my post-Euro soccer hangover.
It was great to watch Italy’s surprising run to the final. And while they came up short in the end, it was gratifying as an Italian football supporter to see the Azzurri shut up so many of the critics who had written them off yet again.
But while I was away, Paris Saint-Germain pillaged Italy’s clubs yet again, giving new rise to many questions about the strength and relevance of Serie A.
Now obviously there is a big difference and tenuous connection between a nation’s international squad and its domestic league (a post for another day) but the ease with which the Ligue 1 outfit have plundered Italy’s top flight is a cause of concern for calcio supporters.
But it may also be a blessing in disguise.
This could be a really great game.
I decided on this photo. But Google “portugal fans”. You won’t be disappointed.
Or it could be business as usual as Spain continue to pass their way toward their third consecutive final in a major tournament.
Spain have moved through Euro 2012 in fairly straightforward fashion, using their patented tiki-taka to emerge comfortably from Group C and stifle France in the quarterfinals.
Portugal had a more dynamic road, overcoming a loss to fellow semifinalists Germany in their first group match to book a quarterfinal date with a stubborn but ultimately toothless Czech Republic.
So now these neighbors face off, with many believing the title-holders will do to the smaller member of their peninsula what they have done to every other squad for the past 4 years.
But Portugal have something those other squads don’t. They have Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Portuguese handed Spain their biggest defeat in recent memory with a 4-0 drubbing in a friendly way back in 2010.
The stakes are much different, and Spain’s power much more consolidated today, but history may be the only advantage Bento’s men carry into this match.
It will all be settled on the pitch starting at 2:45 ET. Join me then for lineups and commentary, after the jump!
Jiráček yo-self before you wreck yo-self.
After an exciting group stage that did not feature a single scoreless match, we now enter the knockout stages of UEFA Euro 2012.
The first quarterfinal matchup sees Group A winners Czech Republic take on Cristiano Ronaldo and Group B runners-up Portugal.
Despite coming into this match as the second-place team from their group, Portugal it must be said have been more impressive in getting to this stage as their qualification required wins over past champions Denmark and the Netherlands and saw them narrowly losing to tournament favorites Germany.
The Czechs on the other hand fell quite tamely to Russia before scraping by Greece and hosts Poland to top group A.
Only three more matches potentially separate the remaining nations from European glory and immortality for those players who achieve it.
It’s a liveblog. It’s Four Five Two. It’s me, Orr!
And it’s international soccer at its finest. After the jump!