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Hopes Of Milan Supporters Dashed By Manchester City's Robinho

PORT ELIZABETH, July 3, 2010 Robinho of Brazil fights for the ball during the 2010 World Cup quarter-final soccer match against the Netherlands at Nelson Mandela Bay stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, on July 2, 2010. Netherlands won 2-1 and is qualified for the semi-finals.

On Monday morning on the 23rd of August the rossoneri and their faithful were a perfect example of mimic tranquillity. Far from a position as bad as that which Juventus are in but nowhere near the good one their city rivals Internazionale enjoy the club and the fans had assumed a middle position, they were the medium, the epitome of mediocrity and of it, they were, surprisingly, quite acceptant.

The supposed protests against the owner of the club Silvio Berlusconi and his recent meagre ways never actually materialised. The hottest summer temperatures Italy have seen for years appeared to have quelled the proposed unrest. Instead of acting as the catalyst for demonstrations and protest the stifling summer heat had made the rossoneri fans somnolent. The consensus was ‘yes, times are bad for Milan, but they could be worse’. By mid afternoon on Monday the 23rd of August the stoicism of the Milan fans had been rewarded.

The club, it was announced, were in negotiations with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, once the poster boy of local rivals Internazionale. By the evening stories were circulating that personal terms had been agreed and all that was left was for the club to agree a transfer fee with Barcelona. Understanding that Barcelona have financial problems, didn’t want the player and had already signed a de facto replacement in David Villa nothing, it seemed, was going to stop this transfer happening.

The following evening, Tuesday the 24th, news came through on the Italian sports networks that Robinho, of Manchester City, had rejected a move to Fenerbahce and was insistent on moving to either Spain or Italy. The rumours circulated soon after.

The only clubs big enough in Spain for Robinho are Real Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia. Real Madrid aren’t an option because he already played there and was previously desperate to leave. Barcelona wouldn’t have space for him in the team. Valencia couldn’t afford him. He might indeed sign for one of the others, Villareal, Sevilla or Atletico Madrid, but realistically, it is unlikely. So, that left Italy. Internazionale wouldn’t want him, he isn’t exactly a Rafael Benitez type of player. There is a reason, after all, why Benitez is regularly linked with Dirk Kuyt and not Yoann Gourcuff, for instance. Benitez likes hard work and fitness, not occasional skill and finesse. Might Robinho sign for Roma? Perhaps, although only on loan, and it seems Manchester City are only willing to sell permanently.

Could Juventus buy him? Yes, the rossoneri reasoned, Juventus might. However having watched the last two Brazilians they have signed, Felipe Melo and Diego, consistently struggle it is far from clear if they would be willing to gamble on another samba star. That left the rossoneri.

In the space of a couple of days Milan fans had gone from accepting mediocrity to anticipating the magical and mighty. The rossoneri faithful went to sleep imagining that this coming season they might have an attacking quartet of Robinho, Ronaldinho, Pato and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Milan, from the mediocre to the mighty in less than 48 hours. Football, for its permission to our imagination, is a truly wonderful thing. Milan might end up with neither Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Robinho but the possibility to wonder without venturing into the absurd or comical is a beautiful thing in-itself.

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  1. Simon Burke

    August 25, 2010 at 8:54 am

    Hull City were in it to sign Michael Owen – Phil Brown said Hull was proud just to even be in negotiations with him. They didnt get him, they got relegated.

    Are you Phil Brown in disguise? 🙂

    Just kidding, the article itself I know was about the feeling of the fans. I enjoyed it.

  2. Red20

    August 25, 2010 at 2:27 am

    I like the attempt to go outside the box with your writing, but to be honest, I don’t really know what the point of your article was. Nor do I know why it’s on ‘EPLtalk’, outside of the fact Robinho has sometimes played in the league.

    “Milan might end up with neither Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Robinho but the possibility to wonder without venturing into the absurd or comical is a beautiful thing in-itself.” I’ve read this like ten times now, and really have no idea what it means.

    • Andreas Vassiliades

      August 25, 2010 at 8:22 am

      Red20, it was intended for the Serie A talk blog. I mistakenly posted it here.

      As for the sentence you are struggling to make out, perhaps i have not made it clear enough. It would have been better put if i wrote
      ”Milan might end up with neither Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Robinho but he possibility FOR THE FANS to wonder without venturing into the absurd or comical is a beautiful thing in-itself.”

      Thanks for the comments everybody.

  3. Poker Rakeback

    August 24, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    well, 3rd team or 4th team, they are still shite, and when you can’t even fill your stadium for the biggest game you have had in years there is something wrong. Still I’ve watched as much Italian football as I want to with tonight’s game and have spent too long already talking about it.
    2 games and 3 posts is more of my time than the league deserves.

    • brn442

      August 25, 2010 at 12:20 am

      I’m not going to argue with you Poker. Serie A is still paying a price for “buying” success in the 90’s but I have a soft spot for Sampdoria, they punched above their weight on the eary 90’s with the likes of Mancini, Lombardo, Platt, Guillit (for a sec) and er, Des Walker. Losing that heartbreaker to Barca at Wembley in the final of the European Cup. They are cash poor but they are trying to get back up there and good for them.

    • Rob McCluskey

      August 25, 2010 at 5:52 am

      Oh god Poker Rakeback, you are evidently one of these people who just judges when you probably don’t even watch Serie A

      Most Premier League games don’t sell out now, Old Trafford is rarely a sell out these days, it has a massive attendance but who cares about the odd empty seat? Newcastle didn’t sell out against Villa the other day but they still got 43,000, but that is awful in a recssion isn’t it?

