​Mario Balotelli Claims He Would’ve Had Fewer Career Problems If He Was White

Mario Balotelli has claimed if he were white he would have endured fewer problems in his career, although he admitted not all his career issues have been due to his skin colour. 

The 27-year-old has featured for some of the biggest clubs in Europe, enjoying spells at Inter Milan, Manchester City, Liverpool and AC Milan before joining Nice in 2016. Also, the Italian frontman has represented his country 33 times, netting 13 goals in the process. 

However, while speaking to French outlet SoFoot, as quoted by ​The Mirror, the ex-Premier League talisman insisted he has encountered more issues throughout his playing career because he is black. 

“In some stadiums, people chanted ‘There are no black Italians’ at me, yet I am the proof that there are”, he said. “Even if I am Italian, born and raised in Italy, the law states I only became Italian once I reached the age of 18.

“The law is wrong, and that is perhaps why to this day some people see black as the colour of diversity, of inferiority, of an error in the middle of a team photograph.

“I think that if I had been white, I’d have had fewer problems. Perhaps I did cause some of my own problems and had the wrong attitude at times, but would I have been forgiven quicker? Absolutely yes.”

(You may also like​ Mario Balotelli Claims He Deserved Italy Recall and Explains Why He Is More ‘Mature’ Now)

Although many campaigns are battling for equality in the world of both sport and on a grander scale, racially-charged accusations are still at the forefront of many people’s agenda. 

Sol Campbell, for example, in 2014, labelled the English Football Association “institutionally racist” in his autobiography while Southend United manager Chris Powell claimed more recently a generation of black and Asian managers was lost because of discrimination within the game. 

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4 Things We Learned From Inter’s Strangely Goalless Draw With AC Milan on Wednesday

Wednesday evening saw the Milan derby somehow end in a goalless draw – in a match that featured two disallowed goals accompanied by two absolute howlers from Inter’s Mauro Icardi.

The game could’ve ended 3-3, yet both sides came away with a clean sheet and a point apiece. While the scoreline might suggest a boring game, hence the term ‘bore draw’, but it certainly was not; and there are plenty of talking points coming away from the match at San Siro.

4. Is Gianluigi Donnarumma Overhyped?

Against Inter, Gianluigi Donnarumma looked exactly how you’d imagine a 19-year-old goalkeeper playing in an intense derby match to look: out of his depth.

Don’t get me wrong, he held his own, but there were a couple of lucky moments for the youngster and he made a lot of things look a lot more difficult than they should’ve been.

From unnecessary fumblings to strange decision making, he didn’t look like he was at the races on Wednesday, and certainly didn’t look the dominating figure set to dethrone Gianluigi Buffon that he’s often made out to be.

3. VAR Actually Works

In England, VAR seems the nasty villain coming to end football as we know it – similar to that Nike World Cup advert in 2014 where the Brazilian Ronaldo had to lead a load of players to end the tyrannous reign of ‘efficient’ football played by robots.

However, across the continent it looks a well oiled machine. Mauro Icardi’s goal was initially given before the referee referred back to VAR, due to the Argentinian’s flirting with the offside trap.

The ref went straight to the system, made his intentions clear, gave the reversed decision (Icardi was indeed offside) promptly and continued play.

It was straight forward and swift, and gave a glimpse of what could be in a year or two – and it looked brilliant. 

…It also save Milan’s hide.

2. Milan’s Lack of Quality

They spent a lot in the summer, and AC Milan somewhat look to be on their way back to what they once were.

But there is still that lack of creative talent prohibiting the club from reaching the desired heights. You know you have a problem when you’re bringing on Fabio Borini to make a difference against your fiercest rivals.

Going forward, the players they have simply aren’t quite of the calibre that the once great Milan side was, Gennaro Gattuso’s team seem a few years away yet from challenging for Serie A.

1. Icardi Not Quite at the Top Level

It was a hugely frustrating night for the Inter captain.

