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Nov 052013
Italia weekly 2013-14 logo

Brian Sanders navigates the multitude of Serie A results before jumping in and examining the upcoming European adventures and weekend fixtures

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Sep 102013

Brian Sanders, Adam Uthe, and Sean Maslin review the Champions League Group stage draw picking out the winners and losers

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Sep 062013
Italia weekly 2013-14 logo

Brian Sanders and Vincent La Rosa look at the Italian game after two weeks of Serie A, the Azzurri’s two World Cup Qualifiers, the close of the transfer window, and the groups for Italian teams in the Champions League and Europa League

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Sep 052013

Obviously we all know about the big names, but you’d be surprised just how many good players completed transfers in the shadows of Gareth Bale and Mesut Özil.

Gareth Bale

The Welsh superstar completed his much talked about move from Tottenham to Real Madrid for a world record fee that comes out to approximately $132 million.

Mesut Özil

After spending all summer missing out on new signings, Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger landed perhaps the world’s most creative midfielder for a reported £42.5 ($66.25 million) transfer fee.


In an effort to fund their purchase of Gareth Bale, Real Madrid sold Brazilian midfielder Kaka back to Milan after purchasing him from the Serie A giants in 2009. He signs a two year deal with Milan.

Kevin Prince Boateng

The German international returns to the Bundesliga after completing a four year move from Milan to Schalke 04.

Samuel Eto’o

The Cameroon international is reunited with his former manager Jose Mourinho after signing a new one year deal with Chelsea from Russian side Anzhi Makhachakala.

Alessandro Matri

The Juventus forward completed a transfer to Milan and signed a four year deal.

Adem Ljajic

The Serbian forward completed a four year move from Fiorentina to Roma for a reported €11 million ($14.4 million) transfer fee.

Erik Lamela

And speaking of Roma, they sold the Argentinian winger to Tottenham for a reported €30 million ($39.9 million) transfer fee.

Christian Eriksen

Indeed, Spurs were incredibly busy this summer. They bought Ajax/Danish playmaker Christian Eriksen for a reported £11.5 million ($17.9 million) transfer fee.

Marouane Fellaini

The Belgian international turned out to be the only significant summer signing for new Manchester United manager David Moyes. Fellaini previously played for Moyes at Everton.

Geoffrey Kondogbia

The Sevilla defender joins Monaco for a reported €20 million ($26.2 million) fee and signs a five year deal with the Ligue 1 side.

Alessandro Diamanti

He’s not actually going anywhere, but Bologna made a huge splash signing him to a new five year extension.

Andrea Dossena

The veteran center back from Napoli completed a one year move to Sunderland in the English Premier League. He previously spent part of his career in England with Liverpool.

Romelu Lukaku

The Chelsea striker goes out on loan for the second year in a row. He joins Everton for the upcoming season.

Toby Alderweireld

The Dutch defender completed a permanent move from Ajax to Atletico Madrid.

Florian Thauvin

The French starlet was purchased by Lille from Bastia in January, loaned back to Bastia for the remainder of the season, and has now been sold to Marseille without having ever played a match for Lille. Thauvin factored in the French U-20 side that won the FIFA U-20 World Cup this summer.

Josua Guilavogui

The Saint Etienne midfielder completes a €10 million ($13 million) move to Atletico Madrid.

Ezequiel Schelotto

The 24 year old Inter midfielder joins Sassulo on loan for the upcoming season.

Jaroslav Plasil

The veteran Bordeaux/Czech Republic midfielder joins Catania on loan for the rest of the Serie A season.

Christian Atsu

The Ghana international was purchased by Chelsea from FC Porto and then subsequently loaned to Vitesse in the Netherlands.

Duvan Zapata

In an effort to replace the production of departed striker Edinson Cavani, Napoli signed former Estudiantes striker Duvan Zapata.

Mamadou Sakho

The former Paris-Saint Germain center back has completed a permanent move to Liverpool.

Tiago Ilori

The 20 year old Sporting Lisbon center back has also completed a move to Anfield.


The highly rated Portugal winger completed a €10 million ($13 million) move from Sporting Lisbon to Galatasaray.

Makoto Hasebe

The Japanese international completed a permanent move from Wolfsburg to Nurnberg.

Libor Kozak

The leading scorer in last year’s Europa League competition has completed a move from Lazio to Aston Villa.

Vlad Chiriches

The Romanian center back moves from Steaua Bucharest to Tottenham.

Emiliano Viviano

The Palermo goalkeeper joins Arsenal on loan for the entire season.

