Adobe Flash Player Required.
Download the latest version here.

Offside - 29 March

29 Mar 2013 | 12:33

While talk mounts that Jose Mourinho will strut his way back to Serie A, it seems only a matter of time before Edinson Cavani exits stage left.

Prandelli wants more help

Italy defeated Malta 2-0 to take another step towards the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

However, Azzurri coach Cesare Prandelli is not satisfied with the support, or lack of it, shown by Italian authorities and pointed out what happens in Brazil - where every activity will be suspended for a month when the 2013 Confederations Cup is on in June.

Prandelli’s contract with FIGC, the Italian Football Federation, expires in 2014.

Assuming he will last that long, it will be interesting to see whether he’ll go back to club football. Financially more rewarding but open to the whims of club chairmen.

Football and religion are inseparable

What about Italy versus Argentina as a homage to the Pope, given that Jorge Mario Bergoglio is a keen football follower?

The suggestion comes from the very religious Prandelli. Any chance of fixing the result?

Milan leads the way - sort of

I appreciate it’s a big “if”. But if Serie A had started in January, AC Milan would be the runaway leader.

Gazzetta dello Sport published a Serie A competition table, considering only results from January 2013. The Rossoneri are the only unbeaten team, having collected 27 points in 11 matches (eight wins, three draws.

Milan would be six points ahead of Juventus (21 points: six wins, three draws, two losses) and seven ahead of Napoli (20 points: five wins, five draws, one loss).

If only Massimiliano Allegri’s men had not started the season with a relegation-threatening record in the first three months of the season.

Adios, Cavani

If you are a Napoli supporter, start mourning now. Nobody has passed away, just moving on.

I refer, of course, to the imminent departure of Edinson Cavani. The Uruguayan is sought by Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Chelsea, PSG (have I missed anyone?)

Most importantly, his contract has a buy-out clause of about $86 million, which no doubt won’t scare away very rich clubs.

Napoli chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis has already chosen Cavani’s successor. He is 23-year-old Leandro Damiao - Brazil's national team centre-forward.

Having scored 81 goals in 139 games for Internacional, he comes 'cheap' at around $30 million.

A year to remember

Happy anniversary, so to speak, to Inter Milan coach Andrea Stramaccioni. This week he celebrated his first year at the helm of the Neraazzurri.

Quite an achievement for a rookie coach but now it remains to be seen whether he will be able to celebrate a second anniversary.

Rumours of a hot line between chairman Massimo Moratti and Jose Mourinho sound quite credible. In which case Stramaccioni would not stand a chance.

He fought the law, but the law one

You do not try to out-smart Sardinian authorities. This is the lesson for Cagliari Chairman Cellino.

Last month, with typical arrogance, he decided to force the issue of availability for the club's new stadium. The result is that local authorities have once again declared the stadium out of bounds for local supporters.

The match against Fiorentina will be played behind closed doors. A very bad outcome for fans. Not to mention holders of season tickets.

Sign of the times

If you want to see some progressive moves in Italian football, all you have to do is look at Serie B.

In Serie A finding an agreement on anything is close to impossible but in the second tier, major reform has been approved.

From July this year, the league will adopt a salary cap - of $185,000 a season and the same figure for variable bonuses - for new contracts.

The only question mark is whether clubs and players will abide by the rule. Currently there are third division players earning that amount, and more.

About this blog


Tony Palumbo

A journalist with decades of experience on TV and radio, Tony is an expert on all things Italian - including football. Read More.

Meet Our Bloggers

Les Murray

Fondly known as 'Mr Football', Les has been directly involved in all the major events covered by SBS Sport, including five World Cup football tournaments. Follow @lesmurraysbs on Twitter.

Craig Foster

As SBS’s chief football analyst, Craig provides expert opinion and unrivalled insight. He has also represented the Socceroos and played abroad. Follow @Craig_Foster on Twitter.

David Zdrilic

After years playing abroad and a 20-goal career for the Socceroos, David turned his hand to football punditry and is a beach football fanatic. Follow @Zdrila on Twitter.

Scott McIntyre

Scott’s passion and knowledge of Asian football has consolidated his reputation as Australia’s foremost Asian football expert. Follow @mcintinhos on Twitter.

Lucy Zelic

Lucy is a life-long sports buff and former host of the Official A-League Podcast and also commentated games for Canberra United in the W-League. Follow @LucyZelic on Twitter.

Tim Vickery

British-born Tim works as a journalist and has lived in Brazil since 1994 and provides unrivalled knowledge of South American football. Follow @Tim_Vickery on Twitter.

Philip Micallef

Philip Micallef is a football writer with almost 40 years of experience. He has worked for News Limited and now SBS. He is a long-time follower of AC Milan.

Ned Zelic

Considered one of Australia's most gifted players, Ned Zelic represented the Socceroos 34 times over a decorated career that spanned Europe, Asia and the United Kingdom. Follow @NedZelic on Twitter.

Vitor Sobral

Vitor commentates for SBS and works as a presenter for The World Game. His passion for European football resonates through his blogs. Follow @Vitor_TWG on Twitter.

Tony Palumbo

A journalist with decades of experience on TV and radio, Tony is an expert on all things Italian - including football.

Australian FourFourTwo, The World Game Magazine

Australian FourFourTwo, The World Game Magazine

If it’s in The World Game, it’s in FourFourTwo. At newsagents and online.

4WD Australia: 50 Short Getaways (Book)

4WD Australia: 50 Short Getaways (Book)

Take the trip of a lifetime with this handy full colour book of 4WD trail information. Regional journeys highlight the top 50 tracks around Australia!

  • '09 #1 Sports Soccer Website, Hitwise
  • '09 #1 Television Program, Hitwise
  • '08 #1 Sports Soccer Website, Hitwise