Teenage kicks: Milan slayer Domenico Berardi is a Serie A sensation

Mark Doyle
Teenage kicks: Milan slayer Domenico Berardi is a Serie A sensation

More than 70 Japanese journalists travelled to Emilia-Romagna on Sunday night to watch Keisuke Honda make his AC Milan debut. However, by the full-time whistle, there was only one name on everybody’s lips, that of Domenico Berardi.

Honda made his eagerly awaited Serie A bow midway through the second half, but by that stage the attacking midfielder had already been eclipsed by the 19-year-old Berardi, who wrote himself into the record books by becoming the second youngest player ever to score four goals in an Italian top-flight game - and the first teenager since Silvio Piola in 1931. He is also the first player to score four against Milan in Serie A.

It is a remarkable rise to prominence for a player who was only discovered by Sassuolo by chance. The Calabrian was spotted by club scout Luciano Carlino while playing football with some friends during a visit to Modena, where his brother was studying.

Within two years of leaving Cosenza for Sassuolo, he was making his debut for the Neroverdi and by the end of his second season with the club, his performances had already attracted attention from overseas, with Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool all expressing an interest.

However, it was Juventus which managed to land one of the most promising young forwards in Italy as he joined the Bianconeri on a co-ownership deal that saw Luca Marrone move in the opposite direction for 4.5 million euro.

Breakthrough act | Berardi is the second-youngest player to score four times in one Serie A game

The Italian champions immediately loaned Berardi back to Sassuolo to afford him more game time. It was an inspired move with Sunday’s sensational showing against Milan making it seven goals in 13 appearances this term.

It is worth noting that Sassuolo defender Francesco Magnanelli recently stated that Berardi was “not yet ready” for Juventus. After watching his young teammate leave the field to a standing ovation 13 minutes from the end of one of the most sensational breakout performances Italy has seen in recent years, one wonders if he has changed his mind.

Magnanelli had doubted whether Berardi was "mature" enough to play for the Scudetto holders, but if his reaction to his historic heroics are anything to go by, this is a young man with a level head on his shoulders and a real sense of perspective.

"I will never forget this game ever but I want to dedicate these four goals to [Francesco] Acerbi," he stated, referring to his teammate's ongoing battle with testicular cancer.

It merely underlined that Berardi is a class act both on and off the field.

  • Favorable Notice of Allegations will benefit both Rick Pitino, Louisville

    Louisville coach Rick Pitino could face a suspension. The most noteworthy aspect of the Notice of Allegations released Thursday by Louisville is what it doesn’t contain. There was not one word from the man who could have done the most damage to Rick Pitino and the Cardinals basketball program.

    The Dagger
  • NFL Awards Watch: The resurrection of MVP front-runner Matt Ryan

    While recognizing this isn’t the best way to judge public perception, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan’s average fantasy football draft position before this season is telling. Ryan was coming off a mediocre season. Ryan was being drafted in Yahoo fantasy leagues, on average, 28th among NFL quarterbacks.

    Shutdown Corner
  • Why Arsenal will finally take a step forward in the Champions League (no, seriously)

    Mesut Ozil celebrates the second of his three goals against Ludogorets. For Arsene Wenger and Arsenal, something feels a bit different this season. A 6-0 destruction of Ludogorets in the Champions League on Wednesday has Arsenal level on points with Paris Saint-Germain at the top of Group A, but the remaining head-to-head fixture against the French champions will take place at the Emirates Stadium in London.

    FC Yahoo
  • Klein to be paired with Staal against the Red Wings on Wednesday

    Alain Vigneault confirmed today that Kevin Klein will return to the Rangers lineup tonight and will be paired with Marc Staal. (NYR) Klein and Staal have played 929 minutes together since they have been teammates and when they are on the ice at 5-on-5 the Rangers have scored 53% of the goals but only had 45.3% of the shot attempts. (Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com) Ryan McDonagh will remain paired with Nick Holden on the right side and Brady Skjei will skate with Adam Clendening. Dylan McIlrath will be a healthy scratch an Henrik Lundqvist will be in goal.

