Archive for the ‘Juventus’ Category

Save Of The Day: Julio Sergio, Man Of The Day: Diego

August 31, 2009

While Roma got shelled today 3-1 by Juventus, exposing its enduring weakness on the defensive end, newby keeper Julio Sergio did provide a moment of brilliance for the giallorossi.

Check out his brilliant save at the 9 second mark on the video. After that, check out Juve’s Diego channeling Maradona (with a brief intermission by Roma’s Daniel De Rossi with a gorgeous long range shot). After three years in the wilderness of Italian football, there’s only one thing to say for Juventus; they’re ba-ack!

And not to be outdone, Valencia’s Juan Mata and Pablo Hernandez put on a show of their own in downing Sevilla 2-0.

Eduardo Salvio: The Next Big Thing?

January 27, 2009

While Arsenal courts Zenith for Andrei Arshavin, Real Madrid begs and pleads for Cristiano Ronaldo, and other clubs are going after the hottest players in the game, there is still a wave of scary talent coming forward from the youth ranks. One in particular is 18 year-old Argentine wunderkind Eduardo Salvio who has already scored 4 goals in 14 appearances for Lanús, including putting two past Boca Juniors. He is also working his way up through Argentina’s highly competitive youth system, recently shining in the South American U-20 championship. Just three days ago, he led his Argentine team to a 2-1 come-from-behind win over Peru, scoring the winning goal.

“I can play anywhere, inside or outside, but it does not frighten me to go one-on-one with the goalkeeper,” said a confident Salvio to Gazzetto. “My mirror player plays in another position, and he is Juan Román Riquelme.”

Salvio is a combination of fast, clever, and very technical and with his diminutive 5’5” frame, nothing but trouble for defenders once he has the ball at his feet. He is already being hailed as the next Lionel Messi and Ezequiel Lavezzi (who are both mentioned as the next Maradona) in the great tradition of Argentine supporting strikers such as Carlos Tevez, Messi, Javier Saviola, and others.

Now, teams like Roma, AC Milan, Inter, Napoli, Fiorentina, Juventus, CSKA Moscow, Genoa, Sevilla, Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Villarreal and Atlético Madrid are hot on his trail.

So, it is no surprise that in today’s La Gazzetta dello Sport, we see that Juve’s management are making their move by sending chief scout Renzo Castagnini to Argentina to work out a deal before another club gets there first. They’ll be hard pressed to trump Napoli, which has always been a second home for Argentine players on the continent, including Maradona, Lavezzi, German Denis, and others. That said, Juve’s deeper pockets would probably carry the day.

According to Gazzetto, to seal the deal Juventus is ready to ante up with at least €8.5 million and plans to finance it through the sale of forward Vincenzo Iaquinta to an interested Russian club Zenit St Petersburg (which also indicates they are resigned to losing Arshavin).

But any deal may not happen until summer since Lanús president Alejandro Marón, has a stated policy that the club’s youth players must play a full season before any transfers are allowed.

Meanwhile, Juventus has reportedly approached Chelsea to discuss a loan deal for French winger Florent Malouda. Malouda has not fared well since the arrival of Chelsea boss Felipe Scolari but his old Chelsea coach Claudio Ranieri, now at Juventus, thinks he can help the team challenge Inter for the Scuddetto.

Calciopoli Figure Moggi Receives Suspended Sentence

January 9, 2009

According to various Italian news agencies, former Juventus boss Luciano Moggi, the central figure in the 2006 Calciopoli scandal that rocked Italian soccer, will receive an 18-month suspended sentence. His son Alessandro, who was also involved in the match fixing scheme, received a 14 month suspended sentence.

Moggi allegedly influenced referees and players in the match fixing scandal that saw Juventus stripped of the 2006 Scudetto and relegated while AC Milan Fiorentina were docked points with the Viola, who were never directly linked to the scandal, losing its Champions League spot. The relegation of Juventus led to an exodus of quality players to other teams in Europe.

Of course the paymasters behind the entire scandal appear to have gotten away without a scratch.

Adu Shines in Monaco-Juventus Friendly

January 6, 2009

Freddy Adu put in a strong performance for AS Monaco tonight in a friendly match against Juventus, played in Sicily. During the match he showed a few reasons why he deserves a chance in this Saturday’s league match against Nantes, including a 13th minute attack in which he beat two defenders and nearly scored.

