Teenage Milan forward Alexandre Pato has asked coach Leonardo not to make him play as a first striker and talked about his objectives for next season.
Last season Alexandre Pato justified the big transfer fee Milan paid his former club Internacional almost two years ago with a number of impressive displays and 15 Serie A goals.
The 19-year-old is used to playing as a second striker, but with a number of transfer objectives falling through for the Rossoneri this summer, he may have to adapt to playing as a central striker sometimes, which he has already done during some of the team's pre-season friendlies so far.
However, speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Pato made an appeal to new coach Leonardo not to make him play as a first striker anymore.
"This season I want to play as a second striker, I don't have the physique to play as a first striker," he said.
"If I'll be able in the best position and with more continuity, I will do better than last season.
"Does Kaka's departure help me? Don't say that. Ricky helped Milan win everything. But now, without him, we must try to keep the club at high levels."
Asked if he would like to play with Juventus striker David Trezeguet, who's currently being linked with Milan, Pato commented: "It's not up to the players to make purchases. If Trezeguet arrives, we will give him a good welcome because he is a great player who has scored many goals."
On his objective for next season, he said: "I'm happy because I'll be able to play in the Champions League from the start. Two years ago I started in January and Milan went out in the last 16: I just had two matches, this time I'm convinced it will go better. I'm sure Milan will go further in Europe."
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Thursday, July 30, 2009
Teenage Milan forward Alexandre Pato has asked coach Leonardo not to make him play as a first striker and talked about his objectives for next season.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Inter Bests AC In Milan Derby
This evening’s 270th Milan derby gives me a tingle of excitement. Few cities can boast one, let alone two illustrious clubs who entrenched themselves consistently in the top flight of their domestic league.
Though AC Milan enjoy a better record in Europe with 7 Champions League titles and four world titles, it is Inter Milan who stand proud with their longevity in Serie A, having never been relegated since its birth in 1908.
On the other hand, AC Milan were relegated twice while winning 17 Scudettos, only one more than Inter. In recent times, results were evenly split between the arch rivals. Both sides claimed 4 wins each, from their last 8 Serie A encounters.
Tradition aside, I expect this derby to be filled with competitive fireworks. Jose Mourinho will be keen to seek revenge for the defeat by AC Milan in September. At the moment, the cosmos are aligned in his favor and he has few reasons to be envious of his neighbor.
Inter Milan enjoy an eight-point lead at the top of Serie A over third placed Milan, so even if they dropped points in this derby, the effect on the title race is not decisive. Conversely, AC Milan may be out of the reckoning if they do not grab full points, leaving Juventus and Inter to slug it out in a two horse race.
Inter: Crazy No More
AC Milan squad is also plagued with injuries, severely compounding manager Carlo Ancelotti’s misery. Aside from Kaka, Milan have Alessandro Nesta, Gennaro Gattuso, Marco Borriello, Giuseppe Favalli and Emerson out injured, with Daniele Bonera suspended. Meanwhile, Inter Milan have a full squad to choose from, except the suspended Mario Balotelli and Douglas Maicon, who is a serious doubt, having picked up a knock in training.
Form-wise, Inter Milan are now unbeaten in 5 games since their capitulation to Atalanta in January. In those matches, their defense distinguished itself by conceding a miserly 2 goals. If Inter’s recent 3-0 demolition of Lecce was any indication, their key players are pulling their weight at the right time. Goals came from Luis Figo, remaining icon of Portugal’s “golden generation,” and the prolific Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
As for AC Milan, they are unbeaten in their last 7 Serie A outings, but such statistics are meaningless with regard to their lack of killer instinct against lesser opponents. Milan are paying for draws at Cagliari, Lecce and Torino as well as those at home to Genoa and Reggina. Conceding late equalisers, rather than not outscoring, were particularly hard to accept, given Milan’s pedigree in defense.
