Saturday, August 28, 2010

Have You Seen This Goal?

Oh how long it has been.

I realize that I have not updated Il Mondo di Calcio in a good while, as I have been busy with school and writing for Premiership Talk and WWE.com.

None the less, when an amazing goal has been scored it needs to be given the proper credit.

This is the 14th installment of Have You Seen This Goal and it occurred during a friendly match between AC Milan and Barcelona. The goal speaks for itself.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Aquilani ends disappointing Premier League career


With his transfer to Juventus officially completed, and a return to England very unlikely, Alberto Aquilani has finally shut the door on what can only be described as a disappointing Premier League career.

Aquilani joined Liverpool last season on a €20 million transfer from Roma following the departure of Xabi Alonso. Injuries plagued Aquilani as they have done his entire career, and he didn’t make his first start for the club until December 26th. Many quickly realized that Aquilani was not a substitute for Xabi Alonso, as they have distinctly different playing styles.

As the season progressed Il Principe was able to showcase some of his talents. He racked up three assists in a game against Burnley, and finished the season with six assists, however inconsistent playing time and a lack of fitness eventually led to Aquilani finishing the campaign with just two goals and six assists in 26 appearances for Liverpool.

Aquilani will likely never return to the Premier League. He has recently stated that he is at Juventus to stay, saying “England has been a very beautiful experience, but I am here (in Italy) to stay.” Aquilani believes that back home in Italy is the place where he will be able to get his career back on track, and get back into contention for the World Cup team (although he will be 30 by that time).

Aquilani’s transfer comes at a difficult time for Liverpool, as they have only taken one point from their first two games this season, with many Liverpool fans already realizing this might not be their year. Aquilani would not have saved this season by staying, but with Aquilani leaving and Javier Mascherano also on his way out, Liverpool’s quality in the midfield has been further depleted.

As a fan of Serie A I wished Alberto Aquilani the best of luck in the Premier League when he transferred. Although I am happy to see him back in Italy, I can’t say that I’m not disappointed that he didn’t make more of an impact in the English game. Liverpool fans will likely try and forget the Italian’s ill fated venture to England.

I know I will.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Power Rankings for August 2010


Here are the rankings for the top ten clubs and players as of this moment.

Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know with a comment below.

The Best Teams and Players in the World (As of August 2010)

Club Teams:
1. Barcelona (Spain)
2. Inter Milan (Italy)
3. Chelsea (England)
4. Real Madrid (Spain)
5. Manchester United (England)
6. Bayern Munich (Germany)
7. Manchester City (England)
8. Toulouse (France)
9. Lyon (France)
10. AC Milan (Italy)

Players:
1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
3. Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan)
4. Xavi (Barcelona)
5. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
6. David Villa (Barcelona)
7. Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich)
8. Diego Milito (Inter Milan)
9. Andres Iniesta (Barcelona)
10. Diego Forlan (Atletico Madrid)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Can Mario Balotelli thrive at City?


Mario Balotelli has always had talent. As an AC Milan fan I have been witness to the flashes of brilliance that Balotelli provided Inter Milan during his playing time in Serie A. With his latest £24 million move to Manchester City, I believe that the young Italian can finally play up to his full potential now that he is away from the confines of his home.

Two things plagued Balotelli during his tenure in Italy: infrequent playing time and racial abuse. Super Mario frequently saw himself on the bench or out of the squad for much of last season’s remarkable Treble winning run. During his time at Inter, Balotelli saw a plethora of other players chosen over him in the starting eleven, whether it was Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Diego Milito, or Samuel Eto’o.

While these players are world class strikers, Balotelli at 20 years old is in his most impressionable and important stages of development as a player and a person. There is no way Super Mario would have been able to develop into the talent he is capable of by rotting on the bench in Milan.

Finally, escaping the well documented racial abuse that Balotelli endured during his time at Milan will do wonders for the youngster. Racist chants seemed to follow Balotelli wherever he went, with fans chanting things such as “a black Italian does not exist.” I believe Balotelli’s confidence and abilities can only improve as these racial issues subside.

Balotelli has already made an impact during his short time with City, as he scored the winning goal in his debut in the Europa League. If Super Mario puts in the effort, and is given a chance by Roberto Mancini, Manchester City might have just made the transfer of the season.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Serie A Roundup and Predictions


All of the clubs in Italy’s Serie A have completed their 25th domestic game. Let’s take a quick look at how the Serie A season has progressed, and where it is likely headed.

At the Top: Inter Milan (55 points)

Three time defending champions Inter Milan jumped out to an early lead this season in Serie A, and many expected Inter to run away with the title again. However, three straight draws in domestic play, combined with the good form of Roma and AC Milan, has seen Inter’s lead atop the table drop to only four points. Look out for the March 28th match between Roma and Inter that could be a potential title decider.

Even more surprisingly than Inter’s recent loss of form, Juventus currently find themselves in 4th place, and in the final coveted Champions League qualifying spot, despite having one of the worst seasons in recent memory. Juventus coach Ciro Ferrara was fired after only 8 months at the helm, and new acquisitions Diego and Felipe Melo were under heavy fire by Juventus supporters. Yet despite the early trouble, Juventus have put themselves in a position for success next season.

At the Bottom: Siena (17 points)

While seeing Siena, Atalanta, and Livorno in the relegation zone might not shock anyone, seeing Lazio and Udinese hovering just above it is a bit more shocking. Lazio is only a few seasons removed from a year that saw them finish third in Serie A, and Udinese boats the leading scorer in Serie A, Antonio Di Natale (17 goals) – yet both are within four points of being relegated. Lazio and Udinese will meet each other on the last day of the Serie A season, in a match that could determine who remains in the league.

Predictions:

In my opinion, the Serie A title is still Inter Milan’s to lose. The attacking trio of Samuel Eto’o, Diego Milito, and Wesley Sneijder has not even come close to maximizing their potential as a collective group, and with a little more time they should be an unstoppable force.

Also, do not be surprised if Ronaldinho is named Serie A Player of the Year for this season. ‘Dinho currently has 9 goals and 10 assists in 23 Serie A games this year, and has added three goals and an assist in the Champions League. If Ronaldinho continues to play well, he might even be considered for the 2010 Brazilian team on its way to South Africa.

I also believe that Diego Milito will have enough to challenge Antonio Di Natale for the scoring title. Natale currently has 18 goals to Milito’s 14, but Milito’s supporting cast will give him more chances to score. Plus he is just a better player. Just ask Chelsea fans.

What are your predictions for the Serie A finale? Have your say below!