Tag Archives: gazzetta

Mario Balotelli won"t leave Manchester City – Roberto Mancini

Mario's going nowhere, the Sheikh loves him too much, insists City boss Mancini

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UPDATED:

10:47 GMT, 31 December 2012

Roberto Mancini insists Mario Balotelli will not be sold by Manchester City – and claims owner Sheikh Mansour loves the Italian firebrand.

The controversial striker has failed to impress for the Premier League champions this season – scoring just one league goal- and continues to be dogged by disciplinary problems.

But Mancini remains defiant in his support of Balotelli – but has warned him to clean up his act.

Joker of the pack: Mario Balotelli (centre) has disappointed this season

Joker of the pack: Mario Balotelli (centre) has disappointed this season

'I think Mario will stay but the future depends mostly on him,' he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

'Sheikh Mansour likes Balotelli because he recognises the talent and he exports the name of the City over the world.

'We need to consider that Mario was made as a major investment, and this is not a club that throws its capital through the window.'

Controversy: Balotelli stormed off after being replaced against Sunderland

Controversy: Balotelli stormed off after being replaced against Sunderland

Mancini admitted he has taken the 22-year-old to task in light of his performances on and off the field.

'The relationship between me and him is always good, even if one day he does something,' he added.

'I love him because for many years we live together. I've seen him grow. But the professional relationship is another thing and I've told Mario what I need from him.

Colourful: Italian Balotelli continues to make headlines off the pitch

Colourful: Italian Balotelli continues to make headlines off the pitch

'The time of cheap talk is over. Balotelli is 22 years old and now it's time to be professional. I ask from him seriousness and commitment in training, a more stable private life and correct behaviour on the pitch.

'[Roma forward Francesco] Totti is Mario's best example. If Francesco is able to have this continuity of performance at the highest level at the age of 36 years, it's because he has behaved as a professional.

'Mario now has returned to training and could be on the bench against Stoke. Otherwise, he could play against Watford in the FA Cup on January 5.'

As football"s most wanted manager, Guardiola

As football's most wanted manager, Guardiola will have pick of the top jobs

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UPDATED:

23:07 GMT, 21 November 2012

Had you delved into the heart of the Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport on the day Chelsea were beaten in Turin you would have found a cartoon.

The features were exaggerated but the image was familiar, a smartly-suited and shaven-headed man with stubble, dwarfed by the skyscrapers of New York, studying a signpost.

London, Milan, Munich and Manchester were the options available. Across European football, everyone is asking the same question: Where now for Pep Guardiola, the world’s most wanted coach

Where next, Pep Guardiola could have the pick of jobs when he returns to football

Where next, Pep Guardiola could have the pick of jobs when he returns to football

Roman Abramovich likes to think it is Stamford Bridge whereupon he will be expected to recreate the success he enjoyed in Barcelona, turning Chelsea into the world’s finest and most popular team.

What can go wrong The first thing for Abramovich is that Guardiola could swerve him for one of the other offers.

AC Milan and Bayern Munich are serious about their interest and Manchester City have recently appointed Txiki Begiristain as their director of football.

It was Begiristain, when in a similar role at Barcelona, who lured Guardiola back to the club in his first coaching role, in charge of the reserve team. City were favourites among the British bookies until yesterday’s shift.

Then there is Manchester United, the quiet option out of respect for Sir Alex Ferguson’s longevity, but if there is one person who might smooth the sensitivities of all sides of the Fergie exit, it is probably Guardiola.

Repeat performance Guardliola could find it difficult to replicate his success at Barcelona

Repeat performance Guardliola could find it difficult to replicate his success at Barcelona

There is even a suggestion in some quarters he would be prepared to work in tandem with Ferguson as he learns more about the club.

And here is the second point. Guardiola’s incredible success at Barcelona is rooted in his emotional bond with his boyhood club and his understanding of their culture.

His reign started with a team meeting which would pass into legend at the start of a pre-season tour in Scotland, when the new boss summoned the players and mapped out his philosophy.

This was the spiritual birth of Pep’s Barca, the greatest team-talk ever heard to inspire the greatest team ever seen.

Players told of his communication skills – he is inclusive, a teacher rather than a dictator – and his discipline – strict but reasonable – and his attention to detail – he cut down-time spent in hotels in an effort to keep his players relaxed and free from stress.

Guardiola demanded standards were raised and his values struck a chord. He focused at first on creating an environment of mutual trust.

