Friday, May 27, 2011

2010-11 Player Review: The Numerous Exploits of Mario Balotelli

Mario Balotelli had quite the interesting year following his switch from Inter Milan to Manchester City over the summer. The troubled 20-year-old Italian never ceases to amaze with his on and off the field antics. Lets see what Super Mario was up to:

Aug. 13, 2010: Mario Balotelli signs for Manchester City. The transfer fee was £24m. The move represents a new start for the troubled young striker, whose year's at Inter were marred with controversy. A new chapter opens in the life of Super Mario.

Sept. 25, 2011: The 20-year-old gets pulled over by police with £25,000 cash in his car...when asked why he is carrying so much money, Balotelli responds: "Because I'm rich."

Oct. 2, 2010: Balotelli and his brother drive into a women's prison. Reports state the Balotelli brothers saw the gate open and never imagined they would need a permit to drive up to the front door. After being recognized, the officers let the two off. The police commented that both seemed to be particularly intrigued by the fact that it was a women's prison. Balotelli's reasoning for the breif visit: "I told my brother: 'Do you want to see a prison?' Then I went in."

Oct. 3, 2010: Super Mario returns to Italy and flips off supporters at a match between Inter and Juventus.

Dec. 21, 2010: Balotelli named best young player in Europe and expresses extreme confusion at who his second place adversary is:
"What's his name? Wil ... ? No, I don't know him, but the next time I play against Arsenal I will keep a close eye on him. Perhaps I can show him about the Golden Boy trophy and remind him that I won it."
His name is Jack Wilshere.

Jan. 18, 2011: Super Mario takes a dig at Manchester United's Wayne Rooney, claiming: "He [Rooney] is a very good player but not the best [striker] in Manchester."

Jan. 19, 2011: Cristiano Ronaldo, jealous that Mario commands the headlines, tells Balotell to "speak less and play more."

March 10, 2011: Blades of grass cause the young Italian to be withdrawn from City's first leg knockout match with Dynamo Kiev after 57 minutes. Allergic to grass as a footballer? You might be in the wrong profession, Mario.

March 17, 2011: Balotelli struggles to put on his training bib...for about two minutes:

March 17, 2011 cont'd: Edin Dzeko makes fun of Mario Balotelli's bib problem:

You know you are foolish when a tall, awkward, doofus is making fun of you and getting laughs out of it.

March 17, 2011 cont'd: With a bib on mind, Balotelli destroys Man City's European hope by getting a straight red in the 36th minute of the second leg knockout match against Kiev, after a chest-high lunge. How did Coach Roberto Mancini react? "He [Mancini] called me an idiot. He shouted that he wished he'd never signed me." Sick burn.

March 21, 2011: Mario admits to Italian national team coach Cesare Prandelli the he "needs help" because he always ruins everything, but cares about being in La Nazionale. Aww.

March 25, 2011: While dining in a posh city centre restaurant, Balotelli notices Wayne Rooney's alleged hooker...and says hi by yelling "ROONEY, ROONEY" across the restaurant, before approaching the woman and blowing a raspberry in the face of her companion.

March 27, 2011: Balotelli throws darts at Manchester City's Youth Team players through a first floor window at the club's training complex because he is "bored." Gotta do somethin' when you're bored!

April 6, 2011: The play-maker challenges several bouncers outside of a Manchester night club, continually goading and laughing at them, until one of them hit his Maserati repeatedly with a metal torch.

April 16, 2011: Following the club's crucial win over city rivals Man Utd in the FA Cup Semifinal, Balotelli raucously celebrates in a taunting manner in front of United's faithful.

April 20, 2011: Luck strikes Balotelli at a local casino, earning him a cool £25,000, of which he gives £1,000 to a homeless man outside on the street

April 25, 2011: The young Italian accrues parking fines of over £10,000 for having his car impounded over 27 times. Club staff report having to retrieve Balotelli's Maserati time and again out of the impound lot, as he will "drive from his luxury apartment to a restaurant a few streets away and leave the car on double yellows," for instance.

May 8, 2011: Balotelli retracts earlier statement about Rooney:
“When I was at Inter I saw Rooney and I didn’t think he was a really, really good player. But now I see Manchester United matches properly, I think he is one of the best."

May 9, 2011: After learning an autograph seeker is being bullied, Mario drives the young lad to his school and demands a meeting with the headteacher. After discovering the bullies identity, Balotelli makes the two shake hands.

