Tag Archives: stefano

Real Madrid greats past and present: Alfredo Di Stefano awards Cristiano Ronaldo with trophy for La Liga"s best player

Real Madrid greats past and present:
Di Stefano awards Ronaldo with trophy for La Liga's best player

season” class=”blkBorder” />

La Liga's best Ronaldo was awarded the trophy based on his efforts in the 2011/2012 season

Frail: But Di Stefano is still treated with the respect he deserves

Frail: But Di Stefano is still treated with the respect he deserves

'In our neighborhood we used to hold major football sessions that went on until it got dark, with everyone playing against each other,' he said. 'Maybe the pope was one of the guys I played football with in the street.

'At that time I was the famous one because from a very young age I belonged to River Plate’s youth team, everybody knew me,' added Di Stefano, widely regarded as the finest player of his generation for his significant influence in leading Real to five consecutive European Cups, before revealing he had missed the pope's introduction.

Childhood friends Newly elected Pope Francis I, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, grew up in the same area as Di Stefano

Childhood friends Newly elected Pope Francis I, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, grew up in the same area as Di Stefano

'I must confess that while everyone else watched the white smoke live, I saw it later. I was, as always, watching a football game.

'[Ronaldo] He is a great player and a team player. I am very happy.'

THE REAL GREATS: ALFREDO DI STEFANO V CRISTIANO RONALDO

Alfredo Di Stefano

Alfredo Di Stefano

Date of birth: 4 July 1926
Place of Birth: Buenos Aires (Argentina)
Position: Forward

Clubs: River Plate (1945, 1947-49 ), Huracn (1946), Millonarios (1949-52), Real Madrid (1953-64), Espanyol (1964-66).
National Team: 31 matches (23 goals) with Spain; 6 matches (6 goals) with Argentina

Honours
5 European Cups (Real Madrid, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960)
1 Intercontinental Cup (Real Madrid, 1960)
1 America cup (River Plate, 1947)
8 Spanish leagues (Real Madrid, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1958, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964)
1 Spanish Cup (Real Madrid, 1962)
2 Argentinian leagues (River Plate, 1945, 1947)
4 Colombian leagues (Millonarios Bogot, 1949, 1951, 1952, 1953)

La Liga's best Ronaldo was awarded the trophy based on his efforts in the 2011/2012 season

Cristiano Ronaldo

Date of birth: 4 July 1926
Place of Birth: Buenos Aires (Argentina)
Position: Forward

Clubs: Sporting Lisbon (2001-2003), Manchester United (2003-2009), Real Madrid (2009-present).
National Team: 101 matches (38 goals) with Portugal

Honours
1 European Cup (Manchester United, 2008)
3 Premier Leagues (Manchester United, 2007, 2008, 2009) 1 FA Cup (Manchester United, 2004) 1 League Cup (Manchester United, 2006) 1 Spanish league (Real Madrid, 2012) 1 Spanish Cup (Real Madrid, 2011)
1 Spanish Super Cup (Real Madrid, 2012) 1 Portuguese League (Sporting Lisbon, 2002 1 Portuguese Super Cup (Sporting Lisbon, 2002) 1 Portuguese Cup (Sporting Lisbon, 2002)

VIDEO: REAL MADRID GREAT ALFREDO DI STEFANO AT HIS PEAK

Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano graces the Bernabeu

DM.has('rcpv2235725823001','BC',
'renderConfig' :

'css' : “videoplayer-large”,
'autoplay' : false,
'muted' : false,
'title' : “Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano graces the Bernabeu”,
'videoId' : 1002720,
'adsEnabled' : true,
'playerId' : “1989148206001”,
'playerKey' : “AQ~~,AAAAAFSL1bg~,CmS1EFtcMWELN_eSE9A7gpcGWF5XAVmI”,
'objId' : “rcpv2235725823001”,
'videoPlayer' : “2235725823001”,
'width' : 636,
'height' : 358,
'linkBaseURL' : “http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2295368/Real-Madrid-greats-past-present-Alfredo-Di-Stefano-awards-Cristiano-Ronaldo-trophy-La-Ligas-best-player.html”

