A COACH for Italian club Genoa was caught spying in on rivals Sampdoria ahead of their next match dressed “like Rambo”.
Youth team coach Luca De Pra has been suspended after he was spotted lurking in a wooded area close to Sampdoria’s training base in full military gear.
Genoa have said that the coach was acting alone and not carrying out an official spying mission.
Sampdoria said in a statement: “That the derby is a question of nerve, tactics and strategy we already knew, but frankly we could never expect that it could turn into an scene of espionage.
“Like Rambo hidden among the branches on the hill, Luca De Pra, Genoa goalkeeping coach and man of noble footballing ancestry, failed to overcome Sampdoria’s intelligence and counter intelligence operations.
“However, no prisoners were taken, and no blood was shed.
“Once tracked down and caught red-handed, the opposing side’s soldier was let free to return to base.
“You should always forgive your enemies, as nothing annoys them more.”
MANCHESTER United and Arsenal fans will miss out on seeing Kaka this coming season after the Real Madrid Galactico agreed a deal with Serie A giants AC Milan.
The 31-year-old last week revealed he wanted to leave the Bernabeu after four years – having joined from Milan for a reported 70million euros (£56million) in 2009 – and Rossoneri vice-president Adriano Galliani moved quickly to persuade the 2007 Ballon d’Or winner to return to Serie A, beating the two british clubs and another unnamed Serie A team to the signature.
A statement published on Milan’s official website on Monday morning confirmed a two-year contract was in place for Kaka, who was preparing to fly to Italy at midday after Madrid sanctioned his departure.
THE Special One Jose Mourinho has decided that the title no longer does him justice – and from henceforth would like a new title.
Reflecting on his win in Spain’s La Liga, which adds to his two English, two Italian and two Portuguese titles, he decided The Only One would be more appropriate.
He said: “Like me or not, I am the only one who won the world’s three most important leagues.
“So, maybe instead of the ‘Special One’, people should start calling me the ‘Only One’.”
CLAIMS have been made that Arsenal striker Robin Van Persie has already made an agreement to move to Juventus.
The reigning Italian champions are in the bidding for the wantaway Dutchman with Manchester United and Manchester City also interested.
But Milan-based agent Fabio Parisi told Italian TV: “I think Juventus have had a signed contract with Van Persie for some time locked away in a notary’s desk.
“It is just my opinion, but I think there’s an eight out of 10 chance the Dutchman will join the Bianconeri.
“Juventus want to win and he is considered the ideal addition to achieve that.”
SERIE A side Genoa’s match against Siena at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris at the weekend was suspended for 45 minutes after a fan disturbance that saw the home players intimidated in the middle of the pitch and forced to remove their shirts by angry supporters.
The game eventually restarted after goalkeeper Giuseppe Sculli’s emotional intervention, with Siena resuming 4-0 in front and going on to secure an important three points in their battle against relegation.
Genoa did pull one goal back after the delay – the consolation came from a Cristiano Del Grosso own goal 11 minutes from time.
Giancarlo Abete, the president of the Italian Football Federation, said: “The events in Genoa are a very ugly incident which takes us backward and we must react.”
FRUSTRATED Cesena president Igor Campedelli has told the club’s players to get out of town.
The squad has been ordered to train away from the city in a bid to improve their flagging fortunes, after slumping to 14 points adrift of safety with 10 Serie A games remaining.
Cesena’s last victory dates back to January 15 and they have collected just two points since.
He said: “I am bitter and disappointed. I reiterate that we can be relegated but not in this manner.
“From today the team will train away from Cesena until further notice.
“Only those that show motivation and play for the team instead of focusing on their personal stats will play.
“I hope that from here on until the end of the campaign someone makes me eat my words.”
AC MILAN’S in form striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic plans to say it with flowers after a spat with a journalist.
The Swede exchanged angry words with Sky Sports’ Vera Spadini after his side’s win over Lecce, which ended with Ibrahimovic telling her to shut up, flicking his headband at her and storming off swearing.
Although his club has said a telephone call was made afterwards by Zlatan to apologise, in an extra gesture they report he plans to say it with flowers – a bouquet of 19 roses, one for each of Ibrahimovic’s Serie A goals.
Whether that’s saying ‘sorry’ or ‘I’m a pretty nifty footballer’, I’m not so sure.
EAST Midlands lower league team Notts County take on Italian giants Juventus tonight in a friendly to inaugurate their new stadium.
Despite their contrasting fortunes, Juventus have an emotional tie to Notts County. They used the world’s oldest professional club’s black-and-white striped shirts as the inspiration for their own strip after asking English squad member John Savage for a new design to replace their original pink kits back in 1903.
The new stadium, built on the site of the universally-detested Stadio Delle Alpi, will open tonight with the friendly against the League One English side.
Juventus will become the only Serie A club to own their own stadium and have also broken the mould with a capacity of only 40,000 to create atmosphere, rather than play in a half full stadium with twice the capacity.
NAPOLI owner Aurelio De Laurentiis made a swift exit after storming out of Serie A’s televised fixture draw – on a passer-by’s mobility scooter.
De Laurentiis was furious about his team’s draw for the forthcoming season – screaming: “I am ashamed to be Italian! I’m going back to cinema. It’s all been mapped out against us! I want to change citizenship!”
He then hitched a ride on a stranger’s electric scooter and trundled away from the scene.
FAB’ rumours today in the newspapers – apparently under fire Inter manager Rafa Benitez could be fired and replaced with England boss Fabio Capello.
In a deal which would be welcomed by just about everyone except Benitez, Inter would be rid of Rafa after their worst start to a season in years, and England would be rid of Fabio who clearly should have been sacked after the World Cup debacle.
In the Independent, it says: “Fabio Capello is being touted as a potential successor to the under-pressure Rafael Benitez at Internazionale – a move which could yet give the Football Association an escape from its awkward partnership with the Italian coach.”
And the Daily Mail write: “Inter Milan are considering a move for Fabio Capello to replace under- fire manager Rafael Benitez.
“Capello – who Inter tried to prise from the FA before the World Cup – is said to top the list, with Leonardo, Diego Simeone and Zenit St Petersburg coach Luciano Spalletti also being considered.”