May 14, 2011: Following City's FA Cup final victory, the ever-so-tactful striker curses on live TV:

May 23, 2011: Mario baffles club officials by requesting that pet dog Lucky, a black Labrador, join him atop Manchester City's celebratory bus during the FA Cup trophy parade.

May 23, 2011: Balotelli wins City's Young Player of the Year award, but fails to show up to the ceremony, forcing Micah Richards to awkwardly accept the award on his behalf.

May 24, 2011: Balotelli and Lucky skip Man City's FA Cup trophy parade.

Season Long: Over the year, Balotelli collected fines over £300,000 and had training ground bust ups with Carlos Tevez, Jerome Boateng, and Vincent Kompany.

This explains what Roberto Mancini has dealt with this season
I'm not even making this up! Mario Balotelli is hilarious. Is anyone else waiting to see this reality TV show? All in all, I would say the young Italian is just that: young. But lets hope he continues his ridiculous antics in the future.

Mario, I'm a fan.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Serie A Season in Review

Hello my friends,

I recently got the opportunity to collaborate with an awesome football site and recap this year's Serie A season. Please check out my season review on the suavely designed site, The Elastico! Many thanks go out to editor(s) for allowing me this great opportunity.

Also follow my friends at The Elastico on Twitter!

Best wishes,
Sensible Soccer

Monday, May 23, 2011

New Sensible Soccer Weekly Posts: Player Reviews

Now that the European season has come to a close, I will be putting out a weekly topical post reviewing the year of a player of my choosing. I will try draw from each top league around Europe, perhaps even a few players from a lone league. Some initial ideas:

The Numerous Exploits of Mario Balotelli

Francesco Totti: The King of Rome is Not Dead

Raul: Same Sh*t, Different League

Inside the Mind of What Looks Like a Child: Andrey Arshavin

Anyone have player suggestions from any other top leagues around Europe? You name it and (if it's interesting) I'll post it. Stay tuned for more from Sensible Soccer

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Last Day Blues - Your Guide To Surviving the Next Three Months

As the champions celebrate their triumph after nine months of football, we the fans weep inside and wonder what in the world we're going to do for the next three months on Saturdays and Sundays.

Sensible Soccer would like to offer you some options:

1) Monitor Transfers: As we reach the end of the season, a new one begins - one in which money is king. For the next three months, flamboyant rumors detailing big money moves of your favorite superstars will grip football media sources as the summer transfer window comes into full swing. Keep your eyes peeled on your favorite team's movements and fingers crossed for that new hero that could be signed. And if you are a Roma fan like I am, celebrate like a mad man because we now have money and possibly Carlo Ancelotti.

For the most comprehensive and honest look at the transfer window, follow the Daily Mirror's Football Spy either on footytube or YouTube.

2) Play Soccer: Why not lace up the boots, grab a few friends, and head to the park? Be healthy and exercise - it's good for you. And if you are rubbish at football, join a coed league where everyone sucks!

3) Watch International Matches: Summer is more often than not the time where country comes before club, for once. Check out a stellar set of competitions such as the Copa AmericaCONCACAF Gold Cup, or the often touted friendly (USA vs. Spain).

4) Watch Pre-season Friendlies: You know how I know soccer in America is starting to grow and get the attention of the world soccer community? When over a dozen teams from all around the globe will be playing pre-season friendlies in America this summer. So check out your local listings and tune in to the many pre-season friendlies happening here in the USA and across the world.

5) Watch the MLS: Why not support soccer in America? Watch your local teams, Americans, because the league is getting better, I promise! This comes from person who watches top-notch European football week in, week out, and claims to be "Sensible." Thus, I feel I can honestly attest to the acute increase in a) talent b) competition and c) excitement in the MLS. The progress of the league has been exceptional, even as of the last year, and the many rumors of top European talent coming to the MLS is exciting. I can literally sense John Harkes becoming too excited about US soccer as we blog.

6) Start a Blog: Why not start a blog about your favorite club, country, or league? Writing is intellectually stimulating and often liberating. Let it all hang out and tell the public how you feel! If that doesn't entice you to write, start a blog so you can promote my blog, like this guy at Forza Roma.

Oh and let us not forget the absolute feast of football we have to look forward to next Saturday at 2:45pm: the Champions League Final between Manchester United and Barcelona. Excitingly and sadly - this is football's final act of the season.