});

Napoli match-fixing scandal: Paolo Cannavaro, Gianluca Grava and Matteo Gianello banned as club are docked points

Napoli deducted two points for part in match-fixing scandal as shamed defenders Cannavaro and Grava get six-month bans

PUBLISHED:

10:50 GMT, 18 December 2012

|

UPDATED:

10:50 GMT, 18 December 2012

Serie A title hopefuls Napoli will be deducted two points after defenders Paolo Cannavaro and Gianluca Grava were handed six-month bans for failing to report match-fixing.

Former Azzurri goalkeeper Matteo Gianello has been banned for 39 months for admitting an attempt to fix Napoli’s top-flight meeting with Sampdoria in 2010, with Cannavaro and Grava punished for failing to report their knowledge of Gianello’s actions and Napoli penalised as the players’ employer.

A disciplinary commision statement published by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) today read: 'Two penalty points for Napoli and a 70,000 euro fine.

Shamed: Paolo Cannavaro was banned for six months for failing to report match-fixing

Shamed: Paolo Cannavaro was banned for six months for failing to report match-fixing

'A ban of three years and three months for Matteo Gianello and bans of six months for Paolo Cannavaro and Gianluca Grava.'

Gianello, now a free agent, confessed to attempting to fix the outcome of Napoli's Serie A match at Sampdoria in May 2010.

Cannavaro and Grava denied any wrongdoing but are set to miss the rest of the season for failing to report Gianello's activities to the authorities at the time.

Despite making a strong start to the season, Napoli had fallen eight points behind league leaders and reigning champions Juventus, with today's deduction further distancing Walter Mazzarri's side as they slip into fifth place behind Inter Milan, Lazio and Fiorentina.

Slammed: Former Napoli keeper Matteo Gianello was banned for 39 months after admitting an attempt to fix a game against Sampdoria in 2010

Slammed: Former Napoli keeper Matteo Gianello was banned for 39 months after admitting an attempt to fix a game against Sampdoria in 2010

FIGC prosecutor Stefano Palazzi had previously suggested a ban of 16 months for Gianello but a disciplinary tribunal recommended a lengthier suspension.

A one-point deduction was the original proposal for Napoli, with Cannavaro and Grava facing nine-month bans, but those verdicts have also been amended.

Napoli, Cannavaro and Grava are likely to appeal the hefty sanctions through the FIGC before approaching the TNAS tribunal court in Rome should they be unsuccessful.

The disciplinary commission also issued a two-point deduction for Lega Pro side Portogruaro while Crotone were acquitted of any wrongdoing in a 2011 match between the two sides.

Hitting the heights: Edinson Cavani (right) has helped Napoli to third in the Serie A this term

Hitting the heights: Edinson Cavani (right) has helped Napoli to third in the Serie A this term

The FIGC's wide-ranging investigation into match-fixing, known as 'Calcioscommesse' saw Juventus head coach Antonio Conte suspended from the game for four months for failing to report his knowledge of match-fixing during his time in charge of Siena.

Conte's former club accepted a six-point deduction for their role in the scandal, with former Bari defender Andrea Masiello receiving a 22-month suspended prison sentence after admitting scoring an own-goal during a relegation decider.

Ex-Siena defender Emanuele Pesoli chained himself to the headquarters of the FIGC for four days in protest against a three-year ban.

Lazio to wear anti-racism shirts after Spurs chants and fan attacks

Lazio wear shirts with anti-racism message… days after shameful anti-Semitic chants and attack on Spurs fans in Rome

|

UPDATED:

20:48 GMT, 27 November 2012

Lazio players wore anti-racism shirts during their game against Udinese tonight, just days after travelling Tottenham fans were attacked in Rome last week.

