Marin: ‘Cagliari can improve me’ | Football Italia

  Former Ajax midfielder Razvan Marin explains why he joined Cagliari and is ‘happy at this opportunity to improve as a player.’

  The 24-year-old Romania international made the move for €10m, plus 10-15 per cent of his future transfer fee.

  “I am ready to give my all in every game,” said


Marin at a press conference.

  “I consider myself the kind of player who gives his heart and soul to help the team get results. I can take on any midfield role and am at the disposal of the coach.

  “Cagliari and coach Eusebio Di Francesco really wanted me here. He is a well-known tactician at the international level. I know quite a lot about Serie A, because so many Romanians have always played here.”

  That includes Gheorghe Hagi, who was at Brescia from 1992-94 and then worked as Marin’s coach at Viitorul Constanta.

  “He taught me so much, both in terms of football and personally. I haven’t yet been able to speak to him since I signed the Cagliari contract, but he knows me well and wants the best for my career.

  “In Italy, there’s so much more work on tactics, so I am happy and motivated by this opportunity to improve as a player. I’m proud to wear the Cagliari jersey and can guarantee the utmost effort and determination.”

  Image: @CagliariCalcio

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Thigh injury for Alexis Sanchez | Football Italia

  Alexis Sanchez has been diagnosed with a thigh injury and is expected to miss the Europa League semi-final between Inter and Shakhtar Donetsk.

  That clash is due to take place on Monday evening as part of the Final Eight tournament in Germany.

  A statement from the club confirmed a slight strain of the hamstring in his right leg.

  His condition will continue to be evaluated over the next few days.

  It is unlikely the Chile international will recover in time for the semi-final.

  Sanchez had come off the bench during the 2-1 quarter-final win over Bayer Leverkusen on Monday and immediately picked up the injury, although he stayed on until the end with heavy strapping to his thigh.

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Lazio hope to sign with Inzaghi this month | Football Italia

  Lazio are reportedly prepared to offer coach Simone Inzaghi €3m a year to continue at the Olimpico.

  La Gazzetta dello Sport claims the Aquile have been discussing a new deal with Inzaghi for months and still haven’t reached an agreement with the successful coach.

  Inzaghi helped Lazio win the Coppa Italia in 2018-19 and mounted a Scudetto challenge for most of 2019-20, eventually qualifying for the Champions League for the upcoming campaign.

  The club has been open about the wish to continue with Inzaghi at the helm, but the contractual terms are still to be defined, according to the newspaper.

  Inzaghi is reportedly holding back because he wants reinforcements for his squad and the Biancocelesti are hoping to close the deal during the training camp in Auronzo di Cadore at the end of the month.

  La Gazzetta dello Sport writes that patron Claudio Lotito could increase Inzaghi’s salary in Rome from €2m to €3m a year.

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Report: Roma want 25m for Schick | Football Italia

  Roma loanee Patrik Schick will return from RB Leipzig and the Giallorossi are reportedly looking to sell the Czech striker for €25m this summer.

  The Bundesliga side will not trigger the option to buy the former Sampdoria forward, but Roma coach Paulo Fonseca doesn’t plan to keep Schick at the Olimpico ahead of next season. writes that the 24-year-old, who arrived from the Blucerchiati on loan in July 2017 before the GIallorossi signed him for €42m a year later, has to look for a new club.

  Schick scored 10 goals and contributed two assists in 22 Bundesliga games in 2019-20 and Leipzig had asked to extend his loan deal.

  Roma, on the other hand, want to cash in on the Czech Republic international, who has been linked with a reunion with Marco Giampaolo at Torino.

  Giampaolo was the coach who gave him the opportunity in Serie A at Samp, but Hertha Berlin and Bayer Leverkusen are, according to the report, considering making a move for the player.

  Schick has been linked with the Premier League in recent months too.

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Ibra: ‘Didn’t know about Pioli’ | Football Italia_2

  Zlatan Ibrahimovic admits he did not know Milan were keeping Stefano Pioli. ‘You learn something new here every day.’