      I agree with brn42 that Serie A is paying s price for the money spent in the 90’s, but guess who is echoing that now a bit? A lot of Premier League teams.

      In any case, Everton and Newcastle both went out in the group stages, but because was that the end of English football? This is the first season Samp qualified for the Champions League since they get promoted.

      Oh and Italian football is really on it’s way out isn’t it, they’ve only got the Champions League winners in their country. Honestly, you shouldn’t be so narrow minded when it comes to other leagues.

      • Poker Rakeback

        August 25, 2010 at 8:36 am

        I was watching Italian football 20 yrs ago when the English players like Platt, Ince and Gazza played over there. The football was boring then but atleast it had the players at that time, now it’s crap and no longer has the players.

        • Rob McCluskey

          August 25, 2010 at 11:55 am

          No longer has the players? Did you see the European team nominations the other day? Only Rooney from the EPL was in it.

          I suppose you are right though, Pato, Cassano, Millito, Cesar, Lucio, Buffon, Zarate, Totti, Chiellini, Ronaldinho, Cambiasso, Jovetic, Lavezzi, Cavani, Pazzini, Amauri, Eto’o, De Rossi, Juan, Palombo, Sneijder, Hernanes and Krasic are all rubbish.

          Sneijder winning the goal[dot]com top 50 player award was a fluke wasn’t it?

          • Thought this was epl talk?

            August 26, 2010 at 11:59 am

            old and finished= buffon,lucio,totti,ronaldinho,cambiasso, . .crap or unproven =zarate,jovetic,cavani,palombo,hernanes,krasnic ….real talk=pato cassano milito pazzini eto’o sneijder. still no la liga or epl is it? best players go to spain or england in that order

          • Thought this was epl talk?

            August 26, 2010 at 12:00 pm

            ps.goal dot com is a really poor website and most of the stories are insane and obviously bullsh*t

  4. brn442

    August 24, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    “thing in itself” ? is this a treatise on Kant, Milan, or the Serie A -? I thought this was epl talk – I love your lyrical flourishes, you write like you actually have a brain but put it to good use by focusing on the Premier League fella.

    • Andreas Vassiliades

      August 25, 2010 at 8:13 am

      lol thanks brn442….

      this was actually intended for serie a talk but i posted it on the wrong blog. By the time i realised it there were already a handful of comments.

      forgive me.

      ps. not Kant, Heidegger

  5. Rob McCluskey

    August 24, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    I wouldn’t say things are all too bad for Juventus as they look to be truly bouncing back this season considering their summer of spending and a great manager in charge, last season was rough for them but they’re getting the tools in place to re-challenge for a top 4 finish.

    I think Milan have really been missing Nesta, he’s been injured for so long and he is an important part of their team. It’s a shame Berlusconi won’t sell up because there are so many rich people that want to buy Milan.

    Serie A is one to watch this season, it was probably the best league last season just for Roma’s brave title push and Samp’s fourth place finish and now Inter have real competition to their title. The new TV deal means that the league is getting back on track and I’m glad to think that more glory can be brought back to one of the best leagues in the world.

    • Poker Rakeback

      August 24, 2010 at 9:33 pm

      Italy sucks ass, their days were the 90’s and long gone. Sampdoria, knocked out in qualifying for the Champions League proper and with a half empty stadium. wow, what a joke, they only have three teams qualify and one of them dumped out before the league has even started. Bye bye Italian football, nice knowing you

      • BrickThrower

        August 24, 2010 at 10:24 pm

        The game was at 85% capacity. Sampdoria was unfortunate to draw against Werder Bremen who are a strong side. With a new coach taking over and not much reinforcement Sampdoria did quite well. And yes, the Italians have 3 teams. The English will have 3 teams as well if Tottenham can’t overturn the 3-2 deficit against Young Boys.

        And last I checked the Italians made a Euro final in 2000 and won a World Cup in 2006. Not that bad of a decade. But by the look of your naive post and most of your other stupid posts on this site you obviously don’t know much. Cheers mate.

        • Poker Rakeback

          August 24, 2010 at 11:19 pm

          Lets not forget that Sampdoria are the third team in Italy, this would be like Arsenal getting dumped out before the league has started, can’t see it, can you?
          LLarge sections of the ground empty? check out the grounds in england when they play champions league, not a spare seat in the house.

          • brn442

            August 24, 2010 at 11:45 pm

            Sorry fella but Arsenal were not languishing in the second division a few years ago – calling Sampdoria the third team in Italy is a bit silly, it would probably be more like Spurs or Everton crashing out.

            I’m not going to defend the attendances of Serie A matches. I was one of the biggest critics of those half-empty Stadio delle Alpi nights in the CL. I still think Italians are not as passionate about football as they pretend to be. Good weather, better food, and even better wom___.

            But again – it’s the end of summer in Italy and it’s a CL qualifier, arguably – the biggest match the club has had in years but still a decent crowd.

      • brn442

        August 24, 2010 at 10:40 pm

        That’s not fair – The stadium was NOT half empty, especially considering that the domestic season hasn’t started yet. Spurs may still get dumped out tomorrow. Internazionale are the champions of Europe in case you didn’t know. Serie A will never be years ahead like the 90’s but they are back up on the upswing – you can take better cheap-shots than that Poker.

    • Thought this was epl talk?

      August 26, 2010 at 11:53 am

      epl? anyone?

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