(GSM) - Francsesco Totti absolutely denies using a racist insult against Mario Balotelli. The Roma captain revealed how he was provoked by the Internazionale youngster during the Coppa Italia.
“From the first moment I stepped on to the pitch, Balotelli provoked me,” Totti said in the magazine Diva e Donna.
“He even said ‘Yo granddad! You are finished!’”
The Roma talisman responded by chasing down the 19-year-old Inter striker and viciously swinging a kick at the back of his ankle.
This led to a red card and a four-match ban, but there were also allegations from Balotelli’s agent of racist insults.
“I made a mistake and I know that, but I never used a racist epithet. Never,” insisted Totti.
“I feel very alone right now. Thankfully my life-long friends are with me, the children and my wife, Ilary.
“I made a mistake, but I was provoked.”
(GSM) - Roma talisman Francesco Totti has been banned for four cup matches following his sending off in the Coppa Italia Final.
Totti was sent off in the Coppa Italia final after a horrific lash out at Internazionale striker Mario Balotelli.
Balotelli has also been suspended for one match on account of the protests that he made towards match officials during the final.
His team-mate Cristian Chivu received the same punishment for making insulting gestures towards the Roma fans.
The League disciplinary commissioner also found fault with Inter director Gabriele Oriali, fining him €15,000 for repeatedly accosting the match officials with 'an arrogant tone' during the first half and the interval.
(GSM) - Mario Balotelli has revealed his opinion on the incident with Francesco Totti. The Internazionale striker claims that the Roma captain racially abused him.
The Roma talisman saw red in the Coppa Italia final after a horrific kick at 'Super Mario' and later insisted the teenager is an instigator and had repeatedly insulted him during the match.
“Ni**er… yes, that’s what he said,” Balotelli is quoted as saying in today’s edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.
Totti also insisted that Balotelli had been similarly offensive towards him during the last match between Inter and Roma at the San Siro.
“If he says that, it means that his gesture was premeditated and he was harbouring rancour,” Balotelli’s agent, Mino Raiola, told La Gazzetta.
“I don’t like it. Mario has sworn that he did not offend anyone. He admits he just said to him ‘enough with kicks, don’t be a child and let’s play football’.
“Nothing more, then Totti did the rest. I think that racist people are ignorant.
“If it was a premeditated gesture, he should get a six-month ban, not just a suspension in the Coppa Italia.
Finally, Raiola revealed that Balotelli has his opinion on why Totti lashed out at him.
Mario’s words were: “Totti was the best striker, I’m not surprised he took it out on me as now I am the best…”
(GSM) - Former Roma coach Carlo Mazzone has supported Francesco Totti after the Balotelli-incident. He urged the people not to "crucify" the Roma captain.
Totti was sent off in the Coppa Italia final after a horrific lash out at Internazionale striker Mario Balotelli and stated he had been provoked.
“Let us not crucify him now,” noted Mazzone on calciomercato.it. “One must also say that Balotelli really does provoke people.
“Have we already forgotten this lad has argued with everyone? He’s had it out with fans, his Coach and teammates.
“It’s true that Totti stepped on to the field already tense, but that was normal considering the importance of the game.
“Then, evidently, the Inter striker said something excessive and he lost it. He ran after him and gave Balotelli a nasty kick.
“Aside from that gesture, Totti remains Totti – a wonderful and generous person who during a game lost his cool because of provocation that must not be underestimated.”
(GSM) - Francesco Totti admitted he made "a mistake," but blasted the fair-weather supporters who abandoned him after the Mario Balotelli foul.
The Roma talisman saw red in the Coppa Italia final after a horrific kick at Internazionale striker Mario Balotelli.
“It’s true, I made a mistake,” confessed Totti.
“But the really ugly thing is that after I scored a great goal at Parma last week, everyone called me up for congratulations.
“Three days later and you’re left on your own with the old friends you’ve had forever.”
Totti accused Balotelli of provoking him into the reaction foul at the Stadio Olimpico.
Roma director Gian Paolo Montali had hinted that Totti could receive a fine from the club, but changed his tune.
“No, the club will absolutely not take action against Totti.”
(GSM) - Roma captain Francesco Totti has admitted that tension got the better of him last night, but accused Internazionale striker Mario Balotelli of fomenting trouble.
Totti kicked Balotelli from behind and was sent off late in the second half as Roma lost 1-0 to Inter by virtue of a goal from Diego Milito.
“Moments of anxiety can happen in a game and in such important moments. You can't always ignore very offensive insults on the pitch, direct and indirect that try to dirty a city and an entire people,” Totti said.