  Ibrahimovic was speaking after he scored twice in a 2-1 win at Sassuolo, which secured Milan a place in at least the qualifying rounds of next season’s Europa League.

  “We won a difficult match against a team who play good football and we came here to win,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

  “We’re doing beautiful things, but the season isn’t over yet. We’re still vying for our objective. We want fifth place, but qualifiers are fine too.”

  The striker was then asked about his future and whether he knew anything about the club’s decision to stick with Pioli.

  “I still have three games and 10 days left here, but no-one’s told me anything and I don’t expect anything else.

  “I didn’t know anything [about Pioli]. You learn something new here every day.

  “I’m working, the team feel good and are happy. Since I’ve been here, the table says we should be second.”

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Highlights: Juventus 2

  Juventus clinched their ninth Serie A title in a row with this 2-0 win over Sampdoria, despite Cristiano Ronaldo missing a penalty and some injury worries.

  The Bianconeri needed a victory and found it tough going in the first half, particularly after Danilo went off with a knock to the head and Paulo Dybala picked up a muscular problem.

  Cristiano Ronaldo broke the deadlock in stoppages by finishing off a Miralem Pjanic free kick routine.

  Samp had several chances after the restart, but Federico Bernardeschi got the rebound from an Emil Audero save.

  Morten Thorsby saw red for two bookable offences and Ronaldo had the chance to close the gap on Capocannoniere Ciro Immobile, but blasted his penalty on to the crossbar.

  Nonetheless, CR7 dived into the Scudetto celebrations at the final whistle.

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Possible Scudetto party in Udine | Football Italia

  Juventus could mathematically celebrate the 2019-20 Serie A title on Thursday, but only if Inter don’t beat Fiorentina first.

  Their 2-1 victory over Lazio last night put the Bianconeri eight points clear of Inter at the top of the table.

  Because they have a superior head-to-head record with Inter, it means that if these teams were to finish level, Juve would still come out on top.

  Goal difference is only used in Italy if the head-to-head record, and goal difference within those two games, are both equal.

  Inter lost both home and away in their fixtures with Juventus this term, 2-1 in October and 2-0 in March.

  That means Juventus need four points to be sure of their ninth consecutive Scudetto.

  However, it could technically be celebrated as early as Thursday evening when they travel to the Dacia Arena in Udine.

  If Inter fail to beat Fiorentina on Wednesday night and Juventus then beat Udinese, the gap will be mathematically too large to bridge in the remaining three rounds of the season.

  Atalanta could close to within nine points with a win against Bologna, but again, they have an inferior head-to-head record with the Bianconeri.

  That’s because Juve won 3-1 in Bergamo in November and drew 2-2 in Turin earlier this month.

  In theory, Juve could even draw with Udinese and still take the title on Thursday, as long as Inter lose to Fiorentina and Atalanta fail to beat Bologna.

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Boga could miss Napoli match | Football Italia

  Sassuolo could have to cope without Jeremie Boga against Napoli on Saturday, as the Ivorian suffered a muscle injury against Milan on Tuesday.

  The 23-year-old was replaced by Filip Djuricic in the 68th minute, only 22 minutes after he had come off the bench to replace Lukas Haraslin. has claimed the Neroverdi are yet to evaluate the extent of the injury but judging from the first reports, the winger will not make it in time for the Partenopei on Saturday.

  A huge blow for coach Roberto De Zerbi, who has been forced to rotate in recent weeks. Sassuolo sit eight in the League with three games remaining.

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De Zerbi’s Sassuolo vision | Football Italia

  Atalanta are grabbing all the headlines, but Sassuolo are one of the form teams in Serie A since the restart and much of the credit goes to their coach, Roberto De Zerbi.

  The little club from the Emilia-Romagna region have won four on the bounce heading into their Wednesday night showdown at the Mapei Stadium with league leaders and eight in a row Champions Juventus. Just days after surviving a scare, Juve are now up against another club whose all-attack philosophy has been overshadowed by Atalanta success, but is no less impressive.

