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Benitez values ‘positive energy’ from fans

Rafael Benitez believes that the Napoli fans are conveying a positive energy which is helping the club move forward under their new coach.

After an excellent start to life as head coach of Napoli, which has seen the Partenopei rise to second in the league and defeat Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League, Benitez took to his official website to praise the club’s fans.

“With the fans passion they are conveying a positive energy.

“Their affection is really valued in a challenging season. The journey’s going to be long, but we have a competitive squad that is working to its maximum.

“We are working well and the team is growing. All the players are concentrating on taking this project towards its intended aims – not only for this year, but for next as well.”

The Azzurri have won seven of their opening nine fixtures this season with just defeat coming against Arsenal in the Champions League.

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Juventus eye Chelsea midfielder

Juventus are said to be eyeing a double swoop for Chelsea midfield starlet Kevin De Bruyne and Real Sociedad’s French winger Antoine Griezmann.

The Belgian’s Chelsea career could come to a end in January after admitting he is unhappy at the London club.  The 22-year-old has made just two starts since returning to Stamford Bridge after a successful loan spell with Werder Bremen.

It is believed that Wolfsburg are also interested in the midfielder, with him being valued at around €7 million, both clubs are expected to make an offer.

French winger Antoine Griezmann is another who is said to be interesting the Bianconeri, according to Tuttosport.

The 22-year-old played a big part in Real Sociedad finishing fourth last season, securing a Champions League play-off spot. He also was instrumental in helping them secure a spot in the group stages,  scoring a magnificent bicycle kick in the 2-0 away victory over Lyon.

The Spanish club could be tempted to sell if they do not achieve European football beyond the group stage.

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Ronaldo to quit Brazil afrer 2006 | World Soccer

Ronaldo says he will probably retire from international football after the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

“It’ll be my fourth World Cup and I have to let younger players take their chance,” said the 28 year-old who won the Cup in 1994 and 2002.

“I’ve four more years on my contract with Real Madrid and then I’ll finish my career,” he added Wednesday.

Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira agreed with his striker.

“I respect his decision. I think he’s right. If he does go he will go when he’s at his peak,” said Parreira.


Primavera Coppa Italia 2013/14: Roma, Inter and Napoli among those advancing

Following the second batch of second round fixtures in this season’s Primavera Coppa Italia, the competition failed to yield any major shocks.

Last year’s beaten finalists Napoli, who were shaded in extra time by Juventus this past May, secured their safe passage to the next round but had to rely on an AET win themselves when they won away to Palermo in Bagheria.

Brescia bested Udinese on home turf and move on to the third round thanks to a narrow 1-0 victory.

Virtus Lanciano visited the country’s capital looking to spring a shock but there was to be no such complacency from a clinical Roma who saw off their threat with a comfortable 2-0 victory.

Sampdoria saw off Sassuolo thanks to a 2-1 victory while Inter won a difficult game away to Parma thanks to a 2-0 victory thanks to first half goals from Gaston Camara and Michael Ventre.

Varese thrashed Carpi 3-0 to move on to the next stage of the tournament while Reggina saw off Bari in a nail-biter, winning 8-7 on penalty kicks.

There is one more space left in the next round which will be taken by Empoli or Cesena who will meet at 15:00 on the 23rd of October.


Bologna striker dreams of playing for Roma

Bologna striker Davide Moscardelli has a dream to play for Roma but it looks unrealistic at his age.

The 33-year-old Felsinei striker is a fan of the Giallorossi and although he would like to play for the Roman club, his main focus is to keep playing in Serie A.

“I’ve made the bench with other teams [but] would I do it at Roma? It will be however a difficult thing,” Moscardelli told 1927 La Storia Siamo Noi.

“At 33 I still want to play in Serie A. Then at Bologna I am well and hope to stay here.”

The Belgian-born striker had been asked about Bologna’s form and despite a poor start to the season, he believes that the Felsinei can get back their feet.

“So far the results have not been good: also against Verona it did not go well. Then we met all good teams like Roma, Napoli and AC Milan,” said Moscardelli.

“But I think with the great work that we started in the summer we can come away from this situation. So far we missed some results and a bit of luck.”

Follow Vito Doria on Twitter: @VitoCDoria


Shevchenko denies Milan rift | World Soccer

Andrii Shevchenko has played down his training ground row with Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti and insists he will be staying with the Serie A club.

If Milan wanted to sell me I wouldn’t leave. I have no intention of leaving this club,” said the Ukrainian.

“Milan wants me and I want Milan, that is enough for me.”

Chelsea reportedly had a £57m bid for the forward turned down earlier in the summer.

On Monday, Italian television cameras caught Shevchenko arguing with Ancelotti.

He is reported to have told Ancelotti: “If you want me here fine but if not I’ll leave.”

But Shevchenko’s spokesman later said that the player was staying at Milan.

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AC Milan set to complete move for Valencia defender

AC Milan are very close to finalising a move that would see French international Adil Rami join from Valencia.

The 27 year-old is currently in exile at the Spanish club after he criticised Valencia’s sales in the summer transfer market.

Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Rami will arrive in Milan to undergo his medical later this week and will then join his new teammates in training, but will be unable to play for the Rossoneri until January.

The Corsican-born defender will be eligible to play for Milan in the Champions League as Valencia were competing in the Europa League.

Barcelona were reportedly interested in signing Rami over the summer along with Arsenal, Napoli, Roma and Manchester City.

Rami has made 92 appearances for Valencia since joining from then Ligue 1 champions Lille in 2011.

Follow Louis Gibberd-Thomas on Twitter: @mercutio156