  • ‘It’s about time’ — Ducks finally get into the win column

    After two periods on Thursday night it looked as if the San Jose Sharks were going to cruise to a win against a banged up Pittsburgh Penguins team in a rematch of last year’s Stanley Cup final. At that point the Penguins were down on the scoreboard, their defensemen were dropping like drummers from Spinal Tap, and the Sharks were in complete control of the game by pretty much every objective measure. In the end, “unexpected” would probably be a good way to describe the Penguins’ come-from-behind 3-2 win given the circumstances. It was made possible thanks to a massive third period rally that saw them score three goals in seven minutes while playing nearly half of the game with only four defensemen against one of the best teams in the league.

  • Should the Mets acquire Maybin?

    In a post brainstorming trade ideas for this winter, Tigers fan and FanSided contributor Ben Rosener suggests Detroit send OF Cameron Maybin and utility-man Andrew Romine to the Mets for Juan Lagares and two prospects. Maybin, 29, hit .315 with a .383 OBP, four home runs, 14 doubles, 43 RBI and 15 stolen bases in 94 games for the Tigers in 2016. He is a career .259 hitter during roughly 3,000 plate appearances. Maybin will earn $9 million in 2017, after which he is eligible to be a free agent. Romine, 30, hit .236 with just two HR, eight stolen bases and 16 RBI, while playing every position in 2016, including pitching one inning in relief. Tigers GM Al Avila recently told local reporters that

  • Here are your United States Grand Prix times on NBC, NBCSN

    This week, Formula 1 heads to the United States for the fifth United States Grand Prix to be held at Circuit of The Americas in Austin. It seems hard to believe this is the fifth running here already, but it is. The championship battle rages between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, with the Mercedes AMG Petronas duo separated by 33 points, with Rosberg ahead. Here are the full times and details for this weekend’s coverage, with race coverage starting Sunday, at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC. Lights out is at 3 p.m. ET/2 p.m. CT and local time, from Austin. We should also note Off the Grid: Austria premieres at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, following coverage of Practice 1 on Friday. Mercedes teammates Lewis

  • What Vin Scully did instead of attending NLCS Game 4 at Dodger Stadium

    Instead, in broadcast booth No. 1 in the Vin Scully press box, his seat is filled by Fox’s play-by-play duo of Joe Buck and John Smoltz. Now, this isn’t a surprise, Vin retired and said there would be no postseason assignment because you can only really say goodbye once. Vin isn’t anywhere in Dodger Stadium — unless you count the various pictures and tributes.

    Big League Stew
  • Fox Sports' Nick Wright: Giants QB Eli Manning is a bad teammate

    On Monday, a day removed from a 27-23 victory over the Baltimore Ravens, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning appeared on WFAN radio with Mike Francesa. After being bombarded with questions about wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., Manning finally said “you could get sick” of OBJ’s antics if he’s not performing well. The comments caused immediate backlash for Manning. And after months of people criticizing him for defending Beckham Jr., those very same people began criticizing him for not defending Beckham Jr. firmly enough. Manning clarified his WFAN comments on Tuesday, saying his words had been twisted around by the media and that he was specifically referring to reporters when making those

    Giants Wire
  • LaMarcus Aldridge says he’s happy with Spurs, doesn’t buy into trade rumors

    The Spurs reportedly could trade LaMarcus Aldridge amidst his unhappiness with taking a backseat to Kawhi Leonard. They deny holding trade talks about Aldridge, but even if they haven’t, that means little. If the bigger concerns about Aldridge’s fit and happiness in San Antonio are rooted in reality, a deal could come together in due time. I doubt the Spurs are rushing to trade him at the first sign of trouble. For his part, Aldridge denies trouble, initial or otherwise. Aldridge on The Jim Rome Show, as transcribed by Jeff Garcia of News 4 San Antonio: “I didn’t buy into it. I haven’t heard anything about it. I talked to Pop (head coach Gregg Popovich) daily and he’s always telling me that I’m

  • There are two Antonio Browns, and one of them saved the other from football oblivion

    This is Antonio Brown. Now, a little over a decade after he left this Miami neighborhood for an uncertain future, his No. 84 Steelers jersey is everywhere – as popular as any Dolphins jersey on this particular South Florida game day. There are people wearing 84 who went on a Steelers Eastern Caribbean cruise with him last offseason, keeping photos of volleyball games and even the ID tag needed to board the boat.

