How Samardo Samuels (@OlimpiaEA7Mi) is growin’ up

When I met Samardo Samuels for the first time, earlier this season, I din’t know what to expect from this guy.

Of course, I knew about his past basketball experiences (including the NBA), but I really wanted to meet him to know what kind of guy he was.

Funny, this is the first word I would associate to him. Samardo Samuels is definitely a funny guy: he’s talkative, he definitely embraced the “fashion mode” living in Milan, he’s genuine and I’d say he’s a naive, candid big boy. A football addicted (soccer, for US readers), who once dreamt to play in the Premier League for a top English club, who pretends that he cried when Roberto Baggio missed the decisive penalty in the 1994 World Cup Final and now he’s crazy for AC Milan and Mario Balotelli.

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Everybody recognized from the very first minute how important he had to be for EA7 Emporio Armani Milan: starting the season he was the only “center”, as Angelo Gigli (then loaned to Reggio Emilia) and CJ Wallace (who’s more a PF but he’s got size) where struggling with injuries and/or fitness.

Even after the arrival of Gani Lawal, Samardo is still the only one low-post big man in the team, where he can work either with his body (especially in the Italian League) than with his soft touch. But, during the season he also had his troubles to deal with.

A few games in Israel last season can’t be enough to say that he arrived in Milan experienced enough to know how to be consistent any given day, for practice or games. He was facing Euroleague Basketball, and a big role in a top European team for the first time of his life.

Entering EA7 practice facility, he saw that sign that welcomes everybody is coming in: “If you’re not here to win, you are in the wrong place”. Well, this is just a sign. But it reminds to everybody how bad this team needs to win. Milan is desperate to lift a trophy since 18 years now. In 1996, the “then-called” Stefanel Milan won the Italian League and Cup, coached by Euro legend Bogdan Tanjevic, led on the court by stars like Nando Gentile (Alessandro’s father), Dejan Bodiroga, Rolando Blackman, Gregor Fucka and specialists like the sharp-shooter Flavio Portaluppi, who’s currently in charge of the general manager position.

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Not easy to face it, especially when the team that has dominated the last 7 years in Italy lost a lot of its power (Siena), and there are no more reliable title contender if we think it on a playoffs situation. Pick a team of your choice between Sassari, Siena, Rome and tell me who could beat Milan on a 7 games series, on paper. Yes, you know the answer.

That’s a big pressure, and everybody understood how much the team was feeling it during the quarterfinal series against Pistoia, a newcomer in the Beko Serie A League with a very short rotation: still, they pushed Milan to the limit, even leading by 1 at the halftime in game-5. In that meanwhile, EA7 was dealing with struggles on their game, arguing with referees, losing that confidence that led them to with the last 19 games of the regular season (19-0 since Daniel Hackett came).

In this situation, Samardo Samuels had worked good enough to figure out how to become a reliable starting center even at Euroleague Basketball level, being there day in and day out in the domestic league, improving his consistency in defense and overcoming a big injury that occurred in late november (he broke his right hand, then he came back in January). “When you’re forced to sit out injured you can better understand how the things are going, when you’re playing you’re just focused on that few things you have to do, and it’s more complicated to observe the whole thing”, he told me a few months ago.

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His impact before and after that injury was totally different: some insiders from the team told me that Samuels was a “coachable” guy, willing to improve and showing it. Sometimes, at practice, I saw him doing things that he never showed during the games: great passing, most of all. Then he started putting all his pieces together: his usual low-post moves, mid-range and long-range shooting (he scored a 3 pointer in the last 3 playoffs games), great passing from the post to find cutters and spot-up shooters. It’s safe to say that he is now the best center in this League.

Here are his numbers in the playoffs (5 games vs. Pistoia, 1 game vs. Sassari), compared to the regular season: Samuels is averaging 14.0 points (+2.6), shooting 65.9% on 2FG (+12.1), 36.4% on 3FG (+1.1), 70% on FT (+0.8), grabbing 6.7 rebounds (+1.6), even doing better on blocks (+0.5), assists (+0.1), turnovers (-0.1), plus minus (+1.0) and minutes played (+4.6).

