Saturday, September 23, 2006

Pagliuca sets the record

Veteran goalie Gianluca Pagliuca of Ascoli set the standard for the most games by a goalie when he played in his 571st match last week surpassing the legendary Dino Zoff. Pagliuca, who was the Azzurri goalie in the 1994 and 1998 World Cups, will turn 40 in December. On a personal note he was one of my favorites for the national side during the 1990's.
New record for Gianluca
Pagliuca bio

Totti bows out of Euro games for now

Francesco Totti will not be a member of the national side in October during the two Euro 2008 qualifiers. He is still recovering from his ankle injury suffered during the spring a wants to wait until he is in better shape in 2007. He will be missing from key games against Ukraine and Georgia.
Totti passes

Thursday, September 21, 2006

RAI Azzurri video

The following video was posted on YouTube back in July but I wasn't sure if everyone has seen it. It was made by the Italian TV channel RAI UNO for the Notti Mondiali in honor of Italy's victory in the World Cup. The background music is the new version of the song One by Bono and Mary J. Blige.
RAI Video

Serie A results-Week 2.5 (3)

With a slate of Wednesday night games, the standings after the third week of Serie A action finds Palermo at the top. Palermo has taken the lead in the standings after posting a 5-3 win over Catania for their third win. Others on the plus side were AC Milan, Lazio, Messina, Inter and Fiorentina. Atalanta and Empoli, Sampdoria and Udinese and Cagliari and Livorno all finished with draws.
Week Three results

Palermo with nine points leads Inter and Messina by two points in the standings.
Week 2.5 (3) standings

Friday, September 15, 2006

A few new friends

I have added a few new links to the My Friends section. They are blogs which have a connection to the national team or Italian soccer. I hope you find them interesting and that they might include a link to this blog on their site. Enjoy.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Champions League Results

On Tuesday, the Portugese entry, Sporting shocked Inter 1-0 on a goal by Marco Caneira in the second half.
Sporting 1, Inter 0

Meanwhile, AC Roma crushed Shakhtar of the Ukraine, 4-0 with four goals in 22 minutes in the second half. The Roma goals were scored by Brazilian Tadei, Francesco Totti, Daniele DeRossi and David Pizzaro.
AC Roma 4, Shakhtar 0

AC Milan made easy work of AEK (Athens) with a 3-0 victory. Pippo Inzaghi opened the scoring with a goal in the 17th minute. Yoann Gourcuff scored before the half and Brazilian Kaka finished the scoring with a penalty kick in the 76th minute.
AC Milan 3, AEK 0

Complete Matchday 1 results

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Week 1-Serie A results

The Serie A season finally opened this past weekend. Delayed several weeks because of appeals of the sanctions levied during the soccer scandal, the 10 game schedule started with two games on Saturday.

Atalanta, Catania, Empoli, Inter, Messina, Palermo, Roma and Siena emerged victorious while Parma and Torino finished with a 1-1 draw.
Week 1 Results
Week 1 Standings

I find it odd with Juventus absent from the Serie A listing. The were the surprised victims of a 1-1 draw with Rimini.
Juve v. Rimini recap

The Champions League resumes

The UEFA Champions League will begin the next round today and tomorrow as several Italian clubs are part of the tournament.

This evening, Inter will play the Sporting club of Portugal while AC Roma will take on Shakhtar from the Ukraine.
Inter preview
Roma preview

AC Milan will face the Greek club AEK from Athens tomorrow evening.
Milan preview

Simone Perrotta of Roma discusses how Italy's World Cup triumph has affected his outlook.
Perrotta interview

The following link is the complete schedule for Matchday 1 games of the Group stage of the tournament.
Matchday 1 Schedule

Monday, September 11, 2006

5 years later......

It's hard to believe that it has been five years since the horrible attacks on the Pentagon, the World Trade Center and aborted mission on the Capitol that ended in rural Pennsylvania in 2001.

In honor and repect to the ones that died that day I am not posting anything related to soccer, sports or Italy today. Instead, I merely offer the following video.

Even if you are not a U2 or Bono fan, I recommend this excerpt from the Super Bowl XXXVI halftime show in February 2002 from the Louisiana Super Dome in New Orleans. How ironic in light of their own misfortune during the last year.

I believe it is a fitting tribute to those that perished.
Super Bowl XXXVI halftime show

May God bless America.

