Foreign

Serie A legend Boniek dismisses rumors of new role with AS Roma

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The Italian paper Corierre dello Sport had informed that AS Roma‘s new owner Dan Friedkin would like to hire Boniek as sport director. The former midfielder, who played 76 games for “Giallorossi” from 1985 to 1988, dismissed the rumors that he will work at Stadio Olimpico.

“I’ve heard a lot of rumors that I got an offer to be the new Roma sport director but this is not true. I’m not interested in such a job at all. I received other calls and I have many other possibilities. When I leave the Polish Football Federation, I can for example buy a football club, but it’s too early to talk about the details,” Boniek was quoted as saying by Przeglad Sportowy.

It’s not the first time Boniek is connected with the club from Rome. “Five or six years ago, when Rosella Sensi stepped down as president, I was offered to become AS Roma vice president, but I was not interested,” added the Pole.

The former Juventus player hoped that his compatriot SSC Napoli attacker Arkadiusz Milik, who is linked to the “Old Lady,” will join the Italian champions after the season.

“I talked to Milik few days ago and asked if he was going to Juventus. He replied that everything was in the hands of his agents. Milik can play in any club in the world and, although I’m not the one who likes to suggest on such matters, my opinion would be clear. If he has an opportunity to join Juventus, he should do that as it’s one of the best organized clubs in the world,” concluded Boniek.

(XINHUA)

https://nnn.ng/serie-a-legend-boniek-dismisses-rumors-of-new-role-with-as-roma/

Sport

Juve’s Pirlo gamble makes new Serie A season the most open for years

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The decision by Juventus to hand the reins of coaching its team to untried Andrea Pirlo promises to make this season’s Serie A title race one of the most open in years.


Already, a queue of clubs are waiting to pounce should the champions’ remarkable gamble backfire.

The Turin side will be bidding for a 10th successive Serie A title this season, which kicks off on Saturday.

But they will do so under the leadership of a man who, for all his undoubted ability as a player, has never coached at senior level before.

Pirlo, who makes his debut at home to Sampdoria on Sunday, only received his official badge on Monday after presenting his thesis at the Italian federation’s coaching school in Florence.

It now remains to be seen how he will adapt to the new role.

“I’m the Juventus coach and it’s natural that anyone who comes here must win,” said Pirlo after a pre-season friendly against Novara.

“I know I have to win, it was like that as a player and it will be like that as a coach.”

There are further question marks over Juventus, including the way in which they staggered over the finish line last season, winning only two of their last eight matches.

There was also the issue of their dependence on Cristiano Ronaldo.

While his record cannot be questioned, Ronaldo’s presence demands that the team is built around him, leaving his coach short on tactical options as Pirlo’s predecessor Maurizio Sarri found.

With Juventus in transition, Serie A has become arguably the most difficult of the major European leagues to predict  — not least because the transfer window does not close until Oct. 5.

This is two weeks after the opening fixtures.

Inter Milan, who finished one point behind Juve in second place last season, appear to be the most dangerous and obvious challengers to Juve’s dominance.

But that is if they can overcome the inconsistency which exasperated coach Antonio Conte last season.

Their neighbours AC Milan are equally intriguing.

After years of mid-table mediocrity, the seven-times European champions came to life in the second half of last season, partly inspired by the presence of 38-year-old forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Stefano Pioli, their experienced and amiable coach, seemed to have found the right blend of youth and experience — something Milan have been chasing for years.

That seemed to be why they were unbeaten for their last 13 matches of the season.

Yet, most observers agree that none of those three played the best football last season.

That honour belonged to Atalanta who blasted 98 goals on their way to finishing third.

Although, clubs of Atalanta’s size often struggle to keep their team together after a successful season, the Bergamo-based team appear to have escaped that fate.

Instead, they have consolidated their position after their UEFA Champions League debut last season.

Similarly, Lazio were outstanding for part of last season and led the table shortly before Serie A stopped due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March.

Their small squad struggled with the heavy fixture list after the break.

But they still finished fourth as forward Ciro Immobile equalled the Serie A scoring record for a single season with 36 goals.

With a few reinforcements, they could launch another challenge this season.

Lazio’s neighbours AS Roma, after exchanging one American owner for another following the take-over by the Texas-based Friedkin group, also finished strongly last season under Portuguese coach Paulo Fonseca.

Meanwhile, Napoli, who have been Juve’s main challengers for the past decade, overcame a mid-season crisis and finished with a trophy after winning the Coppa Italia.

With the feisty Gennaro Gattuso at the helm, they can certainly not be written off.