Who I want: Go United...because aren't you sick of Barcelona by now?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Landon Donovan: 100 Reasons Why You Should Join Roma

Dear Landon,

I recently read a report on suggesting Roma's interest in you. Congratulations! As a huge Roma and USMNT fan, and incidentally a blogger, I could not sit idly by as my favorite club and player were mentioned in the same breath.

So, as a guide, I would like to give you 100 reasons why you should join Roma (give or take a few). These reasons come from three years of living in the Eternal City as a young American abroad and numerous years following the club:

The Club 

Francesco Totti - Il Capitano, Er Purpone, The King of Rome...the list of nicknames goes on. This living legend could be your teammate! I know you've got Becks at the moment, but you've had him as a mate for awhile now. Totti is unheralded: a club man for his whole career, a World Cup winner, and one of the most revered/hated figures in Italy. Most importantly he will do anything for the team he loves and the place he calls home.
New Owners - Roma have new American owners. That's right: American! For the first time in Italian league history a foreign owner owns a club in the Serie A! This is an exciting achievement for the league! The owners are part of the consortium that own the Red Sox. Since they are linked to the MLB, I'd imagine they are familiar with throwing money EVERYWHERE to acquire awesome players like yourself. This could be beneficial...

Squad Upgrade: The team was a stunning save away from winning the Serie A last year with a squad similar to what they have this year. Unfortunately, they did not play up to snuff this season. Next year, we will see numerous upgrades to the squad in hopes of building a championship winning team. Roma is ready to be pushed over the hill and win. I'm not talking Manchester City money, but money that could tip the scales and turn Roma into a powerhouse. And since it's not like City money, you wouldn't be riding the bench.

Daniele De Rossi - I know he elbowed Mcbride in the 2006 WC, but let bygones be bygones. De Rossi is an honest player who is fiery with passion. He is a hard worker, a tremendous leader, and rare midfield talent. I see him as a Michael Bradley 2.0 and similar to Bradley, you would have the honor of linking up with him often during the run of play.

Stadio Olimpico - The Stadio Olimpico is great! Home to Roma and Lazio, it holds around 60,000. It's fairly easy to get to (right near the only river that runs through Rome) and is always well maintained.

Curva Sud - This is the end where the diehard fans sit. Sud is full of song and jeer all match long. Quite honestly, it is frightening to sit there, but it is one of the best fan ends in the world.

Hating Lazio - This should prove easy. Hating Liverpool was one thing. Chivas, another. But Lazio?? Good lord. Just watching a match featuring the baby blue side is enough to boil the nerves. They are horrible and you will see why - which brings me to my next point...

Derby della Capitale - This is one of the most heated rivalries in the world. Roma versus Lazio is INSANE. Fans have died at these games (which is a shame). The passion on the field is electrifying and the atmosphere in the stands is enough to make your hair stand up. This derby is the real deal.
Derby day
American - Along with my earlier point, you would in fact be the first American to sign for Roma. That's pretty damn cool. Plus your new club owners would feel a kinship towards you (not like that matters, but still).

John Arne Riise - Though he comes from your rival Liverpool, John Arne Riise speaks good English and is the whitest man you'll ever see. This will constantly make you feel good about your tan and you can tell him about it in English.

New Coach - Presumably. Since about six big transfers are slated for the summer, a new coach with more experience is in order. Who might it be you ask? It could be the Champions League/Premier League winning coach Carlo Ancelotti, amongst other candidates. You could be coached by a living legend, Donovan. And become a legend.

Europe League - Roma will be in Europe next season. Hey, it's not the Champions League, but who are you to complain, you've never played in Europe before anyway? That said, one of the team's highest priorities will be to win this competition and it could be a good journey.

A Wing Player - Roma need a man who can patrol the wings like you can! The role you played at Everton is exactly what is needed in the Capital.

Consistency - Roma need a consistent player. I would rate you as one of the more consistent players out there.

Trigoria - Roma's famed training ground. Though it's not Milanello (ask Gooch about that), Trigoria is still as beautiful as any country club I've ever seen. They even have pool parties.

Vucinic's unorthodox celebration
Mirko Vucinic - The very talented Montenegrin is surely someone who will provide the movement and up-tempo play you enjoy. Plus that guy is hilarious (see picture, inset)!

Wild Man Nicolas Burdisso - Nicolas Burdisso is a wild man! He is also a rock at the back who can be relied upon heavily. You might remember him when squaring off against Argentina not long ago.

