IFD http://www.italianfootballdaily.com Your English Source For Everything Italian Football Tue, 24 Jan 2017 19:25:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.1 http://d5t4y6hm444bm.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/cropped-IFD-logo-e1462069992813-1-32x32.jpeg IFD http://www.italianfootballdaily.com 32 32 Serie B Round-up Week 22 http://www.italianfootballdaily.com/serie-b-round-week-22/ http://www.italianfootballdaily.com/serie-b-round-week-22/#respond Tue, 24 Jan 2017 19:25:17 +0000 http://www.italianfootballdaily.com/?p=76993 The air tingled with a sense of static electricity, the fans squeezed shoulder to shoulder as they navigated their way to the stadium and through the turnstiles. In the tunnels, up and down the peninsula that familiar sound of the clink of studs off the concrete ground had returned. And as the players trooped onto […]

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The air tingled with a sense of static electricity, the fans squeezed shoulder to shoulder as they navigated their way to the stadium and through the turnstiles. In the tunnels, up and down the peninsula that familiar sound of the clink of studs off the concrete ground had returned.

And as the players trooped onto the pitches they were met by a cacophony of noise from their adoring faithful. It may only have been three weeks, but it had felt like an eternity, Serie B was back and ready to spew out the same madcap results that had dotted the opening 21 weeks of the campaign.

To evidence this, we only need to look no further than the Galletti of Bari. A tepid performance away to Cittadella saw the Puglian go down 2-0 and leave an already disappointing season feel even worse. Yet despite the negativity surrounding the clubs form they remain only two points off eight positon and a place in the promotion play-offs. But what makes this league so great is the fact that while two points off the play-offs, Bari are also only six points off automatic relegation.

Indeed, even Cesena, all the way down in 20th can conceivable believe that with a good run of form over the second part of this campaign that they too may end up squeaking that last and prized play-off spot.

The competitive nature of the division is further showcased in the fact that the top two sides heading into the weekend both lost (Verona surprisingly 2-0 to Latina and Frosinone 2-1 to Entella) while only one of the bottom five sides suffered defeat, with the one doing so suffering that defeat at the hands of fellow bottom five side Pisa.

That defeat for Ternana against the Neroazzuro trigged a sequence of events that eventually saw manager Benito Carbone hand in his resignation. The Rossoverde were always expected to struggle this season but their form of late has been truly appalling and they have slipped ever further into the relegation mire.

Speaking of the relegation mire a newish looking Trapani side took to the field in blustery conditions hoping to start the first leg in what many would consider to be the impossible task of avoiding relegation. The Granata were pitiful throughout the first 21 matches and deserved to be where they were. But Saturday’s 2-1 win over Novara, only their second of the season, gives a little bit of hope to a situation that up until then had none.

The real big winners of the weekend however are SPAL. The club from Ferrara have been another fairy tale story in a league that has produced many in the last couple of seasons. A 2-0 home win against fellow underdogs Benevento has moved the Spallini up into second and an automatic promotion spot. As for Benevento, while defeat will have hurt them they have enough talent to bounce back and continue to make this a remarkable season.

Talking Points:

Despite only losing four times in 22 matches, the least amount of any side in the division, Latina sit only two points off relegation, why? Quite simply they have drawn what the professionals describe as a crap load of matches, 14 to be precise. However, their win at the weekend against Verona proves they can match it with anyone, so if they can turn a few more draws into wins there is no telling where the Leonialti may end up.

Three defeats in five is not promotion material, yet that’s the situation Frosinone find themselves in. A late collapse with ten men against Virtus Entella will have hurt and a bounce back result is required.

The opposite of Latina, Cittadella have only drawn once this season, but remain only four points off the top. Can this win or bust mentality really be sustained with success until the end of the season.

View Table HERE.

Week 22 Results:

Brescia 0-2 Avellino, Cittadella 2-0 Bari, SPAL 2-0 Benevento, Virtus Entella 2-1 Frosinone, Latina, 2-0 Hellas Verona, Tarpani 2-1 Novara, Pisa 1-0 Ternana, Carpi 0-0 Vicenza, Ascoli (postponed) Pro Vercelli, Salernitana 1-0 Spezia, Perugia 3-3 Cesena.

