My Three Favourite Serie A Players of All-Time

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There have been many players that have caught my eyes in Italian Soccer over the years. Even now, there are still tons of players that I like watching on a weekly basis within the league. However, there are three players that stood out for me over all these years of watching Serie A. So, here are my three favourite Serie A players of all-time.

3. Francesco Totti

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The king of Rome was an outright legend and Roma fans worship him like a God. Indeed, he was everything that encapsulates a legend. He was a great captain that won multiple trophies with the Giallorossi. He’s also my third favourite Serie A player of all-time. Similar to other legends I’m going to mention in this article, I liked him for more than just his skill with the ball. He not only had the hunger and mental strength to deliver in clutch moments for the club, but he was also a true leader. By just watching him on TV, you could tell that everyone one of his teammates respected him. You could also tell that he was a leader on that pitch. I’d compare him to a general. That’s why he’s my third favourite Serie A player of all-time.

2. Paolo Maldini

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Paolo Maldini is arguably the greatest football defender of all-time. He narrowed defending down to a science. For the most part, he didn’t have to make tackles. He read the game so well that for the most part, he was able to strip opponents of the ball without being rough. When he was on AC Milan it must’ve been tough for opposing managers to figure out his vulnerabilities, as they were nearly impossible to find. In Maldini’s case, I admired him purely because of his intelligence for the game. Of course, you need certain skills to be as great of a defender as he was. But, the reason why I liked him so much and why I think he’s an all-time great is because it was almost as if he was four steps ahead of his opponents every play. He was able to anticipate opposing player’s movements as well as what they’d do in advance, faster than everyone else. That’s why I loved him as a player so much.

1. Alessandro Del Piero

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I’ve explicitly mentioned multiple times, that Del Piero is my favourite soccer player of all time. I even wrote on article about how I became a Juve fan and watching him was a big part of that. Here’s the article on how I became a Juve fan , just for reference. Anyways, I became a Juve fan because of Alessandro Del Piero. He always been one of the few inspirational athletes for me. Like with Totti, I really admired his mental strength. It didn’t matter how mighty the opponent was, he was never afraid of dribbling past multiple defenders to pass or to score. He’s scored many great goals against formidable opponents. Among my favourites are his clutch free-kick goal against Inter in 2006, his amazing goal at the Santiago Bernabeu in 2008 that made fans give him a standing ovation, as well his goal against Germany in the 2006 World Cup. Sometimes, I wish he’d come out of retirement for just one match, that’s how much I admired him as a player.

Top 5 Players That Have Played For Both Milan Clubs

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This weekend, there will be a huge derby. That derby is between Milan giants, AC Milan and Inter. Historically, they’re definitely some of the greatest football clubs in the world. Many legendary players have also decided to play for both clubs. As a result, I’ve decided to write an article on the top 5 players that have played for both Inter and AC Milan. Enjoy!

5. Christian Vieri

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Christian Vieri was probably one of the strongest and most physical strikers of all-time. His power combined with his finishing ability and eye for goal was an enjoyment to watch. He also played for both Inter and AC Milan. He spent 6 years at Inter from 1999-2005 and won a Coppa Italia trophy. He only spent a season at AC Milan. However, it was in 2005-2006, which was when his playing career was almost over. Nonetheless, he’s a legend and played for both of these legendary teams.

4. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

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Despite, Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s often arrogant remarks to the press, you can’t deny he’s a legendary player. Even, at the age of 38, he plays for AC Milan and looks sharp on the pitch. He may not have the athletic ability that he used to, but he still dazzles on the field. Also, he’s played for both of these legendary clubs. His trophy haul for both clubs has been immense as well. During Ibrahimovic’s three seasons at Inter, he won three Serie A titles and two Italian Supercup trophies. Also, in two full seasons at AC Milan, he’s won two trophies. Like I mentioned earlier, he still plays for AC Milan as well.

3. Andrea Pirlo

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When Andrea Pirlo played it was like he was an actual magician. His playmaking, as well as his passing abilities, were world-class. It took a while for his retirement to sink-in for me when it became official in 2017. He won so many trophies over the course of his career as well. He only played two seasons for Inter and didn’t win any trophies. However, he spent a good portion of his career at AC Milan, 10 seasons to be exact. During that time, he established himself as a world-class player. During his time at AC Milan, he won a total of ten trophies, which included two Serie A and Champions League titles.

