May 31, 2009
Chelsea have confirmed Carlo Ancelotti as there new man in charge after Milan’s manager of eight years left San Siro by mutual consent today.
Despite being one of Milan’s most successful coaches of all-time, having led them to the 2004 Serie A title and two UEFA Champions League crowns, he has been deemed surplus to requirements.
“In agreement with the club we have decided to terminate the contract a year early,” he told Sky Italia.
“My wonderful experience with this side ends today. I thank all the players, directors, fans and everyone involved.
“I think it ends in the right way and is probably the right choice for both of us. The respect and affection remains with all the people who over the years participated in this adventure.”
Milan’s England midfielder David Beckham paid tribute to the departing coach.
“With Carlo Ancelotti leaving AC Milan, it is the end of an era, the end of some extraordinary years,” Beckham said on the club’s website. “But wherever he goes, they will be a fortunate club to have him as their coach.”
Brazil star Kaka also thanked Ancelotti for the impact he has had on his own career.
The 2007 World Footballer of the Year said: “He is a person I have a very strong bond with thanks to these six years that I have spent here with him as my coach at Milan.
“I am grateful for what he has done for me and for what he has taught me.
“He gave me the opportunity to be known as a footballer across the world and I have won a lot with him. I wish him all the best in everything.”
Although not explicitly naming him, Ancelotti hinted he would love to sign Kaka for whichever club he ends up at next.
The news of his departure is likely to heighten speculation regarding an imminent move to Chelsea, with the Blues searching for a replacement for the outgoing Guus Hiddink
Former AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti has been appointed Chelsea manager on a three-year deal.
The Italian left the Rossoneri on Sunday after guiding them to a third-place finish in Serie A.
He replaces Russian international coach Guus Hiddink who ended his stint at Stamford Bridge by clinching the FA Cup over the weekend.
“Carlo was the outstanding candidate for the job,” read a statement on the Chelsea website.
May 31, 2009
Oasuna today got a wonder win coming from behind to beat Real Madrid 2-1, the fifth straight defeat for a Real side that has been shipping water since that 6-2 humiliation at home to champions Barcelona.
Higuain gave Real an early lead in Pamplona, only for Jaroslav Plasil to equalize straight away for the hosts. Juanfran, a product of the Real youth scheme, volleyed in the crucial goal for Osasuna in the 61st minute.
The final whistle in Pamplona provoked a euphoric pitch invasion.
‘The boys did really well to come back this evening,’ said coach Jose Antonio Camacho, ‘in conditions of tremendous pressure.’
Osasuna’s task was helped by the sending-off of Real players Michel Salgado and Klaas Jan Huntelaar towards the end.
On Monday construction billionaire Florentino Perez will return as Real president, after three years of internal chaos since he resigned in 2006.
Sporting Gijon had a similar disaster-to-glory evening to Osasuna, at home to Recreativo Huelva.
Ersen Martin gave already-relegated Huelva an early lead, but Gijon turned the tables to win 2-1 with second-half goals from David Barral and Luis Moran.
The same as in Osasuna, there was a relieved pitch invasion at the end.
‘I always believed that we would save ourselves,’ gasped coach Manuel Preciado during the invasion.
May 31, 2009
Milan started the better, in contrast to its recent form that had yielded only one point in its last nine matches.
With the score 0-0 at halftime, there was still a chance for Fiorentina to score the two goals it needed to move past Milan into the automatic Champions League places.
Alberto Gilardino went close for the home team, but Kaka put Milan ahead in the 56th after pouncing on a loose ball in the area.
Five minutes later, Pato put the result beyond doubt when he ran onto a through ball and flicked the ball over Frey.
AC Milan secured a direct spot in next season’s Champions League
This was also Beckham’s final match for the Rossoneri before his return to the Los Angeles Galaxy, even though he hopes he will be back in Milan soon.
“Even though today we did not win anything, we have reached the direct qualification to the Champions League,” commented the former Manchester United player to Milan Channel. “Winning today was fundamental, just like being in the Champions League.
“With regards to my future I cannot say anything more than what I said two weeks or two months ago: now I return to LA for the final part of the season, then we’ll see what happens, but I hope to return soon.
“My thanks goes to everyone, they have all been fantastic with me in making me feel like a part of the team from the first minute and I wish them all the best.
“With Carlo Ancelotti away from Milan, an era comes to an end, extraordinary years come to an end, but wherever he will go to coach, it will be a lucky club to have him.”
Torino became the third and final team to be relegated from Serie A on Sunday after losing 3-2 at AS Roma in the last round
May 31, 2009
Japan overwhelmed Belgium 4-0 on Sunday to win the three-nation Kirin Cup football tournament for a third year running.
The Japanese, who defeated Chile 4-0 on Wednesday, ended with two wins for six points, while Chile and Belgium, who drew with each other on Friday, ended with one point each.
“It is good to win this tournament before going to Uzbekistan (for a World Cup qualifier next Saturday). I’m glad we made that,” said Japan coach Takeshi Okada.
“I just hope we can play solidly against Uzbekistan too. We are determined to beat (them).”
Forward Shinji Okazaki and midfielder Kengo Nakamura connected passes at the edge of the Belgian area for defender Yuto Nagatomo’s goal to open the scoring in the 21st minute for Japan.
Only two minutes later, Wolfsburg forward Yoshito Okubo sent a straight pass to Nakamura, who fired a right-footer home to put Japan two up.
Japan dominated the first half hitting a total of 11 shots on goal with Yasuhito Endo, Okubo and Wolfsburg midfielder Makoto Hasebe hitting the post or the bar.
Belgium, who have played 11 World Cups, managed to hit only one clear shot on goal in the first half through midfielder Kevin Roelandts, who scored his first goal in his debut against Chile on Friday. But his shot went wide.
The visitors played more aggressively in the second half, but it was again the home side who scored first when Okubo was free to send a cross from the right to forward Shinji Okazaki’s heading goal in the 60th minute.
After Venlo midfielder Keisuke Honda narrowly missed a shot on a free kick in the 74th minute, Japan made it 4-0 with substitute forward Kisho Yano striking home on a left cross from Nagatomo in the 77th minute.