Why Serie A players have a red mark on their cheeks

Players in Serie A this weekend are sporting a red mark on their cheeks as part of a campaign challenging violence against women and spreading awareness of an anti-stalking hotline.

Every year for several seasons now, the Lega Serie A has participated in the campaign Un Rosso Alla Violenza – A red card to violence.

Players were also urged to contribute via social media with their wives and partners, showing the women wearing red lipstick and the same shade smeared on the cheeks of the star names.

The captains have a special edition armband this weekend also referencing the campaign.

There is a special hotline in Italy for women to report stalking or violence, the phone number is 1522.

Calls to that hotline rose by 79.5 per cent over the last calendar year.

Italy was shocked by an incident earlier this month in Sassuolo, where a man killed his ex-wife, their two children and his mother-in-law before killing himself.

He had been under a restraining order, but broke it to commit the massacre.

The only survivor was the woman’s 11-year-old daughter from a previous relationship, who was at school at the time.

Serie A Highlights | Cagliari 1-1 Salernitana

Watch how Federico Bonazzoli secured a point at the death, when Salernitana bounced back to win a point in Cagliari on Friday.

Read the full match report here

The bottom two clashed in Sardinia and the home side thought they had grabbed three important points when Leonardo Pavoletti scored after 73 minutes.

But Bonazzoli showed up at the far post in stoppages to make sure Stefano Colantuono’s men returned to Salerno with one point in the battle for safety in Serie A.

‘Unexplainable’ | Mazzarri after Cagliari’s 1-1 draw with Salernitana

Cagliari coach Walter Mazzarri admitted he couldn’t explain the ‘change of attitude’ after going ahead against Salernitana on Friday night, when the bottom two shared the spoils in the first match of Serie A Week 14.

The bottom two clashed in Sardinia and the home side seemed to be heading for three points when Leonardo Pavoletti gave them the lead after 73 minutes.

Serie A | Cagliari 1-1 Salernitana: Bonazzoli ruins the party in Sardinia

But Federico Bonazzoli scored the equaliser in stoppages and ruined the celebrations for Mazzarri, who didn’t know how to explain the stalemate after the match.

“It’s difficult to digest this result,” Mazzarri told Sky Sport Italia. “The performance, beyond the fact that we had to score first, speaks of 15 shots against a Salernitana who only had one attempt and scored.

“I don’t know how to give reasons for the draw, maybe we are afraid, even if we did everything to win. When we scored, we lowered ourselves, we stopped, giving the draw to Salernitana.

“We threw away two points. Any distraction always costs us at home. In the end, we had the wrong attitude. After the goal, we had to be more aggressive, more courageous.

“I’ll talk to them tomorrow. Today, I would have expected anything but an exchange of attitude after taking the lead.

“Even in Venice we conceded goals in the last minutes. And today, we have done inexplicable things. Probably the position in the table scares us and blocks us.”

Serie A | Cagliari 1-1 Salernitana: Bonazzoli ruins the party in Sardinia

Birthday boy Leonardo Pavoletti thought he had won the match for Cagliari, but Federico Bonazzoli pulled Salernitana level after 90 minutes.

The bottom two clashed at Unipol Domus in Sardinia on Friday night, both aiming to pick up three important points to kickstart their season after a poor start to the campaign.

But the performances justified the current situation in the table as neither side managed to create big enough opportunities to score in the first half.

It was an anxious match from both the Rossoblu and the Granata, when Keita Balde had the first real opportunity to score through an overhead kick.

Razvan Marin then tried from a free kick, but it only hit the side netting of Vid Belec’s goal, but the highlights were few.

Despite a difficult match in attack, the referee had enough work throughout the first half, as Daniele Doveri was called into action on many occasions.

Cedric Gondo was injured and replaced by Nadir Zortea, while Joao Pedro, who has been linked with a possible call-up for Italy, had a chance after 43 minutes.

The captain was at it again right before the half-time whistle, but Belec stopped his free header, which went straight at the goalkeeper.

Cagliari made one change at half-time, when Kevin Strootman replaced Alberto Grassi and Cagliari immediately looked stronger.

The home side were the most dangerous team in the second half, pushing for the first goal, but the two teams were as tense as in the first.