Having a goal ruled out by VAR, and missing two open goals from less than five yards, Icardi’s poaching wasn’t exactly on point against Milan.

The problem with that, is that he offers little else to the game when he’s not scoring – so he has to deliver when handed the chance. His two missed opportunities were simply poor. You’d never see Harry Kane or Robert Lewandowski fluffing their lines like that, and Icardi just doesn’t quite look like the world class striker he’s been looking like – despite his goal record.

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Spalletti Bemoans Indecisive Inter Following Goalless Derby Draw Against AC Milan

Internazionale manager Luciano Spalletti has admitted that his side have to be more decisive in front of goal than they showed against city rivals Milan. The two teams played out to a goalless draw but had plenty of opportunities to take all three points on Wednesday evening.

A VAR decision against them, and two close range howlers from Mauro Icardi made it seem as though destiny was against Spalletti’s men in their hunt for a Champions League place next season, but their manager refuses to blame anyone other than themselves for the failure to make chances pay.

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Speaking to the press after the goalless draw, Spalletti is adamant his team improves from their showing against Milan.

“We need to be more decisive when we get the chances,” Spalletti said, as quoted by Forza Italian Football. “We could have made faster choices, but instead we ended up back defending from Milan.

“We have to improve when making crosses. Ivan [Perisic] did well on Sunday (Saturday against Verona), we must get more bodies in the area.”

One player who will not look back on the match with great fondness will be Icardi. Despite finding the back of the net for his 25th goal of the season – and even being granted the goal by the referee, Icardi saw his finish overturned for offside by VAR.

Later on in the game the 25-year-old also missed two close range sitters in front of an empty net, but when asked whether the rainy conditions had an effect on Icardi’s finishing, Spalletti moved to defend his captain.

“Those may be the cause,” Spalletti said. “It’s easy to explain. Sometimes he scores abnormal goals, and today he did not score two normal chances.”


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AC Milan 0-0 Inter: Nightmare Night for Mauro Icardi Leaves Inter Kicking Themselves in Derby Draw

AC Milan and Inter somehow played out to a goalless draw on Wednesday afternoon, despite both teams seemingly doing enough throughout the 90 minutes to earn themselves all three points.

Disallowed goals for both teams – including the rightful use of VAR which ended in a correct decision – and two absolute sitters from Mauro Icardi. A game that was destined for goals was eventually defied by destiny itself, and the hunt for Champions League qualification continues for both sides.

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​The Milan derby has always been an enthralling affair, but this encounter arrived with added significance in the hunt for European qualification – with Gianluigi Donnarumma labelling the tie a “Champions League play-off” ahead of kick off.

A win for Inter would take them 11 points clear of their rivals and all but end Milan’s hopes of making next season’s tournament. Whereas a win for AC would see the side fall only five points adrift of Inter in Serie A, and with the latter side still having to face Juventus and Lazio this term, all would still be to play for.

As expected ahead of kick off, San Siro saw the derby start in a lively manner, with both sides doing their best in possession to keep the tempo high – a packed out stadium willing on the players as the opening 15 minutes saw the game ebbing and flowing; neither team able to create any dominance over their city rival.

Milan came frightfully close to opening the scoring in the 21st minute, and it certainly would’ve been had it not been for an incredible save from Inter’s Samir Handanovic. An in-swinging free-kick from Hakan Calhanoglu saw the ball whip into the danger zone, Leonardo Bonucci just about getting his eyebrows onto the delivery and directing it into the bottom right corner.

Cat like reflexes from the Slovenian saw Handanovic get a big left hand to the effort, in what was pretty much his first touch of the game.

From there on in the first half both sides seemed to grow into the game – both managing to cut out slight half chances at either end of the pitch, but no clear cut opportunities managed to get carved out.

Then VAR got involved.