 

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Chinese club knocks on Giovinco’s door. His agent: “We’ll speak with the club” http://www.italianfootballdaily.com/chinese-club-knocks-giovincos-door-agent-well-speak-club/ http://www.italianfootballdaily.com/chinese-club-knocks-giovincos-door-agent-well-speak-club/#respond Tue, 24 Jan 2017 18:21:31 +0000 http://www.italianfootballdaily.com/?p=76976 The Atomic Ant is garnering interest from Chinese clubs, his agent tells Gazzetta.it Out of the blue, in the midst of a five year contract, Andrea D’Amico, agent of Toronto FC star Sebastian Giovinco tells Gazzetta dello Sport of Chinese interest in his client. “The Chinese seem very interested, but I don’t think that it will be […]

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The Atomic Ant is garnering interest from Chinese clubs, his agent tells Gazzetta.it

Out of the blue, in the midst of a five year contract, Andrea D’Amico, agent of Toronto FC star Sebastian Giovinco tells Gazzetta dello Sport of Chinese interest in his client.

“The Chinese seem very interested, but I don’t think that it will be easy to acquire him from Toronto FC. The Chinese have presented an important offer, we’ll speak with the club to see, along with Sebastian, what to do“, D’Amico states.

There is no mention of a specific Chinese club involved, and D’Amico is quoted as using a generic reference to “the Chinese” twice.

On a hunch, our Joe Ciriaco wrote two weeks ago about how Chinese clubs may usurp Sebastian Giovinco. Call it intuition or intelligence… or just plain luck: the demand for skilled footballers is increasing and so is price (players wages).

Rumours about a supposed $20 million offer refused last January for the Italian rush back to the minds of Toronto FC fans.

If Giovinco’s move to Toronto was motivated by money and wanting to measure himself in a new and growing league it would seem that the requirements for a move to the Chinese league (improved wages are assumed) is not improbable.

 

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Ventura on Gianluigi Buffon’s legacy and Balotelli’s talents http://www.italianfootballdaily.com/ventura-gianluigi-buffons-legacy-balotellis-talents/ http://www.italianfootballdaily.com/ventura-gianluigi-buffons-legacy-balotellis-talents/#respond Tue, 24 Jan 2017 18:16:21 +0000 http://www.italianfootballdaily.com/?p=76957 Italy boss Giampiero Ventura spoke to the media today about all things Italian football including Gianluigi Buffon and Mario Balotelli. Giampiero Ventura, the coach of the Italian national team, sat down with SportsMediaset and discussed some key national players and some potential additions for the Azzurri. When it came to the topic of Buffon, Ventura had nothing but […]

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Italy boss Giampiero Ventura spoke to the media today about all things Italian football including Gianluigi Buffon and Mario Balotelli.

Giampiero Ventura, the coach of the Italian national team, sat down with SportsMediaset and discussed some key national players and some potential additions for the Azzurri. When it came to the topic of Buffon, Ventura had nothing but positivity for the 38-year-old Italian legend.

Ventura stated that Buffon serves as a “perfect example” for every aspiring young player on the squad, and his “never satisfied” attitude and his will to win every match is unparalleled in all of calcio. He listed through other players on the squad, and one of the key players that were discussed was Lorenzo Insigne, the prolific left winger for Napoli. He mentioned that even though Insigne had some growing problems at first, he has grown into an essential player for the Napoli squad, and hopes that he can do the same for the Azzurri.

The discussion with Ventura eventually shifted to the former Time Magazine top 100 person of the year, Mario Balotelli. As for Balotelli’s talent, it has never been questioned by him or the squad. His talents are “indisputable”. Although, Ventura did reveal the one key problem for Balotelli, which is his behaviour.  As for his behavioural issues, those answers solely concern Balotelli. Ventura will reportedly speak to Balotelli about those concerns and the possibility of a return to the Azzurri.

