The news today in la citta eterna is nonexistent, and there is nary a new rumor to talk about. Though there is the great news that Philippe Mexes has finally put pen to paper on a new contract after returning from wherever he was and made things official. The deal is 2.5m euros rising to 3.6m based on easily achievable performance incentives (playing time, certain amount of victories, ridiculous blonde highlights, last name Mexes - you know, the usual) over 4 years. So, Christian, where you at buddy? The younger, better defender just took a lesser contract to stay in the capital and do big things while you're in the media pimping yourself like one of Pippo's ex-girlfriends for a little scrilla. Smooth.
The Friday Flapdoodle:
a) There's a new official theme song (and video) for the AS Roma wing of The Offside. Sit back, relax, and enjoy this classic.
b) Michel Platini is making Sepp Blatter look like Winston Churchill. And that's damn hard to do.
c) Nothing like revisiting some of the great games of the past year. There are times when I would trade Doni for a box of Cheez-its and a lemon merengue pie. There are also times when I wouldn't trade Doni for Jesus Christ himself. This is one of the latter times. Phenomenal soundtrack, too. One doesn't get that often out of internet videos.
d) Apparently Sophia Loren couldn't wait until Napoli was officially promoted to release the hounds. And I agree with Bob here but I'd like to impose a much more liberal time limit. A minimum of 25 years too late.
I'd like to also announce that I would never go to a website that has a "celebrity hitlist." That picture was sent to me by a confidential insider. I swear.
e) Rumors abound state that before the Lithuania game there was a deal in place to send Salvatore Foti, very talented 18yo striker, to Udinese in return for the other half of Fabio Quagliarella's contract. Guess what? Udinese had second thoughts after the game. Maybe it had something to do with those two phenomenal goals he scored from distance. Or maybe not. Why Sampdoria are interested in sending a valuable (and very young) player to another club in return for the full-rights to another player they will most likely lose to a big club this summer makes little sense to me. I know Sampdoria want to hang onto Fab Quag's(I'm adopting Muddia's nickname as the new official name whenever referring to Quagliarella, thanks), but come on, get a clue guys. This isn't 1992. He's too good.
As for the Roman link, reports state Roma are ready to offer Vincenzo Montella & Mirko Vucinic in return for Sampdoria's half-ownership of Fab Quag's. This is starting to become strange because everything I've read says that Vucinic is on loan, unless Roma bought him out and just didn't tell anybody, and this is the second publication to write of a possible Vucinic swap. The other possibilities are a swap including Matteo Brighi and/or Aleandro Rosi plus cash. As to which is preferable, it's hard to decide. Brighi and Montella are both likely on the way out regardless, but Vucinic and Rosi are debatable subjects. Vucinic is certainly the more talented of the two, but he doesn't seem to fit in with the Spalletti plan and is typically played out of position on the wing. Rosi is a versatile youngster with some skill who has fit well into the system at RB and RW, but he doesn't have the pure talent of Mirko. Regardless of Mirko's contract situation, it's going to be a long uphill climb to acquire Fab Quag's.
The front page of il Romanista says "Rosella points to Quagliarella" this morning, who knows what that means (il Romanista is famous for its ambiguous headlines). I wish Roma would just sign some people already because I don't know how long I can take these contradicting and misleading stories. I'm about one more Quagliarella rumor from a bubble bath, some kleenex and a pint of mint chocolate chip.
f) I was looking for an update on the Ciprian Marica situation when I ran across a Romanian website. The third story on that website was about Paris Hilton leaving jail. I have completely lost all faith in our abilities to evolve as a society, when a woman who is nothing more than a poor excuse for an amateur porn star makes headline news halfway across the world for her release from prison. That is really sad.
No update on the Marica negotiations, and it may have something to do with the fact that the Ukrainian season runs during the summer months, along with the Russian and some Scandinavian leagues. Shakhtar Donetsk are probably busy with games and whatnot and probably aren't in too much of a hurry to sell off one of their star players. It remains to be seen how that plays into the transfer negotiations. Whether he would leave Shakhtar Donetsk immediately, wait until right before the Serie A season begins (doubt it), or if they mutually agree on a date in the middle. It'd be nice to let him play up until about a month before the season starts so he's in form immediately. That is, if he comes, which everything points to directly.
You know what? Since Roma is becoming tedious with their negotiations and the rumors aren't exactly vivacious, I'm going to start covering Shakhtar Donetsk in the Ukrainian Premier League. Why the hell not. A little coverage here and there? Can't hurt. For some odd reason I'm a big fan of most things that came out of the former state of the Soviet Bloc, except for Sheva and Chernobyl, so I'll enjoy this. (By the way, if you ever get a chance watch the HBO documentary Chernobyl Heart, at worst it will move you, at best it will change your life.)
f) I was rifling through some old magazines when I came across the World Soccer CL preview edition, in which the broke down each of the teams participating in the group stage. What they had to say about Roma was pretty funny, and pretty off-target. It's funny how little the British press knows about Italian soccer and instead of doing a little research they decide to pull completely false or ridiculous statements out of their collective asses. The list of ridiculousness:
i) "Serbian striker Mirko Vucinic should offset the loss of Mido to Tottenham." I'm sorry but I could offset the loss of Mido and I haven't played football in years. Comparing Vucinic to Mido is like comparing apples and a piece of shit in a bag.
ii) "Roma look too dependent on last season's foot soldiers - and Totti - to make any impact beyond the group stages." So how'd that one work out for you guys?
iii) The squad list neglected to mention Aleandro Rosi, Valerio Virga and Gianluca Curci(you know, the guy with the #1 jersey) but included Carlo Zotti and Massimiliano Marsili.
iv) The starting lineup:
Doni; Panucci, Mexes, Ferrari, Tonetto; De Rossi, Pizarro; Mancini, Perrotta, Taddei; Totti
So how about that Chivu guy? I thought he was alright. According them though he'll be splitting time with Matteo Ferrari, who, in directly related news, used to play in the EPL for Everton. Brilliant work there. Quality journalism.
g) Gratuitous Zlatan quote of the week:
Reporter: "You've got some scars in your face, Zlatan. What has happened?"
Zlatan: "Well...I don´t know...you´ll have to ask your wife about that."
I need more Zlatan in my life. And it pains me to say this, because he plays for Inter, but I'd rather have him than Kaka.
Then there is the definitive Zlatan interview. Easily one of my favorite internet videos.
My goal is to someday have an ego that big. I dream of that day.
h) A little video for the Roma fans. The date was June 17th, 2001. Roma was facing Parma at the Stadio Olimpico on the last matchday of the season. Roma had a 2 point lead on Juventus and a 3 point lead on Lazio. Only a win guaranteed the scudetto. For those not familiar with the Parma of old, they weren't exactly the relegation contenders of recent times. The starting defensive triumvirate in front of the Parma goal that day included Gianluigi Buffon, Lillian Thuram and Fabio Cannavaro. They were decent. Here's what transpired:
Unico Grande Amore