  The Modena club have won four, drawn two and only lost one of their seven ties since a 4-1 hammering by Atalanta in June.

  The architect behind the rise of the Neroverdi this term is De Zerbi, who has received plaudits from all corners for the attacking and entertaining style his side tries to play.

  The 41-year-old ex-Napoli midfielder first came to prominence in the top flight when his Benevento side excited fans with a refreshingly open brand of football, despite being relegated in their maiden Serie A season.

  De Zerbi lines his men up in a 4-3-3 formation relying on a deep-lying playmaker to get on the ball and find the two wingers, who tend to stretch the play by staying out wide. The idea then is to cut inside and link up with the striker with some short pass combination moves, which sometimes culminates in devastatingly swift counter-attacking goals.

  In October 2018, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola even stated he was impressed with how Sassuolo play, and the Neroverdi have probably become even better as De Zerbi has honed his craft.

  Sassuolo currently sit in eighth place in the table, four points off a Europa League qualification place, and have the joint fifth best goal-scoring record in the division with 59.

  A front three consisting of Francesco Caputo (16 goals) flanked on either side by captain Domenico Berardi (12) and Jeremie Boga (11) has provided 39 of those goals – in fact the only other team to have three players in double figures this term is Atalanta.

  Some would say that De Zerbi is heavily reliant on his attacking trio and they’d be right, however, players such as Gregoire Defrel (3), Hamed Traore (3) and Filip Duricic (4) have pitched in with goals this season, while former Italian U-19 striker Giacomo Raspadori scored his first Serie A goal and the equaliser in his side’s 2-1 defeat of Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico.

  Manuel Locatelli has blossomed under the tutelage of De Zerbi this year. The 22-year-old has impressed in the deep lying playmaker role, playing 27 times and providing four assists. The former Milan youth product burst onto the scene in 2016 when he smashed a spectacular shot off the crossbar and past the outstretched hands of Gianluigi Buffon in the Rossoneri’s 1-0 victory over Juventus at San Siro.

  The Italian U-21 International has been linked with a big money move to Juventus in recent weeks and will have a chance to show off to his suitors when the two teams face off.

  What will be interesting to see in the coming months is whether De Zerbi can hold onto his prized assets and build an even more competitive team for next season. The coach is hot property now and has signed a new deal keeping him in Emilia-Romagna for another year, despite links with Fiorentina in recent months.

  The Neroverdi have launched the careers of coaches like Eusebio Di Francesco and most notably former Juventus boss Max Allegri, so perhaps De Zerbi can follow on in their footsteps and take over at one of the big clubs.

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Iachini: ‘Fiorentina deserve more’

Beppe Iachini maintains Fiorentina ‘deserved more points’ in their last two games but is banking on Franck Ribery to ‘lift the team’ against Sassuolo.


The match kicks off at 20:45 BST this evening – click here for a preview.

“The team have shown that they’re growing constantly and physically fit,” Iachini said at a press conference.

“Barring the first few minutes against Brescia, the lads have been working well.

“We’ve had more than 30 attempts on goal in our last two games, but unfortunately we didn’t find those extra goals that would’ve allowed us to win maximum points.

“For what we produced in those two games, the team deserved more points, at least four of them.

“Now we’ll assess everyone’s condition to prepare the team for Sassuolo.”

Despite the Viola picking up just one point since the restart, Ribery got back on the scoresheet during the 2-1 defeat to Lazio.

“Franck’s an experienced player and a big character, who adds quality to the team’s general play.

“When you have someone like him, who links everything together and lifts the team, it’s important, particularly for the growth of the collective.

“There’s regret for how our last two games went. We played well in them, but unfortunately the goals were missing.

“We’ll try to improve further. His inclusion in the squad is positive, but we have to manage playing three games in a week.

“We’ll assess how to use Franck and everyone else from time to time.”

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