 

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Analysis: Deulofeu bears more than youth, raw potential for Milan http://www.italianfootballdaily.com/gerard-deulofeu/ http://www.italianfootballdaily.com/gerard-deulofeu/#respond Tue, 24 Jan 2017 17:19:39 +0000 http://www.italianfootballdaily.com/?p=76924 After weeks of rumblings, back and forth negotiations, and knee-jerk social media postings, AC Milan and Everton finally came to an agreement over winger Gerard Deulofeu on Monday. Prior to the change in calendar year, the links between the Rossoneri and Deulofeu were born. Everton manager Ronald Koeman continued to openly express their interest in […]

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After weeks of rumblings, back and forth negotiations, and knee-jerk social media postings, AC Milan and Everton finally came to an agreement over winger Gerard Deulofeu on Monday.

Prior to the change in calendar year, the links between the Rossoneri and Deulofeu were born. Everton manager Ronald Koeman continued to openly express their interest in alternatives to the Spaniard, directing efforts towards the lower leagues of English football. The New Year came and to the expectations of many, the Toffees had inked a deal to acquire League One youngster Ademola Lookman from Charlton.

As if it wasn’t overtly obvious in the way he was frozen from the pitch, the arrival of Lookman further proved Koeman no longer intended to use Deulofeu. Once Lookman landed in Merseyside, Deulofeu’s road to San Siro had been paved in red and black.

Everton and AC Milan — for the second time in three days — officially announced the six-month loan for the 22-year old Monday afternoon. The medicals, the kit showcasing and the first steps at Milanello. All behind us. Let’s talk football. What does the acquisition of Gerard Deulofeu mean for Vincenzo Montella’s Milan?

Depth

A word synonymous with the Rossoneri over the past few seasons, and for all the wrong reasons, depth has posed a major problem for Milan in 2016-17. Top to bottom, Montella has a pretty solid skeleton at his disposal, but not enough muscle.

In the back, Gabriel Paletta and Alessio Romagnoli have synergy; a balanced blend of experience and youth. However, the fallback options do not exactly boast the same quality and stability —although Gustavo Gomez is improving with every match. The midfield, while stockpiled with able bodies, has three four reliable starters in Juraj Kucka, Manuel Locatelli and Giacomo Bonaventura — when not deployed on the left wing of course. Last, but certainly not least (debatable), you have the attack which, prior to the move for the Spaniard, had quite literally no depth out wide. And yes, I have not forgotten about Keisuke Honda.

M’Baye Niang and Suso seem to be more than enough, even with Bonaventura as a occasional versatile luxury. However, due to the Frenchman’s ongoing struggles since October, Montella has been handcuffed, sacrificing mezzala Bonaventura in order to aid a uninventive attack. When Adriano Galliani publicly admitted that he would not be exploring the market for any position other than a winger, he conceded that a major problem did in fact exist. By adding the youthful exuberance of Deulofeu, albeit arguably in his poorest form, Montella finally has an adequate option capable of making an impact from either the opening whistle or the bench.

Tactical Flexibility

Montella’s tactical flexibility lauded him as a top coaching option for Milan last summer.

The former Fiorentina boss benefits from being versatile in his shape. While in Florence, Montella utilized anything from a 3-5-2 to a 3-4-3, but of course, believes in continuity — his 4-3-3. This alignment flows freely and carries results, but that should not “pigeonhole” Montella as a flexible manager into one specific setup.

Below is considered to be the ideal starting XI with the addition of Deulofeu. Bonaventura can fall back into his midfield role, while the Spanish wingers’ quickness causes disturbance marauding up the pitch. But, while it’s clear the 4-3-3 suits Montella’s current personnel best, a little something can be provided in an altered formation.

A 4-1-3-2, or 4-4-2, would be an improvisation of sorts yet exciting. An in-game adjustment Montella could easily transition to should the flow of the match call for it. It’s fair to concede that by dropping Kucka, your midfield loses most of his grit and muscle. However, Locatelli is no stranger to breaking up play with the occasional challenge. Bonaventura did not fare all that well as a trequartista last season under Siniša Mihajlović, yet his repertoire translates well over a 15-20 minute spell. Interchangeability now becomes available with either Deulofeu or Suso — two individuals who thrive off inward movements. And then there is the insertion of Gianluca Lapadula who compliments Carlos Bacca with his quality link play as a seconda punta.

If a result is up for grabs, Montella could pull this out of his bag of tricks. Something to think about.

