Monday, July 20, 2009

Juve enjoy Ibra exit

Juventus general manager Jean-Claude Blanc believes Serie A will be “more entertaining” with Samuel Eto’o instead of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Inter and Barcelona have agreed to exchange strikers plus £40m and the loan of Aleksandr Hleb, though they must first work out personal terms.

Many say this will weaken the reigning Italian champions and give Juve a far better chance of winning the Scudetto.

“I wouldn’t say that,” warned Bianconeri chief Blanc. “If Eto’o arrived to replace the Swede, then it wouldn’t be that bad for them, would it?

“Let us just say that without Ibra the League could be more entertaining.”

Last season Juventus finished second to Inter and have reinforced significantly over the summer with Diego, Felipe Melo and Fabio Cannavaro.

As Milan have sold Kaka and Inter get set to release Ibrahimovic, does this make the Turin giants favourites?

“We are focused only on our own squad and getting the best results,” added director of sport Alessio Secco.

“Naturally, an Inter without Ibrahimovic would be a step in the right direction for us.”
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A Draw “Chez Platini” (Nancey - Juventus 1-1)

The centenary of the club of Le Roi’s birthplace saw the two former teams of the UEFA president sharing the spoils in what was a rather entertaining match featuring some good bits of action by the bianconeri notwithstanding the heavy workload of the past few days.

The first half started off with Juventus on the attack as a show of the hard athletic work undergone by the players in the past few days beginning to yield its results. On the 3rd minute an Immobile cross reaches Amauri but the shot is deviated into corner. One minute later a great personal initiative by Del Piero sees the ball going inches wide.

On the 8th minute a great cross by Immobile goes past the keeper and reaches Amauri who puts the ball into the back of the net for the opener (1-0). Nancy begin to emerge and on the 12th minute it is Manninger who performed a great save.

The 22nd minute sees a good shot from the outside the area by Tiago going wide. Ten minutes later it is once again the Austrian keeper who is once again forced to perform a good save.

On the 34th minute a beautiful exchange between Del Piero and Amauri sees a beautiful conclusion by the Brazilian go slightly wide. Three minutes later a great bit of action by Immobile sees the French keeper forced to resort to a corner.

The bianconeri seem to relax towards the end of the half and are made to pay for this as on the 45th minute Ouaddou equalizes with Manninger rather unlucky to save a first time with the ball falling beyond the goal line on the rebound.

As is typical of summer friendly matches the second half is characterised by a number of substitutions with the bianconeri coming on to the field for the start of the second half with Bamba instead of Zebina and Chimenti instead of Manninger.

On the 4th minute it is Amauri who goes close to scoring a second with the ball going high over the bar. Six minutes later Chimenti performs a great save following a dangerous Nancy attempt.

The 13th minute sees Poulsen coming off for Molinaro and three minutes later it is Marrone who comes on for Zanetti. On the 21st minute Del Piero sees a cross being deviated into a corner with the ball from the flag being cleared by the French defence.

More substitutions are made on the 23rd minute with Daud and Esposito coming on for Salihamidzic and Immobile respectively. On the 25th minute Tiago goes close to scoring but the ball hits the post after a good shot. Five minutes later Nancy go close to scoring their second but Chimenti denies them with a good low save.

The match tended to slow down a bit in the middle of the second half but this is expected considering the heavy workload the players have endured in the past few days.

On the 38th minute it is once again Amauri who after receiving from Tiago showed some splendid play with his final low cross not finding anybody to push it in. An immediate reaction by Nancy, seconds later saw the Juve defence clearing with difficulty.

The 42nd minute saw a great Del Piero attempt going slightly high over the bar. With the ball out it was Tiago (who had a good match) to make way for youngster Pirrotta.

The 43rd minute saw a good exchange between Amauri and Del Piero with the captain’s shot being saved by the French keeper, the last real bit of action before the final whistle.
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A Sunday Spent Between Trentino And France

Pinzolo and Trentino, Joeuf and France: so far and yet, for once, never so close. This is thanks to Juventus and its summer programme, which today the 19th of July (Zebina’s 31st birthday) will be living its most intense and perhaps the most fascinating day.

The internationals are in Pinzolo where they are continuing their preparatory work. Buffon, Cannavaro, Chiellini, De Ceglie, Marchisio, Camoranesi, Sissoko, Almiron, Diego, Iaquinta, Trezeguet, Kirev and De Paola: 13 worked in the morning at the Centro Sportivo Pineta which was once again was invaded.

The new arrivals underwent athletic tests in order to catch up with the others. Diego and De Ceglie trained on the field. Trezeguet trained in the gym while Sissoko underwent physiotherapy.

The rest of the group landed in the Nancy airport at 12:00hrs, before arriving in Joeuf (the birthplace of Michel Platini), where at 18:00hrs they will be playing the friendly against Nancy, the second seasonal friendly for Ciro Ferrara’s team.
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