“Above all when the continuous flow of insults always comes from the same person who makes systematic provocation his calling card.
“I hit Balotelli because he insulted me twice and then for what he did last year at San Siro. I haven't forgotten.”
Totti is expected to receive a two-to-three match ban for his horrific actions.
(GSM) - Jose Mourinho has once again hinted he could leave Internazionale this summer.
The Portuguese manager saw how his side lifted the Coppa Italia after a 1-0 victory at the Stadio Olimpico, secured by Diego Milito's first half goal.
After the match, Mourinho hinted once again that he could walk away in the summer.
“I can say today that I have won every trophy in Portuguese, English and Italian football. Not bad.
“Inter have changed and made an enormous step forward. The Coaches and players can change, but the club has made that leap.
“Is there a chance I could stay? Yes, of course.”
(GSM) - The tension between Internazionale and Roma has been heightened after last night's Coppa Italia final (1-0 win for Inter). Inter defender Marco Materazzi claims “Philippe Mexes punched me twice. But at least he gave us the winning goal, so thanks Mexes!”
The veteran defender was in celebratory, yet vicious, mood after the victory over Roma.
“Mexes punched me twice during the game,” he told RAI when referring to two off the ball incidents.
“But at least he gave us a huge helping hand for the winning goal, so thanks Mexes!”
The sarcastic message into the television camera is likely to put more pressure on the relationship between the two title contenders.
It was a very ill-tempered game at the Olimpico that culminated in Francesco Totti’s red card for kicking at Mario Balotelli.
There was also a scuffle after the final whistle and a pitch invasion when a supporter tried to strike Esteban Cambiasso.
(GSM) - Roma striker Luca Toni has hit out at referee Nicola Rizzoli after their Cup Final loss against Internazionale (1-0). The targetman believes the referee favoured Inter. “We should’ve had two penalties, but officials are afraid to go against the big clubs.”
Toni had spot-kick appeals for a shirt-tug from Walter Samuel, while Jeremy Menez felt he had been pushed.
“We played a good game, but Inter scored that goal on the counter-attack with Diego Milito and didn’t create much else,” he told Roma Channel of the 1-0 result.
“The incidents in the box were dubious to say the least. We should’ve had two penalties, as there was also contact on Jeremy.
“When we are playing the more prestigious sides, we do not get these decisions. All it would’ve taken was a single incident in our favour to re-open the match.
“Inter are always complaining about referees, but today they didn’t give us a single decision. Inter are a strong side, but I don’t remember any refereeing incidents against them,” continued the former Bayern Munich striker.
“In Germany the top sides are less ‘helped’ than in Italy. Here the referees are afraid to go against the big clubs.”
Roma are still in the title race, albeit two points behind Inter with two games to go.
“We are challenging for the title and chasing a strong side. We have to hope they slip up and I think it’s going to be very difficult, but we have to give our best.”
ROME (AFP) - Inter Milan secured the first trophy in their historic treble quest as they beat AS Roma 1-0 at the Stadio Olimpico here on Wednesday.
Diego Milito scored the only goal of the game while Roma substitute Francesco Totti was dismissed late on in an often bad-tempered and fractious affair.
It was Inter's third cup triumph in the last six seasons - in the fifth final between the two teams in that same period - and their sixth in all.
Now Jose Mourinho's men have two more league games to hold onto their Serie A lead -- they head Roma by two points -- and a Champions League final against Bayern Munich in Madrid on May 22 as they aim to become the first ever Italian team to win the treble.
"We've won the first of three trophies, now we expect to win the other two," enthused Milito.
"This victory will give us even more spirit for our next league game against Chievo."
The game got off to a dreadful start for the nerazzurri as Wesley Sniejder went down under a heavy challenge by on loan Inter defender Nicolas Burdisso and after hobbling around for a minute he had to be replaced.
"It was a really tough game right from the first minute given we lost Sneijder straight away," said Mourinho.
"We played with aggression and intensity for 90 minutes. We scored and then we controlled the game.
"We didn't get the second on the counter but then Roma lost their heads a little."
Mourinho decided to throw on forward Mario Balotelli, changing his formation in the process to a 4-3-3 from a 4-3-1-2.
Roma coach Claudio Ranieri paid tribute to the victors.
"We didn't manage to play the way we know how and the way we played in our league meetings with them," he told Rai TV.
"They punished us for a moment of carelessness. The honour goes to the victors. As for the league, we won't give up."
Despite the change Inter were very much in the ascendancy in the first half as Esteban Cambiasso dispossessed Mirko Vucinic in midfield and spread the ball wide to Samuel Eto'o, who slipped it inside for the charging Maicon but Julio Sergio blocked his near post shot.
