Powerlessness. As Sandro Tonali prepares to pack his bags and board a plane to Newcastle upon Tyne, that’s the feeling most calcio lovers are left with, not to mention Milan fans. The first transfer market hit of the summer was a brutal reminder of the immense power that Premier League clubs hold in the market arena, and of how Serie A teams can only accept that.
Italy ended their Nations League Final Four experience on a positive note as they beat the home country Netherlands 3-2 in the third-place playoff in Enschede. After a lackluster second half showing against Spain, which costed the Azzurri the Final, Italy came up with a somewhat positive performance on Sunday, led by youngsters like Davide Frattesi (who tallied one goal and one assist) and Alessandro Buongiorno.
On a rainy Friday morning in July 1986, 10,000 bewildered and hopeful Milan supporters gathered at the Arena Civica, a small training field in the center of Milano, to get introduced to their new President Silvio Berlusconi and the roster for the upcoming season. They didn’t know what to expect. But you can tell a good day from the morning, even a rainy one.
It is unlikely that Samuel Umtiti will stay in Lecce one more year. Still, the tale of his season in Salento - a World Champion playing for a relegation-battling club in the South of Italy - will always remain one of our favorites calcio stories, and one of those that still make football a game worth watching and enjoying, despite all.
With the purchase of Sampdoria by the Gestio Capital/Aser Ventures group led by Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani, the curtains fell on the age of Massimo Ferrero, aka Viperetta (“Little Viper”) at the helm of the Blucerchiati. It’s time to take stocks of this bizarre nine-year presidency.
The French Connection sent Milan to the Champions League Semi Finals. Olivier Giroud opened the scoring on Tuesday night as he made the best out of a phenomenal assist from Rafael Leao. Mike Maignan preserved Milan's lead when it mattered the most, denying Khvicha Kvaratskhelia from the spot and cancelling Napoli's residual hopes.
Lazio reinforced their second place in the Serie A league table as they beat Juventus 2-1 at the Stadio Olimpico in the last game of Round 28. Goals from Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Mattia Zaccagni helped Maurizio Sarri's side maintain a five-point lead over cross-town rivals Roma.
On April 20, 1986, the Romanisti caught their breath as Roma were ready to complete a thrilling Serie A comeback and strengthen their claim over their third Scudetto. Little did they know that, instead, they were about to experience the perfect storm, with already-relegated Lecce shocking the Stadio Olimpico.
Milan came back to winning ways after three defeats in a row as they edged past Torino with a lone goal from Olivier Giroud on Friday. It's too early to say whether the Rossoneri are out of their dark period but the San Siro win will inject some confidence into Stefano Pioli's troops ahead of their upcoming Champions League test against Tottenham.
The Derby of the Disappointed certified what was already clear since a few weeks: Milan are going through a deep crisis, while Inter may not win the Scudetto this year but are at least ahead on their way towards a Champions League spot. A lone strike from Lautaro Martinez separated the two teams at the San Siro on Sunday night.
On Easter’s eve in 1996, Cremonese and Inter squared off in Matchday 29 of the 1995/96 Serie A campaign. It was supposed to be just another football day. But it ended up being a day to forget for the calcio world as Inter’s black player Paul Ince was openly and repeatedly targeted with racist chants from the stands.
To remember Gianluca Vialli is to talk about a player who was truly out of the box. Fuori dagli schemi, as we say in Italy. He was not the strongest of his generation, nor the most controversial. But he had a share of talent and rebelliousness big enough to make him a cult figure in the Belpaese of the 1980s. Perhaps the word that best sums up his life and career is “unpredictable”.