    Yahoo Sports
  • The soon-to-be U.S. women's national team star you really should know

    Lynn Williams didn’t take long to make an impact in her USWNT debut. Because Lynn Williams took just 50 seconds to score her first national team goal. In a highly experimental game for head coach Jill Ellis, who fielded a three-woman back line and gave five players their debuts, the U.S. dominated but didn’t convert all of its possession and shots until Williams stepped into the fray.

    FC Yahoo
  • Who will win - Arkansas or Auburn?

    Yahoo Sports looks at the key matchups for Saturday's SEC battle in Auburn.

    Yahoo Sports Videos
  • Jimmy Howard makes statement, but knows his place with Red Wings

    The New York Rangers skated in on Jimmy Howard in waves. The scoreboard at the end of the Detroit Red Wings’ 2-1 victory at Madison Square Garden read ’32 saves,’ but that was a shallow evaluation of Howard’s night: The breakaways, odd-man rushes and high-percentage scoring chances he stopped en route to that victory. It was Howard’s first appearance since April 15, when he gave up four goals on 30 shots in Game 2 of the Wings’ first-round loss against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

    Puck Daddy
  • Yakupov returns to Edmonton, playing noteworthy role with Blues

    Nail Yakupov returns to Edmonton tonight, for the first time since the Oct. 7 trade that sent him to St. Louis. To nobody’s surprise, Yakupov wants to make a statement to the team that dealt him away. “I’d like to get two points here in this building for sure,” Yakupov told reporters, per Global News. “Can’t wait.” The first overall pick in 2012, Yakupov struggled through four erratic campaigns in Edmonton before getting a much-needed change of scenery. Though things started well — as a rookie, he scored 17 goals and 31 points during the 48-game lockout campaign — but eventually got to the point where the speedy Russian was playing a complimentary role, at best, in Edmonton’s forward group. There

  • Back From The Brink: After storm, COTA gears up for its biggest USGP yet

    After seeing Formula 1’s United States Grand Prix weekend become something of a washout as torrential rain struck the city of Austin, Texas, Circuit of The Americas chairman Bobby Epstein did not mince his words about the future of the race. Despite seeing Lewis Hamilton clinch his third world title after winning the race of the season at COTA just days earlier, Epstein knew that the storm damage was more than just a little mud and some flooding. When Texas governor Greg Abbott’s office indicated it would be cutting the amount of state funding offered for the race as a result of a drop in attendance and, more crucially, general spending by fans at the track on concessions and apparel, the future for the USGP at COTA looked bleak. Now, the USGP is back at COTA and bigger than ever as it prepares for its fifth running in Austin.

  • Hellmann’s sponsoring Sprint Cup race at Talladega

    Just a few days before Talladega Superspeedway hosts its second NASCAR weekend of the season, the track has announced a title sponsor for Sunday’s Sprint Cup race. Originally called the Alabama 500, the 188-lap race is now labelled the Hellmann’s 500. Hellmann’s, a long-time sponsor of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and JR Motorsports, produces Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise. The Hellmann’s 500 is the second elimination race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup and whittle the Chase field from 12 to eight drivers. The race can be seen at 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

    NASCAR Talk
  • Jose Bautista says Indians’ rookie pitcher should be scared of Game 5

    The Cleveland Indians are living that reality right now. First it was pitcher Danny Salazar, who went down in early September with a right forearm strain. Then it was Carlos Carrasco, who broke a bone his hand when it couldn’t get out of the way of a line drive in mid-September.

