ESPN Soccernet - Correspondents - AC MILAN
soccernet blog
AC Milan
Posted by Matteo Bonetti on 02/29/2012

I had to wait a few days to write this article. Simply put, it was the most agonizing ninety minutes of my life. If there was a video crew on hand to tape my sheer range of emotions I would've probably won an Oscar.

Now, as I wrote in my last article, our passion for football is what drives us to behave like uncontrollable idiots - pumping fists and gleeing in delight. However, a quick look towards the darker end of the spectrum and results vary. One moment can turn a passionate fan into a violent, raging lunatic, yelling obscenities and turning any simple household item in the room into a high speed projectile.

Milan Juventus isn't so much a football match anymore as it is a rugby scrum. In essence, it should be the real derby d'Italia, as it pits the team that has won the most domestic trophies, versus the most prestigious Italian side in European competitions.

First thought on my mind are the events that have turned Giorgio Chiellini into the ultimate villain for Milanisti. In the weeks leading up to the match, Giorgio made headlines for his unfavorable snitching of Zlatan Ibrahimovic slapping Marco Storari, a mere love tap that went unseen before Chiellini made sure every news outlet in Italy knew about it post match. Chiellini and Ambrosini had quite a physical altercation after the match, and it is clear that the Rossoneri players were not too fond of his actions. Galliani & Ambrosini were two who made negative remarks to the papers in the weeks leading up to the game, saying that this type of behavior does not belong on a pitch.

Second thought on my mind: The raging Philippe Mexes should win some sort of honorary award from another psychotic boxer Mike Tyson. For those of you who missed it, Mexes delivered five knuckles of fury into the unsuspecting kidneys of former Milan striker Marco Borriello. Mexes has committed a similar crime before. Don't let his blonde ponytails confuse you, the French defender is at times a malicious player capable of losing his cool when provoked. Mexes has received a three match suspension following his altercation, meaning if Nesta goes down with another injury, it'll be back to the one who shall not be named.

However, I could talk about all the boring tactics which went into the game, discuss how Allegri absolutely made a cringeworthy mistake by putting in Ambrosini for Emanuelson, or go on a tirade about how we need video technology, or at the very least an official behind the goal (like they use in Europe). I could tell you how Bonucci is actually Bonera's illegitimate cousin, but you've read all of these things before. What I really want to talk about is Pato.

What's really on my mind: Alexandre Berlusconi was absolutely diabolical against Juventus. he seemed to be playing only to do us fans a favor. Pato was more of a polarizing subject a month ago, with fans fervently divided on the young Brazilian, the tide is now shifting towards a feeling consisting of disbelief, wariness, and a loss of faith. Pato had the same effect in the first half against Juventus that you did. Quite literally, we were playing in ten men for 45 minutes. So many times throughout the first half, Pato was nowhere to be seen - always in the wrong place at the wrong time. What happened to those predatory instincts we were used to seeing earlier in his career? Oh, and did I mention that he succumbed to yet another injury? To count, this one would be the THIRTEENTH different injury which has caused him to miss more than two weeks in the past TWO years! A friend of mind who talked to team physio's at the MilanLab reported that this injury anomaly could be attributed to Pato putting on too much mass in too little time. You may remember that he was a toothpick when Milan first signed him from Internacional Porto Alegre. A player not quite sure where his role would be on the front line. That slim figure quickly grew and bulked up in order to be able to handle the transition from playing as a wide man to being able to handle the rigors of leading the front line. Quite simply, Pato's goal to be able to handle punishment delivered from opposing center backs ultimately was the deciding factor that derailed his once promising career. Overly pessimistic? This would be Pato's worst season by far - tallying only a mere few goals in all competitions. His injuries have now become the norm, and the Pato Corollary never ceases to amaze me for its undeniable accuracy.

