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Antonio Di Natale - The Slave of Football

Started on 12 November 2014 by TVDLC123
Latest Reply on 6 December 2014 by Verdinho
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Interesting signing
i like massi he is my favorite footballer in the world
@Tallery - Thanks mate, he is someone who I couldn't resist buying when I saw I could get him for free! :)
@Obama420 - Nice to know :P
Nice signings there, cool that you're making such good use of your link to make fiscally responsible and sensible transfers for quality players. Di Natale proving quite the adequate businessman ;)
@Neal - Thanks mate, I had to make do with quite a low budget, so the link came in very handy :)
TVDLC123's avatar TVDLC123
9 yearsEdited

Preseason 2014

Antonio Di Natale continues to prove age is not a problem both on and off the pitch

Udinese have finished their pre-season in high spirits, after they managed to win 4 out of the 5 games played. New player-manager Antonio Di Natale, was not only in fine playing form, scoring 4 times, but his tactics seem to be turning the Italian side into one that look very dangerous going into the full season. The new, highly midfield based approach has seemed to work very well for Udinese, with most sides unable to deal with the packed centre of the park.

The Results

The pre-season began as Udinese hosted Russian outfit Dinamo Moscow, and after a nervy performance, ended up on the wrong side of a 2-0 result. Whilst on paper the result looks bad, the club will take confidence in the fact that they fielded a younger side who looked quite capable at times of keeping up with Dinamo.

The second game saw the beginning of their Bulgarian tour, and pitted them against Dobrudzha 1919. A dominant performance saw them end up 3-1 winners and they carried this form throughout the entire tour, winning the other two games against Vereya and Montana by the same score line, with the later of these two games featuring a double by player-manager Di Natale.

Finally, they faced AEK Athens in their last game, and the whole squad played very well in their 4-1 victory. Goals from Luis Muriel, Emmanuel Badu, Alex Geijo and Cyril Thereau helped them in the demolition job, with Giotis Nalbantis’ strike a mere consolation for the Greek side. At the end of the game, Udinese’s attacking dominance was shown by their incredible 34 shots, and the 63% possession.

Player of Pre-Season

While all the strikers shone for Udinese, the Best Player of Pre-Season was awarded to defensive midfielder Emmanuel Badu. At just 23, the Ghanaian played a vital role for Di Natale’s new look side, and provided both the link between the defence and midfield in attack, but also was a key part of their defence, covering well for the centre backs when needed. His tireless work ethic and physical strength was an asset to his side, who will hope he continues his form into the start of the season.

A Look Ahead…

After a cup tie against lower league side Cremonese, Udinese will open their Serie A season with a trip to Chievo. Next, after hosting Lazio, they will be on the road again for the biggest challenge of the month; a tricky encounter with last year’s runners up, AS Roma. After that, they will face Genoa, before ending the month with a fixture against Sampdoria.

Unlucky with the Dinamo Moscow game, but otherwise, a good pre-season! :)
Nice to see Di Natale scored a few goals, especially.
Di NataLAD
@Pompey - Thanks, I'm not too worried about the Dianamo result considering we didn't play a proper first team, and yeah, Di Natale is amazing :P
@Neal - He is too good :P
Nice preseason :D
You'll have a tough time playing against Lazio Roma & Sampdoria so early on, hopefully you push through and make the best of the new signings (Murillo mainly, Abdi is returning lol)
I'm not gonna pretend I know the teams you played, bar Dinamo and AEK, but it looks as though it's been solid! Tricky first few games against Lazio, Roma and Sampdoria, so you'll need to get off to a good start.
@Walter - Danks :)
@Icarus - Yea, Murillo will be key for defence in the big games.
@P-Kiddy - Yea, I let my assistant organise the friendlies, so neither did I :P
TVDLC123's avatar TVDLC123
9 yearsEdited

Busy deadline day for Udinese

Muriel will not be making his dream move to Milan this window

A hectic deadline day rounded off a successful transfer window for the Italian side Udinese, as 1 player left while a bid for another was rejected. Goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis left to Atlanta for a fee rumoured to be around 1.1M, however a last minute bid by AC Milan for star striker Luis Muriel was rejected, with the Columbian forward reportedly unhappy with player-manager Di Natale’s actions regarding the matter.

Greek internation Karnezis only joined Udinese in the 2013/14 season from Panathinaikos, who he spent the largest portion of his career with. After he was bought for 650K, he was immediately sent out to affiliate Granada, where he failed to break into side, only making 6 appearances, mostly in cup matches. Now 29, he returned to Udinese to find himself 3rd choice behind wonderkid Simone Scuffet, and Zeljko Brkic. In order to secure first team football, the decision was made for him to move away, and when the offer from Atlanta came in, it was instantly accepted. Speaking to press moments after signing a 4 year deal, he had this to say.

‘I would firstly like to thank Udinese for the time I spent there, and for all the support I was given there. However, for the advancement of my career, which I felt if I had stayed at Udinese would have become stagnated, I knew a move was necessary. Atlanta are a great club who have lots of ambition, and I was instantly impressed after meeting the manager Stefano Colantuono with the plans he has for the club in the future. It is a project I am delighted to now be a part of.’

The other big news coming out of the club was the rejection of a bid estimated to be around 4.5M for 23 year old striker Luis Muriel. Muriel, who many are pinning as the replacement for Antonio Di Natale for Udinese. A proven goal scorer in the Serie A, his breakthrough season came in 2012/13, where he scored 11 goals in the league, and has been part of the Udinese first team setup since. While his representatives have refused to comment, sources close to the player have revealed he pushed for the move to happen, and was very unhappy when the bid was rejected. While he will remain at the club until at least January, many are suggesting his unhappiness could affect his performances.

Good Story keep it up .

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