2. Roberto Baggio

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Roberto Baggio is considered by many to be among the greatest Italian football players of all-time. He nearly perfected so many faucets of the beautiful game. He was a world-class dribbler as well as being a great goalscorer. While a good portion of his career was spent at Juve, he also spent a couple of seasons at Inter and AC Milan. He only won one trophy combined for both Milan clubs. Despite that, he is definitely an all-time great in Italian football.

1. Ronaldo Luis Nazario De Lima

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Ronaldo Nazario De Lima is considered one of the top football players of all-time. He was probably the most well-rounded striker of all-time, at least in my view. He could do it all. Despite him not winning a Champions League trophy, he was still a very likeable and world-class player. It’s common knowledge for many football fans that he played for both Inter and AC Milan. He spent five seasons at Inter and only two seasons at AC Milan. Some would even say that he established himself as an all-time great, whilst at Inter. There’s no doubt he made a huge mark for both clubs as well as football in general. That’s why I’ve decided to put him at number one.

Three Reasons Why Zlatan Ibrahimovic Will Help AC Milan

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For the past couple of years, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been rumoured to be rejoining AC Milan. However, that hasn’t happened until now! On January 3rd, Zlatan Ibrahimovic was once again presented to Rossoneri fans. Since this signing, a lot of people have given their opinions on him. So, here are the three reasons why I think he’ll be a good signing for AC Milan!

1. He’ll Bring Leadership and a Winning Mentality to this Group

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For some people, Zlatan Ibrahimovic can seem arrogant. Despite that, you can’t deny that he’s a natural winner. He’s won league titles in four different countries. He’s also had six seasons throughout his career where he’s scored 25 goals or over. So, it’s no secret that he has a proven track record of success. I don’t think that he’ll lead AC Milan to a Champions League place for next season. But, I do believe that he’ll elevate the level of the squad and be a great leader for them. Once other players on the squad see his work ethic and his motivation to be the best, it’ll rub off on the squad very quickly. His presence should significantly improve their place in the Serie A standings.

2. The Club Will Make Revenue Off Him

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It’s easy to see why Ibrahimovic is a good signing on and off the pitch. Off the pitch, he should definitely help AC Milan make tons of revenue. There are so many ways for them to make more revenue of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Merchandise with his name on it should sell out like crazy ticket sales should also definitely increase significantly. Also, he should be able to increase AC Milan’s following on all of its Social Media platforms. That increase in the following will also lead to more companies wanting to advertise themselves on AC Milan’s Social Media platforms. Therefore, it will pull in more revenue for AC Milan right now.

3. He’ll Help Improve the Rossoneris Results

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Coming into this season, AC Milan were expected by many to compete for a spot in next season’s Champions League. However, this season has become a complete mess for this iconic club. But, Zlatan Ibrahimovic can change that. There’s a very small chance that AC Milan will compete in a European competition next season, based on the current table. However, Zlatan Ibrahimovic can definitely somewhat save this season for AC Milan. I don’t think he can fully save it. But, if they play in the Europa League next season, it’ll turn out to be a decent season for them. It’ll be interesting to see if he can somehow elevate their game.

The Most Disappointing Serie A Clubs So Far This Season

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Last week, I published an article of who I thought were the most impressive Serie A clubs so far this season. However, in this article I will be writing about who I think have been Serie A’s biggest disappointments this season. So, here they are! Enjoy!

SAMPDORIA

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Sampdoria’s start to the season was worst than I think anyone could’ve imagined. They had only won 2 matches in their first 8 under Di Francesco. After that horrible run of form, Eusebio Di Francesco got sacked and in came Claudio Ranieri. Ranieri has only earned two wins so far as Sampdoria’s managers. However, they’re steadily improving. Their place in the standings is not where they should be at all, despite their improvement. They currently sit one point above the relegation zone in 17th, which is disappointing, considering at the beginning of the season, I thought they’d be able to challenge for a spot in a European competition. It could still very well happen, however with Quagliarella not scoring like last season, I don’t see anyone bailing them out enough for that to be possible.

UDINESE

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For me, at least, coming into this season I would’ve thought Udinese would fight for a midtable place in the Serie A. However, fast-forward to their current situation and they sit in 16th, only being 4 points from relegation. Their current position is very surprising, considering, some of the talent they have. For example, a player like Rodrigo De Paul is very underrated, in my opinion and may very well leave Udinese soon if they are this low in the standings down the road. However, there are rumors linking him with a January move to Inter. I’m hoping that this iconic club stays up. But, if they continue to play the way they are, I don’t see it. Indeed, they’ve developed some great players such as Dino Zoff, Alex Meret, Antonio Di Natale, etc. It’d definitely be a tragedy if they were to go down to Serie B.

