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Martinez: ‘Ajax must attack’

Defender Lisandro Martinez said Ajax can’t give Edin Dzeko, Lorenzo Pellegrini and Pedro any space on Thursday. ‘They know how to hurt you’.

Ajax travel to Rome for the return leg in the quarter-finals of the Europa League and must turn around a 2-1 defeat to the Giallorossi from Amsterdam.

“It’s a pity, we attacked throughout the game,” Martinez told “In the first half we lost to many balls and they caught us off guard, but we only made two real mistakes and paid dearly for them.

“In any case, I want to think about the positive side of the performance: the team constantly attacked and created many opportunities, but we failed to materialise.

“The penalty would have changed everything but getting it wrong is part of the game. We have to learn that in these matches you can’t waste opportunities, nor make mistakes.”

Martinez doesn’t expect a different approach during the return leg in the Italian capital.

“Our identity is that, it won’t change,” he continued. “We will attack, we need to win to reach the semi-finals.

“We will try to be solid in defence.”

The 23-year-old has played five games in the Champions League and five times in the Europa League this term, and he admitted the Roma attackers are dangerous.

“They have several players that are very strong,” he said. “Dzeko, Pellegrini and Pedro are players of great value.

“If you give them space, they know how to hurt you.”

The Argentine has been linked with a move to Serie A in the past and admitted he’s flattered by the interest.

“I try to enjoy the present, to continue to learn and work in one of the biggest clubs in Europe,” he said about the rumours.

“That said, any footballer would love to play in the most competitive leagues in the world. Serie A is undoubtedly one of them.”


De Rossi discharged from hospital

Italy staff member Daniele De Rossi was discharged from Spallanzani Hospital today and will continue the recovery at home.

Good news for the former Roma captain, who was hospitalised since April 9 due to coronavirus.

La Gazzetta dello Sport reveals the latest exams allowed the former midfielder to go home with the help of the health team.

De Rossi will continue the rehabilitation period at home, after having been hospitalised with bilateral interstitial pneumonia.

The newspaper reports De Rossi thanked the doctors and nurses when he left the institute.


Torino have Singo back in training

Wilfried Singo has recovered from the thigh injury and returned to training with Torino ahead of the match against Roma on Sunday.

The 20-year-old Ivorian has been through some difficult weeks, as he missed two games due to coronavirus in mid-March, before suffering an injury in the left thigh during the 1-0 defeat to Sampdoria ahead of the international break.

The wing-back subsequently missed the 2-2 draw with Juventus in the Derby della Mole and then the 1-0 win over Udinese in Serie A.

But Singo was, according to Sky Sport Italia journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, back in training today.

Lyanco also returned to train regularly with the group this morning.


Most valuable Serie A clubs revealed

Four Serie A clubs are among the 20 most valuable in the world, according to Forbes, but none is in the top 10.

Football club values are up 30% on average in the past two years despite the COVID pandemic as “buyers focused on what they see as still untapped revenue potential in the sport’s massive global following,” Forbes explains.

However, average operating income fell by 70% over the period to $23 million. 

The top 20 teams are worth an average of $2.28 billion, and Barcelona top the ranking with a value of $4.76 billion.

Juventus are the first Italian club in 11th position, behind Tottenham. The Bianconeri’s worth is $ 1,95 billion.

The Bianconeri are also the only Serie A club in the top 10 of the most valuable sponsorship kit deals.

Inter, Milan and Roma feature in the top 20, but each one has a worth below one billion.

According to Calcio&Finanza, Inter are the second club with the highest growth compared to two years ago, the last time Forbes published its ranking.

World’s 20 most valuable football teams

Barcelona – $ 4,76 billion

Real Madrid – $ 4,75 billion

Bayern Munich – $ 4,125 billion

Manchester United – $ 4,2 billion

Liverpool – $ 4,1 billion

Manchester City – $ 4 billion

Chelsea – $ 3,2 billion

Arsenal – $ 2,8 billion

Paris Saint-Germain – $ 2,5 billion

Tottenham – $ 2,3 billion

Juventus – $ 1,95 billion

Borussia Dortmund – $ 1,9 billion

Atletico Madrid – $ 1 billion

Inter – $ 743m

Everton – $ 658m

Milan – $ 559m

Roma – $ 548m

West Ham – $ 508m

Leicester City – $ 455m

Ajax – $ 413m          


De Rossi and Inzaghi’s wife to be discharged from hospital ‘soon’

Francesco Vaia, health director of the Spallanzani hospital, says Daniele De Rossi and Simone Inzaghi’s wife Gaia Lucariello will soon be discharged from the hospital after receiving treatment for COVID.

Both of them had been hospitalised at Rome’s Spallanzani hospital last week after contracting the virus.

De Rossi is one of the many Italy staff members who tested positive for COVID during the last international break.

Eight Azzurri players did also caught the virus while on international duty.

Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi tested positive for COVID last week and a few days after his wife was hospitalised.

“They both fell well and will be discharged from hospital in the coming days,” doctor Vaia told La Politica nel Pallone on Radio Rai.

“They both needed treatment at the hospital, but they are young, and the virus was tackled in time, so they’ve managed to recover quickly.”