Round 29 of the 2019-20 Serie A season saw plenty of goals and plenty of action at either end of the table. Juventus managed to open up a four-point lead at the top of the table with their win at Genoa. Elsewhere, Sampdoria claimed an important win against fellow strugglers Lecce, with wins also for Lazio, Sassuolo, Verona, and Udinese.
Jeff Hendrick is officially a free agent after running to the end of his Burnley contract this week. As speculation mounts surrounding his move to Milan, we look at how he might fit into the Rossoneri side. Hendrick showed that he can play as both an attacking and defensive midfielder, and could be a good back-up option in Milan’s 4-2-3-1 lineup.
Gennaro Gattuso has so far proved a success with Napoli, and with the Azzurri taking a slightly different approach to appointing managers, could it mean that the ex-Milan hero could be one of the next-in-line for Italy’s top management job? His career has seen him climb the Serie A, and if that trajectory continued he could yet find himself as Italy’s boss one day.
Italian football fans have just been treated to the first full round of Serie A action since the restart, and it was peppered with talk of relegation, European qualification and of course, the Scudetto. Inter and Sassuolo played out a thrilling 3-3 draw, and Atalanta staged a dramatic comeback to beat Lazio 3-2, as they look for a place in next season’s Champions League.
Milan beat Lecce 4-1 in their return to Serie A duties last night, and one Hakan Calhanoglu caught the eye of watching fans. In arguably their best attacking performance under Stefano Pioli, Milan returned to domestic action with an impressive win away at relegation threatened Lecce and the Turk emerged as the fans’ Man of the Match after providing two assists.
With 12 games of the Serie A season remaining, Milan sit precariously placed outside the top-six. They’ve still every chance of qualifying for Europe next season, but they’ll need one Ante Rebic to be at his best. After a shorter stint against Juventus ending with a red card, the Croatian will be fired up for the return of league action against Lecce tonight.
Inter and Juventus are the front-runners to sign Brescia’s Sandro Tonali this summer, but how might he fit into the starting line-up under Antonio Conte? And would he be suited to Conte’s Inter at all? Conte’s Inter like to play in a 3-5-2 set-up and Tonali would likely be looking at either Brozovic or Barella as his main competition to break into the Inter first-team.
Fabrizio Ravanelli had two separate spells in English football with Middlesbrough and then Derby County, proving himself a popular figure with both. He became a cult hero of both Boro and Derby fans’, and the fact that he scored 31 goals in all competitions in his first season for a relegated team in the Premier League shows just how underrated he may have been.
Italian football will return on 12 June as Juventus, Milan, Napoli, and Inter square off to conquer the Coppa Italia. All eyes will be on the remaining games of the domestic cup – the second leg of the Semi-Finals and the Final to be played in the space of four days. The clash between Juventus and Milan will kick-start football again in Italy after three months.
Whilst the Premier League has seen some great Italians join its shores, very few of them are actually made in England. That is with exception to Samuele Dalla Bona. After he swapped the Atalanta youth academy for the Chelsea one, many believed him to be the next best thing to come out of Italy, but what followed was unprecedented and untimely.
A name that rings true with Middlesbrough fans, Massimo Maccarone was an eccentric addition to the long list of fine Boro strikers. From Fabrizio Ravanelli to Mark Viduka, to Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Yakubu, and Maccarone – the Riverside has long been the home of some great forwards, but the latter proved many wrong with his performances.
Carlo Cudicini lasted 22 years as a professional goalkeeper, with 13 of those being spent in England between Chelsea and Tottenham, making him one of the Premier League’s longest-serving Italian stars. But for all his talent, it seems he was always with the wrong club at the wrong time and somehow forged a reputation as a “back-up” player.