Spurs fan Ashley Mills was left fighting for his life last week after he was stabbed on the eve of his team's Europa League game against Lazio in the Italian capital.

The 25-year-old was stabbed in the leg and also suffered a serious head injury after being caught up in a vicious attack on an American pub by up to 50 masked thugs.

Solidarity: Federico Marchetti (left) and Stefano Mauri wear the specially printed shirts before the Udinese match

Solidarity: Federico Marchetti (left) and Stefano Mauri wear the specially printed shirts before the Udinese match

In action: The shirts were printed in the wake of sickening violence in Rome last week which targeted Tottenham fans

In action: The shirts were printed in the wake of sickening violence in Rome last week which targeted Tottenham fans

Lazio insist their fans were not behind the attack and two supporters of the club's rivals Roma have since been charged with attempted murder.

The Biancocelesti tried to distance themselves further from last Thursday's events by today revealing their players will wear shirts with 'NO RACISM' emblazoned across the front in large white letters during tonight's game.

Message: Lazio players will wear these shirts in their match against Udinese this evening

Message: Lazio players will wear these shirts in their match against Udinese this evening

Trashed: Fights broke out in this pub in Rome last week

Trashed: Fights broke out in this pub in Rome last week

Controversy: Lazio fans allegedly taunted Spurs fans during the game

Controversy: Lazio fans allegedly taunted Spurs fans during the game

The Italian club posted a link to the picture of the shirt on their Twitter page along with the following message: 'S.S. Lazio against all forms of racism! This is the jersey that the players will wear against Udinese'.

Lazio president Claudio Lotito visited Mills in hospital yesterday.

Visit: Lazio president Claudio Lotito (centre) went to see Ashley Mills in hospital, who was stabbed in Rome last week

Visit: Lazio president Claudio Lotito (centre) went to see Ashley Mills in hospital, who was stabbed in Rome last week

In the wake of the sickening violence before Tottenham's Europa League clash with Lazio, there were also reports on Sunday that sections of the West Ham support were singing songs which celebrated the incident, as well as referring to Adolf Hitler and World War II gas chambers.

West Ham issued a statement saying that they had issued a season ticket holder at Upton Park with a banning order for his alleged involvement in the sickening chants.

Lionel Messi deserves Ballon D"Or ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo, say football greats

Football greats say Messi deserves Ballon D'Or ahead of rival Ronaldo

|

UPDATED:

16:44 GMT, 27 November 2012

Lionel Messi should be crowned the best footballer in the world for the fourth consecutive year, according to some of the game’s greatest players.

In a poll of 13 of the Ballon D’Or’s past winners, Messi beat his greatest rival Cristiano Ronaldo by seven votes to three with three others claiming they could not choose between them.

France Football, the publication that originally commissioned the trophy back in 1956, spoke to past winners Kaka, Alfredo di Stefano, Ruud Gullit, Luis Figo, Kevin Keegan, Karlheinz Rummenigge, Marco Van Basten, Luis Suarez Miramontes, Raymond Kopa, Matthias Sammer, Franz Beckenbauer, Andrei Shevchenko and Gianni Rivera.

Selected: Lionel Messi was picked by more of the former winners than Cristiano Ronaldo (below) was

Selected: Lionel Messi was picked by more of the former winners than Cristiano Ronaldo (below) was

Ronaldo

Ronaldo

Asked to give their choice, former England captain Keegan, who won the trophy in 1978 and 1979, sided with brilliant Barcelona star Messi. His view was shared by Rumenigge, van Basten, Suarez, Kopa, Sammer and Shevchenko.

Surprisingly, former Real Madrid stars di Stefano and Figo plus ex-Chelsea midfielder Gullit all said they couldn’t decide while Kaka voted for his Real Madrid teammate Ronaldo as did Beckenbauer and former Milan midfielder Rivera.

