MILAN - A few years ago crowds flocked to
stadiums just to watch Ronaldinho and Adriano but on Saturday
the fallen idols are likely to be among the spectators when
Serie A leaders AC Milan host AS Roma.
The bench beckons for both Brazilians given Ronaldinho's
alarming dip in form for Milan and Roma coach Claudio Ranieri's
refusal to consider Adriano from the start for big games.
The stepovers, dropped shoulders, ever-present grin and
mesmeric skill which once delighted Barcelona supporters are a
distant memory for Ronaldinho, just like his compatriot's
barnstorming runs and immense strength shown at Parma and Inter
The duo's inability to break into their sides have led to
media reports in Brazil that both may move home in January with
Palmeiras chasing Ronaldinho and Corinthians interested in
Adriano, who only joined Roma in the close season.
Ronaldinho's Milan deal is up in June and so far there have
been no clear signals that the club will offer him a renewal,
although coach Massimiliano Allegri dismissed suggestions he
would offload the player before the end of the season.
"Ronaldinho can be useful to the team and is staying until
June at least," he told reporters.
The ex-Cagliari coach, an almost unknown outside Italy when
he was appointed before the start of the campaign, has shown
that no ego can be bigger than the club and has boldly left out
Milan appeared to have proved him right by charging six
points clear at the top.
His current front three of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robinho and
Kevin Prince Boateng, all new signings, have scored a goal each
in their last two league wins so rotation looks unlikely as a
three-week winter break begins after this weekend's matches.
Last term's runners-up Roma are sixth, 10 points behind
Milan, but with the ability to cause in-form Rossoneri
goalkeeper Christian Abbiati real problems with former Milan
frontman Marco Borriello especially keen to do well.
Champions Inter, not in Serie A action this weekend because
they play the Club World Cup final, could slip 16 points behind
their city rivals if Milan win.
Second-placed Juventus are six adrift of Milan and travel to
Chievo on Sunday buoyed by last weekend's last-gasp win
over rivals Lazio, who entertain Udinese.
Napoli, level with Juve and Lazio, host Lecce with a
smile after becoming the only Italian side to reach the Europa
League knockout stages with a 1-0 win over Steaua Bucharest on
Wednesday when striker Edinson Cavani netted in stoppage time.
The traditionally colourful Genoa derby will round off the
action before the festive break with Sampdoria still
struggling for goals since Antonio Cassano was dropped.
Brazil forward voices his support for protesters who have taken to the streets of Brazil
Tahiti coach says it would be "quite impossible" for his team to beat world champions Spain
Neymar puts in best performance for his country in 2-0 win over Mexico in Confederations Cup
Substitute Sebastian Giovinco taps in late goal to secure Italy thrilling 4-3 win over Japan
Who would you rather have playing for your club?
12 months out, the stars look to the World Cup
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
75% of all TV is Bale
On the road to ruin
Adidas Nitrocharge for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010