MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : FOOTBALL ITALIA – MAY 1997

This edition of Football Italia previews the FA Cup Final. Confused? Don’t be, this year’s final featured Italians such as Fabrizio Ravanelli and Gianfranco Zola, who were the cover stars of this magazine.

In news, there is a two page report of Italy’s win over Poland in a World Cup Qualifier, which leaves Italy four points clear at the top of the group with only two games to play, although second place England have three games remaining.

Angry AS Roma fans went out to protest at the sale of Francisco Totti to AC Milan which was announced on local radio, only to discover they were victims of an April Fools prank.

There is a report on Juventus reaching the European Cup Final, while Fiorentina’s failure to reach the European Cup Winners Cup Final could see Gabriel Batistuta decide to leave the club.

In ads, Corinthian are bringing out a range of miniature figurines of Serie A star such as Paul Ince and Roberto Baggio.

Not to be left out, Inter Milan get a profile after reaching the UEFA Cup Final.

It’s a month of cup finals, as the Coppa Italia Final between Vicenza and Napoli gets previewed.

Juventus feature prominently in this edition, with profiles of Michele Padovano and Christian Vieri.

Juve’s French players, Zinedine Zidane and Didier Deschamps get profiled in a feature of French players in Serie A.

Roberto Baggio gets a double page feature as his form declines.

The is a five page profile of the FA Cup Final, with Italian interest aplenty in the line-ups of Chelsea and Middlesbrough.

This magazine is very black and white, with Udinese also getting a profile.

The magazine ends with a review of recent matches, as the 1996/1997 season reaches it’s conclusion.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : FOOTBALL ITALIA – APRIL/MAY 1995

It’s the mid 90s, and Italian football can be found on Channel 4 on a Sunday afternoon. Such is the popularity, that it now has it’s own magazine. Gianfranco Zola of Parma is the main cover star, as Football Italia visits him at home.

Fabrizio Ravanelli and Alessandro Del Piero get a three page feature, described as “Juve’s Twins”, having formed a striking partnership as Juventus aim for a treble of Coppa Italia, Serie A and UEFA Cup.

Such as been Ravanelli’s form, he became the first Italian player to score five goals in a European club game, having done so against CSKA Moscow earlier that season.

“He’s a real star” says Ravanelli of his strike partner, adding “He’ll be leading Juve into the next century”

He was right, Del Piero was at Juventus, staying at the club until twelve years into the next century.

Such was the norm in the 90s was AC Milan picking up a trophy. Their latest one was the European Super Cup, won after a 2-0 aggregate win over Arsenal. This gets a double page spread.

There is a double page spread looking at the run-in to the season, and it’s all about two clubs, Juventus and Parma, aiming to win a treble of Serie A, Coppa Italia and UEFA Cup.

It would end 2-1 to Juventus with Juve claiming both domestic trophies (beating Parma in the Coppa Italia final) while Parma won the UEFA Cup (beating Juventus in the final)

As Football Italia was published every three months, there was a four page look back at what had happened since the last edition was published.

Japanese clubs were rumoured to be trying to tempt Roberto Baggio away from Juventus, while Faustino Asprill was in trouble in his native Colombia after firing off a gun in public to celebrate the festivities. Another player in trouble was Walter Zenga, who has been given a driving ban for speeding.

Inter Milan are lining up a £20m double bid for Eric Cantona and Paul Ince, despite Cantona being in trouble in England for kung-fu kicking a Crystal Palace fan.

Milan’s match against Genoa is abandoned when news emerged of a Genoa fan being stabbed to death by a Milan fan. The following weekend’s games were postponed as a mark of respect.

Sampdoria manager Sven Goran Eriksson’s future is in doubt, with former Samp player Trevor Francis, in charge at Sheffield Wednesday, being linked with a return to the club as manager.

Anglo-Italian relations that month saw a Endsleigh League XI take on a Serie B select in Bari, with the English side winning 3-2.