Messi, who first won in 2009, is the favourite to win again at the award ceremony in Zurich on January 7.

On the fence: Ruud Gullit said he couldn't decide

On the fence: Ruud Gullit said he couldn't decide

The golden ball trophy was originally made to recognise the best player in Europe when it was awarded for the very first time by France Football in 1956 to Stanley Matthews and 44 players have won it in total.

It merged with FIFA’S World Player of the Year award in 2010.

FULL LIST OF NOMINEES

1 Sergio Aguero
2 Mario Balotelli
3 Karim Benzema
4 Gianluigi Buffon
5 Sergio Busquets
6 Iker Casillas
7 Didier Drogba
8 Radamel Falcao
9 Zlatan Ibrahimovic
10 Andrs Iniesta
11 Lionel Messi
12 Manuel Neuer
13 Neymar
14 Mesut zil
15 Gerard Piqu
16 Andrea Pirlo
17 Sergio Ramos
18 Cristiano Ronaldo
19 Wayne Rooney
20 Yaya Tour
21 Robin van Persie
22 Xabi Alonso
23 Xavi Hernandez

Johan Cruyff"s world XI: No Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo

Cruyff's all-time world XI: There's only one Englishman and no Messi or Ronaldo (are you sure, Johan)

|

UPDATED:

10:46 GMT, 23 November 2012

England World Cup winner Sir Bobby Charlton makes it into Johan Cruyff’s all-time World XI alongside Maradona and Pele – but he's amazingly found no room for Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo!

Cruyff reveals his greatest team in history in a new book ‘Football, my philosophy’ and Charlton – the only Englishman in the Dutchman's side, who played 106 times for England – lines up in a four man midfield with Alfredo Di Stefano, Piet Keizer and Pep Guardiola.

Speaking at the launch of the book Cruyff also revealed how tough it would be for his protge Guardiola to decide which step to take next in his career.

England's only: Sir Bobby Charlton, here letting fly with a thunderous strike for Manchester United, has been named in Johan Cruyff's all-time XI

England's only: Sir Bobby Charlton, here letting fly with a thunderous strike for Manchester United, has been named in Johan Cruyff's all-time XI

Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid celebrates scoring during the la Liga match between Real Madrid CF and RC Deportivo La Coruna at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium on September 30, 2012

Lionel Messi (R) of Barcelona runs for the ball with Kelvin Wilson of Celtic FC during the UEFA Champions League group G match between FC Barcelona and Celtic FC at the Camp Nou stadium on October 23, 2012

Sorry lads: There's no place for Cristiano Ronaldo (left) and Lionel Messi (far right)

He said: 'It is so difficult for him because everybody is going to compare what he does now with what he achieved at Barcelona and he will no longer have all the organisation of the club behind him. He will be practically starting from zero.

'I know how he feels after I had been at Ajax and Barcelona I thought what can I do now, where can I go from here. I was lucky because I only had about ten more years left working; he has only just started out as a coach.'

Yashin

Yashin

Carlos Alberto

Carlos Alberto

Beckenbauer

Beckenbauer

Krol

Krol

Guardiola

Guardiola

Di Stefano

Di Stefano

Keizer

Keizer

Pele

Pele

Garrincha

Garrincha

Star man: Diego Maradona terrorises the England defence at the 1986 World Cup

Star man: Diego Maradona terrorises the England defence at the 1986 World Cup

Cruyff tipped Leo Messi to keep on beating Cristiano Ronaldo to the top individual awards and suggested it was the little man’s stature they gave him the edge; capturing people’s imagination by doing what he does inspite of his size.

He said: 'These awards are all subjective. Messi is tiny and so very quick with the ball and everything he does seems to have more magic about it because of that. It is only logical that he comes out on top.'

