Fabio Capello’s Kings Of Rome

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It ended with them besieged by their own supporters who, hungry for souvenirs, preceded to strip their heroes of those famous Giallorossi shirts, shorts, socks, vests, literally anything they could get their hands on to remember the occasion. It was a day they would never forget.

Everything about that sunny afternoon back in June 2001 was almost perfect for AS Roma as they ensured they took the points necessary to guarantee what would eventually prove to be only the third league title in the club’s history. Even the three names on the score-sheet – Francesco Totti, Vincenzo Montella and Gabriel Batistuta – perfectly reflected a season which had seen them lead Serie A from start to finish. It was a campaign that was perhaps the most dominant by AS Roma since they were formed back in 1927.

Read more at InBedWithMaradona.com

Midfielders At The Heart Of Juventus vs Napoli Clash

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This Saturday sees the resumption of what is quickly becoming the hottest battle in Serie A as Napoli once again travel north to face off against Juventus, the team who represent everything supporters of the Partenopei despise. Seemingly their entire ethos is to rally against the establishment, painting themselves as outsiders, happy to live in the shadow of Vesuvius but never content to be put into the shade by Italian football’s biggest clubs.

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Growing Pains For Milan Pair

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"Chaos in Milan. It’s never this bad!" cried the front page of Corriere dello Sport last Monday, reacting to seeing the city’s two clubs both lose the previous weekend. Indeed, before Milan’s midweek win over Cagliari, the pair had combined to take just three points from seven home matches following three draws and four losses, with Milan themselves having already lost three league games this term.

Read more at ESPNFC.com

Serie A Focus: It’s NOT All About The Money!

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As is now customary, Italian sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport has published the salary of every player in Serie A. The figures are given in terms of annual salary paid after tax and includes no bonus payments of any kind, allowing the most simplistic of comparisons across the teams, players and nationalities of the leagues players.

Among the breakdowns published by the famous pink paper is a ‘Highest Paid XI’, a fantasy team made up of the best paid player in each position, making an arbitrary selection in terms of formation and personnel. Of course, WhoScored.com has a very similar system when it comes to the ‘Team of the Week’ choices and so – in true off-the-cuff fashion – we have compared the two sides, pitting the big money earners against the Team of the Season (thus far) according to the WhoScored player ratings.

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Why did Juventus sign Nicklas Bendtner?

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Whether through drunkenness or as part of a publicity stunt he shows off his pants. He’s got a terrible attitude and thinks he’s the greatest striker alive today. These criticisms – plus many others that are unrepeatable here – have reigned down upon Nicklas Bendtner and Juventus since the former Arsenal man joined the Turin giants late last week.

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Nomads And Icons: A Serie A Story

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Daniele De Rossi recently reaffirmed his commitment to home-town club AS Roma, citing the affection shown to him the previous weekend when the Giallorossi played their first friendly of the new season at their Stadio Olimpico home. The 29-year-old midfielder spoke in reverential tones of his love for everything Roman and the deep-seated loyalty he feels for the club and its famous colours.

In rejecting the sustained approaches from Manchester City, De Rossi proved once again that, for footballers, the old ‘there’s no place like home’ adage can resonate as loudly as it does in any other walk of life. Even without home-field advantage, the comfort of familiar surroundings or the adoration of local fans afforded to De Rossi, most players quickly become accustomed to what they forever refer to as ‘their’ club.

Read more at ESPNFC

Serie A’s Week One Analysis: Il verdetto del campo

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Italian’s often refer to ‘il verdetto del campo’ (the verdict of the pitch) as the definitive judge of players, teams and coaches and, by using the games of the opening weekend a number of points become apparent. Yes, after months of speculation, rumour and scandal, the world of Serie A finally gave us some on field action to discuss and, in doing so laid bare a number of inescapable truths.

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Serie A Summer Transfer XI

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Serie A returns this weekend and there have been many changes to the teams in Italian football’s top division; not only are there a host of new coaches at numerous clubs, but also a raft of new players in every side across the league. While there have been some major talents lost - with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva and Ezequiel Lavezzi all moving to Paris Saint-Germain - there are also some excellent players arriving.

Read more at ESPNFC.com

Serie A’s Top 5 Summer Transfers

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The start of the new Serie A season is almost upon us, with Italy’s top flight set to return to action this coming weekend. In a summer transfer window which has seen six of the previous campaign’s top twenty performers (according to our own WhoScored.com ranking system) changing clubs, we decided to take a closer look at the top five transfers within the league. With Calcio once again besieged by scandal and criticism of its quality, it is interesting to note that these five players boast 28 trophy wins between them, ranging from World Cup triumphs to Copa Libertadores victories.

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Zemanlandia Returns To Serie A!

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"I was looking for someone outside of Italian football. Uncontaminated. I like his boldness, both toward the game and in his character. He is very motivated. His aim is to score goals.” So said Franco Baldini last year as the Roma General Manager discussed his decision to appoint Luis Enrique as Coach with La Repubblica. Yet they could just as easily have been used to describe the man who replaced the Spaniard at the Capital club this past weekend, Zdeněk Zeman.

Read more at InBedWithMaradona.com

Stats Analysis: Serie A 2011-12 By The Numbers

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Italian football has always been home to some of the world’s biggest names and, while many factors have contributed to the lure of the peninsula losing some of its former sheen, there are still many top players plying their trade in the Bel Paese. Many of these – including Gigi Buffon, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Andrea Pirlo – have been analysed in depth here on WhoScored.com but, over the course of this season, we have also looked the surprising and less widely appreciated men leading a number of statistical categories in Serie A. Now the 2011-12 campaign has ended we can see who tops the various charts, be they an unknown or a famous name.

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Get Off The Fence! More Calcio Madness At Marassi

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It has quickly become the most televised fence in Italian football. Little more than eighteen months after Serbian supporters had scaled it, the security barrier at Genoa’s Luigi Ferraris stadium was the focus of attention this past weekend as the home fans decided enough was enough in what has admittedly been a disastrous season for the Ligurian side. Much like the Balkan crowd who caused that Euro 2012 qualifier with Italy to be abandoned, the Rossoblu faithful simply could take no more on an afternoon that had seen their team concede four goals without reply to a team battling relegation.

Read more at InBedWithMaradona.com

Palermo-Catania: Serie A’s Forgotten Derby

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When drawing up a list of the world football’s most hotly contested derby encounters, the same games inevitably crop up time and again. Boca Juniors v River Plate, Partizan v Red Star, Fenerbahçe v Galatasaray and Celtic v Rangers are always among the usual suspects while a list of exclusively Italian ones would undoubtedly offer up the cross City rivalries of Rome, Genoa and Milan as well as an endless raft of squabbling Tuscans. Often forgotten when compiling such top ten compilations is the ‘Derby di Sicilia’ between Palermo and Catania, a meeting of two clubs which is as intense, fervent and passionate as anything offered up by those other local clashes.

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Player Focus: Atalanta’s Luca Cigarini

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"Technically he’s very good and can play with both feet. He sits just in front of the defence and from there channels the play. He’s perfectly suited to the type of game we play at this club." Those were the words of Sporting Director Ramón Rodríguez upon his club Sevilla announcing the signing of midfielder Luca Cigarini back in August 2010. Their capture of the then 23 year old who could be described as the most ‘Spanish’ of Italian midfielders seemed an ideal move by the La Liga club, his characteristics appearing to be a perfect fit for the country which brought the methodical tiqui-taca approach to the forefront of world football.

Read more at WhoScored.com