Familiarity in the front three

Chemistry is vital to success in football. You can only get so far by throwing eleven names onto the pitch with little semblance of mutual understanding. All eleven must play according to tactics, personal strengths and intelligence.

Gerard Deulofeu’s familiarity with Carlos Bacca (2014-15 with Sevilla) and Suso (Spain U-19 side at the 2012 Euro in Estonia) provides a sense of assurance if you are a Milan supporter. Montella arrived to Milan last summer, strapped for finances and options. He immediately showed confidence in Suso who you can make a strong case for as the clubs’ top performer this year. Bravery going at opposing defenders and the confidence in his lethal left foot are well pronounced.

Montella has tapped into his potential. By having familiar faces around the Milanello ground to help Deulofeu adapt to Italian culture and calcio, the astute tactician aims to make him feel at ease. And, in return, unlock the former Catalan youth’s arsenal of raw talents.

Deulofeu has the blessings of exceptionally quick feet and the ability to outfox defenders with sudden directional changes. If there is a burning desire inside, and Deulofeu puts in the effort on the training ground, the former Spain U-21 skipper could become the latest beneficiary of L’Aeroplanino’s inner workings.

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Juve, Olympique Marseille also on Evra http://www.italianfootballdaily.com/juve-olympique-marseille-also-evra/ http://www.italianfootballdaily.com/juve-olympique-marseille-also-evra/#respond Tue, 24 Jan 2017 16:28:26 +0000 http://www.italianfootballdaily.com/?p=76962 After the declared interests of Manchester United and Lyon, as well as the contacts with Valencia and Crystal Palace, a new contender for Juve’s Patrice Evra has emered: Olympique Marseille. The 35 year-old full-back seems to appreciate this interest and talks have just begun on the Marseille-Torino hotline: updates soon to follow.     Subscribe […]

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After the declared interests of Manchester United and Lyon, as well as the contacts with Valencia and Crystal Palace, a new contender for Juve’s Patrice Evra has emered: Olympique Marseille. The 35 year-old full-back seems to appreciate this interest and talks have just begun on the Marseille-Torino hotline: updates soon to follow.

 

 

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Napoli, Gladbach and Southampton closer to Gabbiadini http://www.italianfootballdaily.com/napoli-gladbach-southampton-closer-gabbiadini/ http://www.italianfootballdaily.com/napoli-gladbach-southampton-closer-gabbiadini/#respond Tue, 24 Jan 2017 16:19:31 +0000 http://www.italianfootballdaily.com/?p=76960 Manolo Gabbiadini has been at the head of Napoli’s departing list, after failing to impose himself even in the absence of injured Arek Milik. The former Atalanta and Sampdoria man is wooed by many European clubs, in particular Southampton. The Saints have recently offered 16 million euros, still deemed insufficient, however, by Aurelio de Laurentiis. […]

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Manolo Gabbiadini has been at the head of Napoli’s departing list, after failing to impose himself even in the absence of injured Arek Milik. The former Atalanta and Sampdoria man is wooed by many European clubs, in particular Southampton. The Saints have recently offered 16 million euros, still deemed insufficient, however, by Aurelio de Laurentiis. Borussia Mönchegladbach have also expressed their interest in Gabbiadini and have contacted Napoli yesterday, reports Gianluca di Marzio. Manolo seems destined to leave Italy, but where to?

 

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Juve aiming to close Tolisso deal in January http://www.italianfootballdaily.com/juve-aiming-close-tolisso-deal-january/ http://www.italianfootballdaily.com/juve-aiming-close-tolisso-deal-january/#respond Tue, 24 Jan 2017 16:10:31 +0000 http://www.italianfootballdaily.com/?p=76958 According to Tuttosport, Juve’s Giuseppe Marotta is looking to finalise Corentin Tolisso’s move to the bianconeri before the end of the Janurary window. The 22 year-old, currently at Lyon, is one of Juve’s main transfer targets, but the French side have high requests for their talent: 40 million euros. In addition, Lyon insist for the […]

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According to Tuttosport, Juve’s Giuseppe Marotta is looking to finalise Corentin Tolisso’s move to the bianconeri before the end of the Janurary window. The 22 year-old, currently at Lyon, is one of Juve’s main transfer targets, but the French side have high requests for their talent: 40 million euros. In addition, Lyon insist for the move to be completed only in the Summer. Marotta, together with Fabio Paratici, is working tirelessly to bring the offer down to 35 million and to seal the deal within the next week.

