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LET’S HOPE THE CHINESE KNOW WHAT THERE ARE DOING

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The question of passion or love versus material wealth in football has over the years been asked and answered in various ways.


There was a time the former had a very big say over the latter – think for example Diego Maradona’s decision to stick with Napoli – and viewers have ever since been treated to a plethora of tales of loyalty, passion and sacred bonds players did have for their teams.

The matador-like push of club football to premium status in the early 90’s was a major factor that kick-started the dynamics of football as we know it today. Being honest demands admission that gone are those days where emotional attachments held sway – although players like Gerard and Totti tried their best to prove otherwise and for the record it did come at a price – inability for such legendary names to have a league title attached to them.

Another school of thought will tell you that the relegation of loyalty to the background did not necessarily have to do with players’ “long throats,” pinning a chunk of the blame-cake on club themselves. Like the two-way street loyalty is, a peruse at records will lead searchlights to beam on instances where clubs terminated or refused to renew contracts with even “one time” fan-favourites mainly because the “returns in value” of the player in question dipped below standard “requirements” and an extension of the said contract only “hurts” the club in the long run. This is the reason emotionally-stirred muses of supposed loyalty don’t hold water because at the end of the day football – especially at the club level – remains business, a set-up where profit is the ultimate goal.

This makes the media “pointing-of-hands” over who wronged who in contract negotiations look like airy reactions to the changes that occur in a system that runs on logic, mathematics and profit-focused book-keeping. The batting of eyelids at how easily European based players are switching to the new rich kid in the block ready to shell out wads for the street folks – The Chinese Super League – should not in all sincerity warrant such shocks & outrages.

MAURO ICARDI SET TO LEAVE INTER MILAN FINALLY

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Mauro Icardi is set to leave the Italian club finally, following the comments from his agent and spouse.


The 23-year old player netted 16 times in the Serie A in the last season, six lesser than the number of goals in the previous season. There have been a lot of interests in the player but they have all been waved off in the past.

The agent and wife gave a hint that the player will finally leave the club when she was interviewed by CalcioMercato. Football Italia quoted her and confirmed that Icardi has been placed on a transfer list to Spanish side Atletico Madrid. The Argentinean has a reputation in Europe as one of the most talented goal scorers. The agent, Wanda Icardi, even took to her social media handle to reveal the state of things where she tweeted that the player was available.

The tweet proved legit when she confirmed it at the interview that the player would likely play elsewhere in the forthcoming campaign. “From what I can see, Inter have put Icardi up for sale. Mauro would be very sad to leave Inter, but we’ve understood the club’s economic situation and evidently they cannot hold Icardi back.”

Juventus have managed to win a ninth league game in a row

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Juventus have managed to win a ninth league game in a row after the 2-1 success over Sampdoria.

The victory comes just before the winter break and will be a major boost to the confidence of the players, who made a very poor start to the season. However, their quality was never in doubt and the sudden loss of key players like Andrea Pirlo and Carlos Tevez was seen as the reason for the dip in form. Juventus quickly recovered from the poor form and are now challenging for the title. They are only two points below table leaders Napoli.

Massimiliano Allegri revealed that he is extremely happy with the response shown by his players to win against Sampdoria.

Javier Zanetti believes that the club could attract the services of defender Medhi

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Inter Milan legend Javier Zanetti believes that the club could attract the services of defenderMedhi Benatia should he wish to join the club.

Inter are expected to go on a spending spree in the upcoming transfer window. This is in addition to the signings made by manager Roberto Mancini during January. Most of those signings did not pay off and Inter will need to spend again if they are going to compete with the likes of Fiorentina and Lazio for a top three place. Zanetti has confirmed that Inter have madeBenatia as one of the transfer targets.

Benatia switched clubs only last summer after moving to Bayern Munich from Italian outfit Roma. A swift return to Italy cannot be ruled out since the Moroccan has featured very little for the German club. The 28-year-old featured in only 28 games last season. Since he is fast approaching the 30s, a move to a top club at this stage in his career would be the right decision. Hence, his camp have been frequently looking at alternatives and it could arrive in the form of Inter Milan. Inter will not be able to straightaway provide European football for the Moroccan, as they finished in a disappointing eighth place last season.

Home form is a major reason behind club’s imposing

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Home form is a major reason behind club’s imposing themselves in the league. If a club is to win the league title, then it is of utmost importance that the home form is extremely good in such a way that other teams think it off as a fortress.

This has not been the case with the San Siro, where Inter have struggled immensely this season. The arrival of Roberto Mancini has improved form, but it is not without the arrival of several new players during January. The 2010 Champions League winners are expected to spend more in the upcoming summer, but Mancini has identified the home form as one of the areas to improve.

Since the turn of the year, the club have been able to manage only three wins in the league at the San Siro. It is not surprising that they find themselves just on the verge of going out of the top 10. The 2-1 defeat against champions Juventus confirmed the lack of any form of European football for next season. Mancini says that it will be tough to even think about the Europa League from this position. Once Inter were regularly competing for the title along with Juventus, but they now lie 31 points behind the champions.

Walter Mazzarri running Milan at good Pace

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Inter Milan is not going through the best of times as the club has experienced a change in the coaching staff after Walter Mazzarri was replaced by Roberto Mancini and the Italian side is located in the 11th spot in Serie A, it’s starting to seem highly unlikely that the club will be able to secure a Champions League or a Europa League position that would allow them to compete in either of the European competition in the upcoming season.

Despite being so far away from the high section of Serie A, Roberto Mancini remains confident that Inter Milan is going to turn things around and get back on track.