Marko Arnautovic

The Werder Bremen forward completed a permanent move to Stoke City.

Teemu Pukki

The Finland international completed a four year move from Schalke 04 to Celtic.

Alvaro Vasquez

The Getafe center forward joins Swansea on loan for the entire season.

James McCarthy

The former Wigan winger is reunited with Roberto Martinez as he completes a £13 million ($20 million) move to Everton.

Gareth Barry

The Manchester City holding midfielder joins Everton on loan for the entire season.

Fabio Borini

The Liverpool striker joins Sunderland on loan for the 2013-14 season.

Oussamma Assaidi

Assaidi also departs Anfield on loan and will suit up for Stoke City this season.

Angelo Henriquez

And last, but not least, Manchester United’s young striker joins Real Zaragoza on loan for the season.


Until next time!



Aug 222013
Italia weekly 2013-14 logo

Brian Sanders(@KCNFFC), Luis Palmitesta(@lep17), and Vincent La Rosa(@vincelikesstuff) go team by team in previewing the 2013-14 Serie A season complete with expected scudetto winners and relegation losers.

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Jul 122013

Guidolin1 300x168 Who is the most valuable manager in Serie A?

Calcio is well known for producing top quality mangers, with the generation including the likes of Sacchi, Lippi, Capello, and Ancelloti passing the torch to the current crop of elite managers in Serie A. Conte at Juventus, Mazzarri at Napoli and now Inter, Montella at Fiorentina, and to a lesser extent Allegri at Milan, all have received accolades for the jobs they have done over the last season, and not without good reason.

However, a manager closer in age to the previous generation, Francesco Guidolin, does not always get the credit he deserves for the incredible job he has done at Udinese. Yes, his name is usually mentioned in the conversation regarding manager of the year, but if you compare what he has achieved relative to the resources at his disposal, it becomes obvious how underrated he still is as a manager.

Guidolin has led Udinese to 4th, 3rd, and 5th place finishes in the last three seasons, after the club finished 15th the year prior to his arrival. The team has consistently been in the top five despite losing players such as Sanchez, Inler, Zapata, Asamoah, and Handanovíc during this time.

Udinese’s wage bill at the beginning of this season according to Gazzeta dello Sport was just over 21 million euros, the joint 6th lowest in the division and far behind the figures spent by Milan (120), Juventus (115), Inter (100), and even Roma (95). Likewise, a study done by from 2001 to 2011shows that Udinese have had the greatest positive net transfer balance while Juventus, Napoli, and Fiorentia made up the top three in the opposite category.

While Conte has been instrumental turning Juventus back into one of Europe’s top clubs, he has also had the most talented and well balanced squad in Serie A to work with. Likewise, though Napoli’s squad is not as complete as Juve’s, it is full of experience and Mazzarri has been able to rely on the league’s best goal scorer, Edison Cavani.

Montella’s situation is slightly different in that Fiorentina experienced a huge turnover in the players in the offseason and the manager deserves much praise for creating an attractive, attacking side. However, he was not exactly starting from scratch. While Borja Valero may have been unproven in Serie A, he was clearly a quality player having already been capped by Spain. Similarly, David Pizzaro, who started his career at Udinese under another often overlooked manager in Luciano Spalleti, was an additional proven player at Montella’s disposal.

Apart from the evergreen Di Natale, Guidolin has had to build his squad each year from a relatively unproven group of players. While credit must also go to Udinese’s excellent scouting network in South America, the speed at which Guidolin has been able to develop potential into real ability is extraordinary. This, coupled with his ability to set his side up to absorb pressure and play effective on the counter attack, has turned Udinese into a very difficult team to beat, home or away.

In time when Serie A’s profile globally is waning and even the top clubs struggle to compete economically with Europe’s other big spenders, it is important for Italian football to recognize and continue to develop managers like Guidolin who are not only adept at the tactical side of the game, but are also able to coach and develop younger players.


May 302013

Brian Sanders (@kcnffc) and Vincent La Rosa (@vincelikesstuff) review the season in the Serie A, welcome Sassuolo and Hellas Verona to the big time, and celebrate Lazio’s win over Roma in the Coppa Italia

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Apr 222013
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Brian Sanders flies alone as he looks at all the results in Serie A, Coppa Italia, and the Serie B race for promotion

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Italia Weekly Podcast

 Posted by on February 19, 2013 at 12:39 am  Blogs/Media, Italy, Podcast, Serie A
Feb 192013

Flying solo Brian Sanders soldiers on to bring the latest in the Serie A and the journeys of Italian teams in the Champions League and Europa League.

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