Then birthday boy Leonardo Pavoletti came on for Dalbert after 60 minutes and the physical striker made an impact on the Rossoblu attack.

Cagliari scared the guests with a few opportunities, but never really managed to test Belec until Pavoletti arrived at the first post.

Joao Pedro found the substitute Pavoletti on a run at the first post and the striker got a foot on the cross to give the Rossoblu the lead after 73 minutes.

Cagliari made some defensive changes, while Salernitana brought on Simy to replace Milan Djuric in attack.

The Granata finally hit the target for the second time in the match after 90 minutes, after long spells on the ball.

The ball arrived from the left and reached Bonazzoli at the far post and his finish found a way past Alessio Cragno in the Rossoblu goal.

Bonazzoli ruined the celebrations in Sardinia and made sure newly promoted Salernitana bring a point home in the relegation battle with the Casteddu.

Serie A LIVE | Cagliari vs. Salernitana

Cagliari host Salernitana in a relegation dogfight, as both teams hope to kickstart their season at the Sardegna Arena tonight.

The match in Sardinia kicks off at 19.45 UK time.

Serie A Week 14 stars with Salernitana’s trip to Cagliari, when both teams are desperate for points after only collecting seven each in the first 13 rounds.

Cagliari aim to end a five-match winless streak in the League, while Salernitana arrive after three consecutive losses.

The last match between the two ended in a 3-1 win for Cagliari at Unipol Domus in 1999 and have won the four last games against the team from Salerno.

Line-ups: Cagliari vs. Salernitana

Cagliari (4-4-2): Cragno; Bellanova, Ceppitelli, Carboni, Caceres; Nandez, Marin, Grassi, Dalbert; Keita, Joao Pedro

Salernitana (4-3-3): Belec; Veseli, Gyomber, Gagliolo, Ranieri; L. Coulibaly, Di Tacchio, Obi; Gondo, Djuric, Bonazzoli

Five of the best Serie A shirts on offer in the Subside Sports sale

The Subside Sports double discount sale includes dozens of Serie A replica shirts and items – here Football Italia picks out five of the best shirts to grab while you can.

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There’s no one quite like Zlatan Ibrahimovic – just ask him if you don’t believe it. But the Swede backs up his words on the pitch, even as he passes 40.

Ibra returned to Milan in 2019 for what many assumed would be a six-month swansong, but two years later he’s still leading from the front for the Rossoneri. His influence almost delivered the 2020-21 Scudetto to Milan, which would have been their first since 2010-11 – not un-coincidentally, that was Ibrahimovic’s first season with Milan after joining on loan from Barcelona.

Across two spells with Milan, Ibra has scored 89 goals and counting, having also turned out for Ajax, Juventus, Inter, Paris Saint-Germain, LA Galaxy and Manchester United. But it’s arguably at Milan that he feels most at home, and what better way to celebrate the evergreen Ibrahimovic than with a replica Milan away shirt carrying his name and number?

Use Football Italia’s exclusive code FOOTBALLITALIA10 at checkout for 10% off any Serie A item – this code can’t be used in conjunction with any other discount code.

Not only do Roma have one of the most successful coaches in football in the dugout in Jose Mourinho, they also have arguably the most stylish shirts, perhaps never bettered by the 2020-21 third kit offering.

It wasn’t a shirt that brought Roma all that much success on the pitch, though, as Paulo Fonseca oversaw a seventh-place finish in Serie A. A long run in the Europa League suggested a trophy might land at the Stadio Olimpico, but that dream was ended at Old Trafford in a 6-2 semi-final first leg defeat. A 3-2 win in the return proved to be a gallant but ultimately unsuccessful comeback effort.

The third kit, however, was a winner. Where some clubs and kit manufacturers go for crazy patterns and psychedelic designs in an effort to go viral on social media, Roma and Nike went the other way, all clean lines and classic colours. It’s a refreshingly simple, elegant shirt that will never go out of fashion. It’ll look as smart in years to come as it does today, and will be making appearances in training sessions and five-a-side games for the foreseeable future.

Roma have switched kit manufacturers now and while the 2021-22 shirts also look pretty good, there’s an extra attitude about the black-and-gold third shirt from the year before that really stands out.

Use Football Italia’s exclusive code FOOTBALLITALIA10 at checkout for 10% off any Serie A item – this code can’t be used in conjunction with any other discount code.