CRUYFF'S ALL-TIME XI (3-4-3)

Yashin (USSR); Carlos Alberto (Bra), Beckenbauer (Ger), Krol (Hol); Guardiola (Sp), Charlton (Eng), Di Stefano (Arg/Col/Sp), Keizer (Hol); Maradona (Arg), Pele (Bra), Garrincha (Bra)

Dutch of class: Johan Cruyff found no room for Messi or Ronaldo in his best XI

Dutch of class: Johan Cruyff found no room for Messi or Ronaldo in his best XI

Daniele De Rossi banished from Italy squad for PUNCHING Stefano Mauri

De Rossi banished from Italy squad for PUNCHING Lazio captain in Rome derby

|

UPDATED:

19:14 GMT, 12 November 2012

Italy head coach Cesare Prandelli hopes Daniele De Rossi learns a valuable lesson after dropping the Roma midfielder from his 25-man squad to face France on Wednesday.

The Giallorossi vice-captain fell foul of Prandelli's strict code of ethics when he punched Lazio captain Stefano Mauri during yesterday's Rome derby, which Lazio went on to win 3-2.

The door is certainly not closed on the 29-year-old, though, with Prandelli keen to hand him a significant role at the World Cup in Brazil in two years' time, should the Azzurri qualify.

Heated: Daniele De Rossi (right) was sent off during the Rome derby for punching Stefano Mauri

Heated: Daniele De Rossi (right) was sent off during the Rome derby for punching Stefano Mauri

Heated: Daniele De Rossi (right) was sent off during the Rome derby for punching Stefano Mauri

Prandelli told Gazzetta.it: 'I haven't spoken to De Rossi yet but I will in the next few hours.

'I have no doubt that he will be key for us at the World Cup. Therefore, this punishment will serve to teach him that he cannot repeat such behaviour at a World Cup.

'He has too much of a fan's mentality, when you're handed responsibility then you have to behave accordingly.

'He could be Roma's captain for a long time and I'm sure he's very sorry for what's happened.'

De Rossi was today handed a three-match Serie A ban for violent conduct.

Wednesday's friendly in Parma may
provide some welcome respite from the rigours of World Cup qualifying,
but Prandelli insists his men will take the occasion very seriously.

Disciplinarian: Italy boss Cesare Prandelli speaks in Parma on Monday after taking action on De Rossi

Disciplinarian: Italy boss Cesare Prandelli speaks in Parma on Monday after taking action on De Rossi

Preparations: The Italy squad trains in Parma ahead of Wednesday's friendly against France

Preparations: The Italy squad trains in Parma ahead of Wednesday's friendly against France

'The friendly counts towards our ranking and it will be important because we're playing a good opponent,' he added. 'Some say that the rankings don't matter, but we all look at them.

'The young players that I put out there need to show enthusiasm and quality.'

Prandelli is yet to name a replacement for injured Roma striker Pablo Osvaldo, who withdrew from the Italy squad today after suffering a recurrence of an old ankle injury during the Rome derby.

Atalanta defender Federico Peluso was drafted into the 25-man selection after Zenit St Petersburg's Domenico Criscito withdrew with an unspecified injury problem this morning.

Roma midfielder Alessandro Florenzi has been named in a senior side for the first time with Newcastle full-back Davide Santon returning to contention for the first time since March 2011.

Prandelli added: 'Florenzi has earned himself a place in a very good team, he does a great job in the middle of the park.

'Santon has started 10 games for Newcastle this season, he's rebuilding his self-confidence. He's equally comfortable on the right or the left.'

Felipe Massa set for Ferrari stay in 2013

Massa poised for Ferrari stay as Brazilian closes in on 2013 deal

|

UPDATED:

07:28 GMT, 15 October 2012

Felipe Massa looks set to stay with Ferrari after continuing his resurgence with fourth place at the Korean Grand Prix.

The Brazilian was thought to be heading for the exit door at Maranello after a poor first half to the season, with Mark Webber being strongly tipped to take his seat before the Australian re-signed with Red Bull.

