Rivaldo is reported from Milan to have fallen out yet again with his coach.

Rivaldo joined the Italian club last summer rather than stay at Barcelona under his old nemesis, Dutchman Louis Van Gaal. Now he is said by friends to be furious at being used repeatedly as substitute by Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti.

Rivaldo, Milan announced yesterday, had suffered a minor injury in training which would prevent him being among the squad for today’s Italian cup semi-final against Perugia. This appears to be more a diplomatic way to buy time while officials try to heal the Brazilian World Cup-winner’s wounded pride.

Milan are on the crest of a wave after their weekend victory over Inter and their goalless draw away to Ajax in the Champions League quarter-final opener.

“We have a great team spirit here,” said Ancelotti.

“We have a lot of outstanding players and we thus have no need to risk anybody’s fitness in any way – especially at such an important time in the season.”
By Keir Radnedge