 

 

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Napoli Call Ups for Coppa Italia matchup against Fiorentina http://www.italianfootballdaily.com/napoli-call-ups-coppa-italia-matchup-fiorentina/ http://www.italianfootballdaily.com/napoli-call-ups-coppa-italia-matchup-fiorentina/#respond Tue, 24 Jan 2017 13:18:44 +0000 http://www.italianfootballdaily.com/?p=76950 Napoli will host Fiorentina tonight at the Stadio San Paolo in Naples. The last time these two teams met in the Coppa Italia was the final in the 2013/2014 season, where Napoli would go on to win 3-1. Here are Maurizio Sarri’s call ups for the match: Goalkeepers Pepe Reina, Rafael, Luigi Sepe. Defenders Lorenzo […]

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Napoli will host Fiorentina tonight at the Stadio San Paolo in Naples. The last time these two teams met in the Coppa Italia was the final in the 2013/2014 season, where Napoli would go on to win 3-1.

Here are Maurizio Sarri’s call ups for the match:

Goalkeepers

Pepe Reina, Rafael, Luigi Sepe.

Defenders

Lorenzo Tonelli, Nikola Maksimovic, Christian Maggio, Elseid Hysaj, Marco Milanese, Raul Albiol, Ivan Strinic, Igor Lasicki.

Midfielders

Allan, Emanuele Giaccherini, Amadou Diawara, Marek Hamsik, Jorginho, Marko Rog, Piotr Zielinski.

Attackers

Jose Callejon, Manolo Gabbiadini, Lorenzo Insigne, Leonardo Pavoletti, Dries Mertens.

 

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Parma: A Year in Serie D http://www.italianfootballdaily.com/parma-a-year-in-serie-d/ http://www.italianfootballdaily.com/parma-a-year-in-serie-d/#respond Tue, 24 Jan 2017 12:00:29 +0000 http://www.italianfootballdaily.com/?p=76897 Cristian Longobardi was a 33-year-old lower league journeyman striker. A man who had made a career out of being clinical in Lega Pro and Serie D, but had never risen above that. The year before Longobardi made his debut for Montecchio in Serie D, up in Serie A Parma were finishing fourth, qualifying for the […]

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Cristian Longobardi was a 33-year-old lower league journeyman striker. A man who had made a career out of being clinical in Lega Pro and Serie D, but had never risen above that.

The year before Longobardi made his debut for Montecchio in Serie D, up in Serie A Parma were finishing fourth, qualifying for the Champions League and reaching the Coppa Italia final. Like thousands of other young Italians, Longobardi probably dreamed of playing for a club like the Gialloblu. Moving on some 15 years later, the chance for Cristian to do such a thing had long passed. His career was on a downward curve as he ventured from club to club.

But then, as it has been oh too well chronicled, Parma suffered a financial Armageddon and were forced to be reborn again down in Serie D. The new club saw wholesale changes, with only the legendary Alessandro Lucarelli remaining. Obviously with that being the case, a new squad of players were required – trials were held and signings were made. One of whom turned out to be the veteran Cristian Longobardi.

Expected to play just a bit part role, injuries and the like meant Longo garnered much more playing time than anticipated, until he suffered a serious injury of his own. Ten months later, Longobardi would leave Parma a cult hero, proving so popular that the Curva Nord would even give him his own song. This man, whose career path would most likely never have encountered Parma, now holds a special place in the heart of every Crociati fan.

Parma’s demise was painful but because of it, Ducali supporters ended up getting to see players take the field who for wearing the famous black cross on a white background was a genuine honour. With Longobardi being to the forefront of those men.

As was alluded to above, the downfall of Parma has been covered by journalists far and wide, with thousands of words typed furiously on laptops. It was after the all a compelling story, a club with a rich footballing pedigree in both Italy and Europe was going to the wall. But when the story finally reached its conclusion, the eyes of the world quickly moved on leaving those at a local level to pick up the pieces in rather quieter obscurity. It was only when Parma eventually won promotion out of Serie D into Lega Pro that eyes turned back to their story. However, a lot happened in those intervening ten months or so and the players who were instrumental in achieving it have remained largely anonymous outside of Parma.