Mauro Icardi – one of Europe’s most lethal finishers – was handed only a sniff on goal when rolled in one on one with Donnarumma before rolling it through the legs of the Milan keeper. The Argentine had hardly been involved in the game until he found the back of the net on 37 minutes.

It was his 25th goal of the season, until the video assistant referee overturned the referee’s decision for offside. Literally millimetres ahead of Leonardo Bonucci, but VAR got the decision right and in a swift manner (whisper it quietly or all the anti-VAR Twitter gurus will come hunting), and brought play back. 0-0.

Though Inter wouldn’t have been happy with the decision, it certainly spurred them on for the rest of the half, beginning to really dominate Gennaro Gattuso’s side.

However, it accumulated to nothing, and both sides ended the half goalless.

Complete shock ten minutes into the second half took hold of San Siro, when Icardi missed an open goal from five yards out. Rafinha found Antonio Candreva in plenty of space from a wide angle in the box. With Donnarumma closing in, the Italian squared it to Inter’s number nine for an easy finish.

Icardi, going for what seemed a chop finish, completely botched his effort and punted it wide. While the ball bobbled on its way to him, and was slightly behind the striker, he should’ve definitely scored and would’ve been kicking himself with the miss.

It felt as though a higher power wasn’t allowing the Argentinian to score.

Inter continued to dominate as the half drew on; the quality within their attack creating dangerous moments for Milan – mainly through the likes of Rafinha and Ivan Perisic. Thankfully for il Rossoneri, Donnarumma was equal to anything thrown at him.

And then another disallowed goal came into the frame, though VAR wasn’t required; this time for Milan. 

A flicked through ball from Franck Kessie played Patrick Cutrone in behind the Inter defence; the Italian reacting acrobatically with a bicycle kick to flick the ball into the bottom right corner. However, the 20-year-old wasn’t even allowed the chance to celebrate, the referee instantly ruling him offside.

Icardi’s game went from bad to worse at the very death of the game. Brilliant build up play, and a dagger of a cross from Joao Cancelo found the 25-year-old stretched out at the back post – poking the ball wide from three yards out. The striker could’ve had a hat-trick on the night, and will no doubt be looking to forget that match as quickly as possible.

Icardi’s miss proved to essentially be the last kick of the game, and the match petered out to a 0-0 draw. Both sides will have felt they could’ve been better on the night, but Inter will be kicking themselves with that result.

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12 of the Greatest Goals in Champions League History After Ronaldo’s Stunning Bicycle Kick

Cristiano Ronaldo has outdone himself once again by leaving fans speechless with an outrageous bicycle kick against Juventus on Tuesday.

The Portugal international’s strike is just the latest in a long line of screamers that have flown in since the Champions League as we know it today came about in 1992.

After painstakingly trying to whittle down a list of wonder goals that have been scored in Europe’s elite competition, here are 13 of the best strikes you may or may not remember.

12. Cristiano Ronaldo vs FC Porto (2009)

Where better to start than another screamer from Cristiano Ronaldo.

Rather than a display of the Portugal international’s incredible acrobatics, let’s remember when the former Manchester United star stunned FC Porto with a powerful 40-yard strike that sailed past goalkeeper Helton.

The goal set up a semi final match against Premier League rivals Arsenal and United would go on to reach the final that season, eventually losing to Barcelona in Rome.

11. Yuri Zhirkov vs Spartak Moscow (2010)

Yuri Zhirkov’s time at Chelsea was far from a success and the Russian star largely failed to live up to expectations following his £18m arrival at Stamford Bridge.

However, the winger provided one of the best goals in Champions League history back in 2010 when he sent a left-footed half-volley flying into the top corner from distance against Spartak Moscow – Zhirkov’s only goal in Chelsea colours.

10. Luis García vs Juventus (2005)

Former Liverpool midfielder Luis García is no stranger to scoring a worldie or two.

