Watch: Inter coach heaps praise on 'new Lionel Messi' Lautaro Martinez

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Inter Milan lost on penalties to Chelsea in their pre-season fixture on Saturday but head coach Luciano Spalletti was more than impressed by striker’s Lautaro Martinez show.

The 20-year old Argentinian received plenty of praise from Spalletti for his work ethics despite Inter losing their International Champions Cup clash to Maurizio Sarri‘s side.

See what the Inter boss had to say, on his forward, below.

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Cristiano Ronaldo to kickstart his Juventus career as champions open Serie A campaign against Chievo

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Cristiano Ronaldo will start his Serie A career with Juventus at Chievo.

The Portugal forward became Juve’s club record signing last month when he joined from Real Madrid for £99.2million.

And Thursday’s announcement of the opening round of Italian top flight fixtures sees him head to the Stadio Bentegodi for the champions’ first match of the 2018/19 campaign, on the weekend of August 18-19.

Lazio host Napoli in the eye-catching fixture of the first weekend – the teams finished fifth and second respectively last season. Former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has since taken over as Napoli manager following the departure of Maurizio Sarri to the Blues.

Roma, who finished third last season, start at Torino, with fourth-placed Inter also away – at Sassuolo. City rivals Milan begin with a visit from Genoa.

Newly-promoted Parma, who will start the season with a five-point deduction after striker Emanuele Calaio was adjudged to have sent “suspicious messages” to a rival player ahead of a match in May, start at home to Udinese.

Serie B champions Empoli host Cagliari, while the other newly-promoted side – Frosinone – open at Atalanta. Sampdoria host Fiorentina and Spal travel to Bologna in the other opening round matches.

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AC Milan name Leonardo as sporting director

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Italian club AC Milan has announced the appointment of former Brazilian World Cup winner Leonardo as the club’s sporting director.

The 48-year-old had two spells for the club during his playing career, and has also worked as a manager at the San Siro during the 2009-2010 season.

“Leonardo’s story at AC Milan is unique, having contributed to some of the club’s great successes as player, coach, and director,” the club said in a statement.

“He will bring back to the team his experience in building up one of the biggest clubs internationally.”

Leonardo’s return days after a takeover of the Serie A giants by US hedge fund Elliott, following the club’s former Chinese owners failing to repay debt.

Elliott Management has pledged to inject €50 million ($59 million) to bring financial stability to once-successful European club.

“Leonardo’s appointment is another sign of Elliott’s commitment to bring in world-class and experienced leaders, who know what it takes to restore AC Milan to greatness,” said Milan chairman Paolo Scaroni.

Scaroni also confirmed that Leonardo “will be in charge of managing the club’s sporting area, including the transfer market.”

On Friday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport had overturned a European ban imposed on AC Milan for by UEFA for violation of its financial fair play rules, calling the punishment “not proportionate”.

“He will have all the financial support he needs to strengthen and rationalise the team within UEFA’s Financial Fair Play framework,” added Scaroni.

AC Milan re-affirmed that further announcements regarding the composition of the club’s management team “will be made in due course”.

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