Italy

MANCINI BACKS BONUCCI

Roberto Mancini was not a happy man at the end of the Italy’s game against Portugal in the Nations League which finished as a goalless draw. The reason of the coach’s unhappiness was the behavior of the supporters who whistled the centre-back Lenardo Bonucci during the game.

Bonucci was not whistled because he played badly in the game. He was whistled because the supporters at San Siro were not happy with the fact that after making a move from Juventus to Milan, he went back to Juventus just after a solitary season.

Pirlo defends Italian Football

Italian football is not generally recognized to be one of the most attractive or entertaining competitions to watch. La Liga and the English Premier League are the ones that are regularly highly-rated with supposedly better and more talented performers.

The last time that an Italian club won the UEFA Champions League was 7 years ago back in 2010 when Inter Milan emerged as the champions of Europe and the Italian national football team has also been struggling in the international scene.

Azzurri hopes depend on Candreva

With Italy a goal down in Croatia during the European qualifying campaign back in June 2015, the Azzurri got a penalty. Antonio Candreva stepped up and provided the crowd in Split with a delicate yet impudent moment. He chipped in a Panenka penalty that levelled the tie and grabbed a point for his team.

It was one of the best goals in qualifying but Antonio Conte will be hoping that the Lazio midfielder will be able to provide moments of magic throughout the tournament, despite the L’Aquile star man coming off the back of a tough season.

Balotelli Linked with Milan Exit

AC Milan’s volatile striker, Mario Balotelli, could be heading back to the Premier League with Arsenal boss, Arsene Wenger, believed to have met the former Manchester City man’s agent ahead of a potential summer transfer.

The controversial 23-year-old, who is rarely out of the headlines or the live football commentary, has enjoyed a prolific spell with the Rossoneri, scoring 21 goals in just 30 Serie A appearances for a side that has struggled badly this season.

Wenger is prepared to take a risk on Balotelli, who moved from one headline-making incident to another during his spell in Manchester, as he has had to rely on Olivier Giroud too much this season as the attacking options at the Emirates Stadium are extremely limited.

EXPECT MORE

Italian national team manager Cesare Prandelli has said that he is expecting more from the national team in the future, but he is confident that they can become a truly great team. Italy were often criticised in recent years for having several older players in the team.

Immediately after taking over, Prandelli has been working towards reducing the age of the national squad. Through the introduction of players like Mario Balotelli and Stephan El Shaarawy, Italy now boasts of a lot of young talent. As a result, there have been inconsistencies in their game in recent months.

YOUNGSTERS BREAK THROUGH

Italian football has been dominated by the presence of several older players over the years, but the current manager Cesare Prandelli has been trying to reduce the age of the squad in recent months.

He has now said that he will be looking to introduce some of the players part of the under 21 squad into the senior squad for the Confederations cup in the hope of providing them with experience. Italy will be playing in the Confederations cup in 2013 as preparation for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Players like Stephan El Shaarawy have been extremely promising for the national team in the last few months.

ITALY MUST LEARN

The Tottenham goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini has said that the Italian football should be learning a lot from English football when it comes to stopping hooliganism in football. Hooliganism was one of the biggest problems faced by English football back in the 1980s.

However, a lot of reforms by the government and changes to the way security in football was implemented have done a lot of improvement in this regard. Now, football hooliganism is almost eliminated from English football apart from the few instances. This, however, is a big problem in Italian football and the recent incident involving Lazio supporters doing anti-Semitic chants and attacking Tottenham supporters should be stopped according to the Tottenham goalkeeper.

Best Moments from England vs Italy

It was the same old story for the Three Lions last night as Roy Hodgson’s men continued their country’s tradition of being eliminated on penalties.

1. Player of the day
No contest here to be honest. Andrea Pirlo ran the show for 120 minutes as he set the tempo of the game and made sure the other 21 players on the pitch were marching to the beat of his drum.

England were unable to put any real pressure on the Juventus playmaker as he sat deep and fired the ball around the field at his own will.

MONTI CALLS FOR BAN

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti has sensationally said that club football in the country should be banned for the next few years after it was revealed that the police are investigating what could be another match fixing scandal.

Italy were shocked by the match fixing scandal of 2006, which resulted in the relegation of a number of high-profile clubs most prominently Juventus.

It could be repeated this time around as well after it was revealed that a number of players and managers from clubs like Juventus and Lazio were involved in match fixing. Juventus won their 28th league title this season after being undefeated throughout the season.

ROUND 35 CANCELLED

The Italian football Association has announced that it will be cancelling all the features in the Italian Serie A and the Italian Serie B following the death of the 25-year-old Udinese player Piermario Morosini.

Piermario Morosini is thought to have died of heart attack, which has been an increasing phenomenon in the football world in recent times. A number of players – particularly Spanish players – have passed away while playing football on the pitch.

England midfielder Fabrice Muamba almost lost his life in the match against Tottenham, but excellent medical facilities meant that the doctors were able to save his life at the right moment.

Pages