The Spaniard hit a first-time effort from outside the box on his left foot against Juventus that looped over Gianluigi Buffon to give the Reds a 2-0 lead at Anfield. Despite Fabio Cannavaro’s goal to bring Juventus back into the game, Liverpool were able to see the Bianconeri off over two legs and win the competition thanks to a historic comeback against AC Milan in Istanbul.

9. Steven Gerrard vs Marseille (2008)

From one ex-Liverpool player to another, English legend Steven Gerrard scored more than a few pearlers during his long career at Anfield.

On a trip to the Stade Velodrome in Marseille, Gerrard scored one of the Champions League’s best goals with a stunning first-time strike from distance.

Rather that his trademark piledriver that we came to expect from the midfielder, Gerrard looped the ball over the Marseille goalkeeper with finesse and it nestled into the far corner of the goal.

8. Alessandro Florenzi vs Barcelona (2015)

AS Roma star Alessandro Florenzi is expected to take over their reigns from Francesco Totti as the prince of Rome over the next few years.

And with goals like his strike against Barcelona in 2015, the Italy international will surely be a fan favourite at the Stadio Olympico for years to come.

After making a short bursting run beyond the half way line, Florenzi fired the ball over a stranded Marc-André ter Stegen to score one of the most memorable long-range goals in European history.

7. Philippe Mexès vs Anderlecht (2012)

Despite spending the entirety of his career as a hard-hitting and over the top centre back, Philippe Mexès also had the healthy habit of scoring incredible goals with AC Milan.

During a trip to Belgium where the Rossoneri faced Anderlecht, Mexès controlled a looping free kick with his chest before sending a bicycle kick from outside the box into the far corner of the goal.

6. Lars Ricken vs Juventus (1997)

Juventus just can’t catch a break can they…

In the days before Cristiano Ronaldo could break Bianconeri hearts, that responsibility was left to the right foot of Borussia Dortmund hero Lars Ricken.

The midfielder started from the bench when BVB met Juventus in the Champions League final back in 1997, but Ricken made an impact just seconds after coming on – dinking the ball over Angelo Peruzzi to ensure the German underdogs would win the competition in Berlin.

5. Dejan Stanković vs Schalke 04 (2011)

There aren’t many Champions League goals as iconic as Dejan Stanković’s first time effort from the half way line against Schalke 04.

After Manuel Neuer seemingly cleared any danger in true sweeper keeper style, Stanković reacted quickly and perfectly sent the ball sailing into the back of the net just 25 seconds into the match.

4. Mario Mandžukić vs Real Madrid (2017)

Finally, a goal that actually went in favour of Juventus!

Croatian striker Mario Mandžukić had fans across the world on the edge of their seats when he acrobatically brought Juventus back into the game by volleying the ball beyond Keylor Navas in the Champions League final last season.

Unfortunately, the goal proved to be nothing more than a consolation as Real Madrid cruised to a 4-1 win in Cardiff.

3. Lionel Messi vs Real Madrid (2011)

A list just wouldn’t be the same without Lionel Messi would it.

During the Champions League semi finals in 2011, the Argentine forward broke through Real Madrid’s defence like a hot knife through butter, skipping effortlessly past five challenges before sending Iker Casillas the wrong way and finding the back of the net.

2. Ronaldinho vs Chelsea (2005)

Brazil legend Ronaldinho is no stranger to scoring when it seems impossible to find the back of the net.

Back in 2005 Barcelona travelled to Stamford Bridge and the playmaker scored arguably the most iconic goal of his career. 

Although the strike would prove to have little meaning in the context of the game, Ronaldinho embarrassed Ricardo Carvalho on the edge of the box before poking the ball into the corner of the net and leaving Petr Čech helpless to stop it.

1. Zinedine Zidane vs Bayer Leverkusen (2002)

Was it ever going to be anything else?

In the 2002 Champions League final in Glasgow, Real Madrid striker Raúl saw his early strike quickly cancelled out by Bayer Leverkusen defender Lúcio.