Thursday, September 7, 2006

A bit of revenge for Les Bleus

The French side downed Italy, 3-1, yesterday evening in Paris in their first meeting since the World Cup final nearly two months ago. They scored early and often with a score by Sidney Govou in the second minute of the game. He would later follow that with his second goal in the 55th minute making the score 3-1. Italy's lone goal was scored by Alberto Gilardino at the twenty minute mark, shortly after the second French goal by Thierry Henry.
France 3 - Italy 1
Game photos

The loss puts The Azzurri in second-last place in the Group B standings with one point. The tie with Lithuania last Saturday looms large in this situation.
Euro 2008 Standings

The absense of key offensive players like Francesco Totti, Luca Toni and Alex Del Piero has me scratching my head. Coach Roberto Donadoni keeps referring to their lack of fitness as a reason for their exclusion. Perhaps there has been too much partying and who can blame them but it would be a great embarassment if the club does not qualify for the tournament in two years.

The club will have a chance to regroup when they host another World Cup nemesis, Ukraine, on October 7 and travel to Georgia on October 10. Both teams are directly ahead of Italy with four points each in the standings. A victory in both games seems mandatory at this point. Until then Signore Donadoni will face the intense pressure and scrutiny of the media and the Italian fans.

Let the wailing and gnashing of teeth begin.......

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

France v. Italy, parte due

Italy and France will renew acquantances, less Zinedine Zidane and Marco Materazzi, on Wednesday as part of the Group B qualifying matches for the Euro 2008 tournament. The game will be held in Stade de France in Paris.

Pressure is building on new head coach Roberto Donadoni, for a good performance after a disappointing 1-1 tie with Lithuania last Saturday. Italy v. France preview

Vieri incident with Samp fans

Former star striker Christain Vieri was involved in an incident yesterday in which Sampdoria fans questioned him on why he did not play for them this season. The fans passed him a nasty note and members of his party proceded to chase the pair. Vieri later intervened to stop the incident.
Vieri troubles continue

Materazzi tells us his secret

Italian defender Marco Materazzi has finally told the world the answer to the most important question of the summer, "what did you say to Zidane?"

After pulling Zidane's shirt while defending him, Materazzi said that Zidane told him he could have the shirt after the game. In return, Materazzi told him he would rather have Zidane's sister instead, setting up one of the most controversial and memorable events in sports this decade.

He is currently serving a two game suspension for the incident and is unavailable for the Wednesday Euro 2008 match with France in Paris.
Not yo mamma, yo sista

Gattuso and Donadoni on Euro chances

Gennaro Gattuso is tired of the talk about Zidane and the World Cup final and has encouraged his team to focus on qualifying for the Euro 2008 finals. Italy plays France on Wednesday, September 6 in their second game if qualifications.
Gattuso speaks

Meanwhile, new coach Roberto Donadoni insists that there is no need to panic at this point. France game not the end

World Cup celebration in Napoli

Prior to the Euro 2008 qualifier between Italy and Lithiuania last Saturday, the team celebrated their World Cup win with a victory lap inside San Paolo Stadium in Napoli. Hometown hero, Fabio Cannavaro, received the biggest ovation of the entire team.

The entire Curva of the stadium was also covered in a giant banner showing Cannavaro with the World Cup trophy held high. He was was visibly moved by this gesture and saluted the fans before kick-off. He served as a ball boy during the Italia 90 World Cup games held in his native Napoli in 1990.
World Cup celebration

Lithuania draws even with Italy, 1-1

In a mild surprise, Italy was only able to gain one point after tying with Lithuania, Saturday evening in Napoli. It was part of the opening round of qualifying games for the Euro 2008 Championships and their first official game as world champions.

The lone Italian goal was scored by Filippo "Pippo" Inzaghi nine minutes after the Lithuanian score by Tomas Danilevicius at the 20 minute mark.
Italy draws
FOX Sports photo gallery

Italy now finds themselves two points behind France, Georgia and Scotland in Group B.
Euro 2008 Standings

Let the second guessing and complaining begin!

Friday, September 1, 2006

Computers are like cars...

Computers are like cars because they should always work and never cause a problem. So when they stop working they can render a person nearly helpless and make that person very ineffective!

On Wednesday, the power supply in my computer stopped working while I was away. My motherboard must have been fried at the same time. So I have been struggling to get my harddrive copied onto a new system for the last two days. It's a bit like moving. You know where everything was in your old house and now it's in a box somewhere. Stuff like clip art, jpegs and my "favorites" files are in that box called the hard drive and not where they used to be.

I have alot of catching up to do, especially since Italy plays their first "real" game since the World Cup. There is a new logo, some new players and a new coach so we'll have lots to talk about this weekend.

Hopefully later today or tomorrow I can begin making up for lost time this week and dig up some interesting things. Thanks for your patience and your continued interest in this site.

Forza Azzurri!


Cannavaro confident in new boss

Fabio Cannavaro has given new coach Roberto Donadoni a ringing endorsement as they prepare for their Euro 2008 match against Lithuania this weekend. He has also challenged his teammates to focus on qualifying for and then winning the Euro championship in two years.
Cannavaro on Donadoni