    Big League Stew
  • Steelers DC: Patriots do things that are 'on the edge of being legal or not legal'

    FOXBORO -- It may not be long before Patriots quarterback Tom Brady tells Steelers coordinator Keith Butler to "study the rule book and figure it out."  Butler made an appearance on Steelers.com's Coodinators' Corner show this week and hinted that the Patriots do things that border on illegal, seemingly referencing their use of odd formations in the Divisional Round of the playoffs two seasons ago as an example. "I don't think they're doing anything special," Butler said when asked why it's so difficult to prepare for the Patriots offense. "I think sometimes they do things outside the box sometimes, you know, that might be on the edge of being legal or not legal. "They've done a couple of things

  • The winless Kings expect Quick to miss ‘about three months’

    The Los Angeles Kings expect goalie Jonathan Quick to miss “about three months” with a reported groin injury, according to Lisa Dillman of the L.A. Times.  Quick has not had surgery and has not yet been placed on long-term injured reserve, but all eyes will be on GM Dean Lombardi to see if the Kings (0-3-0) make a move now. At the moment, the Kings’ netminding tandem is comprised of Jeff Zatkoff, who has just 31 career NHL starts to his name, and Peter Budaj, who’s spent the last couple of years in the AHL. Quick, in stark contrast to those two, started 68 games last season, and he started 71 the season before. He’s been a fixture in L.A.’s net, and it’s not so easy to replace a guy like that.

  • UEFA Europa League preview: RVP ready for “special” Old Trafford return

    We’ve got a Champions League-level match down in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday, highlighted by an Old Trafford visit by a Turkish giant. Old pal Robin Van Persie and Fenerbahce visit Manchester United on Thursday, and the home side would do well with all three points. Fener has a road draw at Zorya and a home win versus Feyenoord, while United beat Zorya after losing in the Netherlands. “In the last match I had a game against one of my first teams, Feyenoord, and next it’s United,” Van Persie said on ManUtd.com. “I am looking forward to it. I am now playing for Fenerbahce and I want to do well for my team but of course it will be special to play ‘at home’ [Old Trafford] in a great stadium

  • Russell Westbrook sub-Instagrammed Kevin Durant with cupcake photo

    Kevin Durant announced his departure from the Thunder to the Warriors on July 4. Russell Westbrook first publicly responded, using the loosest definition of response, several weeks later. Or so we thought. Westbrook apparently sent Durant a subtle message July 4, using a symbol popularized on the Thunder by former teammate Kendrick Perkins (who had very interesting thoughts on the Durant-Westbrook dynamic). Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated: Westbrook and Durant were not best buds, but they were peerless partners, a souped-up Stockton and Malone, transporting a mini market to the big time. Westbrook’s closest friends are actually former high school teammates, long-standing wing men like Donnell

  • Hossa's journey to 500 goals; Ottawa's attendance issues (Puck Headlines)

    Here are your Puck Headlines: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media. • Mini Pekka Rinne watches the Nashville Predators take on the Dallas Stars. • Why has home attendance become an issue for the Ottawa Senators?

    Puck Daddy
  • Lower stakes, but Sharks aim to ‘make a statement’ in return to Pittsburgh

    PITTSBURGH (AP) The stakes are nowhere near the same: hockey immortality versus two points in the standings in the second week of a long season. Still, the San Jose Sharks and Pittsburgh Penguins expect the atmosphere to be a little more heated than the usual NHL October product when they meet Thursday night barely four months removed from Pittsburgh’s six-game victory in the Stanley Cup Final. “It was obviously tough to go on that long a journey and lose the way we did,” San Jose coach Peter DeBoer said. “I don’t think there was any doubt at the end of the day they deserved to win, but at the same time I think for us it’s a chance to go in, and we’re a different team this year, and make a statement

  • Messi hat trick powers Barcelona to Champions League rout of Guardiola's Man City

    Lionel Messi celebrates his third in Barcelona’s 4-0 thrashing of Man City. Pep Guardiola may be in the process of building a fine Barcelona replica with Manchester City, but when faced with the real deal on Wednesday, it was painfully clear that there isn’t yet a substitute for Barca’s ball-wizardry machine. The little magician scored a hat trick in the 4-0 Barca win, with Neymar getting the final goal, as the game ended with both sides reduced to 10 men.

    FC Yahoo