But man of the match Zinedine Zidane popped up with the Champions League’s most iconic goal just before half time. A cross from Roberto Carlos deflected high in the air and the French midfielder showcased his flawless technique by sending the ball flying into the top corner with a left-footed volley – a goal that secured Los Blancos’ ninth European Cup/UEFA Champions League trophy.

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Gennaro Gattuso Welcomes Return of ‘Significant’ Milan Derby As He Claims Every Game Is a Cup Final

​AC Milan manager Gennaro Gattuso is looking forward to a difficult, yet important, Milan derby this week. 

The Derby della Madonnina between AC Milan and Internazionale will be held on Wednesday evening after being initially postponed last month following the sudden and tragic death of Davide Astori. 

With both sides in relatively strong form and battling it out for a place in the top four, Gattuso believes that the Milan derby has finally become significant again after both clubs have slumped down the Serie A table over past few years. 

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“After years the derby is back to being something significant,” said Gattuso in a press conference, as quoted by ​Football-Italia. 

“Inter have changed in recent weeks, they’ve scored 10 goals and conceded zero. They’re in good form and some players have got back to their best. We’re also in form, we did well against Juventus and after years the derby is back to being something significant.”

Inter have not lost a league game since February and have enjoyed an undefeated run of four games without conceding a goal. The Nerazzurri are fourth in Serie A and eight points ahead of Milan. 

AC Milan had not lost a league game in 2018 until their 3-1 defeat to Juventus last weekend. Under Gattuso, the Rossoneri went 13 games without defeat. Despite losing to the league leaders, Gattuso believes that their performance against the Old Lady would be good enough to earn a win on Wednesday. 

“I hope we can repeat our performance at Juventus Stadium,” he added. “We’re experiencing a different atmosphere now, the fans are always proud of us after every game. We need to improve our mentality and desire, fight with a knife between our teeth.

“It’s a derby, a clash in which the team lower in the table often wins. Inter have quality, they’re in form and they’re playing good football. They’re back to being the team that played so well three months ago, so we’ll need an excellent game on a technical and tactical level.”

(You may also be interested in6 Classic Derby della Madonnina Clashes Between Inter and AC Milan)

Milan have made a late charge for a Champions League place, but have eight points to make up on their local rivals. With only nine league games to go, defeat on Wednesday could put an end to the Champions League bid as the gap would widen to 11 points. 

“Is it a cup final? We’ve been playing a cup final for some time, we know we can’t get it wrong because we’re chasing. Tomorrow will be a difficult game like all the others.”


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3 Key Battles That Could Decide the Derby della Madonnina Between AC Milan & Inter

AC Milan and Inter will come face to face at their shared home in the Derby della Madonnina on Wednesday. 

Milan will close the gap on their fourth-placed city rivals to five points with a win, while a victory for Internazionale will keep them four points clear of Lazio in fifth place.

Here are four key battles that could decide the match at the San Siro.

3. Davide Calabria vs Ivan Perisic

Ivan Perisic is one of Inter’s biggest threats going forward, having scored nine goals and provided eight assists in 28 Serie A starts. The 29-year-old is likely to start on the left of a three-man attacking midfield, which means he will come up against Milan’s inexperienced Davide Calabria. 

Calabria is primarily a forward thinking full back, and there are some question marks over his defending. Perisic, on the other hand, is better known for his attacking play rather than his tracking back and that should leave Calabria with some opportunities to venture forward. 

Consequently, the youngster will need carefully judge when is best to support the attacks, and when to stay back. 

2. Andre Silva vs Milan Skriniar

Gennaro Gattuso opted to start Andre Silva against Juventus at the weekend instead of Patrick Cutrone and the former Rossoneri defender could choose to do the same again on Wednesday. 

Cutrone is Milan’s top scorer with 14 goals across all competitions this season, but Silva is more of a threat on the counter attack, and that could come in handy against a Nerazzurri back line lacking pace. 

