The Serie A kicks off this weekend for another year of agony and ecstasy. But is that not the reason we follow it? ;-)
Three new teams join the top flight:
Bologna, Chievo Verona, and Lecce.
Who do you think will take the Scudetto? Can Inter Milan finally make a serious run in the UEFA Champions League? How will Ronaldinho do in his first Serie A campaign? Those and many more questions will be answered in the next nine months.
Quotes of the Week in Italian Calcio
“Nelson Dida and Zeljko Kalac will split goalkeeping duties." Carlo Ancelotti, Manager of AC Milan. From the same man who famously said, "If you want entertainment, go to the cinema." ;-)
“I would be satisfied in a year from now if I had won the Champions League with Inter and played for Italy. As for the future, I'd want to win the Ballon d'Or. I wouldn't call it my dream, though, as I don't have dreams in my career, just targets." Mario Balotelli of Internazionale. For an 18 year old, he has very modest goals, don't you think. Just think how he will be after a year with Mister Mourinho? ;-)
“I immediately regretted leaving the job. I told myself that I was an imbecile so many times for quitting.” Marcello Lippi returns to manage the Azzurri from the idyllic life of lecturing anyone who would hear how Italy won the World Cup, turning down job after job from unknown foreign teams, and sailing his beloved boats at Viareggio. :-) But let's hope that the wise Mister can duplicate history: Only one coach has ever won two consecutive World Cups: Vittorio Pozzo in 1934 and 1938.
“This season may be more difficult, but winning is in Juve's DNA and I have absorbed that DNA." Claudio Ranieri, manager of Juventus. Mister Ranieri has absorbed many things in his career, but deep down, he is a frustrated molecular biologist... ;-)
“Everyone from the squad to the Coach and general manager Adriano Galliani talked about a real giant upfront who could batter down opposition defences, but they got Ronaldinho who is a support figure. Now after trying to bring in a defender, they pick up Shevchenko. What kind of planning strategy is this?" Arrigo Sacchi, former manager of AC Milan and the Azzurri. Mister Sacchi shows his usual optimism... ;-)
“In Munich everything is really perfect - clean, orderly and safe. I wish people were as safe in my hometown of Modena." Luca Toni of Bayern Munich. Before Bayern and Fiorentina, Luca played a few years in Palermo...
Quotes Courtesy of Football Italia.
Fixtures for Week 1
Saturday, 30 August 2008
Udinese 3 x Palermo 1
Sampdoria 1 x Internazionale 1
Sunday, 31 August 2008
Atalanta 1 x Siena 0
Cagliari 1 x Lazio 4
Catania 1 x Genoa 0
Chievo Verona 2 x Reggina 1
Milan 1 x Bologna 2
Roma 1 x Napoli 1 (Il Derby del Sole).
Fiorentina 1 x Juventus 1
Image courtesy of 101 Great Goals.
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- For English language coverage and commentaries, please take a look at Football Italia.