At least, one cannot fault AC Milan for ineptitude this season; the team played well, kept their shape and created sufficient chances. It is just that the Rossonieri need to improve on their consistency and keep their focus for the full ninety minutes.
Vice-president Adriano Galliani was blunt in his assessment of AC Milan’s predicament: “I’ve always said that the problem isn’t (playing against) Inter but the matches before and after the derby. That’s something the club, Ancelotti and the technical staff have to think about.”
Mourinho’s sarcastic statement about AC Milan also struck a chord with Galliani who said: “As for Mourinho I still think he’s a good guy and he simply says the truth: well done (David) Beckham, well done Pato, well done Milan but in the meantime Inter were six points ahead and now it’s eight.”
Jose Mourinho can also count on a lethal strikeforce to put Inter ahead in their age-old rivalries. Forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the second top scorer with 14 Serie A goals, while Milan can only wring their hands at the white elephant, Ronaldinho. The Brazilian has scored only half the number of goals as Ibrahimovic and has struggled to feature in Ancelotti’s first XI.
Ronaldinho is a prime example of how Milan failed in their transfer policy by recruiting aging glamorous footballers who had retreated from the elite. However, Mourinho has no advantage over transfer strategy either.
Mourinho made several additions to the squad during the summer transfer window in the form of Mancini, Alessandro Faiolhe Amantino, Sulley Ali Muntari and Ricardo Quaresma. Mancini has started just eight times in Serie A and Quaresma has raised the ire of Inter fans for his erratic displays. The latter has been omitted from Inter Milan’s Champions League squad and was granted a season-long loan at Chelsea.
Mourinho may not be happy with the discipline in the Inter Milan squad too. Brazilian striker, Adriano, maintains his idiosyncratic approach to punctuality and penchant for late-night parties. Mario Balotelli responded badly to a series of penalties imposed by Mourinho for an immature attitude.
The Special One cannot help but feel slighted by these repeat offenders who pay little regard to his authority. Milan, by contrast, advertise how enchanted they are by the professionalism and good manners of their newest recruit, David Beckham.
Ancelotti can take heart that the addition of David Beckham has given his team a new dimension in attack. I am not even going to dwell on the commercial benefits which is almost a certainty once Beckham become a permanent fixture and the T-shirt printing machines are in full force as well as influx of endorsements.
When Milan beat Inter in September, they did so via a rare header from Ronaldinho. The threat from headers are likely to increase via David Beckham’s through-balls, and chips into the centres.
So far, Beckham’s long-range lobs have allowed lurking forwards like Kaka to surge into space from deep in midfield and have become a prominent part of Milan’s attacking strategy.
Beckham’s assists have led to two of Milan’s last four goals in Serie A and he has scored two of their last six, having started in every one of the last six games.
I am not surprised that David Beckham has adapted to the squad and done well. He is a top professional with ambitions and intelligence.Whether his loan spell at AC Milan from Los Angeles Galaxy plays out to a mutually beneficial conclusion for all parties remain to be seen.
I believe the crucial factor to neutraise Mourinho’s tactical and physical upper hand could be Kaka’s fitness; a fracture to his foot during last Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Reggina seeming to have ruled him out. Even weaving a moment of magic as a substitute could be enough to turn the tables around.
Beckham and Ronaldinho should also be starting in this derby. If Ronaldinho has been AWOL for most of the season, he can redeem himself by recapturing his early form in this single match and scoring a goal or two, especially when Kaka is absent.
Actually, whether Inter Milan win this derby or not, I have little doubt Jose Mourinho will go on to win the Serie A title. Consistency has always been his hallmark and that has ensured his perpetual success in domestic leagues. It also helps that he has no urgent need to defeat Ancelotti, and that takes the pressure off his team.
However, even if he is backed to a corner and has to take full points, that should not be a problem given that winning is hard-wired into his system. Mourinho is also not one to take kindly to consecutive defeats.
