venerdì 6 dicembre 2013
Not later than one month ago Juventus faced Real Madrid in an exciting and prestigious Champions League clash. A draw, 2-2, was the final result after a breathtaking match. Apparently nothing special happened, in particular if we consider the story of these two clubs. A common past made of several victories and balanced matches between these two giants of football. Nevertheless, this final result sounds incredible if we compare the costs of both the lines up. A comparison that evidences two opposite philosophies on how to manage a football club now-days.
On the one hand there are Real Madrid, which can count on a record turnover (more than 500.000.000 euro represent the top for a football club all over world). Despite these sensational numbers, according rumors rumbled from sources close to Real, the «Merengues» would «show off» a gigantic debt: 520 million euro! A debt which can be mostly ascribed to the purchasing of football players for an absolute fortune.
On the other hand there are Juventus, whose management is pursuing a completely different strategy: the main goal for Juve´s President, Andrea Agnelli, is to reach the break even point, in the name of which it is absolutely forbidden to spend a crazy amount for a single football-player.
So let´s take a concrete look at these two different philosophies: we are going to exam the cost of both Real and Juve´s lines up during the last Champions League clash:
The only parameter we are going to consider is the cost for each football-player with the exception of both the goalkeepers. The final result is unbelievable.
Let´s start from Real Madrid:
Marcelo: 5 milion €
Varane: 10 mln €
Pepe: 30 mln €
Sergio Ram:os 24 €
Khedira: 12 mln €
Xabi Alonso: 31 mln €
Modric: 26.500 mln €
C. Ronaldo: 94 mln €
Bale: 101 €
Benzema 31 €
Total: 364 mln €
Caceres: 7 mln €
Bonucci: 13 mln €
Asamoha 16 mln €
Vidal: 11 mln €
Tevez: 9 mln €
Total: 56 mln €
DIFFERENCE: 308 mln €
The moral is: through skills and parsimony it is possible to pursuit the idea of an economically sustainable football!
mercoledì 30 gennaio 2013
I was sure: I wrote that Milan would have bought either Balotelli or Drogba in an article I posted on this blog the 7th of January 2013. Almost a month ago. The fact was as predictable as all Berlusconi's communication strategies. Italian politics and Italian football are two reality strictly linked since Berlusconi has been both a politician and owner of Ac Milan. Many dynamics have always been repeating over the last 20 years. So also this time, the fact that Milan would have signed Balotelli was too easy to predict. It is just an attempt to make Milan supporters happier after the summer sales of Ibra and Thiago Silva, with a look at the Italian election day the 24th of February.
But this time I'm not convinced about the goodness of this strategy. I think that this purchase could be negative for Milan and for the political destiny of Berlusconi as well. Basically for three reasons at least:
1) Less than two weeks ago Berlusconi painted Balotelli as an rotten apple, describing him as a sure source of nuisance to Milan’s squad. He explained repeatedly how Milan's style wouldn't have been suitable for Balotelli. Now Balotelli is a new Milan’s football player. This lack of consistency, if it was transposed in the political life it could have the effect of a boomerang for Berlusconi. He could be considered a liar and frankly it would not be the first time.
2) Italy is living one of the worst moment in its history. The economic crisis that is threatening the country seems to be endless. So I don’t know how possible it is to consider as a wise decision to spend € 20 million for a “rotten apple”. At least it was a dangerous decision. In fact immediately Berlusconi’s main political opponent from the left wing, Bersani, emphasized as Berlusconi in such delicate moment for Italy is involved in situations related exclusively to football. This time the impression is that even the attempts of the most important Italian newspapers to describe as a “masterpiece” even from a financial point of view the balotelli-deal could be fruitless. Italians are asking: why did Berlusconi decide to sell Ibra and Thiago Silva last summer in accordance with both the financial-fair play and Italian economic situation, and few months later he spends 20r million euro Balotelli’s purchase? But this is clearly a rhetorical question.
3) Balotelli potentially is a great footballer. But the main risk is that his mad personality does not allow him to become a real champion as Mourhino predicted a few years ago. Balotelli could really be a loose cannon capable of breaking the harmony in Milan’s environment .Another concern may be the charisma of Allegri. The Rossoneri’s coach, in fact, has always shown to have difficulty in managing difficult and bulky personalities like Ibra, for example.
Three reasons that might be enough to turn the Balotelli-deal into a sensational own goal for AC Milan and Berlusconi.