Moments later Maicon crossed and Thiago Motta rose highest in box but couldn't keep his header down.
On 16 minutes Eto'o played in Milito but his clinical finish was disallowed for a marginal offside.
Eto'o turned provider again on 21 minutes, clipping the ball over the top for Balotelli whose control was exquisite before Burdisso slid in to block his left foot volley.
Roma finally came to life on 25 minutes with a rapid break as Marco Materazzi got caught out of position but Julio Cesar came out to get a vital touch on Rodrigo Taddei's cross and deny Luca Toni an easy tap-in.
Roma came close again as Simone Perrotta played it wide to Taddei and then met his return cross with a bullet header that flew just off target.
Inter then lost Ivan Cordoba to injury, replaced by Walter Samuel but they took the lead on 39 minutes.
Thiago Motta played Milito in down the inside right channel and despite having three defenders converging on him, the Argentine scampered into the box and buried a shot into the top left corner.
Roma should have drawn level on 53 minutes as Julio Cesar spilled a Totti free-kick from 30 yards but centre-back Juan somehow contrived to head over an open goal from six yards.
Minutes later Balotelli forced Julio Sergio into a sprawling save down to his right.
With a quarter of an hour left Roma had a free-kick from 25 yards but John Arne Riise blazed it high and wide.
Julio Cesar then had to punch away a dipping Riise volley while Vucinic screwed a shot horribly wide after a lucky deflection played him in.
Then three minutes from time Totti lost his head and deliberately hoofed Balotelli, earning a straight red card which he didn't contest.
At the final whistle a fan ran onto the pitch and tried to make for Cambiasso as some players pushed and shoved each other but the fan was quickly stopped.
(GSM) - Internazionale have won the Coppa Italia for the sixth time, beating AS Roma 1-0 in Wednesday's final.
After just a few minutes in the final, which was played at Rome's Olympic Stadium, Inter suffered a set-back as key player Wesley Sneijder came off injured.
But the 'Nerazzurri' would not suffer much from that blow and took the lead six minutes before the break. Argentinian Diego Milito's shot from a tough angle left three defenders and keeper Julio Sergio beaten.
Roma improved in the second half and created a number of chances, but were left deflated when captain Francesco Totti conceded his second yellow card for a foul on Balotelli in the 88th minute.
Inter won their first Italian Cup in 1939, with repeats in 1978, 1982, 2005 and 2006.
(GSM) - Roma president Rosella Sensi has reacted at Jose Mourinho's comments ahead of the Cup Final by stating that she won't reply to "provocation". She did had some tough words for Lazio patron Claudio Lotito.
Yesterday, Internazionale boss Mourinho sent a blistering message to Sensi, who is the daughter of former President Franco, saying she “was born with a silver spoon in her mouth and should respect those who worked hard” in their careers.
“I will not reply to certain provocation,” she snapped when asked about yesterday's comment.
However, she did release a statement on the official Roma website rebuking Lazio president Lotito.
“I would like to remind everyone that I imposed a media silence in the week leading up to the derby in order to prevent tension escalating.
“The opposition did not take such an attitude, instead singling itself out in negative fashion with provocation of every kind. This is easy to track just looking at the Press coverage in those days.
“I will only remind President Lotito of one statement that he made outside the Lega Calcio headquarters on Friday April 30.
“He invited, with no small emphasis, the media to focus on Parma-Roma rather than Lazio-Inter.
“Looking back, he was undoubtedly right.”
The sarcastic statement refers to the fact Lazio’s own fans celebrated a 2-0 defeat against Inter, while Roma struggled to a 2-1 win away to Parma.
ROME (AFP) - Enraged Inter Milan boss Jose Mourinho hit out at AS Roma president Rosella Sensi on Tuesday ahead of the pair's meeting in the Coppa Italia final on Wednesday, demanding respect for his team.
For the fifth time in six years Inter and Roma will clash at Rome's Stadio Olimpico for the Italian Cup but Mourinho was more concerned with things Sensi said at the weekend.
Inter and Roma are also neck and neck in the Serie A title race with the champions Inter leading the pretenders by two points with two matches to go.
But on Sunday, Roma's bitter city rivals Lazio sparked a major controversy when they played Inter and put in an abject performance in a 2-0 defeat while their fans celebrated - more concerned with stopping Roma winning the title than their own team escaping relegation.
And Sensi provoked Mourinho's ire by saying Inter should be ashamed for having won that way.