The irony of the situation is that Mourinho could yet be sacked at the end of the season. He has to better his predecessor, Roberto Mancini, who clinched three Serie A titles from 2006-2008 but was still not deemed good enough to continue as manager.
The Champions League is the yardstick which will be used to measure Jose Mourinho’s achievement at Inter Milan. So winning the derby or even the Serie A may not matter or even guarantee his job. The shoe may be even harder to fill than at Chelsea and how will this situation affects their Champions League performance? Stay tuned for updates.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Serie A newcomer Bologna pulled off a surprising 2-1 win over AC Milan at the San Siro on Sunday as Francesco Valiani scored with 11 minutes to play to hand his team all three points.
Marco Di Vaio gave the visitors a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute, but Milan was level before the break courtesy of a Massimo Ambrosini header. However, Bologna pulled off the upset when Valiani smashed a shot into the upper left corner from 25 yards.
Milan controlled almost all of the first half, but it was Bologna that grabbed a surprise opener.
Cristian Zenoni got the ball on the right wing and played it to Christian Amoroso at the top of the box. He then dropped the ball into the path of Di Vaio with his first touch, allowing the striker to smack a left-footed shot inside the far post.
Milan was not rattled by the goal, however, and they went back on the attack. Ronaldinho hit a close-range header right at Bologna goalkeeper Francesco Antonioli before setting up Filippo Inzaghi for a shot that he hit into the side of the net after rounding the keeper.
The equalizer came four minutes before halftime when Ronaldinho got the ball on the left and delivered a good cross to the front of goal for Ambrosini, who rose up and headed the ball home from six yards.
Andriy Shevchenko came on in the second half for Milan and he nearly put them ahead in the 55th minute. Ronaldinho got into the box on the left, danced around two defenders, and slipped a pass to Shevchenko at the back post, only for Antonioli to come off his line and make a good stop.
The home side was on the attack, but Bologna seized an unlikely lead with 11 minutes to play on a goal that came from nothing.
Bologna was on the counter attack but the team lost possession in the Milan final third. However, Valiani picked up a loose ball 30 yards from goal, took a touch, and curled a brilliant shot into the upper left corner of the net off the fingertips of Milan keeper Christian Abbiati.
The visitors then defended well to hold off the hard-charging Rossoneri over the remainder of the match.
After finishing second last season, Roma's campaign didn't start as planned either, with the team being held to a 1-1 draw by Napoli, while Torino handed newly-promoted Lecce a 3-0 defeat.
Lazio scored four times in the second half, including two from Mauro Zarate, to beat Cagliari 4-1, Atalanta slipped past Siena 1-0 on a goal from Simone Padoin, Vincenzo Italiano scored in the 88th minute to give Chievo a 2-1 win against Reggina and Catania earned a 1-0 win over Genoa on a second-half strike from Giuseppe Mascara.
In Sunday's late game, Alberto Gilardino scored in the 89th minute as 10-man Fiorentina tied Juventus 1-1. Juventus grabbed the lead in the 39th minute on goal from Pavel Nedved, but Fiorentina eventually answered minutes after Felipe Melo was sent off.
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Pato Hopeful Of Ronaldo Return
Milan’s Brazilian striker Alexandre Pato would love to play alongside Ronaldo next term, despite Il Fenomeno’s injury woes.
Ronaldo, 31, is currently recovering from the knee injury which he suffered against Livorno earlier this season.
Il Fenomeno’s career hangs in the balance as the injury to his right knee could still be career-threatening. And although his recovery is going well so far, his recent altercation with three transvestite prostitutes in his native Brazil has done his legendary status no good whatsoever.
However, possible legend in the making, compatriot and team-mate Pato is hoping to play alongside his childhood hero once more.
“I would like it a lot if we could play together,” Pato, 17, told GQ magazine.
“We are really good friends.
“Ronnie is going through a rough patch at the moment. The media are always hounding him.