But the 31-year-old has performed strongly since the Belgian Grand Prix, and took his first podium in almost two years at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Staying put: Massa is set to stay at Ferrari in 2013

Staying put: Massa is set to stay at Ferrari in 2013

He followed that up with fourth in South Korea, where he shadowed team-mate Fernando Alonso throughout, with his pace even leading the team to ask him to give the title-chasing Spaniard a bit of breathing space during the closing stages.

With his upturn in fortunes, Massa now appears set to extend his stay with the Prancing Horse into an eighth season, with Force India's Nico Hulkenberg, another mentioned as a potential replacement, set to switch to Sauber instead.

When asked if Massa would remain with Ferrari in 2013, team principal Stefano Domenicali said: 'You will know what will be our situation on that very soon.'

All smiles: The Brazilian looked to be heading towards the Ferrari exit door

All smiles: The Brazilian looked to be heading towards the Ferrari exit door

He added: 'I am very happy [with Felipe]. He did an excellent race and qualifying, but he has done an excellent job over the last couple of races and this is very promising for the end of the season.

'I think he is understanding the car better, understanding the tyres better.

'Felipe we believe is a very strong driver, otherwise we would already have taken a different decision [for 2013], and now Felipe has the understanding of the car and the tyres under his control, he is performing at the level he should.'

Sebastian Vettel's win in Korea meant Alonso's third place was not enough to prevent him losing the lead of the championship. He now trails the Red Bull driver by six points with just four races remaining.

Champagne moment: Vettel leads the championship from Fernando Alonso

Champagne moment: Vettel leads the championship from Fernando Alonso

Ferrari may not have been able to match Red Bull, but the Maranello outfit appeared to have taken a step forward as they were much improved in qualifying and typically competitive during the race.

And Alonso said: 'We are always on the limit, but we feel comfortable like this.

'We seem to extract the maximum from the car when we are under pressure and there are four beautiful races to come with good possibilities for us to fight for the championship.

'In the end, I'm sure there will be some circuits where we are a little bit more competitive, and some circuits where we are maybe not competitive enough, but overall, in the last four races now we need to score seven points more than Sebastian, that will be extremely tough but we believe we can do it.'

Alessandro Del Piero in talks with Olympiakos

Another one getting away Liverpool set to miss out on Del Piero as veteran striker continues talks with Olympiakos

|

UPDATED:

10:14 GMT, 4 September 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Italian veteran Alessandro Del Piero is in talks with Olympiakos over a possible move to the Greek outfit.

Del Piero had been linked with a shock move to striker-shy Liverpool after Brendan Rodgers was unable to find a replacement for Andy Carroll before the transfer window shut last week.

The 37-year-old free agent, who ended a glittering 19-year stint at Italian champions Juventus, was also linked with Celtic and Swiss club FC Sion.

Modern great: Alessandro Del Piero is available on a free after leaving Juventus this summer

Modern great: Alessandro Del Piero is available on a free after leaving Juventus this summer

But according to reports in Greece, Olympiakos have offered the classy striker a one-year deal worth 1.75million with the option to keep him on for another year.

Del Piero's brother and representative, Stefano, is leading the negotiations with the Greek double winners.

Stefano also revealed that Del Piero's future will be settled sooner rather than later.

He said: 'At this moment, I can’t say anything more than that we are in contact.

'Be patient. It is a matter of hours before we see if Alessandro will play for Olympiakos or not.'

Del Piero, who has 91 caps for Italy, scoring 27 goals, is considered to be a modern great of the game and can operate as a striker or can play off a front man.

Still got it Del Piero had been linked with a move to Liverpool or Celtic

Still got it Del Piero had been linked with a move to Liverpool or Celtic

Stefano Mauri has been released under house arrest

Lazio captain Mauri under house arrest after release over role in match-fixing scandal

|

UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 4 June 2012

Lazio captain Stefano Mauri has been released under house arrest after a
week in prison for his alleged role in Italy’s match-fixing scandal.