I want Pato to succeed more than anyone ©AP

However, for all my humor directed towards Pato's afro, the fact that he sleeps with Barbara, and his injuries. What we're seeing truly is unfortunate. I remember the first game Pato played in the Serie A, when a lanky 17 year old made his debut against Napoli in hostile environments. Quickly after coming in, he scored his first goal on a wonderful counterattack, by brushing off Domizzi with ease and placing the ball right under the legs of the goalkeeper. I remember my father looking at me and saying, questo bambino sara un fenomeno(this kid is going to be phenomenal). I remember the brace at the Bernabeu against Real Madrid in the Champions League, the brace against Intergentina, the stunning breakaway goal at the Camp Nou vs. Barcelona. I remember how proud I was to see him finally score in the Copa America for Brazil. And to think he has had all these memorable moments already and he's only 22 years old? For heaven's sake, this is the age where players START playing in the Serie A. Essentially, Pato is one of the most experienced 22 year olds in Europe. Not to mention that he accumulated more than 50 goals in Serie A before turning 22, something that only one other player in Serie A history has accomplished. Absolutely incredible statistics that need to be mentioned. And yet, an overwhelming majority of us would be in favor of Milan selling him for the right offer.

I'm the main culprit. As real Milanisti, we are impatient, we expect instant success and have been spoiled with multiple Champions League victories since the time of our birth. Quite frankly, I needed to have a moment alone to truly think about Pato, and what he means to Milan. It is just as likely that he will go on to become one of the greatest strikers in the world if we sell him, as it is that he'll just rot on the bench, injured, and alone. A world class talent, wasted. Let's see what the future brings.

Visit my site,, for daily rossonero updates from a panel of writers! Follow my personal account on twitter And LIKE my new facebook page!

Follow ESPNsoccernetFC on Twitter


Posted by Julie on 03/01/2012

Another excellent article. I never thought I would want Pato to leave, but after the Juve match I was so frustrated with him I was saying Milan should sell him. Looking back at all the wonderful goals he has scored, he has so much talent, but sometimes he just seems lazy or is it he is being cautious as he doesn't want to get injured again?

Posted by jsutjito on 03/01/2012

Matteo, nice article! ciao for your future.
I have to say, Allegri as a manager needs to develop Pato and decide how the team can utilize him the best, use Ibra to hold the ball, let Pato be near to him and Ibra can deliver the killer pass.
If Pato gets the ball in the penalty area, he is as lethal as Inzaghi - even more
milan really need to think about getting DMF (MVB is getting closer to expiring date-if not over already) and trequerista- JOVETIC

Posted by Daddy05Cool on 03/01/2012

I think he will get his form back.. I always have faith in him.. If Milan sell him, they make a big mistake... Give him time to get his act together.

Posted by Debashis Kundu on 03/01/2012

Can we open a lab named BUFFONELLO to treat liars and unsportsman like behaviors????????

Give Pato some time. I believe he will flourish again. To be on safer side plz sign John Guidetti from Man city and loaned him to other club. If Pato continues to be the same like this year bring Guidetti with Little Pharoh. Check the link

Posted by Ryo on 03/01/2012

I think we have too much expectation on Pato. Most of us expect Pato to play like Messi or C.Ronaldo when they are 22. Many of them are probably unaware that Figo was medicore until 27.
The other thing is Pato is valuable. We can probably sell the developing Pato, buy the developed Cavani, and maybe still pocket a few millions.

I for one do not like how Pato talk back to Allegri in the press a few months ago. Alleri was right that this season Pato does not deserve to start. Pato was never in form this season. Even Robinho is in form now. At this moment if I am Allegri I would put him 4th, behind Ibra, Cassano, Robinho, in that order.

Posted by John on 03/01/2012

Great article. I think it would be best for the Duck to move on. SES is proving to be a very good player and he runs back to help. SES has made Pato expendable. I love Pato, but you can see his time is limited.

Posted by Milan 1963 on 03/01/2012

Ciao Matteo, now imagine 6 feet four and 92 kilos of hysteria shaking a bed screaming like a madman without making a sound not to wake up the kids after Muntari's goal was was me at around 4 in the morning having waken up to watch the big game live and with my wife on business trip i was having all the room to myself to express my frustrations. Needless to say i feel you bro, and off course Pato's pathological behavior did nothing to calm me down, thank god Seedorf was not playing or I would have lost my voice without making any sound.

