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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Giornata/Week 38: Serie A Preview and Results: Inter Win the Scudetto

Preview from Serie A TV

Quotes of the Week in Italian Calcio

“I sacked the coach because I didn't want to place more pressure on the players." Tommaso Ghirardi, President of Parma.

The understatement of the decade, Signor Ghirardi.

The penalty takers were Cruz, Balotelli and then Materazzi. You can miss penalties, unfortunately, so Julio could’ve made a mistake too. We’ll never know.” Roberto Mancini, manager of Inter Milan.

It is also interesting to note that Balotelli, a 17 year old, plays ahead of Hernan Crespo, one of the best strikers in world football, in the tactical scheme of Mister Mancini.

"I apologized to Julio Cruz personally and to the entire team... In all honesty I think at that moment every single Inter fan hurled some kind of abuse at me." Marco Materazzi of Inter after his rigore was saved against Siena.

But what Matrix didn't say was that he would do it all over again the exact same way in a parallel universe. And at least Inter tifosi didn't hurl projectiles, small cars, and other things to show their appreciation for the penalty-kicking skills of Materazzi.

“What happened with the transvestites was the worst thing that has ever happened to me. I’d had an argument with my girlfriend and I was sad, so I was thinking lots. A girl came up to my car and I accepted her services.” Ronaldo of AC Milan.

Obviously, that was some argument... A week later, Ronaldo discovered that he will be a father for the second time. What I want to know is how a great player who underwent major knee surgery is able to do such athletic endeavors off of the pitch in such a short time? What services would he receive if he were healthy? :-)

“I asked the club if I could bring a doctor on to the bench just for me. I’ll be so tense that at the end of the game they’ll have to wheel me away on a stretcher! Since I came here I even started smoking again two years after quitting.” Walter Zenga, manager of Catania.

He may also need other consultants should Catania lose. Remember, this is Sicily, and Zenga is an Internazionale legend.

Courtesy of Football Italia.

A Historic Fixture With the Scudetto and Relegation on the Line

After 37 games, it comes down to the final week to crown the Serie A champion. Ironically, two teams on the brink of relegation, Catania and Parma, respectively, will face the only clubs able to win the crown: AS Roma and Internazionale. With 24 wins, the Romans have achieved a historic club record. Regardless of the results from this weekend, Inter and Roma will face each other for the fourth consecutive year in the Coppa Italia final next Saturday.

The Agony and the Ecstasy

1. If Inter wins, they are the Serie A Champions.
2. If Inter ties and Roma tie, Inter are the Serie A Champions.
3. If Inter ties or loses and Roma win, Roma are the Serie A Champions.
4. If Catania wins, they will remain in the Serie A.
5. If Catania ties or loses, depending on the results of Empoli and Parma, they could be relegated to the Serie B.
6. If Parma wins, they will remain in the Serie A.
7. If Parma ties or loses, they will be relegated to the Serie B.
8. If Empoli ties or loses, they will be relegated to the Serie B.
9. If Empoli wins and Catania loses, they will remain in the Serie A.

Champions League and UEFA Cup

The first two teams (Inter and Roma) automatically qualify. The next two teams (Juventus) and either Fiorentina/AC Milan, will have to qualify. Slots 5 to 8 in the Classifica will qualify for either the UEFA Cup or Intertoto Cup. The latter serves as a qualifying round for the UEFA Cup. Genoa, Napoli, Sampdoria, and Udinese are fighting for places in those two competitions, respectively.

Saturday, 17 May 2008 at 1500 local time.

Sampdoria 3 x Juventus 3

Alex Del Piero scored a brace to give him a league-leading 21 goals. He also sacrificed a penalty kick that he would have normally taken, which was converted by teammate David Trezeguet, and he ends the season with 20. Del Piero showed why he is a champion and why he should be called into the Azzurri squad for Euro 2008. On a negative note, Mister Ranieri subbed out Del Piero in the 71st minute, and also failed to give any playing time to Alessandro Birindelli who was ending his 12 year career with Juvenutus. This game was meaningless. Alex should have played the entire 90, and Birindelli should have started or at least seen a few minutes of action.

Sunday, 18 May 2008 at 1500 local time.

AC Milan 4 x Udinese 1
Atalanta 2 x Genoa 0
Cagliari 2 x Reggina 2
Catania 1 x AS Roma 1 (No Roma fans allowed in the stadium).
Lazio 2 x Napoli 1
Parma 0 x Internazionale 2 (No Inter fans allowed in the stadium).
Siena 2 x Palermo 2
Torino 0 x Fiorentina 1

La Classifica before Giornata 38

Livorno (Rel).

  • Internazionale are champions of Italy.
  • Parma, Empoli, and Livorno are relegated to Serie B.
  • Alessandro Del Piero becomes only the second man to win back to back "capocannoniere" titles in Serie B and Serie A (the other was Paolo Rossi).

    Video Highlights

    Image courtesy of 101 Great Goals.

    Another great source for
    Serie A videos. Please click the image.

    Image courtesy of Serie A TV.
    Please click the image for
    free video previews and
    selected clips after the games.

    Giornata/Week 38:
    • For live scores during the games, please click here.
    • For an ESPN Matchtracker of Serie A games, please click here. You may have to adjust for the proper date.
    • For a live game tracker called Match View from the Gazzetta dello Sport, which has very detailed statistics and graphical displays, please click here. You may have to click on the number of the week to see a full fixture list.

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