Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Player Ratings: Juventus Season 2008-2009

As part of the first portion of a seasonal review (hurrah unemployment) I’ve decided to, like last year, do a rating for every player who took part this season. Ratings, are of course opinionated by nature, but that’s probably why we like them so much, as fans of Calcio, so we can debate and argue. The ratings below reflect their time on the pitch, but in some cases I docked a player a point or two for injuries. I know it’s not really their fault, but it’s an attempt to show the value to the team, I suppose. Without further ado, I present the player ratings for Juventus, season 2008-2009.

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Juventus And Genoa Interested In Liverpool's Dossena - Agent

FA Cup: Leon Osman - Andrea Dossena, Everton v Liverpool (PA)

After an inconsistent inaugural campaign with Liverpool, left-back Andrea Dossena has been linked with a return to Italy and his agent has revealed two interested parties in Serie A.

"I want to make clear that the player is doing well in Liverpool and has never said, as some sections of the press reported, that he wants to leave the club that is in the Champions League and equipped to win the Premier League next season," Roberto La Florio explained to Itasportpress.

"Having said that I can say Juventus and Genoa have asked for my assistance, but we are far from starting any negotiations."

"Any player in the world would not immediately reject any proposals from these important Italian clubs, but Dossena enjoys the confidence of [Liverpool coach] Rafa Benitez and was used 26 times last season."

Despite not having a starring role for the Reds in 2008-09, Dossena continues to be included in the Italy set-up by Marcello Lippi.

Adam Scime,
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Report: Juventus To Sign Gaetano D’Agostino From Udinese On Monday

Gaetano D'Agostino - Sampdoria-Udinese - Serie A (Grazia Neri)

According to reports in the Corriere dello Sport, Juventus are set to complete the signing of Udinese playmaker Gaetano D’Agostino on Monday, after a decisive meeting between the Friulans and Juve director of sport, Alessio Secco, in Milan.

Yesterday, Udinese president Giampaolo Pozzo warned the Old Lady that D’Agostino is worth €30 million and insisted that he wants at least two players in part-exchange.

Pozzo mentioned the names of Sebastian Giovinco, Claudio Marchisio and Paolo De Ceglie but it is suggested that Juve are only willing to sacrifice the wing-back, as new boss Ciro Ferrara is keen to keep hold of Marchisio and the ‘Atomic Ant’.

Juve are apparently prepared to put around €6m in cash on Udinese’s table plus the co-ownership of De Ceglie and full ownership Michele Paolucci, who is already co-owned by the two clubs, but was loaned out to Catania last summer.

Vince Masiello,
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The Next Champions League Is Born

The next Champions League is taking shape. While awaiting the name of the last qualified team to be announced on the 10th of June (the runners up of the Romanian championship), UEFA has made official the teams and dates of the next continental tournament.

Twenty-two teams have qualified for the group phase while 55 others will be taking part in the preliminaries. These include Fiorentina who will be playing in the last round (first leg on the 18th or 19th of August and return match on the 25th or 26th of August).

From the preliminaries which will see the participation of high level teams such as Arsenal, Lyon, Sporting Lisbon, Shakhtar, Panathinaikos and Stuttgart the teams which complete the group phase will emerge.

The draws of the eight groups with four teams each will take place in Montecarlo on the 27th of August, Juventus qualified for this phase together with inter and Milan. The bianconeri have been inserted in the third urn with the highest coefficient meaning that they can progress to the second turn if Arsenal, Lyon, Shakhtar or Sporting is eliminated in the preliminaries.

The group phase will begin on the 15th and 16th of September while the final will be played at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid on the 22nd of May 2010.
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Italy’s Friendly Matches

Just a few days before the start of the Confederations Cup and the Under 21 European championships, Lippi’s national team as well as the one led by Casiraghi will be playing two friendly matches to prepare for their respective tournaments as best they can.

The first to play will be the azzurrini who will be on the field in Farum, approximately 20 kilometres from Copenhagen, at 18:00hrs tonight against Denmark. The Scandinavian side will not take part in the European cup which will kick-off on the 15th of June with the matches in Group B.The team includes three bianconeri: Giovinco, Marchisio and De Ceglie who after the tournament will end their adventure with the Under 21 squad.

Marcello Lippi’s team, after the brilliant performance of the experimental formation by 3-0 against Northern Ireland, and after having recovered from the jet-lag following 8 hours of flying from Italy to South Africa, will play against New Zelanad tomorrow.

Kick-off is scheduled at 20:50hres at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium of Pretoria. The match will be a good appetizer for the Confederations Cup, seeing that both teams will be taking part in the tournament which will start on the 14th of June with the matches of Group A. Italy will make their debut on the 15th of June against the USA.

Marcello Lippi, who has already shelved the experiment in Pisa during which he fielded many new faces who have already ended their adventure in azzurro for this year, will be entrusting the mission to his most faithful men starting from the Juventus group made up of Buffon, Chiellini, Legrottaglie, new-signing Cannavaro, Camoranesi and Iaquinta.
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