No point going back to the game, we should have won it and thanks to the stupidity of one linesman and Antonini we conceded the draw and lost 2 vital points.

Posted by punditguy on 03/01/2012

Some serious food for thought on Pato! At the moment i would want him to leave. But when i think about another player who had simialr injury problems and is now in the race for the Golden Boot award (Robin Van Persie) i get confused. This situation is just as bad the dilemma of trying to figure out if i should go use the bathroom now or later before i go on a 1st date with a hot chick.

Believe me...i look at that same video of Pato 1st game vs Napoli for Milan and it still brings a tear to my eye. I want that 18 year old back. That was my hero! That was the kid who made me felt better when Kaka future was up in the air because i know we had this prodigy. When i looked at him for the half time whistle i felt so sad that all my anger towards him vanished.

Question for you MATTEO. When Barca sold Bojan to Roma, they inserted a clause in his contract stating that Roma can sell him to NO other club except back to Barca. If we were to sell him, why cant Milan do the same?

Posted by acmilanforever on 03/02/2012

great article as usual! Mexes is a great defender, he really is, but damn he needs to control himself. it was a shame we didnt have a true attacking mid eman was just there to chase around pirlo but i was happy mostly with how we played. haha sully might actually become something at milan! pato pato pato, from what i heard is that he came out in order to avoid an injury, but if what you say is true than thats a damn shame. i remember his debut game also and he was fantastic...full of energy not scared of anything...i truly thought we had the next sheva, but better! I hate to say sell him cause i still keep thinking that hes going to get better, but at this point its just wtf lol

Posted by Reza on 03/02/2012

pato is still dangerous. give em more space, more time to go back at his best. maybe this season he can't excel, but who knows next season he comeback to his best. put him on the bench and recover from injuries. milan still have SES, maxi, robinho, plus ibra.

Posted by Pagliuca on 03/02/2012

Good Article! And let's all welcome back Juve! Might as well have the referres come out and hand them the next 15 Scudettos! Congrats Juve 2012 Scudetto winners! Oh well, let's be for real, why focus on a league that now makes winning it a joke because Juve's board is back at it again. As for Pato? I made my statements before about him, and after I watched the first half against the Gobbi it looked like WE did play with 10 men. Despite not being in form, and suffering another injury. I say this time we see how he makes it till the end of the season and this time we deal with it. Either sell or keep there's no other altenative. Football is a business and that's reality. Still, I remember his first time Pato came in the league and comparing it now is starkingly different. The Silva rumours are popping up, I will be sad to see him go and it looks like Montolivio will be coming. I'm just hoping this new kid from Brazil will be a good CB for us. This is a huge risk Milan is taking.

Posted by Uzii on 03/02/2012

Pato was good but injuries are not helping him and Milan. They should sell him and get Torres who will be avilable at the end of the season and can be a bargain. Form is temporary and class is permanent.

I saw Juventus game and was fuming with the goal not been given. I don't understand with the tactics of Alergi in the last 20 minutes Juventus were palying well. He should have replaced Robinho with a Midfielder caz he looked clearly tired had a fantastic game though. He used only 2 subs should have got the third with fresh legs to start wining balls in the midfield which Milan lacked at the end.

Posted by Matteo Bonetti on 03/02/2012

Something else I forgot to point out.. About six months ago I wrote a column asserting I had heard from my father's extremely knowledgeable source about Silva going to Barcelona...

What do you know, six months later - reports are now on every website. I would never write bullshit just to get attention - you guys know this better than anyone, which is why I only write rumors which have real substance beneath them. Obviously, anything can change in football, but this is definitely something to keep your eye on.

Posted by Felix on 03/03/2012

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Silvadont goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Posted by D on 03/03/2012

Allegri deserves credit for first half tactics. Allegri also desrves a knock for falling into the Ambrosini trap.