Only one: Lionel Messi was central to Barcelona's success under Guardiola

Only one: Lionel Messi was central to Barcelona's success under Guardiola

He proved a natural leader, as he was as a player, but all this was founded upon his deep love for Barcelona. Whether it can be transplanted at will is questionable. As an intelligent man, he will realise this.

His tactics too were soaked in heritage. Possession is nine tenths of the law where Guardiola is concerned, as it was with Johan Cruyff, architect of Barcelona’s original 'Dream Team'.

If you have the ball, keep it. If you don’t have the ball, go and get it, fast. He promotes simplicity, which is why he trusted Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta, when his predecessor doubted them.

Without him this season, Barca seem to operate with a fraction less control but just as potently, thanks in a large part to the Argentine striker recognised as the world’s best footballer.

Guardiola oversaw a new training ground and promoted young talent from the La Masia talent factory, and readily moved those on who did not fully commit to the project, most notably Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

All of this produced the perfect stage for Lionel Messi to prosper in a position which became known as the 'False Nine'. Curiously, Roberto Di Matteo deployed Eden Hazard in this same role against Juventus.

Vacation station: Guardiola is currently in New York as he ponders his next move

Vacation station: Guardiola is currently in New York as he ponders his next move

It was the first (and last) time Di Matteo tried it and, whatever the reasoning, it only strengthened the suspicion that this team is being designed with Guardiola in mind, either with or without his recruitment advice.

But there is only one Messi and prising him from the Nou Camp is impossible.

So, if Guardiola opts to satisfy his inquisitive mind and his thirst for new experiences with a job at the Bridge, he will have to prove he can create a new team without Messi. Can he export success like Jose Mourinho does It is another of the key questions to sit alongside others such as: Why would anyone who does not need the money want to work for Abramovich

Having worked at Barcelona he is no stranger to expectation but the Russian once courted Carlo Ancelotti with the same enthusiasm he now devotes to Guardiola, setting up clandestine dates in France and Switzerland. Then, he fired him after two years, 12 months after the Italian secured Chelsea’s first league and FA Cup double.

Di Matteo became the first to clinch the Champions League, the trophy Abramovich wanted more than anything else. He is now out of work.

It is all about Guardiola not Rafa Benitez. But Guardiola, unlike Abramovich, has options to chew on as he savours his sabbatical in the Big Apple.

In fact, he has all the options in the world and the pick of the most illustrious football clubs on earth.

Mario Balotelli ruled out of England clash

Italy star Balotelli ruled out of England clash with conjunctivitis

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UPDATED:

15:07 GMT, 13 August 2012

Ruled out: Balotelli watched Man City v Chelsea from the sidelines on Sunday

Ruled out: Balotelli watched Man City v Chelsea from the sidelines on Sunday

Italy's Mario Balotelli has been ruled out of this week's friendly international against England due to an eye infection.

The Manchester City striker, one of the stars of Italy's run to the final of Euro 2012, has been released by coach Cesare Prandelli after coming down with conjunctivitis.

Balotelli missed City's 3-2 Community
Shield win over Chelsea on Sunday with the same problem and he is now a
major doubt for the club's visit to Southampton this weekend.

The 22-year-old has been replaced in the squad for Wednesday's match in Berne by Udinese front man Diego Fabbrini.

Prandelli told the Gazzetta dello Sport: 'We were hoping (Balotelli) would recover in time, but it wasn't to be.

'I want to give him a key role in the long term and I expect him to accept responsibility when I do.'

High hopes: Prandelli is a big fan of Balotelli

High hopes: Prandelli is a big fan of Balotelli

Euro star: Balotelli scored twice against Germany in the Euro 2012 semi-final

Euro star: Balotelli scored twice against Germany in the Euro 2012 semi-final

With Fabbrini called into the squad as Balotelli's replacement, Prandelli's available frontmen are all aged 22 or younger.

He added: 'We must raise the bar by enriching an already quality pool of players.

'I want players with different characteristics who we can assess with the future in mind.'

The former Fiorentina boss revealed his experimental Azzurri squad was selected with qualification for the World Cup in Brazil firmly in mind.

'The plan is to prepare for the next two years, starting from now, by working out which young players are ready to make the grade,' he added.

'That is the challenge against England on Wednesday night and it is an important one. I can see the desire to get off to a good start in many of my players' eyes.'