The death of Diego Maradona on November 25, 2020 impacted everyone in football, such was the legend of the Argentina icon. But nowhere was the pain of his loss felt more strongly than in Naples.

Naples became a second home for Maradona, the site of his greatest club success as he inspired Napoli to two Serie A titles, in 1986-87 and 1989-90, as well as the 1988-89 UEFA Cup.

Arriving at the club in 1984 after an unhappy time at Barcelona, where he was targeted with brutal challenges by opposing defenders and fell out with the Catalan club hierarchy, it was while a Napoli player that Maradona conquered the world; that first Scudetto came after the World Cup, when Maradona was touched by the Hand of God.

The footage of Maradona’s 1984 presentation at the Stadio San Paolo and the fervour with which he was greeted is still awe-inspiring almost 30 years later, and this shirt was released in homage to Napoli’s greatest-ever player after his death. But it isn’t the highest tribute paid to El Pibe de Oro – in December 2020 the San Paolo was fittingly renamed the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

Use code DD25 at checkout for a further 25% off the pre-sale price of all items in the Subside Sports double discount sale.

The Parma 1999-00 squad was one for the ages. Gianluigi Buffon was in goal, Fabio Cannavaro and Lilian Thuram marshalled the defence and Hernan Crespo was up front. And yet, the Parma dream was already coming to an end.

Crespo was sold to champions Lazio at the end of the 1999-00 season; Buffon and Thuram headed to Juventus a year later. UEFA Cup winners in 1998, Parma would be bankrupt by 2004, the cost of pursuing trophies proving too much for parent company Parmalat to bare amid a financial scandal.

Parma’s 1999-00 Champions League shirt wasn’t worn beyond the third qualifying round as the Gialloblu fell to Scotland’s Rangers, but the colours remain iconic and the warning from history stark. Parma did return to Serie A briefly after plumbing the depths of the Italian lower leagues, but they are a long way from their peak at the turn of the century.

Use Football Italia’s exclusive code FOOTBALLITALIA10 at checkout for 10% off any Serie A item – this code can’t be used in conjunction with any other discount code.

Juventus became accustomed to not only topping the Serie A table in the 2010s, but running away with the Scudetto. The Old Lady claimed nine in a row between 2011-12 and 2019-20, usually with no real challengers, until Antonio Conte’s Inter brought the bandwagon to a halt in 2020-21.

Max Allegri, the coach responsible for five of those nine title successes, was brought back in the summer of 2021 in an effort to re-establish Juve at the top of Serie A and it has proved more difficult than he may have anticipated thus far. Juve fans could be forgiven for looking back on the last decade and wondering where it went wrong.

The answer may be in the summer of 2019, when Allegri initially stepped down. Maurizio Sarri delivered the 2019-20 title but was never settled at the Allianz Stadium, and the experiment of naming legendary midfielder but rookie coach Andrea Pirlo as his successor proved a mistake, as he departed 12 months later having barely qualified for the Champions League.

If the 2018-19 season really was the beginning of the end of Juve’s dominance of Serie A, then the Juventus 2018-19 campioni home shirt is a reminder of when the Bianconeri ruled Italy.

Use code DD25 at checkout for a further 25% off the pre-sale price of all items in the Subside Sports double discount sale.

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Max Allegri Scudetto

10% off Serie A shirts at Subside Sports with Football Italia’s exclusive discount

Football Italia has partnered with Subside Sports to bring Serie A fans an exclusive discount on all Serie A items, offering 10% reductions on products including Juventus, Inter and Milan replica shirts.

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For example, the Juventus 2021-22 home shirt comes in at under £70 when using Football Italia’s exclusive code, before tax and delivery costs.

Subside Sports also have classic Serie A shirts available, including iconic 1980s and ‘90s Milan shirts as worn by the likes of Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi and Marco Van Basten.

Replica shirts are not the only Serie A items available – there are club-branded mugs, puzzles, balls and more available in time for the holiday season, and all are included in this Football Italia exclusive discount.

Subside Sports’ sale means prices on a range of items from Serie A and beyond are already discounted and while the exclusive code can’t be used with any other discount codes, the 10% discount for Football Italia readers on all Serie A items means the bargains are even greater – that’s by using code FOOTBALLITALIA10 at checkout.

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