Robinho looked good, and SES showed what a forward should be like (Pato should be ashamed when comparing his half vs. SES')

Mexes - was never a fan, but watching his defensive performance started to think this newer mature version might be something. Then he threw the punch ...

Antonini must have eaten his Wheaties - looked better, but not good enough to forget past mistakes.

All in all - not bad considering Ibra and Prince were out. Time to let PSG have a new toy and bring the best Italian striker back to the peninsula.

Posted by Greg on 03/04/2012

Pato needs to be sold, the whole issue with him and Barbara is down right distasteful.I think with SES, Cassano, Ibra and Maxi we are set up front. The money which we get for Pato should be used to bring back Astori and Paloschi, purchase Crisito and possibily Ganso. Flamini will be like a new signing next year because he has been out for so long. Not a big fan of Montilivo but he should have a lot to prove because he has been average for Fiorentina. I think even now with all th old legs we have the best midfield in Serie A.
We can no longer count of Pato, for a player to make an impact he must be on the pitch, hopefully a new environment may just be the elixir to get his career back on track. He has too much talent to be finished at 22 but Ibra and Cassano are big personalities and maybe this is not the environment for Pato to regain his confidence.

Posted by Ivan on 03/04/2012

We can bit relax now, the mercurial swedee boom, hattrick against Palermo and Juve draw again :D

Posted by Anonymous on 03/04/2012

Great article Matteo. And who is the other player that made 50 goals in Serie A before 22?

Posted by Milan 1987 on 03/04/2012

Last week's game is a CLASSIC example for a Milanista for 24 plus years like myself as to why I HATE Juve.It reminds me of the penalties we were denied back in 2005&2006(those Scudetti should have been ours without a doubt).As the saying goes in Italy:Juve is the team you either love or hate, so that trend is fully back on for the 1st time since 2006. As for Pato, I still believe Milan should stick with him, but it has been obvious that his constant injuries is due to his rapid muscle growth and something must be done about that.However, Milan Lab is a disaster and we have had a lengthy injury list for the last 4 years and they need to update their research.

Posted by The Eagle on 03/04/2012

It is clear that Pato's value has been dropping by the day.

Ibra and Robinho upfront.

Posted by Mike on 03/04/2012

I am an outsider just looking in, but I feel your pain. With young phenoms it becomes difficult, because at 21-22 they are awesome but they get injured soooo much as Messi used to and Bale does as of now. maybe peaking too soon, but if they can get past the consistent injuries like Messi did, they can be something truly special. Unfortunately, it mostly happens that they just peaked too soon, which I'd hate to say about Pato. Milan was having an atrocious time, and only had Pato to believe in when they waited for him to turn of age so he could play, and he was truly great... I hope he can get himself sorted out soon, regardless of what team he plays for...

Posted by Julia on 03/04/2012

The insight about Pato is quite accurate. He's frustrating because there is so much talent, but he disappears on the pitch for long stretches of time. The injury aspect is worrying, and seeing that there are several young players who have been regularly injured across the leagues, I wonder if the bulking up too quickly, and expecting too much physically from them far too soon could be exacerbating already fragile bodies.

Posted by David on 03/04/2012

i don't care how much pato is injured... i think milan has to take some of the blame in his development... clearly they have been going wrong somewhere. Players with Pato's potential DO NOT come around often enough for me to EVER condone selling him... It is up to the club to help find a solution. look at messi and van persie; their clubs persevered and are now reaping the rewards. The boy is only 22!! We will DEFINITELY regret selling him if we ever do!! Keep the faith milanistas!! Pato is one of the jewels in our crown plzz plzz do not give up on him..

Posted by Anonymous on 03/05/2012

Do you think sending Pato on loan to Internacional de Porto Alegre for 6 months, so he can clear his head would be a good idea? Milan scores without him anyways.

Do you think fraud and suspicious referring is part of Juventus history?