Romanisti - There is rarely a better fan base than the Romanisti. They are severely passionate and are ready to jump for joy or revolt. I coin their attitude like that of a New York fans attitude: they love you if you do good, hate you if you do bad. It's like any big city.

Giallorossi - The team colors: red and yellow. You'd look good in them, I am sure. In addition, the "Giallorossi" is also the nickname for the team. Every squad in Italy does that. Kit colors = nickname.

Serie A - Your skills would tear the Serie A in two! Your pace on the ball will put you in some good positions in this slower moving, tactical league.

The City

History - Rome is unlike any city in the world. As you walk around the streets you see layer upon layer upon layer of history. Many time periods are represented in the vast array of ruins strewn about the city. Even if you stayed for 5 years, you probably will not have seen it all.

Prati - This district of Rome is a quiet upper-class living quarter in the city that is fairly close to Stadio Olimpico.

Monteverde - LA has Hollywood, Rome has Monteverde. It is the "Green Mountain" that overlooks beautiful Roma. This section is (or was in my time) home to players like Daniele De Rossi and Simone Perrotta (you know...the World Cup winners?).

Sunshine - Happy days and rainbows...I would say out of the three years I spent in Rome, 90% of the days were sunny and beautiful. It's pretty much LA climate out there. 

Not Rain - I am sure your time with Everton was full of rainy days, muddy boots, and depressing off days. Not in Rome. Off days are like summer vacation!

The Beach - I know from all your years in California, you must enjoy a fine trip to the beach - unless you are weird or something. The good news is, if you come to Roma, you can enjoy a quick and convenient ride to the beach. You will also acquire a rocking tan since the sun seems to be way hotter in this part of the world (I know this because every time I went to the beach I got incredibly burnt even though I have darker skin). The Mediterranean Sea is calling you, Landon.

Driving - Do you like to drive fast? Recklessly? Well, Rome is the right city for you, #10. You can drive fast AND recklessly without getting in an accident! These crazy Italians are so akin to driving all over the place you don't even have to worry about bending fenders. Lines?? What lines?!
Why not get a moto? I heard Montella has one...
Good Place To Visit - Family and friends will love visiting and staying with you in Rome. There are so many things to do and see. They'd have to be the most boring people on the face of the planet to not have a good time in this city.

Cobblestone Streets - I don't know about you, but when I walk on cobblestone, I immediately think I am in a cooler place than I normally am. Since Roma is probably 30% cobblestone, you have a high chance of being somewhere awesome in the city. Oh did I mention these stones were laid in the 16th and 17th century?

Piazzas - Or "squares" in English, are really nice. They are essentially spots to hang out and relax in the city. Often times restaurants and bars line piazzas, as well as beautiful cathedrals. Favorites: Santa Maria in Trastevere, San Cosimato, Risorgimento, Venezia, San Pietro, Navona, and Trilussa, to name a few.

The People

Italians - Are incredible. They are personal, emotional, and loyal. Sounds like the opposite of many people in LA (and NYC for that matter). You will make friends for life with everyone on your block the second you arrive. You will kiss men on the cheeks. Yes, I know that's weird at first - after all, we're American and weren't raised that way - but it's a beautiful thing knowing someone likes you that much as a friend. What I'm saying is it's a really accepting environment.

Passion For Soccer - The passion surrounding Italian soccer is insane. It is almost frightening at times, but overall, it can be very profound and heartfelt. I have seen tears of joy and happiness in the stands and at bars. I guess it's a good way to take these people away from stark realities.

Passion For Life - Along with soccer, Italians have a great passion for living life. Culture is highly valued in this society and generally people work to live, not live to work. The atmosphere in the city is in turn looser and more down to earth, in my opinion.

Women - Italian women are delightful and friendly to Americans... End of story.

Ex Pats - I went to college in Rome for three years and found many English speaking ex pats in the city. There are plenty of people to relate to if you do not speak Italian.

The Pope - I'm not very religious but I'll have to admit it was interesting to see the Pope's influence on the people and city. Also, seeing him emerge at his window one Sunday's was fairly awe inspiring.

Italian Pronunciations - Your first and last name both end in "N," meaning you have stumped 75% of Italian people as to how to pronounce your name. It will be hilarious. Announcers will stumble and just call you the American. I imagine it will sound something like "Laandone Donovone." But after all the laughter, they will be wowed by your work ethic and contribution to the side.


Pizza - The pizza in Rome is tremendous. Some people will say the Napolitani make it better, but those people are wrong. Try a potato slice with cheese and tell me you don't love Rome...

