Sunday, June 30, 2013

From the Horse’s Mouth


So while I was on my transcontinental flight the other day, as I so often am, I had a very interesting experience. I was sitting in first class, of course, and a few hours into the flight, the gentleman behind me started muttering things. And it seemed he was speaking in Italian, too. The voice sounded familiar, so I looked back and can you guess who it was? Passed out and sleeptalking? That’s right, it was none other than Adriano Galliani.

I must have the mercato on the mind if I summoned him...

Friday, June 28, 2013

Poll: Women of Milan


It's summer. The transfer market is not quite open, the team is not even back to Milanello for training, and frankly, Elaine's rants are getting really old. So, since she's already speaking of herself in third person again, she thought she would do a little research and find out which Milan WAG you boys think is the hottest. So take the poll and brace yourselves, the actual mercato opens up on Monday. Until then, the Women of Milan....

Future WAGs? (Antonini's daughters)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Dear FIFA


Something that infuriates me at every official FIFA tournament are their “stellar” efforts to eradicate racism. As if a giant banner is going to change the character of a racist and make him eat those bananas instead of throw them. Or having people wear t-shirts at the beginning of a match puts some magical anti-racism force field on the stadium and makes everyone suddenly love everyone else. Or those advertising boards that randomly put up anti-racism messages throughout the game… they clearly solve the worldwide racism issue singlehandedly. (Do the racists even read them? Do they even know how to read?)  Surprisingly, despite all of these well-thought out measures, racism continues to permeate the beautiful game. Dear FIFA, signs and t-shirts just don’t work.

Racism deterrent? Or waste of time and money?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Silvio Berlusconi: A Man of Personal Convictions


Yesterday saw a verdict handed down in the so-called “Ruby” case, the case where Silvio Berlusconi was charged with having sex with a minor… for hire, and also for using his public office to get her released from jail on theft charges. He was convicted, and sentenced to seven years in jail, as well as being banned from public office for life. But our dear club owner and president will never serve that time. In fact, he will likely get the conviction overturned through the lengthy appeals process, a process that could take up to three years, and tons of time and money on the part of both him and the court system. But the most important thing is that Berlusconi will be a free man. Free to find other underage women, have more bunga bunga parties, and also covet more ridiculously overpriced strikers. Free to criticize Allegri publicly, tell him what formations to play and who to field. Free to pay his wife her €3m per month alimony (she divorced him when these charges came to light.) In fact, the only thing that won’t be free anymore is extra cash to invest in Milan, or even to reinvest transfer monies back into the squad. Because Silvio Berlusconi is a man of personal convictions.
 
The new club logo detail on the third kit: "The club with the most convicted President in the world"

Monday, June 24, 2013

How to Raise a Milanista


Typically on this blog, I insist that everyone is a fan in their own right, so regardless of our experiences or efforts, we are all on a level playing field. But there is one area that I can claim a bit of expertise in, and that is how to raise a Milanista. Despite making the tragic mistake of marrying a Juventino, I am proud to say that our two children are both Milanisti. It took a lot of work and careful nurturing, as well as faith and trust, but I have triumphed over evil, and lived to tell the story. So, while I hope most of you have childrearing duties well ahead of you, I thought I should impart my wisdom to you now so that you are prepared when the time comes.

Some things were just meant to be

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Co-Ownership: A Tale of Two Clubs


This week was the deadline for co-ownership deals in Serie A. Co-ownership what, you ask? Co-ownership is an anomaly virtually unique to Italian football. While it is practiced in a few South American countries, it has long been important to Lega Calcio. In a nutshell, it is a way for two clubs to split the risks and/or profits on players 50/50. Beyond that, it gets a little more complicated. When a player is owned under a co-ownership deal, two years of his career become a tale of two clubs.

Two shirts, one player, two years

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Crushed: Adios Apocalypto


Amidst all of the heartbreak surrounding Ambrosini’s departure, another player’s contract was not renewed: Mario Yepes. Whether or not he was told before the announcement is hard to know, because he was probably in Colombia at the time, still captaining his national team. You know the team with players like Falcao, Luis Muriel, Zuniga, Guarin, Cuadrado, and more. Yes, at the young age of 37, he is still captaining this amazing young squad like he has since 2008, with 90 caps. But at Milan, he is not even deemed worthy of a spot on the bench, with the club opting not to renew his contract. I’m crushed.

If only all players could be as humble and hardworking as Yepes

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Podcast: Mercato Madness


Just because the season is over, doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to talk about. In fact the mercato is one of the things people seem to enjoy fighting talking about. You can try to sort out credible rumors, or you can just make up your own, or a little of both. And if that’s not your thing, then you can keep up with the players on national team duty, especially with the U21 Euros and Confederations Cup going on. Just because it’s the off season doesn’t mean things can’t get a little crazy.