Mauri was arrested on May 28 with 13 others.

Under suspicion: Stefano Mauri is now under house arrest

Under suspicion: Stefano Mauri is now under house arrest

Euro 2012: Cesare Prandelli explains Domenico Criscito"s exclusion

No human could deal with the pressure! Italy coach Prandelli explains under-suspicion Criscito's exclusion from Euros squad

|

UPDATED:

09:40 GMT, 29 May 2012

Italy have excluded defender Domenico Criscito from their Euro 2012 squad to let him clear his name after police investigations into an alleged match-fixing scandal.

The player, who prosecutors allege was photographed in a restaurant with match-fixing suspects while still a Genoa player in 2011, told reporters: 'I have nothing to do with this. I was only out for dinner with some Genoa fans.'

Scroll down for video
Pressure: Cesare Prandelli (left) excluded Domenico Criscito (right) because the investigation and the Euros would have been too much to handle

Pressure: Cesare Prandelli (left) excluded Domenico Criscito (right) because the investigation and the Euros would have been too much to handle

Investigated: Domenico Criscito (right) at Italy training

Investigated: Domenico Criscito (right) at Italy training

Coach Cesare Prandelli was in the process of whittling his 32-man squad down to 25 when police arrived.

'I am not taking Criscito because he would have been under pressure which no human being can bear,' Prandelli said.

'The other reason is that he could have been summoned by the prosecutor at any moment, before a match.'

Prandelli also cut Emiliano Viviano, Marco Verratti, Davide Astori, Salvatore Bocchetti, Luca Cigarini and Ezequiel Schelotto from his Euro squad with two more names to follow before UEFA’s Tuesday midday deadline.

Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci has also been linked to match-fixing in testimony from a probe in Bari, where he used to play, but is not under formal investigation and will go to the tournament in Ukraine and Poland.

'I have talked with Bonucci, he has already been heard by prosecutors in Bari. He is calm and so are we,' Prandelli added.

No looking: Stefano Mauri hides his face from photographers

No looking: Stefano Mauri hides his face from photographers

'At the moment he has not received any communication. If Bonucci is OK, he will be in the list of 23 for the Euros.'

Lazio captain Stefano Mauri and former Genoa midfielder Omar Milanetto were among 14 people arrested by police. Juventus coach Antonio Conte was also questioned.'

A police statement said they searched 30 homes of players, trainers and administrators of clubs in Serie A, Serie B and Lega Pro, on suspicion of involvement in match-fixing.

Police in the northern city of Cremona said they were investigating Conte, fresh from his triumph in leading Juventus to the Italian Serie A championship for the first time since the club was relegated in 2006 in an earlier match-fixing scandal.

'Conte's reaction is that of someone who's completely innocent and strongly determined to prove his total innocence,' Conte's lawyer, Antonio De Rencis, said.

Making their move: An Italian police car arrives at the Coverciano site center where the Italy national team are training

Making their move: An Italian police car arrives at the Coverciano site center where the Italy national team are training

Siena president Massimo Mezzaroma has also been placed under investigation.

Zenit St. Petersburg defender Criscito is also being investigated, a week before the national team leaves for the European Championship in Poland and Ukraine.

Two police cars arrived at the national team's training site at around 6:25am local time (0425 GMT) and left more than two hours later. Criscito's house in Genoa was also searched.

Criscito, who did not take part in Italy's training session, has reportedly asked to be heard by the authorities as soon as possible.

Into custody: Mauri has been arrested

Into custody: Mauri has been arrested

Action has been taken against 19 people, 11 of whom are footballers or former footballers – 14 have been arrested, three have been placed under house arrest and two others are to present themselves to authorities.

'It's devastating news,' former Italy and current Ireland coach Giovanni Trapattoni told Gazzetta dello Sport. 'If the magistrates are doing something, it is because there is some truth in this.

