Cristiano Biraghidefender and captain of Fiorentina, was told to the microphones of ‘Chronicles of locker room ‘recounting his career beginnings, his experience in Spain, his return to Inter and his pride in having arrived in Europe with the purple colors.
GOAL AT 17 YEARS OLD IN THE CITY – “That shot at the crossroads cost me slaps on the neck from Materazzi for three days, it was his way of being happy for me. I was 17 and it was all new. I enter in a friendly against Manchester City and I get a meaningless goal. I’ve seen it a thousand times, I had to be good at not being labeled just for that. There was a loop where I had to demonstrate every time, expectations soared. In the end, I’m a novice boy and it’s not easy to manage: Inter were good at it in this, they didn’t expose me. Everyone loved me in that locker room, from Eto’o to Cambiasso, up to a very young Coutinho. The Treble had arrived only two months earlier ”.
THE EXPERIENCE ABROAD – “Traveling, always. I was a kid who chose to go to Spain, to play for Granada, and very few Italians chose to emigrate to get involved. In LaLiga I had continuity, I didn’t have it repeated twice. I still had no family or children, so getting around was easier. Grab a backpack and go. The football I found was very technical. In Spain the rate was very high, everyone was playing openly while we still had the old long ball. They had a conception and a training methodology that had not yet arrived to us. The focus was on tactics and physicality to be able to win, in Spain I understood that training quality and technique is essential to stand out and emerge ”.
MESSI AND CR7 – “Here in Spain there were the two strongest players in the world, Messi and Ronaldo. Being able to face them was great and playing in a league of this level, too. New stadiums, different language, culture to discover, a new way of thinking. I expanded the technical and human background, and I enjoyed it. Leo and CR7 were in top form, competing for golden balls every year and Barcelona were one of the strongest teams in recent years. In the 90 minutes you were facing them, it wasn’t pleasant to be there. But you will always remember it. Those are the things that I will tell my children. At Camp Nou you went there and they had 80% of possession. Almost humiliating, you were playing an athletics match and not a football match. Basically, they played soccer and you ran after a ball like a dog. The field was giant, they never lost it. If you took two passes, the third would jump on you ”.
FANS MADNESS – “I never wanted to make the fans go crazy because of me. When they write to me “If you say hello to me, I’ll make my hair red”, or something like that, I try not to drive them crazy! I would feel too guilty to send a red-haired person around, haha! But I appreciate the passion, because they would be dyed thanks to it “.
PUNISHMENTS – “Punishment is my great love. My secret is to try to store as much information as possible about the type of football. I study the grass of the stadium where I play and try to repeat the correct movement of the training. At the end of each session, I ask a goalkeeper to stop with me and I start shooting in a functional way. In addition to improving the way you kick, I test the movement to stop it in my mind and be able to replicate it. Each punishment is different, it is essential to know for each condition how to kick and in which way. The run-up must be efficient and rational based on football. If I want a strong shot, I go with a whip, so I need more run-up. If I’m looking for a soft shot, on the other hand, I need a little step. Fortunately, with an average short run-up I can give the ball a good power. At the Franchi, playing often, I know every inch of the pitch. The turf is among the most beautiful in Italy. Elsewhere, where the grass is taller, it’s different. You have to get it from below, otherwise it won’t rise. These are tricks that are part of football and cannot be an excuse, you have to study, try and make mistakes, until you find the right formula. I have always been inspired by Mihajlović, a football style similar to mine: not soft, but a fast ball in the middle of the neck. He is a must in this technical gesture, getting close is difficult if not impossible, but I try to steal something from him “.
INTER – “Brozović was a darts monster, he also has his own kit to go away and challenge us all. Playing with him in training camp is basically a practice. When Conte arrived, everything changed. Returning to Inter had always been my goal. I will always be happy to be back, reaching important trophies. Personally, meeting Conte was fundamental for my career. Without forgetting to drink a good glass of wine with Barella ”.
HATERS – “I’ve never felt a sense of revenge towards criticism. I have always worked without listening to what people say about me. Of course, if they love you, it’s better than the other way around. I gave everything for the shirts I wore. In Florence there is a stronger bond, this is clear, because in addition to the sporting component, there is also the death of Davide that binds us inextricably. I have received insults for fantasy football, or for my performances, but I don’t care. On social media, everyone can have their say. When there is too much freedom, it always goes further. Behind a screen we are all good. It is not a world that I like, that one. I also saw what happened to Lollo Venuti: senseless offenses. We need to start even before from social networks, from people, and recover them on a mental level, because if you manage to say certain things, you have to correct yourself internally, you are not ready to interact with people “.
PEGS – “I have to send a message to the coach to congratulate him on winning the Scudetto. I am very happy for him, he deserves it. When he arrived, Milan were hitting rock bottom, it wasn’t easy to take over. It was one of the hardest jobs for a coach. It is the greatest gratification since he has been training. He deserves it because he is a good coach, but also a person that there are few in this world. I am happy for him and his staff. Stefano is a very genuine person, who does not differentiate between individual players or what you do on the pitch. He doesn’t make many calculations on how to behave, he is good in the truest sense of the term. I have a clean relationship with him “.
EUROPE – “Davide, I promised you: let’s go to Europe. When you stayed at Fiorentina, becoming their captain, it was a year of transition and everything was changing. We wanted to go back to Europe, we didn’t succeed and you left. You left us your ideals to carry on, in everyday life even before in specific moments. We succeeded and this qualification is for you too. Now that I am the captain, I have learned that there is no need to rant, that making things understood is what is most important. I try to replicate your teachings, young people make mistakes and it is right that they do, it is up to us to transmit the correct behaviors. I feel everyone’s responsibility, I start first and foremost from my attitudes on and off the pitch. I am responsible for a team towards a city like Florence, a warm and demanding square. He gives you affection, but asks in return. There are so many pressures that are not easy to manage, but it is stimulating. The qualification for the Conference, with a good football together with Italian, was a great satisfaction. I felt involved in something stimulating, one of my best moments together with the Champions League and my debut in the national team “.
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