Milan Obsession Exclusive: Milan's commitment to youth is redefined this mercato

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Bryan Cristante: Midfield Prodigy


There was an announcement from Galliani this week that seemed almost unbelievable: he said that Bryan Cristante was going to replace Massimo Ambrosini. I have a feeling he didn’t exactly mean it literally. After all, Cristante is literally half Ambrosini’s age. Half. How does an 18 year-old directly replace a 36 year-old who has won so many trophies? And Allegri didn’t even play Cristante once this season. But even still, it says a lot for a Primavera player to come straight into the first team, something that was announced just halfway through the season, too. And not only straight from the Primavera, but at the tender age of 18, too. There can only be one plausible explanation: Cristante is a midfield prodigy.

The young Cristante when he first came to Milan in 2009

Friday, June 14, 2013

Never Forget


With Milan choosing to say goodbye to Ambrosini after 18 years, it brings up the emotions of so many players that we’ve said goodbye to. They are gone, but not forgotten heroes of the red and black. And while the rumors fly and the fates of our current favorite players hang in the balance, we can still reminisce and remember those whose memories are forever woven into the fabric of our favorite jerseys. Never forget.

Gone but not forgotten

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I Wish I Could Quit You


They sold Kaká, but still kept the other senators on, even if maybe they waited too long to phase them out. Then Pirlo was pushed out. But last year, not coincidentally the same year Milan’s parent company, Fininvest, was ordered to pay the largest fine in European history at a whopping €574 million, they cleaned house. Even still, it seemed like at least some of the senators maybe controlled their own destiny. And while we were still watching YouTube compilations of our favorite heroes, came the Thiago Silva and Ibra saga: selling… not for sale… selling… then sold. As a fan, I really felt like they took the last of my innocence on that one. But I was wrong. This week alone, they pushed Ambrosini out, have openly admitted that El Shaarawy is not secure at Milan, and publicly gave Montolivo the captaincy apparently without even consulting Abbiati first. Despite the fact that the blood in my veins runs red and black, Milan, I wish I could quit you.

The difference? One resigned.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Fantamercato


We are still 21 days away from the official opening of the mercato, or transfer market, which means that we should have our squad for next season just about nailed down, right? Well with very little football on the horizon, it is a fan’s speculation paradise, with more rumors flying around than fleas on a slum dog. So with Galliani on some cruise, and rather than wait for the rumor mill to feed our tiny little brains, today I thought we’d just take on the whole squad and get it all over with. Today is your lucky day: Fantamercato.

"Berlusconi said what? If he asks, I'd be there..."

Saturday, June 8, 2013

What Does the Red and Black Mean to You?


You give up sleep, food, and time with friends or family. You ditch classes, watch at work, or do other things you maybe shouldn’t. You watch even when you know we’re going to get slaughtered. You wear your jersey even when it puts your life in danger. You rejoice with every victory and lament every loss as if it’s personal. Even your neighbors question your sanity when it comes around to game time. You frequent a blog. Written by a girl. There are simply no lengths you will not go to worship your club. You are, of course, a Milan fan. But what does the red and black mean to you?

What is it that makes us bleed red and black?
(photoshop by Sposato al Nemico)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Keeping Allegri: Necessary Evil?


He wasn’t sacked after managing the worst start Milan had in over 70 years. So why would he be sacked after eeking out a third place finish? Yet most people felt that his time was up, even if they personally wanted him to stay. Maybe it was the harsh and direct criticism from Berlusconi, or even Galliani throughout the season. Or maybe it was the insanely ridiculous (and probably record-breaking) number of confirmations that management, the players, and even he himself had given him throughout the season. But in the end, he stayed. No extension yet, but he stayed. But was it the right move or just a necessary evil?

Allegri shares his mindboggling tactics with future coaches at Coverciano

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Podcast: Milan Youth Sector Dreams


Up until recently, there wasn’t a lot of information on Milan’s Youth Sector readily available. But with the focus changing to youth because of FFP, one person took it upon himself to help people keep up with our Milan Youth teams. So for this very special youth focused podcast, I was able to catch up with him on some of the aspects of Milan’s Youth Sector.

Milan past, present, and future

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Goodbye is Not Forever


When we tearfully said goodbye to our heroes as they took their last lap around the San Siro pitch, it felt like it was forever. But thanks to the Milan Glorie team, we get to watch our heroes age “gracefully” in charity and farewell matches around the globe. On Friday was one such occasion. With former Milan player Kakha Kaladze having retired last year, he was finally allowed to have his farewell match in Tblisi. It was a fantastic, star-studded event with some of our favorites returning to the pitch in the red and black to honor him. And while the level of play is entirely different, the competition not relevant, there is still something magical about seeing our heroes together again on the pitch…

Baresi, Massaro, Maldini, and Shevchenko: Awesome times infinity