His pièce de résistance came in the 35th minute when he once again infiltrated the Juventus penalty area but was taken down for a penalty. His Croatian teammate Jerko Leko nailed the penalty shot past Gigi Buffon to give his team the 1-0 lead.

Adu helped to create a few more dangerous chances in the second half before being replaced by youngster Valère Germain in the 68th minute. Juve’s Vincenzo Iaquinta saved the home team’s honor by brilliantly one-touching a long ball past Yohann Thuram in the 90th minute to make it a 1-1 draw, leading to penalty kicks (for some odd reason). Thuram then redeemed himself by stopping two penalty kicks, giving Monaco the win with a 6-5 advantage.

Elsewhere, American Danny Szetela played 62 minutes at left midfield in Brescia’s 2-1win over Monza on Saturday.

A Humbling Weekend For Serie A Powers

August 4, 2008

You saw it on Italian newsstands everywhere today under somber headlines; Chelsea 5 : AC Milan 0 , Hamburger SV 3 : Juventus 0. Never mind that these were meaningless preseason friendlies in which coaches experimented with new players and different lineups – Italian football had been shamed.

AC Milan took its lumps in the Railway Cup tournament held in Moscow on an astounding four-goal performance by Cheleas’s Nicolas Anelka. The Premiership side took the lead in the second minute on a Frank Lampard free kick, which Milan keeper Zeljko Kalac could not stop.
Anelka’s romp started in the eighth minute with a successful long range shot then caught Kalac out of position to tally his second not ten minutes later. Anelka’s two second half goals came thanks to assists from fellow Frenchman Florent Malouda, nodding home a cross in the 51st then tapping in another cross from the winger seven minutes later.

Juventus figured it would fare better in the Emirates Cup after just beating Arsenal 1-0 but a weak first half against Hamburg saw them dig a hole they could not claw their way out of. The unavailability of Jorge Andrade and other defensive injuries have left the Old Lady looking pretty old in the back. Some well-taken early shots by Hamburg were easily saved by Antonio Chimenti but a defensive error by Nicola Legottaglie in the 18th minute allowed Jose Paolo Guerero to slot a left-footed shot in for Hamburg’s first goal.

An unfit Mauro Camorenesi tried to rally Juve in the attack but the Torino-based side struggled to support the ball in forward areas. An early second half knee injury to Juve defender Dario Knezevic did not help matters and Christian Molinaro also had to be taken out due to injury.

Nonetheless, Juventus looked more lively in the second half and Amauri nearly scored on an header which was stopped by Frank Rost. Later Claudio Ranieri inserted Vincenzo Iaquinta, who muffed an easy chance before Hamburg struck again on two late goals from Croatian Ivica Olic to make it 3-0 Hamburg.

It seems more than a few Serie A teams are still looking for defensive help as unfilled roster spots and recent injuries are depleting the back lines of several teams. Among those still looking for help in central defense are Fiorentina, Genoa, Inter, Lazio, Siena and Udinese.

Thuram Retires Due To Heart Condition

August 2, 2008

France’s all time most-capped player, Lillian Thuram, called an end to a distinguished career Friday afternoon at a press conference in Paris. The central defender was in the process of transferring from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain when a medical exam uncovered a heart defect which led to Thuram’s decision to end a highly successful career.

He had considered trying to fulfill at least part of the two-year deal at PSG but the 36 year-old was talked out of it by his mother who had already lost one son to a heart condition. Reflecting on the decision, Thuram remarked that “There are family reasons which have also been taken into account,” he said. “I wanted to be the Paolo Maldini of PSG but that has not been possible. It’s sad to end a career like this.”
Thuram was capped 142 times and was a key member of the French teams which won the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European championship. He most recently played for France in the Euro 2008 tourney. His 17-year playing career started at Monaco in 1990 before he moved to Serie A in 1996 where he played for Parma who he helped to win the UEFA Cup in 1999, and then to Juventus where he played on two scudetto winning sides. In 2006, he joined Barcelona where he stayed for two years before attempting to transfer back to France this summer.
Rumors out of Paris indicate Thuram will likely be offered a high profile position within the French Football Federation sometime before the summer ends.