Tag: Milan

The Uncrowned Prince

The memories of football fans, laced as they often are with a solid lack of sentimentality (at least we pretend they are), often leave little room for reminiscing about big money players who should have made it big, but didn’t. Believe me, I’m far from alone in this regard. Indeed, I’ve got the “him? ach, he was rubbish” sneer down to a fine art, whenever someone asks me about a player who falls into the “shoulda made it” bracket. Mention the name Gianluigi Lentini, however, and we have what is often referred to as a game changer. When we...

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Match Of The Week: Milan 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Perhaps this what they mean when they speak of the importance of qualifying for the Champions League. Milan away, in the last sixteen of what is, for better or for worse, Europe’s premier club competition. The San Siro excels in evenings of high drama – it could even be argued that it is architecturally theatrical – and there are few clubs on the whole continent as experienced in this particularly rarefied air as Milan. Yet tonight, Tottenham Hotpur, for five full decades the bridesmaids of London football, never mind English or European football, gate-crashed the party and came away with a win that ranks alongside the cream of anything that they have managed during their years in the relative wilderness. Moreover, this was a Spurs team shorn of its creative heartbeat. Luka Modric, the waif-like genius through whom so much of their best football is played, and Gareth Bale, whose masterclass against Internazionale brought him to the attention of a full continental audience for arguably the first time, were both missing from this evening’s team. In other words, this was a Spurs starting eleven that could only scrape out of what could be described as third gear. Tonight, however, they made the best of these shortcomings, and played taut, attractive football of a type that few have managed to pull off against Milan at this venue over the years....

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The Beckham Fairytale Stalls Before “Happily Ever After”

It is a small piece of received wisdom that when a major sporting event ends, there is a small power surge as millions of homes put the kettle on in order to make a cup of tea. When David Beckham pulled up during Milan’s match against Chievo yesterday, the same phenomenon may well have taken place as a billion computers were powered up in order to discuss an injury that seems likely to end Beckham’s career, at least at international level. The operation, which was carried out today in Finland, is believed to have been successful, though, but this has not affected the face that many of the words written on the subject today have taken on the timbre of obituary pieces for his career. The press interest in Beckham is hardly surprising, and the premature end of any chance of him playing for England in South Africa pricks two simultaneous and contradictory bubbles in the eyes of the fourth estate. On the one hand, there is the angle of prurience. Beckham has long been considered the property of the media and to an extent lives his life in public. He will be likely to travel to South Africa regardless of whether he is playing in some sort of ambassadorial for the FA’s increasingly ill-starred 2018 World Cup bid, and he will still be one of the biggest shows...

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David Beckham, The Green & Gold

The Champions League match between Manchester United and Milan had been punctuated by what are now starting to become familiar images. The green and gold gold scarves and the “Love United Hate Glazer” flags are starting to feel like part of the furniture at Old Trafford, but the question that was on many people’s lips could probably best be summarised by a four letter acronym: WWDD? Beckham’s appearance on the pitch had been greeted with, in rapid succession, cheers, boos and laughter and, while he didn’t disgrace himelf on the pitch, his presence on the pitch was in itself a sign of the times – a practical demonstration of the gulf in quality between Manchester United and Milan. Some people have talked of the end of the Premier League’s hegemony in the Champions League his season, but the difference between Manchester United and Milan on Wednesday night was clear. Milan, to put it simply, had players that were too old or too average. At full-time, Beckham left the pitch and a green and gold scarf was thrown towards him. Perhaps predictably (and to the delight of a large proportion of the crowd), he put it around his neck. If they were hoping that he would come out in public as an opponent of the Glazers or, as some had hoped, as an investor in the Red Knights consortium, it was...

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Beckham & Galaxy – The Point Of No Return?

The match between LA Galaxy and Milan was always, in view of the recent goings-on between David Beckham and the Italian giants, going to be something of a powder keg, and the global media reaction to the events at the decidedly unromantically named Home Depot Center has said a lot about how Beckham has managed to control the public perception of him. When he signed for Galaxy, there was no question that it was all about the money. With Simon Fuller and Victoria Beckham lurking in the shadows, Beckham and his entourage had such control at the club that it was they rather than general manager Alexi Lalas that were behind the unsuccessful appointment of Ruud Gullit last year, but it was Beckham’s decision to go to Milan on loan that really put the fans’ backs up. Since his return to LA earlier this year, it had been debatable whether he would pull on a Galaxy shirt again, and often gave the impression that he was playing out time, waiting for a better offer to come along. Beckham’s justification for his behaviour has been merely that he needs to play domestically at a higher level in order to secure a place in the England squad, but this has broadly not washed with fans. Indeed, his justifications might have carried more weight if he had actually consistently performed for Galaxy,...

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