AC MILAN

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At the start of this season, many thought that while AC Milan was going through a rebuild, they’d Challenge for a Champions League spot. However, as of now, they are in 10th place and their performances this season have been consistently underwhelming. Yes, they seem to be improving under Stefano Pioli, however, they’re still not performing as expected. Gennaro Gattuso may have said why he resigned as the rossoneri’s manager last summer. But, now many are starting to realize what he said about the players was true. There’s still a long way to go before the season is done and dusted, however, they need to improve immensely before the end of the season. A signing of a certain someone in January may help them. That someone would be Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

NAPOLI

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If you were to look at Napoli’s results in the Champions League this season, you’d think they’d be scudetto contenders. However, it’s not been like that at all. They’ve been very disappointing this season. So much so that they fired Carlo Ancelotti earlier this week and replaced him with Gennaro Gattuso. There are many reasons people think as to why this has been a disastrous season for Napoli, so far. A big portion of the blame is going to some of the core players that have been underperforming. There are also several other reasons why they’re underperforming. However, if Napoli want to be scudetto contenders this season, they’ll have to improve immensely. With the squad that the club has, there’s no excuse not to finish in the top 3, in my opinion.

Thank you for reading this blog post! Be sure to follow me on Twitter @calciofanblogs1, on Instagram @calciofanblogs, as well as liking and following my Facebook page, Calcio Fan Blogs. Additionally, be sure to follow this blog!

Three Serie A Clubs Where Pochettino Should Manage

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Just in case you haven’t heard, Mauricio Pochettino has been sacked as Tottenham’s manager and Mourinho is now his successor. I’m currently running poll on my Twitter account @calciofanblogs1, asking which Serie A club Pochettino should manage next. As a result, I decided to write an article about the three clubs in Italy that I think Pochettino Should manage. So, here they are!

1. ATALANTA

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Atalanta currently sit fifth in the Serie A standings. However, they don’t seem to be in crisis mode, as they are two points off of a Champions League spot and Duvan Zapata is out with an injury. So, it’s not like Gasperini is under the hotseat. However, if Gasperini leaves within the next couple of seasons for some reason, Pochettino would be the perfect successor. Most likely, Atalanta would be playing in a European Competition. Also, domestically, Atalanta would most likely be challenging for a Champions League spot. Therefore, it would be a great place to manage. Pochettino wouldn’t have the pressure that he might have managing other clubs in Italy.

2. AC MILAN

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Based on the way AC Milan has played this season and the last several ones, I’m sure fans would love for Mauricio Pochettino to manage their club. I feel that this would be more of an immediate appointment, as they desperately need a top level manager. However, there is one big problem that might hinder Mauricio from managing AC Milan. That big issue is the fact that they aren’t playing in any European Competition this season and have a good chance of not doing the same next season. The challenge of this job would definitely be immense for Mauricio Pochettino. However, if he were to succeed at this project, he would become a legend to AC Milan fans. Also, AC Milan are at a low point in terms of results, therefore, the expectations probably won’t be unreasonable for him to accomplish.

3. NAPOLI

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Current, Carlo Ancelotti finds himself on the hotseat as Napoli’s manager, as they’re in seventh in the Serie A table and haven’t really looked as they should on the pitch this season. If Napoli continues this poor run of form under Ancelotti, Pochettino would be an ideal replacement for him. If you really think about it, his situation at Napoli wouldn’t be too different than what it was at Tottenham . Yes, there is a bit of a difference because Napoli has actually won a couple trophies within the last five years. However, they are similar in that they’ve both consistently qualified for the Champions League, recently. Theyve also challenged for their respective domestic titles in recent years. Pochettino will also have a pretty skilled squad at his disposal. It’d be a challenge, however, not as much as some other clubs he’s been linked to.

Twitter Poll

Will Stefano Pioli and Claudio Ranieri Work Out for AC Milan and Sampdoria?

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This week, two massive developments have taken place within the Serie A. The first was that Di Francesco got sacked from Sampdoria, then, not too many days after, Giampaolo got let go from AC Milan as well. Then, in the same week, Stefano Pioli got appointed to be the rossoneri’s new manager and Claudio Ranieri became Sampdoria’s new manager. So, here’s how I think they will do at their new clubs!