Euro 2012: Mario Balotelli in race storm over newspaper cartoon

Balotelli fury at King Kong cartoon slur in Italian newspaper

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 26 June 2012

Unfunny: Mario Balotelli was personified as King Kong in the offensive Gazzetta cartoon

Unfunny: Mario Balotelli was personified as King Kong in the offensive Gazzetta cartoon

Mario Balotelli has found himself at the centre of a new race row, this time sparked by a deeply offensive cartoon depicting him as King Kong in a leading Italian newspaper.

On the morning of Italy’s European Championship encounter with England, Gazzetta dello Sport published a drawing of a giant Balotelli atop Big Ben swatting away footballs in the same way King Kong did aircrafts atop New York’s Empire State Building in the film.

The Balotelli camp was understood to be outraged by the cartoon and Gazzetta have issued an apology.

‘It wasn’t our cartoonist’s best product. In these times we need a bit more moderation, caution and good taste. But we have always fought against racism and condemned booing against Balotelli as unacceptable,’ said the Milan-based newspaper.

A spokesman for the anti-racism organisation Kick It Out said: ‘Mario is such an important person in Italian football.

'Aspiring players in Italy who want to follow in his footsteps could wonder what support they will have when they get to his level when they see cartoons like that.

‘It is not the first time we have seen this sort of depiction of Mario and we think the media have a responsibility. How do they think they can portray him like that’

Journalists in Italy were horrified. Luigi Garlando said: ‘It is an unfortunate cartoon. It is hard to defend the right of satire against censorship in this case and I would never have allowed it in my newspaper.’

Time to focus: Balotelli and Italy will take on Germany in the Euro 2012 semi-final

Time to focus: Balotelli and Italy will take on Germany in the Euro 2012 semi-final

Balotelli, now preparing for Thursday’s semi-final against Germany in Warsaw, said before Euro 2012 that he would walk off the pitch if he was racially abused.

On Tuesday UEFA also opened disciplinary proceedings against the Spanish football federation and the Russian football union for alleged racist behaviour and chanting by fans.

European football’s governing body fined the Croatian football federation €30,000 after supporters threw fireworks and displayed ‘inappropriate and racist banners’ during a match against Spain. It was Croatia’s second racism-related sanction of the tournament.

In Krakow the focus for the Italians remained on trying to do to Germany what they did to England on Sunday night in Kiev.

Andrea Pirlo, the architect of England’s destruction, appeared before the media and had few words of encouragement for Roy Hodgson’s beaten quarter-finalists.

Charged: Meanwhile, UEFA have opened disciplinary proceedings against Spanish Russian FA's over the behaviour of their fans

Charged: Meanwhile, UEFA have opened disciplinary proceedings against Spanish Russian FA's over the behaviour of their fans

‘Our approach to the game against Germany will be the same as against England,’ he said. ‘This is because it is the only way we can play. We have to take advantage of our quality, our technique. But, unlike England, Germany can create many threats to our defence.

‘England played a very prudent and careful way. They were sitting back all match, like Chelsea did in the Champions League final. They tried to keep that same shape. For them, going to the penalty shootout was already a good result.’

Pirlo said his stunning chip penalty was a key moment in the game because it was a huge psychological blow to England.

‘I didn’t celebrate the penalty because at that point there was nothing to celebrate,’ he said. ‘But it was really relevant to the match and our win. This changed the course of the match.

'For me, Joe Hart seemed to be very confident in himself and it seemed to be a psychological blow. I needed to do something to beat him. Penalties are a very personal thing.

‘When you have to shoot a penalty you have to be confident in yourself.’

Manchester City ponder 30m move for Wesley Sneijder

Manchester City poised to make fresh 30m move for Inter playmaker Sneijder

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UPDATED:

06:02 GMT, 30 May 2012

Manchester City could resurrect their
interest in Inter Milan midfielder Wesley Sneijder after missing out on
Eden Hazard, according to reports in Italy.

Roberto Mancini has been stung into
action after Belgian playmaker Hazard snubbed a move to the Etihad Stadium
in favour of Premier League rivals Chelsea.

Looking good: Wesley Sneijder trains with Dutch squad for Euro 2012

Looking good: Wesley Sneijder trains with Dutch squad for Euro 2012

Now City are ready to meet Inter's 30m asking price for Dutch midfielder Sneijder, reports the Gazzetta dello Sport.