mercoledì 16 gennaio 2013
Guardiola is the new coach of Bayer Munich. It's official. Even if someone still seems to not believe it. Someone believes or wants to believe, that this is a joke and wonders: How can the inventor of tiki-taka (barcellona's playing style) - the man who transformed many young and talented players in great champions with the same masterly skills with which Gaudi, the great Spanish architect, used to transform stone and iron in art - move to the cold city of Munich? How can a man used to the strong and robust flavor of Catalan vino “tinto”, convert himself to malted Bavarian beer? Not to mention the independent spirit of Catalonia or the unpredictability of Messi, both replaced by the rigorous German organization. Why didn’ t Guardiola prefer Italy, a country closer to Spain, rather than Germany? Maybe to lead Inter or Ac Milan? Italian newspapers have surfed for a long time the wave according to which Guardiola should be the new Milan or Inter’s coach. Last August, even Corriere della Sera, the most popular Italian newspaper, wrote an article about Guardiola and his intention to buy a villa by lake Como. That was enough to excite Milan and Inter supporters. There was even who wrote about an agreement between the Spanish coach and Moratti who, after the Mourinho era, would have chosen only temporary solutions (Benitez, Stramaccioni) waiting for Pep's arrival. A vain waiting since Pep has signed with Bayern. In my view this was a counter and forward-looking choice. Bayern in fact can guarantee him a lavish engagement besides an economic viability that no other team in Europe can provide. Bayern is a modern company with the economic account in good standing. The only team in the next few years really be able to afford to buy the greatest champions according to the strict rules of the financial fair-play wanted by Uefa President Platini. Too precarious are sheiks (City and psg), whose football teams follow their capricious moods, and too long list of coaches sacked by Abramovich to tempt Pep. And what about Ac Milan and Inter? Let’s not tell jokes: why should a coach like pep chose a country in economic crisis like ours. A football like ours where Berlusconi uses Milan just to pursuit political purposes and Moratti must pay attention to make Inter’s economic account fit within the parameters of financial fair play? Why should Guardiola prefer the glorious but decaying San Siro Stadium, to the futuristic Allianz Arena? No reason. In fact, Pep chose Munich. In these times the rich Germany of Angela Merkel is better than the shabby and unstable Italy after the end of Monti government. Impossible to blame Guardiola. His choice was clever and in line with his rational character. Let's not forget that when Guardiola concluded his experience with Barca as a footballer many years ago he chose the provincial Brescia of Corioni as his new team. A small team but economically healthy during the golden age of the serie A. A smart choice, fully consistent with his actual choice. Italy should rather ask why Guardiola in the past chose the small Brescia and today has snubbed both giants Inter and Milan. To find an answer we should look in the depth of an economic crisis that is seriously threating our country and our football. So, today when I have read in a newspaper the name of Mourinho as a possible new Ac Milan’s coach I thought: Please stop bullshiting!
domenica 13 gennaio 2013
According to classical mythology, you shouldn't have too much luck in life if not you could attract the envy of the gods, that eventually punish you. In this case we are talking about a football god’s envy . Or about the envy of someone who believes to be a god: Zlatan Ibrahimovic. A fantastic player not so lucky to play in the same era of Messi and Rronaldo. The competition between these two champions has always obscured, as a long shadow, Ibra’s whole career and his own reputation as a football player worldwide. Infact Ibra has never been a serious candidate to win the most important prize for a footballer: The Golden Ball Award. Winning this has almost always been an exclusive duel between Messi and CR7 in the recent years. A disappointment too hard to digest for the hubris of Ibra, who would have thought then to take his revenge releasing two incredible statements according to the Portuguese website O ' Jogo. The first target was Cristiano: : "He has always witnessed the Golden Ball Award as a privileged spectator sitting in front row, there are at least 10 footballers better than him", was Zlatan's poisoned comment. Not exactly a cuddle for the Portuguese champion". The second target was Messi: "He continues to win Golden Balls, but he can’t get a chocolate from a machine without climbing a ladder." A really childish joke. It's the same as if someone had asked Messi: “ What do you think about Ibra as a football player?”. And he had answered: "Ibra has a long nose.” Two children could easily have had a more clever discussion. But Messi probably is more mature than the Swedish player. He is not envious like Ibra seems to be. He has no reason to be. Lionel in fact is not a god from Greek mythology. Messi is a modern god that, thanks to the 4 Golden Balls won, despite his hight, is taller than everybody. He is on the top of Olympus of the gods of football without ever having used any ladders climbing up.
lunedì 7 gennaio 2013
martedì 9 ottobre 2012
martedì 27 marzo 2012
The knight and the Old Lady. It seems like the title of a medieval novel, but it´s really a modern story. A romantic and emotional story. The story between Alex Del Piero and Juventus. A nineteen year old relationship that started in 1993 when the president of Juventus was Giampiero Boniperti - another emblem of the black and white club' story. In those days Del Piero was shy and skinny but he was already talented. 19 years full of many successes, disgracefules (terrible knee injury and Serie B) like in a true and long marriage. Del Piero has scored 318 goals surpassing every record in Juventus´ story. Del Piero is the fotball player that is most loved by Juventus supporters. More than Platini, more than Zidane, and more than Omar Sivori. Del Piero IS Juventus and Juventus IS Del Piero.
The knight faithful to the Old Lady also when she did't seem so attractive (when Juve was relagated in Serie B) and many other young pretenders tried to seduce him. And the old lady was faithful to the knight also when he didn't seem so strong anymore because of the terrible knee injury in 1999 that could stop Del Piero´s carreer. An undissolubile union so far at least through 19 years. A romantic story comes to an end. The problem is that the divorce forcasted for next year isn´t consensual. Del Piero in fact still wants to love and to defend the old lady. He feels good and strong enough to prepare the return in Campions League with Juventus despite his almost 38 years. His fantastic performances against Milan and Inter in the last weeks have showed us that Del Piero is right. He can continue his carrer. He´s still able to score significant and decisive goals. The problem is that the old lady aim to renew her image with young football players trying to find the new Del Piero. Juventus´ president, Andrea Agnelli announced some months ago during a reunion of Juventus shareholders that this season will be Del Piero´s last season in Juventus. A "urbi et orbi" statement that wounded the tender heart of the the strong knight Del Piero. Juventus isn´t anymore the old lady he met almost 20 years ago. At that time football was more romantic and values still existed. The old lady was a faithful wife with whom you spent the whole life with.
Now football is business and the club are focused on turnover and profit. No space for feelings anymore. so Juve just think about their future. A future without Del Piero from next year on. In my view this is mistake for two at least two reasons: 1) Del Piero has showed able to sit on the bench without complaints and he has showed to be ready when Conte puts him in the field - scoring decisive goals. 2) Del Piero presence in the locker room is charismatic and his figure is able to lead the young football players teaching them what playing for Juventus means. Del Piero is a monument that commands respect and mantains order in a team full of new aspiring leaders. These are the reasons why I think it would be right that the knight and the old lady stay toghether also without the passion of a time ago. It´s only another year. 20 years sounds better than 19.