Bergomi: ‘Biggest Italy regret’

Beppe Bergomi admits his biggest Italy regret was losing the 1990 World Cup semi-final to Argentina. “I’d play it in Rome rather than Naples.”

The former Inter veteran was in the team that looked destined to lift the trophy on home soil in Italia ’90, sweeping through to the semi-final against Diego Maradona’s Argentina.

It was played at the Stadio San Paolo in Naples, where Maradona was treated as an icon by home supporters, and Bergomi believes that split in the crowd is what cost them.

“There are two games in my career I’d like to play over again. The first was Inter-Bayern Munich, which we lost 3-1 after winning the first leg 2-0 with a Nicola Berti brace at the Olympiastadion.

“The other is the 1990 World Cup semi-final against Argentina. In that situation, I’d play it in Rome – where there was a fantastic atmosphere – rather than in Naples.

“Diego Maradona was incredible on the field, and let’s not forget at the time defenders were allowed to give the opposition forwards a good kicking, it wasn’t like nowadays when they are protected and you can’t touch them. Football has changed. Maradona never said anything when he was kicked, he’d just get back and keep playing.

“However, there was a strange atmosphere in that stadium, very different to the one we’d experienced in Rome. It’s an international, they should’ve just cheered for Italy, but it was strange.”

The game ended 1-1 after 90 minutes and extra time, Argentina eventually winning a penalty shoot-out.

The South Americans went on to lose the Final to West Germany, while Italy saw off England for third place in Bari.

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Pellegrini agent listens to EPL offers

Lorenzo Pellegrini’s agent has reportedly flown to England in order to listen to offers for the Roma midfielder, above all Manchester United.

The 22-year-old talent has been very impressive this season, providing two goals and five assists in 13 competitive games.

Manchester United have made no secret of their interest in the player, while Chelsea and Arsenal have also set their sights on Pellegrini.

According to the Corriere dello Sport newspaper, agent Giampiero Pocetta has flown out to London for a series of meetings, as he will listen to proposals.

Any club who wants him can just activate the €30m release clause in his contract without negotiating directly with Roma.

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Lazio look to Darmian

Lazio are the latest Serie A side to show an interest in Manchester United full-back Matteo Darmian.

According to Il Messaggero newspaper, the Aquile have begun negotiations for a potential January transfer.

His versatility is the main attraction, as Darmian is able to play on the right, left or as a centre-back in four or three-man defences.

The 28-year-old former Torino man had also been linked with Juventus, Inter, Roma and Napoli over the summer, but the €20m asking price put them off.

As Darmian’s current contract is due to expire at the end of the season, albeit with an option to add another year, Lazio hope Manchester United will lower their demands.

The Italy international has made only one appearance for Jose Mourinho’s team all season.

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Schick: ‘Roma, I’ll prove myself’

Patrik Schick denies rumours he could leave Roma – “I want to show my worth”.

The striker has struggled since he joined the Giallorossi in 2017, and it has been suggested he could be loaned out in January.

“It’s just conjecture,” the striker insisted, speaking to reporters at the Czech Republic training camp.

“I’m still convinced of wanting to show my worth and make it with the Giallorossi. I’m happy to have scored my first league goal [against Samp] and now I’m sure I’ll get more chances.

“I need to play more, I’m lacking minutes.”

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Ranieri promises ‘Italian’ Fulham

Claudio Ranieri has vowed to  bring an Italian edge to Fulham. “For us Italians, it is important to maintain a clean sheet.”

Ranieri’s arrival at Fulham comes just two years since he led Leicester City from the bottom of the Premier League to the first title in their history but also at a time when the Cottagers are leaking goals, with 31 conceded in their opening 12 games.

“We have to work hard,” said the former Juventus, Roma and Inter boss at his official unveiling on Thursday.

“That was a bonus, a fairytale. Forget it. Now it is important to not think about miracles.

“There will be a lot of battles. It is important to be ready together – the club, the players, the fans, all together.

“They have to support us in the bad moments. This is a bad moment. Fulham concede a lot of goals.

“I am an Italian manager and for us Italians, it is important to maintain a clean sheet.

“At this moment it is important to forget what happened yesterday and look forward. It is important to win points.

“I hope we can play well but if we play well and lose the match, it is a big problem.

“Fulham played so well against Manchester City, for example, and lost. They played so well against Liverpool, and lost the match.

“I hope to play worse than in these two matches and win the match. That is most important.”

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