Manchester United also held talks with the Italian club in January but were unable to agree a fee for the 27-year-old.

Roberto Mancini wants new Manchester City deal

Mancini wants to commit future to City after leading Blues to Premier League title

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UPDATED:

10:39 GMT, 15 May 2012

Roberto Mancini is ready to commit his future to Manchester City but has yet to open talks over a fresh deal at the newly-crowned Premier League champions.

The Italian led the club to their first title in 44 years when they staged a thrilling comeback against Queens Park Rangers on Sunday.

And Mancini, who admits he relishes the challenge of managing elsewhere in Europe, has just one year remaining on his current deal.

Here to stay: Roberto Mancini (centre) wants to stay at Manchester City

Here to stay: Roberto Mancini (centre) wants to stay at Manchester City

'I have not yet talked about the new contract, but I'm happy to work here,' he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

'There is the basis to open talks.

'Sheikh Mansour sent me a message of congratulations. He was happy.'

Mancini also revealed he hopes to one day manage in the Iberian Peninsula.

'Winning abroad is my dream,' he told Corriere dello Sport.

'One day I'd like to win the Spanish Liga but also the Portuguese league with Benfica. There are clubs that have made football history: I am ready for anything, but now I just think about City.'

Party time: Mancini celebrates City's stunning Premier League title triumph

Party time: Mancini celebrates City's stunning Premier League title triumph

Party time: Mancini celebrates City's stunning title triumph on Sunday

Reflecting on Sunday's stunning win at the Etihad Stadium, Mancini admitted divien intervention played its part in City's 3-2 win.

Trailing 2-1 with just four minutes of injury time remaining, Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero struck to ensure the trophy was heading for the blue half of Manchester.

'It was a miracle,' Mancini added. 'God has taken a look at the game and gave us a hand.

Winner: Sergio Aguero (right) scored the decisive goal at the Etihad Stadium

Winner: Sergio Aguero (right) scored the decisive goal at the Etihad Stadium

'The draw at home against Sunderland was key. It was a character lesson for us and I thank again Balotelli and Kolarov for their two goals.'

'It is very deserved. We made 89 points. We scored more than anyone. We played the best football. And we twice beat United.

'Beating an opponent like United, after a championship like this, increases our own merits.'

Luis Muriel to stay at Udinese

Blow for Man United and Arsenal with 8m-rated Muriel set to stay at Udinese

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UPDATED:

09:57 GMT, 20 April 2012

Loan star: Luis Muriel has impressed on loan at Lecce

Loan star: Luis Muriel has impressed on loan at Lecce

The agent of Manchester United and Arsenal target Luis Muriel has announced that the Colombian forward is likely to stay at Udinese next season.

The 21-year-old has been outstanding on loan at Serie A side Lecce this season, attracting interest from several top European clubs.

But Udinese, who were initially expected to let the player leave at the end of the season for a fee of around 8million, are now believed to be keen on keeping him.

Speaking to Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport, Mauro Cesarini, the player’s agent, said: 'In normal circumstances he will wear the shirt of Udinese next season.

One to watch: Arsenal are keeping tabs of 8million-rated Muriel

One to watch: Arsenal are keeping tabs of 8million-rated Muriel

'There are many rumours about English and Italian clubs but I have not had formal contact with any club.

'I think he needs to mature a year and his immediate future should be the Udinese although the club will have the last word.'

San Siro to have artificial pitch installed

San Siro set to have artificial pitch installed following Wenger and Guardiola complaints

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UPDATED:

10:21 GMT, 20 April 2012

The San Siro looks likely to have an artificial pitch installed in time for the start of next season.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola have both complained about the state of the pitch this season when facing AC Milan in the Champions League.

Rant: Wenger was furious after Arsenal's 4-0 defeat at the San Siro

Rant: Wenger was furious after Arsenal's 4-0 defeat at the San Siro

Matt Fortune

Wenger said after Arsenal's 4-0 defeat in March: ‘I didn’t know it was possible. The pitch we played on was 10 times worse than it was on Tuesday.

'I complained to the official at UEFA but he just looks at you and says, ‘‘Oh, thank you very much, I have a dinner tonight’’.’

Guardiola's complaint was less frantic than Wenger's, probably given the fact his side drew 0-0 against Milan.

'In the end we adapt to everything… but it's clear that this was a problem for the spectacle,' he said earlier this month.