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It is a warm afternoon in early September, the people of the small Veneto town of Arzignano are preparing for the opening day of the Serie D season. Their tiny Tommaso Dal Molin stadium is prepped and ready. Like many a small northern club, the Stadio Dal Molin is made up of a solitary stand, with the pitch surrounded by a running track. Even still despite its small size it is more than adequate for a club like Arzignano. Today however things are different.

Over 1400 hundred tickets have been sold for the first match of the new campaign, the catch being that 1000 of them belong to the away side, Parma.

The “Boys” Ultra group arrive in a town they never expected to visit and a stadium they never expected to know about. They set about putting up their flags and banners and soon an anticipatory atmosphere is building. As the players of both sides emerge out onto the pitch, they are met by a cacophony of noise by the Parma faithful who sing “Forza Gialloblu”. The match itself would not go down in history as a classic, nonetheless it ended the right way for Parma as a 76th minute penalty from Riccardo Musetti was enough to take their first three points of the Serie D season.

From there on out, Parma become unstoppable, backed by the impressive Kristaps Zommers in the net and a veteran centre half presence of Alessandro Lucarelli and Luca Cacioli. The Ducali defence easily deal with any threat posed, conceding only 17 times in 38 matches. Further up the pitch, the likes of Francesco Corapi (A diminutive playmaker, who has become a firm fan favourite) and Davide Giorgino run the midfield week after week. Whilst upfront Yves Baraye was firing in the goals at a tremendous rate.

All the while a bond between these lower level players and fans was ever growing, with the sense of oneness reverberating around the Tardini evermore with each passing week. This was evidenced no more than after a crucial away win against Delta Rovigo. Lead by Lucarelli the players made their way over to the large traveling support. With fans and players alike jumping with joy, Lucarelli rose both hands up into the air, such is the respect for Lucarelli that a hush descended almost immediately. Then from the top of his lungs, the Parma captain cried out a chant that had become popular throughout the season, “ale ale oh E tanto gia lo so che l’anno prossimo ale ale oh.”

Instantaneously, the hoard of traveling Crociati fans roar back in kind. It was a show of unity between players and fans that would rarely if ever seen at a Serie A club.

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Promotion to Lega Pro proved a formality in the end, but with it came the summer transfer window and the process of building a squad that would be able to compete instantly at the next level. As the new faces gradually began to arrive, some of those who had been so influential the year before knew their time was up and that they would be moving on. One of whom included Cristian Longobardi.

Longo would only play 22 times in the league for the Crociati, scoring six times but he has earned the gratitude and respect of Parma fans forever more.

A club that has seen the likes of Gigi Buffon, Fabio Cannavaro, Gianfranco Zola, Juan Veron, Lilian Thuram and so many more greats walk through its door now holds the likes of Cristian Longobardi, Luca Cacioli and Fabio Lauria in the same high esteem. Not because they are the footballing equals of those great names but because when the future of Parma FC was at its darkest point, they came forward to begin its journey back into the light. And in what I have no doubt will be only a few years time when Parma are back playing at the top table, it will be because of men like Longobardi and the rest who graced the field of Serie D.

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Transfer News Recap: Gabbiadini to Southampton? Defrel to Roma? Double signing for Fiorentina http://www.italianfootballdaily.com/transfer-news-recap-gabbiadini-southampton-defrel-roma-double-signing-fiorentina/ http://www.italianfootballdaily.com/transfer-news-recap-gabbiadini-southampton-defrel-roma-double-signing-fiorentina/#respond Tue, 24 Jan 2017 01:38:08 +0000 http://www.italianfootballdaily.com/?p=76916 January 23rd 2017 We gathered all the news from the sources you trust for today’s transfer market recap. Slide to the next story to begin the recap. Subscribe to our mailing list and never miss a beat! * indicates required Email Address * First Name Last Name

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January 23rd 2017

We gathered all the news from the sources you trust for today’s transfer market recap.

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