STEFANO PIOLI AT AC MILAN

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Immediately after Stefano Pioli was appointed as AC Milan’s manager, fans of the club started using the #pioliout on social media. While, I don’t think it’s right to dismiss a manager that quickly, I also don’t believe that by the end of the season he’ll work out for the club. Now, does that mean I don’t think he’ll improve the the club’s results by the end of the season? Of course, I believe he will! However, even if he leads Milan to qualify for the Europa League in fifth like Gattuso did last season, I still don’t believe they’ll want to keep him. AC Milan’s upper-management does not seem to have any patience at all in regards to managers, therefore, unfortunately I don’t see him working out with the rossoneri by the end of the season. However, I do hope it works out for the sake of the fans within the city.

CLAUDIO RANIERI AT SAMPDORIA

 

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One of the interesting parts of this appointment by Sampdoria is that it’s the second time in a row that Claudio Ranieri has been hired as a club’s manager right after Eusebio Di Francesco has been sacked at the same team. However, I do think that Ranieri appointment as Sampdoria’s manager will work out for the club. The reason I believe this is because the style he implements at clubs is usually a more defensive one, as opposed to a possession/heavy pressing one. I think that with Sampdoria’s current squad, that style will work the best. I know that under Giampaolo, they played very possession based football, however, a big part of that was banking on the fact that Quagliarella was on his game and constantly banging in goals. However, under Di Francesco, he tried to get them to play a very offensive style of play, but, unlike under Giampaolo, Quagliarella hasn’t been scoring enough so far this season. That lead to Di Francesco downfall at Sampdoria. Anyhow, I do believe Ranieri’s style will cause headaches for opponents, as they’ll be tougher to break down. This will lead to them improving significantly this season.

3 Takeaways From Last Weekend’s Serie A Action

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Like usual, this past weekend of Serie A matches were amazing! As a result of the matches this past weekend, there were two managers fired, as well. This made this past weekend’s fixtures seem even more fascinating. So, here are 3 of my takeaways from last weekend’s Serie A matches!

 

1. JUVE SHOWED WHY THEY’VE KEEP WINNING THE SERIE A TITLE WHEN THEY FACED INTER.

 

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This past weekend, Juve were victors in the Derby D’Italia, beating Inter 2-1. However, this match demonstrated why they’ve won the scudetto 8 consecutive times. Not only did they get the job done, but they dominated such a big match in the Serie A. I’ve had my doubts about Maurizio Sarri ever since he got appointed to be the manager of the bianconeri. However, it seems as though the squad is beginning to learn how to fit within his system. In my view, Juve’s defence still needs work. However, Bonucci looks as though he is becoming comfortable with leading that backline. Despite, Juve’s key injuries, they don’t look like they’re missing a beat, whatsoever.

2. SAMPDORIA NEED TO GET THEIR ACT TOGETHER QUICKLY

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Last season, Sampdoria seemed like they had so much upside under Giampaolo. Then, he left and they appointed Eusebio Di Francesco. I must admit that before the season started, I had written a blog post that mentioned Sampdoria as being underrated with Di Francesco as their manager. However, I was completely wrong and instead, he was a bust at Sampdoria. After, only leading Sampdoria to one win in his seven matches on the touchline, it was inevitable that he’d be sacked and he was. Now, Sampdoria will need to get back to how they played last season if they want to finish in a mid-table spot by the end of the season. They will need to fix their issues fast, as they are currently on track to be relegated to Serie B by the end of this season.

3. AC MILAN WON AGAINST GENOA, BUT GIAMPAOLO IS NO LONGER THEIR MANAGER

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AC Milan has now gone through 8 different managers in 5 years as a result of this sacking. The weird part is that AC Milan’s upper-management decided to sack Giampaolo after they won against Genoa last Saturday. However, it is not surprising, as AC Milan’s upper-management seems to not have had patience with their managers over the past several seasons. I understand that under Giampaolo, AC Milan were performing way below par, but they should’ve given him more time to implement his philosophy with the squad. However, the club’s board has clearly not possessed patience for a while, in regards to the managers they’ve hired. As a result, they are a mess and all I will say to AC Milan’s new manager is good luck because whoever it is, will need a ton of it.