Complaint: Barca registered their feelings with UEFA

Complaint: Barca registered their feelings with UEFA

Gazzetta dello Sport have reported that work on a hybrid pitch combining synthetic and natural layers will begin in June.

Following the Barca game Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani expressed his desire to see a new pitch laid, but stressed that an agreement needed to be reached with rivals Inter Milan, who share the stadium.

The pitch has been in poor shape for years, ever since a partial roof was installed at the stadium for the 1990 World Cup, reducing exposure to sun.

Lazio playmaker Hernanes issues come and get me plea to Arsenal

Lazio playmaker Hernanes issues come and get me plea to Arsenal

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UPDATED:

06:56 GMT, 18 April 2012

Arsenal are in pole position to sign
Lazio ace Hernanes after the midfielder snubbed an approach from Russian
big-spenders Anzhi.

Hernanes impressed after joining the
Italians from Sao Paulo for 11.2million two years ago, but Lazio boss
Edy Reja is prepared to sacrifice him because he is too similar to
in-form Italy international Stefano Mauri, according to reports in Italy.

Target: Lazio's Brazilian midfielder Hernanes (left)

Target: Lazio's Brazilian midfielder Hernanes (left)

The 26-year-old has been almost ever-present for Lazio this term and has scored eight goals in 29 appearances.

But he has grown frustrated at being substituted in
20 of his 26 starts and Lazio have indicated they will sell him for 16m.

Brazilian international Hernanes has been targeted by Anzhi and it was understood that Lazio were willing to sell.

La Gazzetta dello Sport have claimed that he wants his current club to turn down advances from Anzhi and instead listen to offers from Arsenal.

Lazio paid Sao Paulo around 9m for him in 2010.

Mario Balotelli seeks Carlos Tevez help in bid to stay at Manchester City

Balotelli desperate to stay at City as star seeks help from… AWOL star Tevez!

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UPDATED:

08:47 GMT, 17 April 2012

Mario Balotelli has vowed to improve his discipline and show he still has a future at Manchester City.

And to do so, he is taking lessons from an unlikely source: Carlos Tevez.

The Argentina striker spent much of this season AWOL after falling out with Mancini and demanding a move, but has returned to form in recent weeks to help City’s title challenge.

‘My point of reference is Tevez,’ he told Italian daily Gazzetta dello Sport.

Good to talk: Mario Balotelli has enlisted the support of Carlos Tevez in his bid to stay at Manchester City

Good to talk: Mario Balotelli has enlisted the support of Carlos Tevez in his bid to stay at Manchester City

‘When I came here, training was, for me, about having a good time. Instead I’m learning from him to always give the maximum every day.'

In the wake of Balotelli’s sending off in the 1-0 defeat by Arsenal earlier this month, Roberto Mancini said that he would ‘probably’ sell the Italy striker this summer.

But the 21-year-old insists he will change his ways and believes he still has the trust of a manager he describes as among the best in the world.

‘After the red card against Arsenal I realized how important it is to worry about my team-mates: I can not leave them with 10 men,’ said Balotelli.

‘I need to improve as a player – especially my behaviour on the pitch, but also from a tactical point of view.

‘I’m fortunate to be working with Mancini – one of the best coaches in the world, if not the best.

Don;t let me go: Balotelli has vowed to improve his behavior if Roberto Mancini keeps him

Don;t let me go: Balotelli has vowed to improve his behavior if Roberto Mancini keeps him

‘After my last sending off he feared a big ban, so he spoke in such harsh terms.

‘But we have sorted things out – I know that he believes in me. As always, after all.’

Talk of a return to Inter was fuelled when he surprisingly gatecrashed the first press conference of their new manager Andrea Stramaccioni, but Balotelli insisted his friends made him do it.

‘I don’t have nostalgia for Italy,’ he said. ‘The Premier League is an experience that is serving me very well.

Back with a bang: Tevez's remarkable return has inspired Balotelli

Back with a bang: Tevez's remarkable return has inspired Balotelli

‘Now I think only about winning the title because I am sure that United will make mistakes – certainly in the match against us, and then, who knows’

Asked who would win the Milan derby, he replied: ‘Why do you always talk of Inter and Milan I’m at City and I have no intention of changing shirts.

‘It makes me happy when (Inter president Massimo Moratti) speaks well about me. He has known me since I was 15.

‘I thank him for his words, but I am now at Manchester City and see no other possibility. The same goes for AC Milan.’