Juventus want to sign Mario Basler while Parma have cooled their interest in Luis Figo of Sporting Lisbon.

Paul Gascoigne hopes to return from injury in April, sporting a new slim look after giving up beer.

And in more English-Italian relations, Bobby Robson sees his European Cup Winners Cup hopes dashed after FC Porto’s penalty shoot-out defeat to Sampdoria, managed by future England manager Sven Goran Eriksson. To keep up the theme, David Platt was sent-off in extra-time.

All three European competitions get a round-up, with Italian clubs in the semi-final stage of all three.

Guiseppe Bergomi gets a five page spread profiling him, now the only player from Italy’s 1982 World Cup winning squad still playing.

Alen Boksic and Julio Dely Valdes also get profiles.

In big transfer news, Paul Elliott signs for Channel 4 as a pundit, having played for Pisa in the 1980s.

Channel 4’s pundits are asked for their predictions, with Liam Brady and Joe Jordan tipping Parma, whith Graeme Souness, Ray Wilkins and Done Howe predicting Juventus.

When asked who the next British player to go to Italy will be, Brady goes with Matt Le Tissier, How suggests Alan Shearer or Stan Collymore. Souness also goes for Alan Shearer while Joe Jordan suggests Ryan Giggs. Ray Wilkins says none, that the gravy train was over.

None of those players suggested played in Serie A.

There are three pages looking at foreign players in Serie A, looking at the lack of German players.

Talking of foreigners in Serie A, the two English players playing in the league, David Platt and Paul Gascoigne get a full page profile.

Daniele Massaro gets a treble page profile, as he is now a key player in Milan’s team as his 34th birthday approaches.

In further Anglo-Italian news, the Anglo-Italian Cup gets a three page review of this season’s competition, won by Notts County, beating Ascoli in the final at Wembley.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : FOOTBALL ITALIA – JUNE 1996

It’s the summer of 1996 and Fabrizio Ravanelli is the cover star of Football Italia, as he gets ready to head to England for Euro 96. Little did we know, that a few months later, he would be making England his permanent residence.

The editorial focuses on Channel 4 clarifying that they’re not ditching their live coverage of Serie A, as they were unable to show recent games due to a combination of players taking strike action, and games being moved to Saturday.

In news, Fabio Capello is leaving AC Milan for Real Madrid, while Carlo Ancelotti is replacing Nevio Scala at Parma. In transfer news, Aron Winter is signing for Inter, while Gianluca Vialli has held talks with Parma, Rangers and several Premier League clubs.

There was a double page spread dedicated to the recent player strike in protest at the governing body negotiating a TV deal without consulting players and the increase of violence in stadiums. Gianluca Vialli’s involvement in organising the strike saw him be nicknamed “Robin Hood”

In more news, Mark Fish has signed for Lazio, becoming the first South African to play in Series A, while Michael Jackson was staying in the same hotel as the Parma team before their European Cup Winners Cup tie. Fulham supporter Jackson turned down the opportunity of a Parma scarf.

John Helm does a double page spread where he visits Chimney House Hotel in Sandbach, Cheshire, which will be Italy’s base during Euro 96. The hotel had to order in a bed specifically for Italy’s tall goalkeeper Sebastiano Rossi.

Italy weren’t the first team to stay there according to the manager of the hotel, they usually get away teams facing Crewe Alexandra staying there.

There is a four page spread focusing on the rise of players in Italy’s top two divisions who are well into their 30s, such as Pietro Vierchowod, looking forward to a European Cup final at the age of 37.

Football Italia previews Euro 96, with a guide to what games are live on what channel in the UK, and a team by team preview, expecting Italy to beat England in the semi-final before beating Holland in the final. Italy went out in the group stage.

It is predicted that Russia will get a lot of local support at their group matches at Old Trafford and Anfield, due to them having Everton’s former Manchester United player Andrei Kanchelskis in their line-up.

