Paolo Bandini

Author's details

Name: Paolo Bandini
Date registered: September 27, 2014
URL: http://www.theguardian.com/football/manchestercity

Latest posts

  1. Napoli have never looked more ready under Sarri to challenge for Serie A title | Paolo Bandini — September 21, 2017
  2. Genoa’s Pietro Pellegri sets Serie A record, sparking tears and transfer talk | Paolo Bandini — September 18, 2017
  3. Milan still a long way from restoring greatness despite their summer splurge | Paolo Bandini — September 11, 2017
  4. Inter shock Roma to give Spalletti the last laugh on jeering ‘Totti fans’ — August 28, 2017
  5. Serie A has video assistant system successes but also some human error | Paolo Bandini — August 21, 2017

Author's posts listings

Sep 21

Napoli have never looked more ready under Sarri to challenge for Serie A title | Paolo Bandini

The brilliance of Napoli’s front three – Dries Mertens, José Callejón and Lorenzo Insigne – should not blind us to the quality running through the side

Maurizio Sarri did not feel anxious as he headed for the tunnel. His team was a goal down to an in-form Lazio, who had already beaten Juventus and thrashed Milan in the past six weeks. And yet, the Napoli manager told his players to change nothing. Just keep doing what you’re doing, lads, and things will turn out right in the end.

Or, at least, that’s the way he told it afterwards. Only those individuals present in the Stadio Olimpico’s away changing room can know whether Sarri’s team-talk truly was as zen as he claimed. What we can say is this: he was entitled to have faith in his team.

Related: Golazos galore: the 25 best goals from the golden era of Serie A

Related: Genoa’s Pietro Pellegri sets Serie A record, sparking tears and transfer talk | Paolo Bandini

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2017/sep/21/napoli-have-never-looked-more-ready-under-sarri-to-challenge-for-serie-a-title

Sep 18

Genoa’s Pietro Pellegri sets Serie A record, sparking tears and transfer talk | Paolo Bandini

The 16-year-old, who has similar qualities to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, lived up to the hype with two goals against Lazio to become the league’s youngest scorer

Marco Pellegri decided to go on living. Genoa’s team administrator had warned us that he might not, telling reporters: “The day [my son] Pietro steps out at Marassi wearing a Genoa shirt I can go ahead and die, because it will mean that I have seen everything.”

Nope, not even close. Pietro Pellegri would make his home debut in April, a three-minute cameo at the end of a defeat to Chievo. It was a beautiful moment: father and son stood side by side on the touchline at Marassi as the board went up announcing the latter’s introduction from the bench.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2017/sep/18/genoas-pietro-pellegri-sets-serie-a-record-sparking-tears-and-transfer-talk

Sep 11

Milan still a long way from restoring greatness despite their summer splurge | Paolo Bandini

Vincenzo Montella’s side were soundly beaten at a wet Stadio Olimpico by Lazio with big-money signings like Leonardo Bonucci failing to display their talent

Sooner or later, something was going to rain on Milan’s parade. At first it seemed like it might be the actual rain, as the skies opened above Rome on Sunday, dumping four inches of water on the capital in three hours. As streets were submerged and public transport ground to a halt, it seemed inevitable that the Rossoneri’s game away to Lazio would need to be pushed back to a later date.

Instead, it was postponed for just one hour: officials trusting in both the weather forecast and the pitch drainage system at the Stadio Olimpico. From a logistical standpoint, it turned out to be the right decision. With hindsight, however, Milan might have wished for more time to prepare.

Related: Paulo Dybala’s fine strike caps Juventus’s home victory over Chievo

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/sep/11/milan-long-way-from-restoring-greatness-lazio-serie-a-blog

Aug 28

Inter shock Roma to give Spalletti the last laugh on jeering ‘Totti fans’

The crowd sang Totti’s name in a veiled jab at the man who phased out their hero but Mauro Icardi’s sharp-shooting fired Spalletti’s side to a scarcely-deserved win

At the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday, the 46th president of the United States paused to grab a selfie with the eighth King of Rome. Frank Underwood and Francesco Totti: two characters stripped of the jobs that defined them. Netflix are yet to confirm whether House of Cards will be renewed for a sixth season, but for Roma the show must go on, even with their greatest star now relegated to a supporting role.

The crowd sang Totti’s name before kick-off against Inter, louder than that of any player who would take to the pitch. It was a show of support for a man still struggling to adjust to life as a director. But it was also a not-so-thinly veiled jab at Luciano Spalletti, the manager who phased him out of the Roma team over the past two years, before leaving to take charge of the Nerazzurri.

Related: Transfer liveblog: Thomas Lemar, Jonny Evans, Kylian Mbappé and more – live!