Silva could cause the Slovakian international some problems if his attacking partners Suso and Calhanoglu can help isolate Miranda. and thus prevent him from supporting his partner. 

1. Mauro Icardi vs Leonardo Bonucci

In a similar battle but up the opposite end of the pitch, Mauro Icardi could get some joy out of veteran Leonardo Bonucci. 

Bonucci’s strength allows him to outmuscle most of his opponents, while his good positional sense means he’s rarely caught out at the back. 

Nevertheless, the 30-year-old isn’t the most mobile, and Icardi – who has scored 24 league goals so far this season – could exploit Bonucci’s weakness with runs in behind the back four. 

The success of those runs will also depend on how Perisic and Candreva perform. The Croatian international is likely stay out wide which will drag Calabria out to the left. Candreva, on the other hand, prefers to drift infield to open up space in the midfield and stretch the backline. 

If Icardi can then exploit the consequent gaps by making runs in behind, he could well add to his goals tally. 

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Picking a Combined XI of Internazionale & AC Milan Players Ahead of the Derby della Madonnina Clash

AC Milan and Inter will come face to face at their shared home in the Derby della Madonnina on Wednesday. 

Milan have struggled somewhat since they were dumped out of the Europa League by Arsenal; although, a victory on Wednesday would see them close the gap to five points on their fourth-placed city rivals. 

Inter comfortably beat Verona 3-0 in their last game, while I Rossoneri suffered a 3-1 loss to Serie A table-toppers Juventus. 

Here’s a combined XI of the best available players from both sides.

1. Samir Handanovic (Inter)

A tough choice as to who starts between the sticks, but 33-year-old Handanovic has already proven he’s one of the best goalkeepers in the world, whereas 19-year-old Donnarumma is still susceptible to the odd mistake. 

The Slovenian international, who arrived at the San Siro from Udinese in 2012, has started every league game for I Nerazzurri this season and has conceded 14 less goals than his Rossoneri counterpart. 

2. Ricardo Rodriguez (AC Milan)

Rodriguez arrived at the San Siro from Bundesliga side Wolfsburg in the summer and has made 25 league starts for I Rossoneri at left-back since. 

The 25-year-old, who has an impressive 50 international caps with Switzerland, is known as being equally proficient at defending as he is attacking and will offer his teammates a constant outlet down the left side. 

3. Leonardo Bonucci (AC Milan)

Bonucci made the surprise switch from Juventus to Milan in the summer in a deal worth a reported £35m. Since his move to San Siro, the 30-year-old has played over 3000 minutes for the sixth-placed Serie A side. 

The former midfielder may lack pace but his strength allows him to outmuscle most of his opponents while his good positional sense and reading of the game means he’s rarely caught out at the back. 

4. Miranda (Inter Milan)

33-year-old Miranda arrived at Internazionale from Atletico Madrid in 2015 and has made a total of 85 appearances for Luciano Spalletti’s side since. 

Despite his age, Miranda, who has made an impressive 44 appearances for Brazil, doesn’t lack pace; although, like Bonucci, his main attributes are his strength and his mature reading of the game. 

5. Davide Calabria (AC Milan)

Calabria came through Milan’s youth ranks before he made his senior debut against Atlanta in 2015. 

The 21-year-old, who has scored one goal and provided three assists in his 13 league starts so far this season, is a similar player to Rodriguez in that he enjoys getting forward down the right side and his pace helps him make frequent overlapping runs in the final third. 

Calabria does lack experience having made a total of just 35 appearances for Milan since debut and there are some question marks over the proficiency of his defending. Nevertheless, he is being touted as one of the best young attacking full-backs in the Serie A. 

6. Giacomo Bonaventura (AC Milan)

Bonaventura is Milan’s second top scorer behind Patrick Cutrone with five goals in 21 Serie A starts. 

The creative midfielder, who arrived from Atalanta back in 2014, can play anywhere across the midfield although he favours a more advanced role. The 28-year-old is good at keeping possession due to his close ball control as well as his positional awareness, and likes to open up space in the final third of the pitch with constant movement. 