Posted by Anonymous on 03/05/2012

The way we are playing right now (even with all the players missing), I think we could almost afford to give Pato a long break and make sure he gets a special therapy (not by lady B) in order to recover totally from any kind of injury he has. Bring him back to full fitness and hope he gets back to its best. Honestly at this stage we play better without him on the pitch. That game against Palermo was an incredible demonstration of strenght and control by the lads. We are playing one of the best football of the last two seasons and this despite all the injuries. Ibra is his usual self, Binho has stepped up, Muntari, Urby and Noce are fantastic in the middle with either MVB or Ambro. i like Mexes at the back and even Bonera did not look that bad.......this shows how deep our squad is. The absence of Seedorf has made our game much faster and more unpredictable, I hope Allegri noticed that when the old warrior will return from injury.

Posted by Milan 1963 on 03/05/2012

Great win from the boys vs their boggy team. Ibra was phenomenal but so was the rest of the team who played with great authority, loads of speed and skill. At this stage why not giving Pato the right time for him to put behind his injuries, and try to bring him back once fully fit without forcing the schedule. He is still very young and talented, selling him now may not be the right thing to do unless someone give us big money.
Despite the rumors of Silva leaving, I was very pleased by his reaction after his goal, he put his hand on his heart and it just happens to be where the Milan badge his too, so I guess he sent a strong signal to show everybody where his heart belong.
Did anybody notice that since Seedorf has been injured our game has become much faster and we score loads of goals conceding very little to the opponents, I hope Mr Allegri will remember when the old warrior will be back.

Posted by Carlos on 03/07/2012

Matteo, great article. I'm not sure when you are going to post your next blog but I just want want to say that I am completely disapointed with the way Milan played today. From Ibra to Silva, this was not the right mentality to approach the game. The inexperience of Mesbah and El Sha was more than clear in this game. I just hope this helps the team moving forward.
Forza Milan!

Posted by Pagliuca on 03/07/2012

Fra, You're probably writing the next article in the ER room after Arsenal's near come back against us, and *****en Milan nearly sending me to the hospital after that game! I don't understand it, I really am lost and I'll leave you to figure this out. But who is Allegri? I can't figure this man's tactics or thoughts for the life of me now. He has these Mourinhoesque moments, and I'll give him that and the next you'd think he never saw a game in his life? Only thing I can think he had no choice considering a totally depleted, injured, and out of form squad. Still, why do a 4-3-3 with El sha not totally proven in these types of games..yet. Why was Acqu not in originaly? First half collapse,and 2nd half the real Milan kind of came out. Echos of Deprotivo/Istanbul on my mind! All this sums up that we NEED to buy some world class players and again not the band-aids(see Mesbeh). Still, I hope whoever we get in the QTRs that we won't repeat this type of performance again. Forza Milan!

Posted by milanforever on 03/08/2012

The game gave me a heart attack too...actually I didn't even see the whole game due to the fact that I was soooooo pissed off and couldn't stand it anymore. The fact of the matter is, nobody except mexes, van homo, and nocerino were up for that game. the rest were either scared or very inexperienced to play in that type of environment... This is due to a depleted squad. however, it is now very very very painfully obvious that we NEED a left back...Mesbah might turn into something in the future but right now he is wayyyyyyyyyyy to inexperienced and it showed ohhhh boy did it show. Thank god we got by and when the aqua man came in he actually was a breathe of fresh air!

Posted by ibrahim on 03/12/2012

i think that mesbah is stel didn't unerstand his players how the play , and it just give him some time and he gonna be better . i sawhim playing in his country national team and he did good.

Posted by Pagliuca on 03/12/2012


Totally agree on everything you said. Van-Bommel had his moments maybe, but as the game progressed he made some incredable saves and plays that could of been worse for us, agree with Mexes same thing, and of course Abiatti. I think after that save with V.Persie, thats when I nearly bit it. Everybody was not "in it". I don't know if the Palermo win gave over confidence but something from them was missing. I thought Mesbeh was working but his inexperience at the CL level showed. With El Sha/Robinho, Allegri should of told one of them to stick in MF and not crowd the attack. When Acquaman came in the whole MF looked a lot more stable. Still, this is CL and we don't have time for lackluster performancs. Everygame should be played like a final. Hopefully if our players get back to match fitness whoever we get in the QTR's(except Barca/Real) we should progress through. I would rather take Barca/Real in the final. Still we do need a qaulity LB for sure--agreed!