'I, who have travelled abroad for some time, must say that we give an ugly image of our football.

'As an Italian, the first feeling is that we are mocked abroad, we are always linked to illicit dealings and are considered mafia members.

'This only damages us because I can claim to have paid the price for an attitude that affects everyone.'

He added: 'It's clear that certain stories provoke anger. But it could also give a push (to the team) to prove the clean face of football.'

Crackdown: Cremona prosecutor Roberto di Martino listens to Cremona police commissioner Antonio Bufano as they attend a news conference about a police operation which was part of 'Last Bet' an investigation into match-fixing in Italian football

Crackdown: Cremona prosecutor Roberto di Martino listens to Cremona police commissioner Antonio Bufano as they attend a news conference about a police operation which was part of 'Last Bet' an investigation into match-fixing in Italian football

Monday's operation was part of 'Last Bet', a wider investigation into match-fixing in Italian soccer which has already seen a number of arrests of current and former Italian players.

'In this part of the investigation, indications have emerged of manipulation in matches from the 2010-11 Serie A championship, including games between Lazio and Genoa and Lecce and Lazio,' Raffale Grassi, director of SCO, the police service responsible for the investigation told SkyTG24 television.

Five people have also been arrested in Hungary on suspicion of being part of an illegal international betting ring.

Mauri has been accused of sporting fraud. Most of the footballers accused now play in Serie B or lower leagues, although Omar Milanetto spent five years at Genoa before joining Padova in 2011.

Numerous others have had their houses searched, including Chievo Verona's Sergio Pellissier.

More than 50 people have now been arrested in Italy in the past year as part of the probe started by judicial authorities in Cremona.

Police action: Juventus' coach Antonio Conte is under investigation

Police action: Juventus' coach Antonio Conte is under investigation

Former Atalanta captain Cristiano Doni was banned from football for three and a half years last summer, and former Lazio captain Giuseppe Signori was also arrested.

Serie A clubs Atalanta, Novara and Siena were among the 22 Italian teams notified at the beginning of this month that they are being investigated by sports authorities.

Prosecutors in Cremona have detailed an extensive match-fixing ring stretching as far as Singapore and South America that was allegedly in operation for more than 10 years.

Italian Olympic Committee vice-president Luca Pancalli was equally saddened by the latest football scandal to rock the nation.

'The courage to speak must be there in order to put an end to this issue and to start again,' he said to Gazzetta.

'As a man of sport and as a citizen I feel infinite sadness. The sporting justice has other time limits with respect to the ordinary justice and it's clear that there will be (sporting) repercussions.'

Criscito's agent Andrea D'Amico insists his client is not concerned.

He said to Gazzetta dello Sport: 'I have spoken to Mimmo (Domenico) this morning and he is absolutely calm.

'Mimmo is ready to explain anything that may have caused him to be under the spotlight.

'Our legal team is working in order for the magistrates to listen to him as soon as possible.'

Under suspicion: Stefano Mauri (right) in action for Lazio

Under suspicion: Stefano Mauri (right) in action for Lazio

Italian Football Federation (FIGC) vice-president Demetrio Albertini announced the former Genoa player will not go to Poland and Ukraine before Prandelli.

'Criscito will not be with us at the European Championship,' Albertini said in a press conference.

'He is in a hurry to end this current situation and that is his aim.

'He is disappointed to have caused this situation although he reiterates he has nothing to do with it.

Albertini added: 'We are disappointed but we have to remain close to the player.

'The decision not to include Criscito is a collective decision. The Federation has given Prandelli its support over this decision.

'Arrests have been made today but until proven otherwise, we are talking about innocent people even though they are considered suspects.

'I know Domenico and he is incredulous. He is an extraordinary guy and he has already seen his lawyers this morning.

'It is a strange day for us. These are things that we would not like to have had to go through.'

Video: Italian police release video of arrests in match-fixing scandal

DM.has('rcpv1660292164001','BCVideo');