Suppli - Better known as rice balls in the USA, Suppli are an incredible delicious snack that you won't be able to resist after your first bite. Check out I Suppli in Trastevere by Piazza San Cosimato for the best results. My mouth is watering as we blog.

Pasta - Do I need to explain? Two words, LD: Amatriciana and Carbonara. Eat them. Experience them. Live them.

Gelato - Ice cream?? F*ck ice cream! Gelato is the real deal. Once you taste gelato, ice cream won't be the same for you ever again.

Nutella - Have you ever had Nutella, Landon? The delicious chocolate/hazelnut spread is incredible and can be found in stores, in abundance, anywhere in the country. Boom.
Humanitarian Organizations - Rome is rife with organizations which aim to better society. A nice addition to the caring nature of the city. In turn, a lot of English speaking ex pats work there.

Drinkin' in the Streets - Strictly an off-season activity. It's pretty cool to have the freedom to walk down the street with a cold one in your hand and not risk an arbitrary slap on the wrist. You're not doing anything wrong!

The Vatican - The Vatican can be liked for either of two reasons, or both reasons themselves: 1) It is the center of the Catholic world (if you are religious) 2) It is literally a different country (if you are not religious and want to grasp something cool about it).

Paninis - Are sandwiches, basically - but better, since they are in Rome.

Prosciutto - Finely cured ham that goes in paninis deliciously.

Pancetta - Italian bacon, which many consider better than our bacon. Seriously, try it out.

Coffee - You might not be used to this brand of coffee Donovan, but it is a pleasure to enjoy. Sip either a caffe (pretty much a shot of coffee), an espresso, or my favorite, a cappuccino to start your day off right. You'll certainly be moving after one of these, because those Italians make coffee right. Also, cappuccino comes in cool designs.

Fruit - The fruit in California must be good, but I would venture to say the fruit in Rome is better. There is something about the soil and Mediterranean atmosphere that makes every piece of delicious fresh fruit taste wonderful. Also, you may purchase fruit in essentially any piazza around the city. Campo di Fiori is the best though.

I know there are more awesome reasons why you should come to Roma, Signore Donovan, but I'm tired and can not think anymore. Plus I'm not entirely convinced you'll read this. But if you do, and have more questions, feel free to contact me (offering me free tickets or signed gear is not mandatory).

Some final thoughts on a potential move to Roma...There is really no better atmosphere to live and play. The city is cultural and full of vibrant, down to earth life, and the club is storied and very much on the cusp of growing to new heights. It's a no brainer if the price is right!


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Congratulations Are In Order

Congratulations to the city of Manchester: the city of champions!

Both Manchester teams won silverware on Saturday; Manchester United securing their record 19th English Premier League title and Manchester City lifting the FA Cup, their first trophy in 35 years. Even though these bitter city rivals despise one another, we can all agree two title triumphs on the same day in the same city is pretty sweet. Enough with the pundits who have written "United's Premier League title has marred City's victory." Give me a break! They are both basking in their trophies!

The cups:

Evra and Nani hoist the EPL balloon trophy replica - the real one will be presented at OT

Man City lift the coveted FA Cup

The player's ridiculous antics:

Rooney...oh Rooney

Tevez acting silly

Balotelli cursing on live TV after the game...gotta love him!

Kudos to the teams from Manchester and congrats to their fans.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Auguri Milan

It's official: AC Milan have won the Scudetto. With two games left to spare, a scoreless draw with Roma at Olimpico was enough for the Rossoneri to win the Serie A. This marks Milan's 18th title and first since 2004. How it happened:

Excellent transfer windows
I can't remember the last time I saw a team build up their ranks with such precision as Milan did over the summer and winter transfer windows. The unbelievable consideration for the club's needs, both in and out of the starting lineup, was proof of some smart football minds in the back office; VP Adriano Galliani in particular, and head coach Massimiliano Allegri. Saying this team has depth is pretty much an understatement.

Who they got
It started with the loan signing of Kevin-Prince Boateng in August 2010. The high energy midfielder became a staple of the team's up-tempo passing and moving. He immediately made an impact at the beginning of the season and ended up a priceless starter, eventually winning a permanent move which will be signed when this summer transfer window opens.

The next moves made by Galliani were sensational and pulled off a mere 2 days before the window closed. The signings of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho made Milan immediate Scudetto favorites and rightfully so.

