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Tuesday, February 24, 2004 

UEFA CUP - PSV match preview

PSV will face AC Perugia next thursday. Let´s take a close look to the dutch champions opponent:

Perugia had a poor start to the current campaign. The club has not enjoyed a single victory from thirteen league encounters. Last Saturday they seemed to have ensured their first win of the season, but trainer
Serse Cosmi saw how his team eventually let a 3-1 lead against Sampdoria slip to a 3-3 draw. It was the eighth time this season that Perugia had to settle for a draw. Bottom-of-the-table Ancona are the only other club that have not recorded a single win so far.

Trainer Cosmi is 45 years of age. Perugia are his first club in the top flight. He usually has his side play a 3-5-2 system. Perugia make their European debut this season. The club qualified for the UEFA Cup by winning the Intertoto. The Italians knocked out Dundee FC from Scotland and Aris Saloniki from Greece.

Their best-known player is undoubtedly keeper Zeljko Kalac. The former Roda JC goalie is sidelined right now, because he has sustained an injury. And the name of their Greek striker, Zisis Vrysas, may also ring a bell. Perugia have closed deals with quite a few young, rather unknown foreign players. The policy of the club has been for years to give young talented players from across the borders an opportunity to develop themselves and then sell them at a lucrative price. Their left wing defender Fabio Grosso is the only player who seems to be a candidate for being called up for the Italian national squad.

President Luciano Gaucci is a stunning appearance. He is known for his blunt remarks. Last summer he closed a deal with Al Saadi Gheddafi, the son of the Libian leader. A few weeks ago Gheddafi was caught using drugs. Gaucci seriously attempts to add a woman to his first team squad. At first he decided upon two Swedish female players, but right now he seems to prefer Birgit Prinz, the German player of the year

Gaucci frequently causes uproar. Nearly every week the President criticizes the Italian referees. He is firmly convinced that his (small) club is often treated unfairly, whereas the bigger clubs are always shown favour above other clubs. He made the world of football sit up during the World Cup in South Korea last year by announcing loudly that the Korean striker Ahn (who was responsible for knocking out Italy) was no longer welcome at this club.

Source: PSV.NL


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