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Saturday, December 9, 2006

Silvio Speaks

Former Prime Minister of the Italian Republic, and present owner of AC Milan, made some interesting comments today. His team is mired in a funk of injuries, languishes on the wrong side of the Serie A table, and barely averages one goal scored per game. Not the AC Milan we are used to see. Last Wednesday in Champions League play against Lille of France, Milan was whistled off the pitch after a 0 to 2 home defeat.

Mister Berlusconi discussed his godson's father, Andriy Shevchenko, who has not yet settled into the English way of football. Despite the 30 millions pounds that Chelsea FC sent to the coffers of AC Milan for his services. "If it were up to me, I'd bring Sheva back immediately... We must not forget that he was the one that wanted to leave." Well, that and 30 million other reasons.

Regarding the status quo, he blames others. "It all stems from the terrible injustice we suffered in the summer and that affected the whole season." Juventus suffered a far greater fall from grace, and many would say that AC Milan was lucky to avoid a similar fate. As in Serie B, no Champions League, and vastly reduced television revenues.

He called the injured Nelson Dida "The best goalkeeper in the world... I think he will sign another contract." Dida is very good, but based on his form of the last two years, he should not be mentioned in the same sentence as Gigi Buffon. He also said that coach Carlo Ancelotti was "... untouchable. And we have never contacted other coaches because we have faith in Carletto." The dreaded vote of confidence. Unless Carletto turns the situation around very quickly, this will be his swan song at the San Siro.

Despite his woes, Mr. Berlusconi could not resist to the opportunity to throw a veiled compliment to his Inter Milan rival, Massimo Moratti. "I think it is their year, as Inter is the strongest team in the easiest division." When Inter were awarded the 2005-2006 Scudetto, which was won on the pitch by Juventus, Mr. Berlusconi quipped: "They gave it to Inter as a lifetime achievement award." The jibe was a reference that since Juergen Klinsmann wore the famous black and blue striped jersey, Internazionale has not won the Scudetto. Seventeen years ago and counting. But with the demotion and humiliation of Juventus, Inter does get the last laugh. They are the only Serie A team who has always played in the top flight. Not even Mr. Berlusconi can argue with that.

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