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Roma legend Totti to retire at the end of the season

Totti made his senior debut for Roma as a 16-year-old in March 1993. Credit: PA

Roma captain Francesco Totti will retire at the end of the season and take up an administrative role at the club, sporting director Monchi has confirmed.

The 40-year-old Totti is out of contract in the summer and has made one start and 14 substitute appearances in Serie A this season, contributing two goals and four assists to help his team rise to second in the table.

His final game in a 24-year senior career at Roma will be on Sunday May 28 against Genoa at Stadio Olympico.

In terms of Totti, I already knew that there was an agreement with the club that this would be his final year as a player, then he’d start as a director.

Francesco is Roma. I want to be as close to him as possible. I’d love to learn even one per cent of the huge amount that he knows.

– Monchi press conference


AC Milan sold to Chinese-owned consortium

The deal ends Berlusconi's 31-year reign of the Rossoneri and means both Milan teams are Chinese-owned. Credit: PA

AC Milan have been sold to a consortium led by a Chinese businessman for £627 million.

The Serie A club's owner Silvio Berlusconi decided to sell the club on Thursday to the consortium, led by Yonghong Li, ending a saga going back to August.

Fininvest have today finalised the sale to Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux the entire stake, amounting to 99.93 per cent in AC Milan.

Today's finalisation gives full effect to the takeover agreement signed by the managing director of Fininvest, Danilo Pellegrino, and David Han Li, the representative of Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux on August 15, 2016 and renewed on March 24 of this year.

The details of the agreement are those announced and provide an overall valuation of AC Milan at 740m euros, consisting of a debt burden evauated on June 30, 2016, as per the agreements between the parties of around 220m euros.

That amount has been collected by Fininvest, along with 90m euros as reimbursement of capital contributions made by Fininvest in favour of Milan from July 1, 2016 to today.

The buyers have confirmed their commitment to make important recapitalisation investments to the balance sheet and the financial strengthening of AC Milan.

Tomorrow, the general shareholders' meeting of AC Milan shareholders will, among other things, vote on the appointment of the new corporate bodies of the company.

– AC Milan statement

Hart keeps clean sheet on Torino home debut

Joe Hart. Credit: PA

Joe Hart kept a clean sheet on his home debut as Torino and Empoli shared the spoils in a dire 0-0 draw at the Stadio Olimpico di Torino.

After a forgettable debut during Torino's 2-1 defeat at Atalanta following his deadline-day loan move to Italy, the England international barely had a save to make as both sides failed to claim all three points.

With Maxi Lopez, Adem Ljajic, Arlind Ajeti and Daniele Padelli all missing for Sinisa Mihajlovic's side, Torino's attack lacked a spark but began the game brightly as Empoli goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupski was on hand to deny Joel Obi's effort.

Hart was not called into action until the 63rd minute, when he kept out Riccardo Saponara's strike from outside the box. The 29-year-old then had to be alert to palm Andres Tello's shot moments later.

Bologna ruin Napoli winning streak

Napoli's 18-game unbeaten streak in all competitions came to an end after losing 3-2 at Bologna in a nail-biting contest at the Stadio Renato Dall'Ara.

Mattia Destro's brace either side of Luca Rossettini's first-half goal looked to have put the game to bed but Gonzalo Higuain scored two goals in the final three minutes of normal time to set up a tense finish.

However the hosts held on to move up to 15th while Napoli missed the opportunity to leapfrog Inter Milan at the top of the Serie A table.


Andrea Pirlo crowned Italy's best player

Pirlo has matured with age like a fine wine. Credit: Reuters

Andrea Pirlo has been voted Italy's best player by his peers for the third year in a row.

The Juventus and Italy playmaker has received the Italian Professional Footballers' Association (AIC) trophy in a gala in Milan.

The 35-year-old, who has joined Zlatan Ibrahimovic as the only player to have earned the title three times, has won the award every year since joining the Turin giants from AC Milan in 2011.

"I'm very honoured," Pirlo told the Italian media. "It's always a great pleasure to win this award.

"It means that I have done a good job and that I am maintaining myself at the highest level.I would like to thank all of my colleagues who have voted for me."

Sampdoria president apologises for calling Indonesian Inter chairman 'that Filipino'

Ferrero claims he didn't mean to offend Thohir. Credit:

Sampdoria president Massimo Ferrero has apologised after referring to Inter Milan's Indonesian Chairman Erick Thohir as "that Filipino."

Ferrero made the comment on Sunday when asked about the growing tensions at Inter which have seen long serving Massimo Moratti step down as honorary chairman.

Moratti's decision was influenced by complaints about the Serie A club's finances from Thohir, who bought a controlling 70% stake last year.

Indonesian Thohir was referred to as "that Filipino" by Ferrero. Credit: PA

Ferrero told Italian broadcasters RAI:

"Moratti is a great man and it's unfair that he has been treated like this. He has given so much to Italian soccer... I told him to boot that Filipino out."

In a statement published on Sampdoria's website, Ferrero later wrote:

"I did not want to be disrespectful of Thohir, of Inter's directors or of the people of the Philippines, with whom I have a wonderful relationship."

Dozens of Italian football clubs searched in tax probe

Prosecutors in Naples have ordered the search of dozens of football club offices as part of a tax fraud investigation relating to player contracts.

Juventus is one of the Italian football clubs being investigated by prosecutors in Naples. Credit: Reuters

Financial police were executing search warrants today at the offices of about 20 Serie A clubs, including AC Milan, Juventus and Lazio, in addition to clubs in lower leagues.

A statement by Naples prosecutors said some foreign clubs were also part of the investigation, but they did not identify them.

Prosecutors said the clubs are under investigation for alleged conspiracy to avoid payment of "huge amounts of money" to tax authorities during the transfer of players.

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