#TheFuture x AC Milan

It’s a surprisingly good time to be a Milan fan. I mean, support endures the good and the bad, but this year was supposed to be a rough, rebuilding year for AC Milan. They started out Serie A poorly after losing Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva, faced financial uncertainty with Silvio Berlusconi’s problems, and shipped Pato back to Brazil because he was as brittle as a duck.

The transition has instead formed something beautiful. Milan’s academy has risen, and indeed the club hopes to emphasize their value of players  grown under the Rossoneri foundations. The current Milan side has become the youngest since the 2002-03 season. The front-three of El Shaarawy, Balotelli and Niang have a combined age of 60 with the Frenchmen only recently turning 18.  With Filippo Inzaghi helping the next generation develop, AC Milan’s series called “The Future" takes us behind-the-scenes to see where we’ll find the next Maldini and Super Pippo ready to emerge. [Posted by Eric]

The players have grown, unless they haven’t. The 100 returns.

Expansive. Insightful. As good as you remember. For the second year running, our friends at IBWM have released their signature ‘The 100’ list. It’s a selected study of football’s most talented and brightest prospects. All are born after the 1st of January 1990, ranging from Jack Wilshere to Atletico Madrid’s Courtois to Brazilian born Lucas Moura.

The 100 has been compiled by the IBWM team, writing over 100,000 words, scouting all players in action, receiving insights from several football experts and incorporating stats from Opta. Once again, it’s a grand piece of work.

And without further ado, here’s to the 100! [Posted by Dom]

The End Of An Era For Italy?

By Elizabeth Cotignola

For Italy, major international tournaments aren’t supposed to be an exercise in anxiety. Gli Azzurri, as the Italians are known, are not supposed to sweat out the group stages of such competitions, fixated on conspiracy theories while awaiting reports from other cities which will reveal their fate. The Italians are supposed to be among the game’s royalty, a country that can book its dinner reservations for the night before a semi-final months before kickoff – masters of their own destinies.

Yet, as gli Azzurri prepared for Monday’s match against Ireland, shaking hands lifted espresso cups from Milan to Palermo across a nation wrought with the fear that another early exit from a major international tournament was to be their fate, a mere two years after upstarts Slovakia sent the Italians packing after group play following a downright dismal showing in South Africa. The faithful remain apprehensive on the eve of gli Azzurri’s quarterfinal clash against England – a team that, historically, were a source of laughter for the Italians, rather than a legitimate threat. Somehow, in just six short years, this has become the new normal for the Azzurri.

Read More

A Football Report © 2009-2013