“Nevertheless, he has such a great character that I expect he will get over his injury and image problems.
“We talk all the time, but never about football. He always asks me how I am doing. It's crazy, Ronaldo is my idol.”
The teenage sensation also shared his opinion on the Italian game and it seems as if he had to learn fast the hard way.
“I remember Cristian Ledesma repeatedly hitting me - massacring me. I was not bothered. Actually, I like playing this way. It has made me grow up,” said Pato
“In Brazil, you get the ball and are allowed 20 seconds to look up and think about what you are going to do.
“Here, instead, you have three seconds to do something before someone like Ledesma arrives.”
Pato scored nine goals in 18 games for Milan this season and in that explosive form he is sure to be one of the best in future if he continues working hard at San Siro.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Livorno 1 - 4 Milan
Scorers: Inzaghi 23, 51, 59 (M), Seedorf 71 (M), Knezevic 73 (L)
Pippo Inzaghi grabbed a hat-trick for his eighth goal in the last four games, closing to within two points of Fiorentina in fourth!
Two important races crossed paths at the Stadio Picchi, as the Rossoneri were within four points of a Champions League spot and the Amaranto were propping up the table alongside Reggina and Empoli. Livorno held Milan to a 1-1 draw at San Siro in February, the game in which Ronaldo snapped the tendon in his knee.
Alessandro Diamanti got a starting spot after his brilliant free kick blocked Roma last week, but Luis Vigidal was still sidelined and Marco Amelia pulled out in the warm-up. Carlo Ancelotti missed Ronaldo, Paolo Maldini, Emerson, Marcos Cafu, Dario Simic, Nelson Dida and Serginho, but Marek Jankulovski was back on the bench.
Pippo Inzaghi just failed to get on the end of a Kaka cross from the left in the opening 60 seconds, while Clarence Seedorf flashed a right-foot shot across the face of goal.
Milan took the lead with a well-worked move, as Kaka sprung the offside trap and rolled across for Inzaghi to tap in from six yards. However, there was more than a suspicion of offside, as it is not clear whether he was behind the line of the ball.
Alfonso De Lucia parried a Massimo Ambrosini header and Kaka drilled well wide, but Livorno finally had their first chance on the stroke of half-time with Grandoni's cross-shot.
Inzaghi doubled the advantage with his seventh goal in four games, a precise glancing header from Daniele Bonera's cross from the right.
SuperPippo continued his incredible form with a hat-trick, a precise header from an Andrea Pirlo corner kick at the near post.
Inzaghi completed his man of the match performance with an assist for Seedorf to go past two defenders in the centre and blast it past De Lucia.
Livorno got one back with a Dario Knezevic diving header from a corner kick. Massimo Oddo made his comeback after surgery to replace Alessandro Nesta, ensuring the central defender did not get a booking that would rule him out of the derby.
Livorno: De Lucia; Melara, Grandoni, Knezevic, Galante, Pasquale; Pulzetti, A Filippini (De Vezze 55), Bergvold (Balleri 67); Diamanti; Tavano (Tristan 55)
Milan: Kalac; Bonera, Nesta (Oddo 69), Kaladze, Favalli (Jankulovski 73); Gattuso (Brocchi 61), Pirlo, Ambrosini; Kaka, Seedorf; Inzaghi
Friday, March 28, 2008
Pato scores against Sweden
Alexandre Pato scored against Sweden on his international debut with a lob over the keeper. Shaaban the Swedish keeper ran out to clear the ball but passed it straight to Pato who sent a curling lob through a tight angle giving Brazil the lead.
”It was a great goal, with the technical quality,” Brazil coach Dunga said. “It was his first (international) goal and it’s always good. It builds his confidence.”
This will give Pato and Brazil confidence in the youngster and I’m sure in the coming months Pato will be a starter. Today he came off the bench at the 60th minute and scored 12 minutes later.
It was a good result for Brazil considering they did not have Ronaldinho and Kaka.