Ibra had a topsy-turvy campaign in which he showed a petulant super-star attitude (not really new for him), acquiring a few red cards and consequent suspensions; but nonetheless the towering Swede notched 14 goals and was a constant threat in attack. He particularly gelled with fellow summer signings Boateng and Robinho. And remarkably, Ibrahimovic has been crowned a champion eight years in a row (3 with Juve, 3 with Inter, 1 with Barca, 1 with Milan). Everything he touches literally turns into silverware.

Now on to Robinho...some of you may recall my feelings on Robinho - I usually call him "the little baby Robinho" for crying his way out of top teams in world football. But as far as this season goes, Robinho was far from the crying toddler we once knew. The talented Brazilian got the job done. He was fantastic all year and acted as the true playmaker we know he can be. I would even venture to say he is the most valuable player in the side. No joke people!

Man love between Milan's top three signings
After seeing the stellar end to the summer in terms of signings, I didn't think Milan would go for fresh faces in January, but again, Galliani and Allegri had grander plans and some money to play with. They took advantage of Antonio Cassano's huge embarrassing fallout with Sampdoria President Riccardo Garrone and acquired him for a mere €5m Euro. Cassano's addition to the side meant added depth and relief for a Milan midfield that saw Andrea Pirlo in the treatment room more often than not throughout the season.

Mark Van Bommel was also a critical mid-season signing for the Rossoneri. He helped fill the hard-man, defensive minded midfield role left by the decline of Gennaro Gattuso and numerous injuries (and general decline) of Massimo Ambrosini. Van Bommel fit really well into Allegri's game plan and pulled many of the strings starting the attack.

The monetary assault Galliani surmised on the transfer markets, paired with Allegri's interpretation of the club's needs, clearly paid dividends. These precise buys gave Allegri the freedom and ability to best create his starting 11 in a way that would match up well with the opposing team all throughout the season. That must have been nice!

The true pedigree of a champion is in its ability to consistently get results throughout the season, winning and not losing. Milan did this to the utmost. After week 9, the Rossoneri really didn't look back, losing only twice more until capturing the title on Saturday evening.

The Milan attack was wonderful. If passing and moving is a fabric of the game, then Milan are the sweater that was knitted from this fabric. They seriously passed around their opponents and ran hard. They were pretty much the Serie A's Barcelona. Robinho ran play in the Trequarista position year round, feeding his friends and often reeling towards the sidelines after netting. Ibra scored. As usual. And contributions from player's like Alexandre Pato, who was mainly an off the bench player, were priceless.

One aspect of the Milan squad I'd like to highlight in terms of consistency is the club's defense. All year long, the Milan back-line remained stalwart. The team only gave up 23 goals throughout the season (to date), which is an incredible statistic. Who would have thought we would be saying this after club legend Paolo Maldini hung up his boots in 2009? Again, Galliani pulled off quite the feat in building a defense that would lead to their championship. The signing of Thiago Silva a few years ago was massive. He is Milan's rock. Props must also go to Daniele Bonera, Luca Antonini, Ignazio Abate, and Gianluca Zambrotta for holding it down. And we must not forget Christian Abbiati, who I consider the most underrated keeper in Italy. He is the best active Italian keeper at the moment - hands down - and had a very assured year between the pipes.

Key games
Another indicator of a true champion is how it manages big games. Milan did well. Very well. Their only two real rivals for the title this year were Inter and Napoli and they handled them with ease, going 4-0 against the pair. There were even tense "Scudetto matches," pitting Milan against 2nd place rivals who were in reaching distance, of which they beat Napoli handily a month ago, ending their Scudetto hope, and absolutely smashed Inter 3-0 in a pulsating second Derby della Madonnina, which pretty much ended anything positive from the Nerazzurri camp.

Massimiliano Allegri
At the tender age of 43, Allegri is a champion. His rise to the pinnacle began in the Serie C1 in 2007, taking him to Cagliari the following year, and finally Milan at the beginning of this past summer. Talk about leaps and bounds. His ascendance is an indicator of his smart footballing mind. He may not have the most experience, but he did a damn fine job steering the Rossoneri to the top. His tactical approach to games and knowledge of the capabilities of his squad were truly championship worthy. Well done sir.

Allegri barking out orders or yawning
In conclusion
Inter did not win this year. INTER DID NOT WIN THIS YEAR. In lieu of this information I would say it was a decent year in the Serie A.

Auguri Milan - Camponi D'Italia 2011. Oh and Sempre Forza Roma.