Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Prandelli welcomes back the smiles

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli is relieved his side have brought smiles back to the faces of their fans after their dismal FIFA World Cup showing.

However, after wins over Estonia and the Faroe Islands in their first two qualifiers for UEFA Euro 2012, the former Fiorentina boss has warned of tougher tests to come.

Goals from Alberto Gilardino, Daniele De Rossi, Antonio Cassano, Fabio Quagliarella and Andrea Pirlo sunk the Faroes, the group minnows, at Prandelli's former Florence stomping ground of the Stadio Artemio Franchi.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

[Azzurri] Italy make Prandelli feel at home

Italy won for the second match in succession as Cesare Prandelli enjoyed a five-star return to the Stadio Artemio Franchi and a convincing win in UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying group Group C against the Faroe Islands.

Prandelli, back at the stadium that was his home as Fiorentina coach for five years until this summer, made five changes to the side that beat Estonia 2-1 on Friday, including Alberto Gilardino, who headed the hosts in front on 11 minutes.

Daniele De Rossi and Antonio Cassano added further first-half strikes before Fabio Quagliarella pounced nine minutes from time and Andrea Pirlo curled in a late free-kick to send the Azzurri top of Group C.

[U21] Italy reach Euro play-offs

Italy took top spot in Group 3 and a place in the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Championship play-offs with a narrow win against nearest rivals Wales.

Mattia Mustacchio's strike handed the three points to Pierluigi Casiraghi's side, who had to secure a 1-0 scoreline or a win by a two-goal margin in Pescara to go into Friday's draw.

The only goal of the game came after just 14 minutes, with a fine cross from Luca Marrone picking out winger Mustacchio to score his first international goal at this level via a finish into the far corner.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Prandelli expecting to dominate possession

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli is expecting his team to dominate possession against the Faroe Islands at the Stadio Artemio Franchi in Florence on Tuesday evening.

And the former Fiorentina coach, who spent the last five years guiding La Viola, believes that this should help his reconstructed team to develop more quickly.

Prandelli has completely overhauled the team and squad that his predecessor Marcello Lippi had faith in, bringing players like Antonio Cassano back in from the cold and promoting a host of new names to the international set-up.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Prandelli believes Italy are becoming a team

Cesare Prandelli praised his fledgling Italy team and claimed they were on the right path following their 2-1 win against Estonia.

Italy were far from impressive in their UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying Group C opener but they did grind out the victory despite falling behind to Sergei Zenjov's surprise first half goal.

Antonio Cassano and Leonardo Bonucci hit back after the break to give Italy their first win in eight matches and first of this calendar year.

Friday, 3 September 2010

[Azzurri] Italy scrape comeback success in Estonia

Two second-half goals in quick succession allowed Italy to come from behind to start UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying Group C with a 2-1 win in Tallinn against Estonia, their first victory in 2010.

Overseeing his first competitive game since replacing Marcello Lippi following the FIFA World Cup, Cesare Prandelli watched his charges head into the interval 1-0 down after Sergei Zenjov punished a mistake by visiting goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu.

A pair of Andrea Pirlo corners nonetheless spared the Azzurri's blushes as Antonio Cassano finished on the hour mark and Leonardo Bonucci struck three minutes later, earning their side three points ahead of Tuesday's home meeting with the Faroe Islands in Florence.

[U21] Nervy Italy keep Euro hopes alive

Italy drew level on points with Group 3 leaders Wales to remain in the play-off hunt thanks to a nervy 1-0 victory against Bosnia and Herzegovina in their penultimate UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying fixture.

Wales can reclaim top spot in the section with a win against Hungary on Saturday but now know that anything less than three points will open the door for Pierluigi Casiraghi's side in the race for an automatic play-off berth.

The Azzurrini, who welcome Wales to Pescara on Tuesday, prevailed against Bosnia-Herzegovina thanks to Roberto Soriano's goal 15 minutes from time, reward for their first-half superiority.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Azzurri turn focus to Euro 2012

Italy are eager to banish memories of their nightmare FIFA World Cup as they head into Friday's opening UEFA Euro 2012 qualifier against Estonia in Tallinn.

The Azzurri were knocked out of the competition in South Africa after finishing bottom of their group with two points.

Under new coach Cesare Prandelli, who replaced Marcello Lippi at the helm in July, the Italians will be looking for their first win of the year in Estonia.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Malesani replaces Colomba at Bologna

Bologna have appointed Alberto Malesani as coach in place of Franco Colomba, who was sacked on the eve of the club's opening Serie A game of the season.

Malesani has been out of work since leaving relegated Siena at the end of last term. The 56-year-old has signed a one-year deal with the Rossoblu, who drew 0-0 against champions Inter on Monday with youth team coach Paolo Magnani at the helm.

Malesani made his name at Chievo in the early 1990s before joining Fiorentina and Parma, with whom he won a Coppa Italia, the Italian Super Cup and the 1999 UEFA Cup.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

[Mercato] Cesena switch for Jimenez

Former Inter player Luis Jimenez has joined newly-promoted Cesena on a season-long loan deal.

Jimenez had been facing an uncertain future after third tier side Ternana secured his rights at an auction earlier in the summer.

Ternana had previously co-owned his rights along with Inter, who loaned the 26-year-old out to West Ham United last June.

[Mercato] Bologna snap up Perez

Bologna have bolstered their midfield with the signing of Uruguayan international Diego Perez and the arrival of Serbian Ivan Radovanovic on loan.

Perez who has signed a four-year deal, arrives from Monaco where he has played for the past six seasons.

The 30-year-old was one of Uruguay's standout players at the 2010 FIFA World Cup where they reached the semi-finals.

[Mercato] Roma snatch Borriello

Marco Borriello secured a late switch to Roma on deadline day after a deal with Juventus could not be agreed.

Borriello has joined Claudio Ranieri's side on loan from AC Milan with a view to a permanent move next summer.

Roma only stepped up their pursuit with hours remaining of the transfer window as the striker had looked set to link up with Juve.

[Mercato] Robinho joins Milan

AC Milan have signed Brazil forward Robinho on a permanent basis from Manchester City.

The Brazil international was initially thought to have been heading to the San Siro on loan, but he has now agreed a four-year contract with the Serie A giants.

Robinho will now link up with fellow new signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic and international team-mates Ronaldinho and Alexandre Pato in a star-studded strike force.

[Mercato] Kaladze joins Genoa

Genoa have signed Kakha Kaladze on a permanent deal from AC Milan.

The 32-year-old Georgia captain joins Genoa after nine seasons with Milan, and has signed a two-year contract.

A statement from Genoa read: "Genoa announces the signing of Georgian international Kakhaber Kaladze on a permanent transfer from AC Milan.