(
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/juves-pirlo-gamble-makes-new-serie-a-season-the-most-open-for-years/
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Sport

Italia Serie A: Juve begin bid for 10th consecutive title at home to Sampdoria

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Juventus will begin their bid for a 10th successive Serie A title with a home match against Sampdoria following the draw for the 2020/21 season’s fixtures on Wednesday.


Inter Milan, last season’s runners-up, will visit promoted Benevento in their opening fixture.

The season will start later than usual on the weekend of Sept 19/20, a knock-on effect of the coronavirus pandemic which caused last season to finish in early August rather than May, and will feature a shortened Christmas break.

The opening weekend will also feature a clash between Lazio and Atalanta, who finished fourth and third respectively last season, while AC Milan entertain Bologna.

The first Derby d’Italia fixture of the season, between Inter Milan and Juventus, will be on the weekend of Jan 16/17, which will also feature a derby between Lazio and AS Roma.

The first Inter-AC Milan derby will be on Oct 17/18 and there will be an early clash between bitter rivals Juventus and Napoli who meet in Turin on Oct 3/4 on the third match day.

Italian and local government authorities are still discussing whether to allow at least some spectators to watch matches.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Salif Atojoko (NAN)

 

https://nnn.ng/italia-serie-a-juve-begin-bid-for-10th-consecutive-title-at-home-to-sampdoria/
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COVID-19

Ligue 1 opener postponed after Marseille report 4 COVID-19 cases

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The opening match of Ligue 1 for the new season has been postponed from Aug. 21 after Olympique de Marseille said they had confirmed four cases of COVID-19, French professional soccer’s governing body, the LFP said on Tuesday.


“In view of medical results passed on by Olympique Marseille, the LFP has decided to postpone the Olympique de Marseille/AS Saint-Etienne game to Sept. 16 or Sept. 17,” the LFP said in statement.

The game was the only fixture set for Aug. 21, with the rest of Ligue 1’s first round of 2020/21 matches spread out over Aug. 22 and Aug. 23.

The LFP told clubs last week it had set up a “COVID committee” to advise on whether to postpone matches.

When a club reports more than three coronavirus cases postponement is likely, based on the “COVID protocol” the LFP sent out to the clubs.

Among the “Big Five” European soccer nations, France was the only one to end its season prematurely due to the pandemic, with Paris St Germain awarded the Ligue 1 title.

The Parisian club and Olympique Lyonnais have reached the semi-finals of the reformatted Champions League, the first time that two French teams will compete at that level.

Olympique Marseille is France’s only winner of the biggest prize in European football.

Almost 40 players from 11 Ligue 1 clubs out of 20 have tested positive for COVID-19, including some at Saint-Etienne.

Spain’s Mediapro, which holds the rights to air top Ligue 1 matches for the 2020/2021 to 2023/2024 seasons, agreed in early June with TF1, France’s biggest private TV operator, to form a new channel to air top Ligue 1 league matches in the country.

(
Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)

https://nnn.ng/ligue-1-opener-postponed-after-marseille-report-4-covid-19-cases/
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COVID-19

Ligue 1 opening match postponed after Marseille report four COVID-19 cases

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Ligue 1’s opening match of the new season has been postponed from Friday night, French professional football’s governing body, the LFP, said on Tuesday.


The development arose after Olympique de Marseille said they had confirmed four cases of COVID-19.

“In view of medical results passed on by Olympique Marseille (…) the LFP has decided to postpone the Olympique de Marseille/AS Saint-Etienne game to Sept. 16 or Sept. 17,” the LFP said in statement.

The game was the only fixture set for Friday, with the rest of Ligue 1’s first round of 2020/2021 matches spread out over Saturday and Sunday.

The LFP told clubs last week it had set up a “COVID committee” to advise on whether to postpone matches.

When a club reports more than three coronavirus cases, postponement is likely, based on the “COVID protocol” the LFP sent out to the clubs.

Among the “Big Five” European football nations, France was the only one to end its season prematurely due to the pandemic.

Paris St-Germain (PSG) were awarded the Ligue 1 title.

The Parisian club and Olympique Lyonnais have reached the semi-finals of the reformatted UEFA Champions League, the first time that two French teams will compete at that level.

Olympique Marseille is France’s only winner of the biggest prize in European football.

Almost 40 players from 11 Ligue 1 clubs out of 20 have tested positive for COVID-19, including some at Saint-Etienne.

Spain’s Mediapro agreed in early June with TF1, France’s biggest private TV operator, to form a new channel to air top Ligue 1 league matches in the country.

Mediapro holds the rights to air top Ligue 1 matches for the 2020/2021 to 2023/2024 seasons.

(
Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)

https://nnn.ng/ligue-1-opening-match-postponed-after-marseille-report-four-covid-19-cases/
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