Both finalists, Germany and Czech Republic were predicted to go out in the group stages.

All three European competitions are reviewed ahead of their finals, and it’s a relatively bleak year for Italian football, with Parma (European Cup Winners Cup), Roma and AC Milan (UEFA Cup) all exiting at the quarter-finals.

Juventus are in the European Cup Final to face Ajax, in what is expected to be Gianluca Vialli’s last game for the club.

After Genoa beat Port Vale 5-2 at Wembley, Football Italia does a double page spread asking if the tournament should be scrapped.

James Richardson’s column previews Italy’s chances in England, noting that, for many Italians, the jury is still out on manager Arrigo Sacchi.

Ken Wolstenholme debuts his column, where he went to a Serie A game for the first time, Fiorentina v Juventus, where met the chairman of a London based Fiorentina Supporters Club, who are now on the internet, the link is posted by Wolstenholme.

As the magazine ends, the editor’s column focuses on the vacant England manager position, suggesting that the best contender is working in Serie A – Roy Hodgson of Inter Milan. It only took the FA 16 years to take his advice.

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MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SHOOT – 17.5.1997

Juninho and Gianfranco Zola are the covers of this edition of Shoot, previewing the 1997 FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Middlesbrough, with the headline ‘Battle Of The Mighty Midgets’

Italians Gianfranco Zola and Fabrizio Ravenelli get double page spreads previewing the game, as do Juninho and Mark Hughes, as well as player profiles of the two line-ups.

Shoot’s pull-out results magazine rounds up the 1996-1997 league season. It was a season when the top five titles were all won by clubs from the North West of England. Manchester United won their 4th title in 5 years, Bolton Wanderers marked their last season at Burnden Park with an instant return to the Premier League, Bury pipped League Cup Semi-finalists Stockport County to win Division Two, Wigan won Division Three on Goal difference from Fulham, while Macclesfield Town won promotion to the Football League, where they remained before relegation in 2012.

For Fulham, it took four years, and Wigan, it took eight years for them to get promoted to the Premier League, where they have been ever since. Swansea City, now in the Premier League, lost the Play-Off Final to Northampton Town. Hull City finished 17th in Division Three, before getting promoted to the Premier League in 2008.

There was an advert for a magazine called Babe Hound, with a tagline of ‘More Big Girls Than Juventus v Dortmund’ (Those two sides were to contest that season’s European Cup Final)

The cover star for the current edition was Jo Guest, which featured posters of Dannii Minogue, Gina G, Victoria Adams (you may know her now under her married name of Beckham), Jennifer Aniston and Gillian Anderson.

You couldn’t have a more 1997 lad mag if you tried.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : MATCH – OCTOBER 28th 1995

Eric Cantona and Juninho are the cover stars of this edition. Quite apt, as they were both in the news at the time. Cantona had just returned from a lengthy ban, while Juninho had just signed for Middlesbrough.

Juninho’s unveiling at Middlesbrough gets four pages of coverage. To be fair, it’s not every day that a Brazilian international signs for Middlesbrough. In adverts, Corinthian had just launched, creating figurines of the England team, and have the slogan “£1.99 for David Platt? What a save”

Jason McAteer, who recently signed for Liverpool, gets a double page interview. He states that he is glad to be playing against the “Big boys of Europe” ……. in the Second Round of the UEFA Cup, dreaming of Liverpool taking on AC Milan in the Final.

Fabrizio Ravanelli gets asked to submit his Dream Team. His team is Siere A (and Juventus) centric, though there are places for Gary Pallister and Steve McManaman.

Match does a feature accompanying Eric Cantona as he undertakes a personal appearance at a local sports store to sign autographs.

In transfer news that looks silly now : Blackburn want to sign Trevor Sinclair, Celtic want to sign Ian Rush and Mark Hughes, Rick Wakeman denies he wants to buy Manchester City, Manchester United want to sign Marc Overmars, and Rangers want to sign Mikkel Beck.