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Stop Staring at the Viola, Voyeur! Hands Off our Winger, Wenger!

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arsene-wenger.jpgWith the world’s attention focused squarely on today’s internationals, it is surprising there has been so much news to report about Fiorentina.

The top story of the day (first brought to my attention by former Italy Offside bigwig and the future Mrs. Christian Vieri, Martha) is that Fiorentina will be playing a friendly against Barcelona this summer at the Artemio Franchi. Artemio Franchi himself (the namesake of the stadium, of course) was a Fiorentina executive as well as president (at different times) of the Italian Football Federation, UEFA, and an executive committee member of FIFA. He passed away twenty five years ago this summer, and the game will be played in his honor and memory. Details of the match can be found here.

I’m not a big Barca fan, but it is always an exciting moment when a mega-club comes to play your favorite team. I wish I could be there for the match, but by that time I should have a one-month old (or so) newborn to look after; perhaps it will be televised?

Also, I hope Fiorentina fans don’t get TOO star-struck by the news. It’s entirely possible that we will play Barca THREE times next season, if you count the friendly, and possibly two group games in the Champions League. We could even meet them again in the final….

In other news, rumors are going around that London giant Arsenal and their head honcho Arsene Wenger are interested in Viola winger Zdravko Kuzmanovic, who has been very impressive during his brief spell with the club. Some rumors have the youngster’s price as high as €7.5 million. Kuzmanovic’s agent is denying the whole thing, which is making me worried. Hands off our Winger, Wenger!

Finally, (in news actually related to this weekend’s match) Udinese gaffer Pasquale Marino recognizes how critical this next match vs. the Viola will be. Sunday’s game will prove a boost to the winner as they look to advance to the Champions League, while a loss would almost certainly relegate Udinese to the UEFA cup. I will have a preview of that match coming soon. Take care, everybody.