7. Suso (AC Milan)

The attacking midfielder, who joined from Liverpool in 2015, has been a key figure in Gennaro Gattuso’s side this season having played over 2600 minutes of football for the Rossoneri thus far.

An impressive return of eight goals and five assists earned the 24-year-old a rare call-up to the Spanish national squad for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers. 

With an abundance of pace and trickery, Suso could prove to be a real nuisance to the Nerazzurri defence. 

8. Antonio Candreva (Inter Milan)

Candreva joined Inter Milan from Serie A rivals Lazio in 2016 and has since made 65 appearances for the club. 

This season, the 31-year-old has provided eight assists in 27 league appearances from an advanced midfield role. Despite his age, Candreva is well known for his work rate and accompanying stamina which allows him to operate in a number of different positions in the midfield. 

The former Lazio man has a good range of passing and is capable of accurate powerful shots from distance with either of his feet. 

9. Ivan Perisic (Inter Milan)

Ivan Perisic was a wanted man last summer, but Manchester United and a number of other clubs were unable to prise the Croatian international away from the San Siro. 

Perisic is one of Inter Milan’s biggest threats going forward having scored nine goals and provided eight assists in 28 Serie A starts. The 29-year-old’s versatility means he can operate efficiently as a striker, winger or attacking midfielder. 

10. Mauro Icardi (Inter Milan)

Since arriving at the San Siro from Sampdoria in 2013, Icardi has scored 95 goals in 150 appearances for Internazionale. 

This season, the 25-year-old continues to impress with 24 goals for the season thus far – just two goals behind Serie A top scorer Ciro Immobile. 

Icardi’s has a decent amount of pace but his main attributes are his strength and his clinical finishing – 68% of his shot are on target compared to 62% of Immobile’s and 45% of Cutrone’s. 

11. Patrick Cutrone (AC Milan)

The in-form Milan striker is the club’s top goalscorer this season with seven goals in just 11 starts. 

Cutrone has been described as a “true number 9” in Italy, with his main attributes being his physicality, movement and aerial ability. 

Gattuso has been careful not to overuse the 20-year-old in his breakthrough season and, having missed out on a starting spot in Milan’s loss to Juventus at the weekend, the fan favourite will be hoping to make his mark against I Nerazzurri on Wednesday. 

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Leicester to Battle Serie A Giants Juventus & Inter In Race to Sign Talented Young Goalkeeper

Leicester City are reportedly set to face competition from Juventus and Inter Milan to sign young Ukrainian goalkeeper Andriy Lunin.

The 19-year-old, who currently plays for Zorya Luhansk in the Ukrainian Premier League, is said to have a €6m price tag – which is an attractive sum in today’s transfer market.

Lunin made his senior debut for Ukraine last year and there are high hopes for the youngster, who has plenty of interest in him. 

He played against England under-21s at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane earlier this month, and conceded two goals from Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Dominic Solanke as Ukraine fell to a 2-1 defeat.

Speaking to fcinternews (via ​Calciomercato), the player’s current representative, Irakli Khvedeliani, said: “I am the player’s representative at the moment but officially Lunin has no agent. I am working on the future of his career alongside his father at the moment. I have received no offers yet.”

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“I know Inter, Juve, RB Salzburg and Leicester City are interested in signing him but for the moment there were no concrete bids. Lunin has already made senior national team debut despite being born in 1999. He could join a top club right away, he can already play at very high levels. According to the information that I have, his price-tag is around €6m.”

Leicester have received widespread praise for their scouting operations across Europe, picking up unknown gems such as Anthony Knockaert, Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kanté. However, they have had mixed success in more recent times, as the likes of Islam Slimani and Ahmed Musa have failed to impress.

Italian media have previously linked Lunin with a move to Liverpool, however his representative did not comment on any interest from Jurgen Klopp.

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