Related: Paulo Dybala hat-trick rescues Juventus from terrible start against Genoa

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2017/aug/28/internazionale-roma-spalletti-totti-fans-icardi

Aug 21

Serie A has video assistant system successes but also some human error | Paolo Bandini

A penalty awarded against Juventus at home in the opening game was just what the VAR was supposed to pick up – but a referee whistling too soon at Bologna proved costly for Torino

It used to be that a new Serie A season would provide us with a fresh round of discorsi da bar – football talking points to get worked up about over a beer or Monday morning espresso. This year, things went in a different direction. When the final whistles had blown and Giorgia Cardinaletti welcomed us back to Rai 2’s long-running highlights show, Domenica Sportiva, she and her studio guests instead dived straight into discorsi da VAR.

Yes, this was the weekend when Italian football fans received their full introduction to the video assistant referee. It is fair to say that not everyone gets it just yet. There was confusion enough before a ball had even been kicked about whether it should be referred to as il VAR or la VAR – taking a masculine or feminine definite article. (Plot twist: it depends on whether you are referring to the technology itself or the official implementing it.)

Related: European roundup: Atlético rally to draw after Griezmann red at Girona

Related: Dortmund jettison Ousmane Dembélé worries as Peter Bosz has instant impact | Andy Brassell

Related: Saint-Étienne unshackled from lifeless approach by Óscar GarcÍa

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2017/aug/21/serie-a-opening-weekend-good-advert-video-assistant-referee

Aug 17

Serie A preview: Can Milan’s liberal spending challenge Juventus?

Some think Juventus are vulnerable but can Milan, Napoli or any of the other contenders really prevent them from winning a seventh straight Serie A title?

If you can’t beat them, join them. But what if they can’t beat you? Leonardo Bonucci turned the old adage on its head this summer, swapping the Juventus team where he had won six consecutive Serie A titles for a Milan side that haven’t finished higher than sixth for four years.

Can one transfer transform a division? Just ask Juventus, whose signing of Andrea Pirlo after he was discarded by Milan in 2011 was arguably the most crucial factor in launching them back to the pinnacle of Italian football after their post-Calciopoli wilderness years. Bonucci is a different player, in a different role, though he did learn a thing or two from his former team-mate when it comes to ball distribution.

Related: Leonardo Bonucci and the long history of controversial deals between Serie A clubs

Related: ‘His head isn’t right’: Antonio Cassano retires (again) after leaving Verona

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2017/aug/17/serie-a-preview-milan-juventus-napoli-bonucci

Jun 08

The Bandinis 2017: an utterly exhaustive review of the Serie A season | Paolo Bandini

From another Scudetto triumph for Juventus to Crotone’s miraculous escape, we revisit Papu Gómez’s armbands, Joe Hart’s gaffes and the grace of Totti

This might have been another year of European heartbreak for Juventus, but domestically it was the same old story. The Bianconeri won Serie A for the sixth consecutive season, and collected their third straight Coppa Italia as well. No team had ever won either trophy so many times in succession. They have made the unprecedented look routine.

And yet, this season was not lacking in drama. To the contrary, there was something wild about this campaign right from the start. There were 32 goals scored (not to mention three red cards) on the opening weekend alone. The final tally of 2.96 per game was highest among Europe’s top five leagues.

Related: Europe’s top leagues are becoming more predictable – so why are we watching?

Related: Serie A’s unlikely top goalscorers: from Michel Platini to Luca Toni

Related: Pepe Reina gives Napoli a big helping hand with The Save | Paolo Bandini

Related: Atalanta’s rise a reward for keeping faith in Gasperini – a man with a romantic plan | Paolo Bandini

La fascia da capitano del Papu Gomez per @acmilan@Atalanta_BC
NON CE LA FACCIO. TROPPI RICORDI pic.twitter.com/I7wB2QJiw3

Related: Mauro Icardi v Inter’s Ultras: an unhappy chapter in his ongoing San Siro saga

Related: Francesco Totti emerges from Roma rain to cast more sunshine on career | Paolo Bandini

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2017/jun/08/the-bandinis-2017-utterly-exhaustive-review-of-serie-a-season

Apr 17

Milan make their point and hope new owner signals a new dawn | Paolo Bandini

The dramatic end to the Milan derby should not gloss over the fact that the now Chinese-owned clubs should be fighting over a greater prize than sixth place

“Closing.” That English word has dominated the Italian sports pages for more than two years now: seven letters that became a shorthand for the day when Silvio Berlusconi would sell Milan. A good many people doubted it would ever arrive. The man they call Il Cavaliere was thought too proud to relinquish his favourite plaything: a football club that not so long ago billed itself as “the most titled in the world”.

Owning Milan had granted Berlusconi not only the chance to demonstrate his self-touted sporting acumen, but important social and political capital as well. Was he really prepared to let all that go? Successive failed takeovers made it easy to believe he might not be.

Related: Internazionale 2-2 Milan: Serie A – as it happened

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2017/apr/17/milan-inter-new-owner-san-siro-china