A bunch of weird, funny (and less funny) pieces of news from the World of Italian football.
GALLIANI ALL OVER THE FIELD
Long interview by Corriere della Sera with AC Milan CEO, Adriano Galliani. The nr.2 of the 'Rossoneri' spoke to the most popular newspaper about several topics ahead of the clash with Juventus on Saturday the 20th of September (0-1 for Juventus at San Siro). Interesting quotes about Antonio Conte ('we tried to bring him to AC Milan') Max Allegri transfer to Juventus ('I came across him while he was leaving for Torino and he told about that') and unheard football politcs entente with Inter ('we have a lot of commong points with Inter rather than Juventus as it happened in the past'). However, the most striking part is when we discover that Adriano was a Juventus supporter in his childhood. He explains his choice with geographical and historical reasons that put his native city (Monza) at odds with the Lombardy capital, Milano: 'Monza people don't feel like belonging to Milano (due to the expansion of the Milano hinterland, Monza has basically been absorbed into it -edit) therefore, they go at odds and support Juventus. Additionally, Monza diocese is the only one in the Milano province that follows the Roman mass ritual and not the Ambrosian one. We've been the capital of the Longobardic Reign, we've always opposed our identity to the Milanese one.' Football, religion and politcs. Welcome to Italy.
RUDI, KING OF HEARTS
The name of Francesca Brienza will not tell you much. However, the guy depicted with her with the background of the Coliseum is not unfamiliar given it's the AS Roma French coach, Rudi Garcia. After being spot by local yellow press together, the 'Giallorossi' gaffer decided to make a joint coming out with her on Twitter. But, who is Francesca Brienza? As commonly happens to average people in their average life, Rudi and Francesca met 'at work' since the brunette is anchor at Roma Channel, the club's tv. A lot of congratulating comments to the new couple 'Made in AS Roma' with a very funny one from a fan: 'I don't know either he is the lucky one or her.'
It is not the first time that TV and football worlds intertwine. Few years ago, Leonardo proposed to marry Anna Billo' (Sky Sport anchor) live while being interviewed as AC Milan coach. Recently, Gianluigi Buffon separated with wife, Alena Seredova, following the start of a relationship with popular Sky Calcio anchor Ilaria D'Amico. It's world know the tie between Spanish journalist, Sara Carbonero, with the Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas.
We need to travel several tiers down the Italian football system and go across the sea to reach the town of Sanluri, 8,500 people. The name will not tell you much, however this is the native town of Sardinian businessman and entrepreneur, Renato Soru, the founder of Tiscali, and Massimo Cellino, former Cagliari Calcio owner now off to UK with Leeds United. As any respectful city/town/village, Sanluri can also boast their own football club: A.S.D. Sanluri Calcio. The club plays in the Italian 5th tier, 'Eccellenza' which is organized in 28 regional divisions.
What happened that made the tiny club worth a mention? The Sanluri Calcio president, Paolo Pilloni, was object of the so-called DASPO, the suspension from attending football events at any level both in an official and unofficial role. The suspension was born as a measure against supporters violence however was later extended also anyone letting himself go to abuses.
Pilloni was found guilty of aggression against the match director of the Sanluri-Tortoli game. On the Sunday the 14th, during the interval of the fixture, Pilloni broke into the referee changing room and attacked the match director. The game was suspended since the referee was compelled to go to the ER of the nearest hospital following wounds caused by Pilloni's violent attack. The Sanluri Calcio president is now sidelined to attend any competition for the next five years.
SINISA STRIKES BACK
When he was a player, he never pulled himself out of the fight. His attitude on the pitch was several times controversial. Off the pitch, as a coach, it seems things haven'e changed much. Either you love him or hate him, and it usually depends on which side he plies his trade for. Sampdoria tifosi are certainly all behind Sinisa Mihajlovic since he took charge of the 'Blucerchiati' and helped the club to rise from the dumps and save themselves from Serie B. However, some people might still be at odds with him.
Like a mysterious man who address the Serbian coach with very straight words outside of the Sampdoria training camp in Nervi, just before the squad took the bus to ride to Emilia-Romagna to take on Sassuolo. 'You are a dickhead!' were the words of the verbal aggressor. Sinisa maintained composure and got closer to the abuser to ask him whether it was addressed to him or not. The abuser turned into a man of action and tried to hit Sinisa straight in the face. The Samp coach was quick in avoiding the jab (only his sunglassed got smashed) and soon got better of his aggressor until he regained control of himself also thanks to several players intervening to separate the coach from the aggressor. Later on, he filed an official complaint at the constabulary against the man whose identity has not been revealed but seems to be already notorius to the law enforcement.
'ME STAY HERE!'
More than a press conference, it was a one-man show the one given by Gennaro 'Rino' Gattuso as coach of the Greek club, OFI Creta. Started in Italian language (with translation into English for the Greek interpreter reporting into the local language), he soon decided to switch to his (broken) English. Futher words are not needed, just watch the video. Italian coaches are not new to outbursts in front of cameras abroad. All started with Trapattoni and his legendary press conference at Bayern Munich and continued with Luciano Spalletti in a hot post-match interview at Zenit St.Petersburg to finish with Alberto Malesani long rant at Panathinaikos.