Posted by Leonardo Servedio on 03/16/2012

Matteo- it's funny, because I had been just thinking about Pato and we shared very similiar views.. When Kaka left, I was devestated.. the only thing that eased the pain, was the Duck.. TO me, he is like that second girlfriend after you break up with the first..Holds a special place in my heart, and always felt that if Pato left, I would arrange a meeting with Mr. berlusconi to have Galliani FIRED.. It sucks, but I have even reisgned to the fact that maybe he should go. It's obvious Allegri is not a fan.. I hope that he stays, and gets back to his form. If not, I hope that he goes to a Real or Chelsea and has an amazing career.. (I just don't want to play those teams in Champions if it happens..) As always GREAT work and keep it up!

Posted by Parag on 03/19/2012

It has almost been a month. When is your next blog coming?

Posted by kelon on 04/12/2012

thks for the article again,an i hope he stays an breaks records for milan in the future

Posted by corazon on 05/11/2012

Ricardo, Quaresma, well at the moment, hard to say if hes gonna be any good for chleesa, time will tell, but hes a great talent. With Didier and Anelka, its a shame chleesa cant play wid a 2 front men strike force, The problem with chleesa at the moment is trying to play the ball too much on the ground, and on top that way too many old players with no pace at all, to make the maximum use of all the players chleesa have, and to surprise the opposition, chlesea should adapt somthing different, at the moment, j cole is out, kalou is the only player wid some kinda pace and dribbling attribute, malouda is annonymous most of the games, in paper, chleesa hav the best midfielders probably in the world with, Mikel, essien, lampard, ballack,deco. but, the trouble is none of them are wide players, so its impossible to play a usual 4-4-2With essien out for another few weeks, jcole out for season, may be chleesa should use their fullbacks as wingers, ashely cole and bosingwa are great going forward and crossing, LFS have played a 3-5-2 system with brazil, why not try 3-5-2 system with chleesa, At the moment ricardo carv: is out for few weeks, but chleesa do have solid defenders, in terry, alex and ivanovic, ——————————–cech——————————– -Ivanovic———–terry-—– Alex -————————— mikel—————————————Bosingwa——————-—————Cole ————— Ballack————lampard—————-——————–—– drogba—————— Anelka Defence wil be solid with 3 defenders, and 2 full back, the full backs can bomb forward and help in attack like roberto carlos and cafu in brazil team, midfield trio of mikel, lampard and ballack or deco and CF's Didier and anelka, when defending, it can be a 5-3-2 formation, and when attacing , it can be a 3-5-2 formation, Full backs can give the width and pace needed, didier can hold the ball up, and bring midfielders in to play , if the ball is over the top, anelka can be lethal, as he always like to play at the last defender, just a suggestion,, so pls comment, 46

Posted by computer repair tool set on 06/26/2012

I'm often to running a blog and i actually respect your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I'm going to bookmark your site and maintain checking for brand new information.

  Post your comment
Email Address:
characters left
Matteo Bonetti Born and raised just a few kilometers away from The San Siro, Matteo Bonetti has been watching the Rossoneri ever since childhood. The passion was instilled by a family whose fanaticism for the team dates back to the early 1900's. Instead of bursting with an obscenity laden tirade, or turning any object around him into a projectile weapon after a disappointing Milan outing, Matteo can now channel his emotions into a more effective, and most importantly: safe, manner - writing on a global platform. He is a young journalist whose grandfather was the Vice President of Milan nearly four decades ago. E-mail him:, and follow him on twitter: @TheMilanGuy

RSS feed

Recent Posts