Inter Milan go into the new 2014-15 season not with aspirations of just getting back into the top three, but possibly winning the title. The club looked contenders for the title in the first half of last season. It will be a major test of manager Walter Mazzarri to convert this into a challenge for the rest of the campaign. The former Napoli manager recently signed a contract extension to confirm that he was staying at the club. There has been a lot of speculation about Mazzarri’s future after he failed to get to the club back into the Champions League in his first season.
It was not long ago that Inter won the league title and the Champions League in the same season. They have fallen so far behind the pack that they are not considered as one of the top clubs anymore. The likes of Fiorentina and Roma are threatening to take their place in the Italian Serie A, but Mazzarri has urged the players to get their focus back and never become satisfied with their achievements in the coming campaigns. Inter are currently in the pre-season tour of the United States where they have made likes of Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Roma.
“At this moment of the year we can’t decide on our target for next season. But it’s clear that when you coach a team like Inter you want, as soon as you can, to bring the team back to where it belongs because of its history. We have had a good beginning during this pre-season and we have some interesting young players. We have started a new era at Inter and our mentality, our attitude, must be that of a team who are never satisfied and who always play to win, regardless of who our opponents are,” said Mazzarri.
Fernando Santos guided the Greek national football team to the Round of 16 which was the furthest that the squad had reached in their history. Greece faced off with Costa Rica and ultimately lost on a penalty shoot-out.
Despite having made it so far, the contract of Santos expired the next day of his team’s elimination and no contract extension was made as he was released from his position in the team.
Greek star Giorgos Karagounis has announced his retirement from international football after Greece were knocked out of the World Cup 2014 at the last 16 stage. Greece came into the match against Costa Rica looking to reach the quarter-finals. After getting a late equaliser to keep their hopes alive and take the match into extra time, Giorgos Karagounis was unable to prevent Greece from being knocked out after a penalty shootout defeat against the 10 men Costa Rica. The 37-year-old midfielder has been one of the important players for the Greek national team over the last decade.
He was part of the team that won the Euro 2004 in the most stunning fashion and it will probably remain as the best moment of his career. Greece were never mentioned as a potential winner prior to the start of the tournament, but despite playing a defensive of brand of football, they won the hearts of many by securing the title. Karagounis has been playing for the likes of Fulham in the last few years. In order to concentrate on his club career, which looks like only has a few years left, he has announced his retirement. The end of the tournament also sees Fernando Santos depart as the national team coach.
“This was my last game for Greece. We wanted to stay in Brazil another week or even longer but you can’t change it now. The national team has grown up, younger players have won invaluable experiences. This is no small thing and as we helped the team come of age we hope it will continue to be as successful in the future,” said the midfielder. The Greek FA not only has a major task in trying to rebuild the team after the departure of Karagounis, but also in finding a new manager.
Former Fulham midfielder Giorgios Karagounis has claimed that people will be proved extremely wrong if they write of Greece even before the start of the World Cup 2014. Greece go into the competition as one of the least favourites to reach the knockout stages. They were faced with a similar expectation when they took part in the Euro 2004. Karagounis was part of the team that won this competition against all the odds. He says that Greece have a fighting spirit that cannot be written off.
Compared with the other groups in the tournament, Grace have been given a relatively easy drop since they will be facing the likes of Ivory Coast, Columbia, and Japan in the group stages. This is seen as a winnable group by all the teams. The major problem for Greece will be scoring goals. Celtic striker Giorgios Samaras will be at the top of the attack. He will be expected to score the goals, but it is now difficult to see Greece scoring more than one goal per game. Despite this, Karagounis says that the Greece team has the experience to win matches.
This will be the farewell tournament for coach Fernando Santos, who will be stepping down after the tournament. “Sometimes it’s good because whether or not they praise or respect you, the truth is on the pitch. For the last 10 years, this is where we have answered our critics. I think whoever doesn’t respect us will pay for it. It’s best not to cross us. We know who we are and what we can do. If we stay together as a team, we can achieve big things,” said the former Fulham midfielder.
Karagounis has been one of the players who have left Fulham after their relegation from the Premier league into the Championship.
Fulham midfielder Giorgos Karagounis is expected to captain the Greek national team after being included in the squad for the World Cup 2014 by manager Fernando Santos. This will be an end of the era kind of tournament for the Greek given that this could be Karagounis’ last appearance in a major tournament. Fernando Santos has also said that he will be stepping down from the Greek managerial post after the end of the tournament. The manager named a total of 29 players for the tournament.
Karagounis was widely expected to be left out of the squad after featuring regularly for the Fulham first-team in the second half of the season. He was an important player for the club in their previous Premier league campaign. Now that the club has been relegated, they are widely expected to sell Giorgos Karagounis in the summer. At 37 years of age, he is one of the most experienced outfield players going to the World Cup 2014. However, the Greek will be hoping to utilise this vast experience and get through into the knockout stages of the competition.
A favourable draw for the group stages is a major reason towards it. The nation will be coming up against the likes of Ivory Coast, Japan, and Colombia in the group stages.
Karagounis is not the only Greek player to have experienced the relegation this campaign, as he will be joined by the likes of Panagiotis Kone and Lazaros Christodoulopoulos as well. The two players were relegated to the second division of Italian football after having been relegated with Bologna. Karagounis is one of the most experienced players at the international level after having made 132 appearances for the national team in a career that started out in 1999.
He was also part of the team that won the Euro 2004.
Fulham boss Felix Magath’s future at the club has been thrown into doubt after rumours about a potential sack before the end of the season after the results have failed to improve since coming to the club. The former Bayern Munich manager came with a reputation of saving relegation threatened clubs, but he has so far been unable to prevent Fulham from slipping down the table. The club are the relegation zone with only six matches left. In order to prevent further losses, it has been rumoured that Fulham could be set for yet another managerial change.
Felix Magath is already the club’s third manager this campaign. The manager, though, has confirmed that he still remains in charge of the team according to its owner Shahid Khan. The American bought to the club only in the summer. Relegation could be threatening for the club’s future since they have been in the Premier league for several years and have adjusted their budget according to the much higher revenues that they will get from being in this league. One of the reasons for Magath being unable to get results has been the absence of key players.
January signing Kostas Mitroglou and midfielder Karagounis have all been absent in the last few weeks.
“I had a phone call with the owner and everything is fine. He knows the situation, he knows how things work. I have no doubt about my contract. I don’t worry about it. It’s normal if things in clubs don’t go well. There is politics, people who call journalists and tell them: ‘I know that is going on,’ but I don’t care. Sure I’ll be here next season. I’m here to build a team. That was clear from the beginning,” said the manager. Fulham are rock bottom of the table with 24 points.