 

 

Previewing AC Milan VS. Fiorentina

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Sunday’s match between AC Milan will be interesting, as both of them desperately need a result to boost the morale of not only their players, but also their respective clubs. So, here’s my preview of this match for both clubs.

    AC MILAN 

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     For the AC Milan players and their upper-management, the  previous two  results should be a huge wake up call. Not only did they lose to Inter in the Milan Derby last week, but they also lost 2-1 to Torino. Against Inter, they played a decent first half. Then, in the second half, they got dominated badly by the nerazzuri leading to a 2-0 loss. However, against Torino, AC Milan were getting their chances, but not converting on them. Their defense though, has been terrible these last couple of games. It could be because their midfield is weak as well, so that causes Milan’s backline to possess more pressure from opposing clubs. I don’t know how or when, but from a tactical perspective, that midfield will need to improve. It’ll especially have to move forward for this match against Fiorentina, as la viola is a very attack-minded squad and if AC Milan’s midfield is setup the way it has been so far this season, then it will get exposed terribly by  their dynamic offense.

FIORENTINA 

     

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    When Fiorentina began the season, they knew it was going to be a very tough set of matches early on, as they had to face Napoli, Juventus, Genoa, Sampdoria, and Atalanta. They were able to manage two draws and a win in their first five games. However, one thing that’ll still need to be improved on immensely is their backline. In their first 5 matches, they’ve conceded a total of 9 goals. That’s nuts! But, their offense seems perfectly fine. In their first five matches of the season, they’ve scored 8 goals. If Fiorentina wants to win this match and many other important ones, they’ll need to somehow find a way in which to concede a significantly lower amount of goals. The great thing about this Fiorentina side coming into this match is that with the ball they’re a fast moving and fluid offense. As a result, they can definitely exploit AC Milan’s vulnerable defense and below average midfield. It’ll be a tall order to get a result at the San Siro. But, it’s very possible.

I hope this fixture will be a fun one to watch. Also, I hope that both of these clubs will put on a showsand give Serie A fans a night to remember. The match will start at 2:45 pm Eastern Time, for those who want to watch.

 

Analysis of Saturday’s Serie A Matches

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On Saturday, there were three very interesting Serie A matches that took place. The first match was Udinese vs. Brescia, then Juventus vs. Hellas Verona. After that the Milan Derby took place to wrap up a thrilling Saturday. So, here is my analysis of each of the Saturday Serie A matches!

UDINESE VS. BRESCIA

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For Udinese, this was a match in which they needed to win at home. As much as Brescia can be a tough club to beat, you need to win these matches, as when you are in a stretch during the season where you’re facing tougher clubs, matches like these will matter. Romulo was the player of the match for me and I thought that he played well. Also, it seemed as if Brescia could’ve scored more, as they had some decent chances that they should’ve capitalized on. All in all, I believe Brescia deserved those three points and this will definitely help them in their bid to avoid relegation to Serie B.

              JUVENTUS VS. HELLAS VERONA

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In this match, Sarri changed around his starting  11 a little bit. He started Dybala as the number 9, he started Aaron Ramsey over Sami Khedira, he also started Buffon over Sczesny in goal. I only watched the second half of this match, however, Juve looked like they were struggling mightily in this match. Yes, they won, but it was a sloppy win at home and they did not look like a Sarri-type of club yesterday. What I mean by that is they still lack the fluidity going forward, especially in their midfield. I understand that you cannot start Ramsey, Pjanic, and Rabiot as your midfield three, as that would lack balance, but if Juve wants to win all the trophies they are expected to win this season, Sarri needs to start two of either Rabiot, Ramsey, or Pjanic in every match in order to continue winning.

      AC MILAN VS. INTER MILAN 

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During this match, I had the pleasure of watching it with members of the Milan Club or Toronto as well as the TLN Television team. During the first half, I thought that it was a  pretty even match and both clubs had their chances. However, in the second half, Inter absolutely dominated, in my opinion. One thing I don’t understand is why AC Milan didn’t start Bonaventura or Lucas Paqueta over Lucas Biglia.  That midfield 3 of Calhanoglu, Biglia, and Kessie was bound to fail for the simple reason that none of those three can create chances or provide offensive output the same way Paqueta or Bonaventura can. As for Inter, it was obvious they would dominate in that midfield and they did. Inter’s midfield definitely looked really deadly and opposing clubs should really look at game tapes of this match to see how you don’t deal with them.