Fiorentina is having a terrible summer. While many of Italy’s top teams have reinforced considerably, the Florentines have managed to decimate their own squad and infuriate their supporters in equal measure. To look at the summer as a whole, it’s awful. Dreadful. Rotten. But when you closely examine each wretched piece of business individually, things look even worse. So, let’s do exactly that.
The start of major European leagues looms and fans are anxious to see how their teams fare on opening weekend. But how much does the first match even matter? After all, it's a long season and teams have plenty of time to rebound from week one losses. Or do they?
Looking at the statistics, it appears that the first game can set the tone for an entire season. It can either give a burst of confidence or present an omen of troubles ahead.
As the first words were placed onto this page, Antonio Cassano had rethought his recent decision to retire. He was set to play another season at Hellas Verona, reuniting with Giampaolo Pazzini for a Serie A farewell tour. By the time we got to the final words of this very paragraph — barely the third sentence — he was going to retire again.
It didn't take Christian Pulisic long to show his new boss what he can do with the ball at his feet. In Borussia Dortmund’s first match of the International Champions Cup against renovated AC Milan in China, Pulisic had two assists and drew a penalty as the Germans cruised to a 3-1 win.
New Dortmund coach Peter Bosz will likely have few complaints with the 18-year-old American, who was subbed off in the 74th minute. Bosz was brought in from Ajax in June after guiding the Dutch team to the Europa League final.
Say this aloud, very slowly: Juventus sold Leonardo Bonucci to AC Milan. Juventus (the biggest team in Italy and six-time defending champions) sold Leonardo Bonucci (one of the world’s best defenders and a future club captain) to AC Milan (a team rapidly shaping up to be a title rival in the coming season). Juventus. Sold Bonucci. To Milan. For €42 million. That would buy you roughly 70 percent of Kyle Walker. Say it aloud. Repeat it slowly. Juventus sold Bonucci to Milan. And still, it hardly makes any sense.
AC Milan’s incredible summer transfer window reached new heights Friday with the club signing former Juventus defender and Italian international Leonardo Bonucci for a reported fee of $45 million. Milan has now spent $237 million over the course of this window, the most ever for an Italian club.
If you’re having a bad day, just remember that at least you’re not the goalkeeper for Italian minnow Auronzo di Cadore.
The big, bad boys from the Serie A came to the little commune of just 3,671 in Italy’s Belluno region today. And Lazio did just what you might expect they might do against a tiny side like Auronzo. They won handily. 16-0. Not a very nail-biting performance.
Mino Raiola, the architect of Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan's moves to Manchester United last summer (and Romelu Lukaku's this summer!), is about one thing only: getting his clients (and by extension himself) that money.
When Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti was caught smoking while on vacation in Ibiza, the same alarm bells were ringing in everyone’s heads. As a professional footballer, it’s unhealthy, unprofessional and detrimental to both your career and your club.
As we all know, smoking is detrimental to footballers in every way imaginable, but it’s incredible to see how the perception of this habit has rapidly changed over the last three or four decades in the professional game.
As we traverse the long, hot and boring summer, we find ourselves lost amid a desert of dullness — a boring expanse of time in which no football is actually played. No club football. No proper international tournament. Even the youth football has finished. Teams are barely beginning their preseason. Quite literally, there is no football to talk about. But the machine never ceases. Which brings us to the transfer market.