2 Montella: 'Fiorentina to entertain'

Vincenzo Montella explains Fiorentina’s mission is to “entertain the fans” and goes back over the chaotic situation with Dimitar Berbatov. “He was wrong.”

The Coach took over this summer after strong spells with Roma and Catania, charged with bringing enthusiasm back to the Stadio Franchi.

“Great work has been done here and I must admit I feel privileged to be here,” Montella told La Repubblica newspaper.

“The greatest thing is hearing the passion of the fans again. There is so much faith in us and we have to work in order to repay them.

“There is a trend for younger Coaches in Serie A, as in times of crisis there is always a search for new ideas. It happens in football and in society at large.

“I will admit every now and then I am tempted to take off my suit and run on to the pitch. It is a thought that flashes through my mind in a heartbeat, but it is still there. Then I remember I haven’t the lungs anymore and it ends there!”

Montella will be coaching one of his old friends, 35-year-old Luca Toni, in the Fiorentina squad this season.

“Toni is in better shape than I could’ve expected. He’ll be an important player for us. When you return to a city where you had great success, you rediscover that energy and enthusiasm to amaze people all over again.”

Toni was a last-minute addition after Berbatov abandoned a move to Fiorentina mid-flight from Manchester, negotiating first with Juventus and then eventually signing for Fulham.

“Berbatov? He made the wrong decision,” noted Montella. “I would ask Juve for an explanation as to what happened that day, but maybe I wouldn’t. I like my Fiorentina the way it is.

“There was the possibility Stevan Jovetic would leave, but he is an intelligent lad. I told him ‘we’ll have fun here and this will be good for you and your future.’ Maybe he had already figured that out for himself.

“Here we want to play football and entertain the fans. This is a brand new side with players from different experiences and cultures. The sooner we integrate all those elements, the earlier we can start showing what we can do.”
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0 Toni: I'll start where I left off

Luca Toni has claimed that he wants to rejuvenate his career at Fiorentina, after his shock deadline day return to Florence.

The 35-year-old was Serie A's top goalscorer in 2005-06 during his first spell with the Gigliati, and has told fans that he wants to return to that level again.

“I cannot wait to get back on the field and make the fans happy,” the former Al Nasr forward commented in an interview with Corriere dello Sport.

“I am glad to be back, I had my most beautiful years here. I want to start where I left off. I think we can play some good football this year. It is a great project.”

Toni pinpointed Spaniard Borja Valero when asked which of Fiorentina’s new boys had caught his eye.

“Who impressed me most out of the new players? Borja Valero is really strong. I did not know him, but I've been impressed in the days that we've trained together.

“I have trained well and feel fine,” the former Italian international added. “I have put myself at the disposal of the Coach and only he can decide if I play.

“The Catania game will be very difficult because they are a strong group. They have a settled squad, whereas we are a new team.”

Vincenzo Montella must try to mastermind a victory against his former club on Sunday, when the Viola host the Elefanti at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.
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0 Ronaldo committed to Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo has insisted that he is completely committed to Real Madrid.

There has been plenty of speculation regarding the star attacker after he suggested he was feeling ‘sad’ at Madrid.

It has been reported that Ronaldo wants a bigger contract at the Santiago Bernabeu otherwise he will depart but after national team duties with Portugal this week, the 27-year old says he is solely focused on his current club.

"It is now time to return to the club and think only about my club," wrote Ronaldo on his Facebook page.

"I would like to reaffirm, without being concerned about contracts, that my focus is solely on winning every game and every available trophy with the essential company of my team-mates and all Madridistas."
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0 Agent reveals Diakite-Lazio truth

Modibo Diakite turned down a summer move to Fiorentina because he wants to stay at Lazio, his agent has stated.

The defender is at odds with the capital club given that his contract expires next June and no agreement has been reached over a renewal.

While Lazio fear that the player is hoping to leave on a free transfer in 2013, his representative has argued that he’s ready to stay in the capital.

“Lazio are the priority,” Ulisse Savini told Radio Mana Mana. “And there is still the possibility of a renewal.

“Our request was not a €1.2m a season contract, it was actually a €1m one with added bonuses. Unfortunately, our demand and Lazio’s offer have remained the same and there is this small difference.

“Bids from other clubs? The only team was Fiorentina. We thought about it for two days, but we decided to not accept – despite the tempting financial and technical aspects of the deal.

“We rejected it because the boy considers Lazio to be one of the most prestigious clubs in Italy. He would only leave for big teams such as Inter, Milan or Juventus.”

Rumours suggest that Juve have made contact. “They, neither Inter, have ever demonstrated an interest in my client.

“We tried to open talks with Milan in a possible deal involving Djamel Mesbah, but neither club seemed interested.”
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0 Jovetic snubbed Juve and City

Stevan Jovetic has confirmed that he rejected summer offers from Juventus and Manchester City in order to stay at Fiorentina.

The Italian champions made numerous attempts to sign the Montenegro international, while City also made an approach.

“I never felt a long way away from Fiorentina, but I did feel that my future was in the balance,” the forward told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“When so many rumours are flying around, there is always a touch of truth in it.

“I spoke to President Della Valle and he convinced me to stay, but we set off from a good base as I already knew that I would remain.

“Juventus did come after me with some insistence and it is normal to think about it when you hear certain things – the chance to play in the Champions League, you have the faith of the club and the fact that you will be placed at the centre of a project.

“However, there was no reason to go to Turin for that as I’m already here. I love this city and this club and that is why I could never betray them by going to [rivals] Juventus.”

As well as the Old Lady, Jovetic was also targeted by Roberto Mancini’s Manchester City. “I stopped that negotiation,” he added.

“By the time they had made their move from England I had already decided that I would be staying in Florence.

“Am I happy to still be here? Absolutely and I have no regrets. The objective here is to get back into Europe and I won’t leave here until this club is competing at the levels it should be.”

The 22-year-old has three goals in two Serie A games so far this term.
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0 Pizarro: 'Trouble with tiki-taka'

David Pizarro points out the Spanish so-called ‘tiki-taka’ style of football shouldn’t be copied. “In Italy you need to actually score goals.”

The Chilean midfielder was at Roma and Manchester City last season, but has now settled into the new-look Fiorentina.

“Vincenzo Montella criticised tiki-taka? I agree with him, having also played under Luciano Spalletti,” Pizarro told Corriere Fiorentino.

“In Italy you actually need to score goals. Extended periods of possession can be fun when you are winning and represent an extra weapon when you are trying to tire out your opponents and hit them for a second time.

“However, last season we saw Luis Enrique at Roma with everyone talking about tiki-taka. It’s best left alone...”

New Roma Coach Zdenek Zeman has been most vocally critical of the Spanish style, insisting “horizontal passes are pointless.”
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0 Man City offering Silva new £200,000-a-week deal

Manchester City are ready to open new contract talks with David Silva after the international break.

The midfielder now has less than two years to run on his current deal and been linked with a return to Real Madrid, where he kicked off his pro career.

However, City have drawn up a new, improved contract offer which would keep Silva in England until 2017.

Silva is currently earning around £140,000 per week with the new deal taking him through the £200,000 mark enjoyed by other top tier earners including Sergio Aguero, says the Mirror.
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