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Jul 5, 2001
Dirty Money
Italian clubs dreaming of return to glory days
By James Eve

ROME (Reuters) - Italian football was again looking optimistically to the future after convincing Champions League victories for Juventus and AC Milan.
'This will be the year of the Italians,' said Juventus striker Marco Di Vaio after his side's 5-0 drubbing of Dynamo Kiev on Tuesday. 'We have teams in great form. Let's hope we can prove it at the end of the year.'

The result in Turin, along with Milan's classy 4-0 victory at Deportivo Coruna, has raised hopes that Italian clubs can put several poor years behind them to emulate the consistent success of Serie A teams in the early 1990s.

'Maybe it will be remembered as the night when everything started to change,' said the front page of Wednesday's Gazzetta dello Sport.

'With them (Juventus and Milan), the hope of a turning-point that leads us out of years of setbacks, fear and miserable and depressing football is becoming stronger every minute.'

The Gazzetta article represented a quick turnaround from the previous week when the first round of Champions League matches, in which only Milan won, left the Italian press lamenting the fact that Spanish sides had completely outshone their Serie A rivals.

This time, however, there do appear to be grounds for optimism.

AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti is fulfilling his mission to bring back the attacking football the club played under Arrigo Sacchi and Fabio Capello in the early 1990s.

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