"Only thieves should be ashamed and we've got to this point playing two finals (also the Champions League) and for the title not because we were born in a golden cradle but thanks to our hard work," fumed Mourinho.
"We don't deserve respect, we demand it. That lady (Sensi) can be a president, a doctor or born in a golden cradle but she has to respect us."
Mourinho was also angered by the fact that this match was to be played in Roma's home stadium rather than a neutral venue, although he paid tribute to Roma's powers of recovery following a disastrous start to the season.
Back in November, Roma trailed Inter by 14 points before eventually catching and passing the champions last month.
"Two years ago Roma took the title to the wire against Inter, last year wasn't so good but I've always recognised the potential in their team," he said.
"And with a squad like theirs they could not continue the way they started the season, it seemed logical to me that they would finish in the top four.
"Now they have the good fortune to be playing the Cup final at home, something which happens nowhere else in the world.
"I don't know any other cup competitions where one team plays the final at home. It would be different if we were playing in Naples, Florence or Bologna."
Inter have four more matches to play this season and if they win them all they will have achieved a remarkable treble of Champions League, Serie A and the Coppa Italia.
But Mourinho said even if they win nothing he will still be satisfied, while also taking a dig at the anti-Inter brigade that hopes they fail - Mourinho has made no secret of his belief this season that the authorities are doing everything in their powers to prevent Inter winning.
"No trophies would not be a drama if you fight to the end in all competitions.
"It's something else if you finish fifth, 30 points back from the champions. "If we win all three it will be historic, if we win one or two it will be positive but there would be no shame in winning none.
"We're playing every three days while others are already on holiday and the ironic thing about destiny is that Italian football wants us to lift the Champions League so we can keep a fourth team in the competition."
Mourinho also dismissed the significance of the game being played on May 5.
That was the date eight years ago when Inter lost the scudetto on the last day of the season in the same stadium and has become indicative of Inter failures over the years.
"The only thing that May 5 means to me is that it's the day Napoleon died. I wasn't born an Inter fan and I haven't followed their history, for me that's all May 5 is."
ROME (AFP) - AS Roma coach Claudio Ranieri on Tuesday called for his side's fans to remain calm ahead of Wednesday's Coppa Italia final against Inter Milan.
There are fears that some Roma supporters will be out for revenge following the controversy surrounding Sunday's Serie A match between Lazio and Inter.
Inter won that game 2-0 in Rome but the home side's fans were cheering on their opponents while Lazio's players appeared listless.
Champions Inter and Roma are currently also contesting the scudetto with Jose Mourinho's team two points ahead with two games to play.
Lazio fans had made it clear before Sunday's match that they would prefer Inter to win to deny bitter city rivals Roma the title rather than winning themselves.
And many people connected with Roma have labelled the match "shameful".
Ranieri refused to comment on the game but asked fans to behave on Wednesday.
"Our fans should turn up for a party, they should be sporting," he said.
"The team's strength has been its togetherness, we've got here thanks to the faith and energy that our fans have given us, this needs to be about sporting merits and nothing else.
"I don't think there will be any trouble, our fans need to just be happy about how the team is fighting."
It's the fifth time in six years that these two have contested the Italian Cup final, with Inter winning the first two in 2005 and 2006 and Roma triumphing in the next two years.
And with them also guaranteed to finish as the top two in Serie A for the fourth time in five years, Ranieri believes no-one can be counted as favourites.
"It will be a final between two protagonists. Inter have won the title four years in a row, they're doing great in the Champions League and I'm very happy there's an Italian team in the final," he said.
"We're happy and proud to be able to play against such a team in the Italian Cup final.
"We have a lot of respect for them but we'll be playing our game.
"The two teams fighting for the title are playing in the cup final, there's no favourite.
"Inter are strong but we've shown our strengths too. It's 50-50, the best will win."
|12-05||Balotelli called me granddad - Totti|
|10-05||Roma captain Totti gets four-match ban|
|07-05||Balotelli: Totti called me a ni**er|
|07-05||Mazzone backing for Totti after red card|
|07-05||Totti shows no regrets after Balotelli-incident|
|06-05||Totti blasts Balotelli after red card|
|06-05||Mourinho hints at Inter exit|
|06-05||Materazzi: Mexes punched me twice|
|06-05||Toni blames ref for Cup defeat|
|05-05||Inter Milan beat Roma to win Italian Cup|
|05-05||Quick report: Internazionale 1-0 Roma|
|05-05||Roma president: I won't reply to provocation|
|04-05||Irate Mourinho demands respect for Inter|
|04-05||Ranieri calls for calm ahead of Cup final|