Samuels signed a 2 years deal last summer: now it’s easy to understand why. He brought good technique and an interesting body. They bet on those qualities to make him a legit Euroleague starter and a difference maker. This is not 100% done yet, but we all can see the mark of progression.


Performing Under Pressure [feat. @ReseRice4, @MaccabiElectra, @Euroleague]

Did you ever think that Tyrese Rice would be that kind of player that can collect a Euroleague championship PLUS a Final Four MVP Trophy?

I didn’t, I admit. Also, I was pretty sure that Real Madrid would win the final on Sunday night, wondering how the Israeli side could even try to get close to Sergio Rodriguez and his teammates.

I was wrong, and I have no problem in saying that.

Now, just a couple of samples to discuss one point. Tyrese Rice was a killer during the playoffs series against EA7 Emporio Armani Milan, he did it again in the Final Four. His layup that gave his team the victory in the semifinal against CSKA Moscow already was a play for the ages, due to the very particular moment of the game (and, I would say, in the history of both teams).

So, will Tyrese Rice be the player that everybody will try to sign in the offseason? Can he fit in any system with the same impact? Can he be the guy who runs a team all game long (all season long) or does he need to keep is current role of troublemaker coming off the bench (and then stay on the court to rely on is instinct)? How can you coach his instinct?


In this play, Rice runs a pick and roll with Alex Tyus: the point guard recognizes how the defense react. In this situation, Real Madrid center’s Ioannis Bourousis doesn’t want to let Tyus get enough space for an alley-oop dunk, maybe the trademark play of the Rice-Tyus duo. That’s why he didn’t switched on the pick and roll, but that gave to Rice the opportunity to go for a downtown shot. Can you criticize this choice? Sure, you can. Even knowing that Tyrese Rice is not a pure shooter. But in basketball all your choices can be right or wrong. The point is: the offense has the key. “Every time an offensive player has an advantage over the defense, so the most important thing for me is to not do the same thing all the time. Sometimes you need to change your rhythm, sometimes you need to change your direction, sometimes you need to change the side of the pick-and-roll. Everything is in how you read the defense”. That what Olympiacos’ king Vassilis Spanoulis told me last year. “Read the defense”. Has Rice learned that lesson?


In the second picture, we have the following offensive possession of Maccabi Electra: same play, same situation. Pick and roll between Alex Tyus and Tyrese Rice. Same positions, a different reaction from the defender. This time, Bourousis comes closer to Rice as Maccabi Electra’s point guard knocked down a three-pointer before. And Rice read the defense: no reason to force a “three” in front of a seven-footer, let Tyus fly with an alley-oop pass, as Bourousis defensive choice cleared all the space on the lane. Spanoulis was right in his sentence, and Rice proved it again. All you need to do is read the defense: yes, sure. But how many players can keep their focus to do it in a Euroleague final overtime?

Now, you’re a coach and you need a point guard to win the Euroleague: will Tyrese Rice be your man? And what will you ask him? Can he play better than he did? Would you bet on coaching his instinct and forcing him to play a different system? Sometimes players and coaches’ careers (and teams’ destinies) depends on the answer to that kind of questions. And, to be honest, you need some luck to make the right decision.


My #Springsteen experience [sorry for my English, Bruce]

I wish I were an English native to write this piece properly.

I work as a sports writer, love basketball, boxing is my hobby. And Bruce Springsteen is there, whatever I do.

As a writer, I found in his songs the best stories I could ever dream to write by myself.

As a basketball fan, I found the essence of what a franchise player should act on and off the court.

As a boxing novice, anytime I step in the ring, or jumping the rope, I remember that “stay hard, stay hungry, stay alive if you can” line from “This Hard Land”, arguably my favorite song for several reasons. It reminds me a lot of my hometown in Sicily, where there are too much of seeds that nobody know what happened to. That transformed one of the most beautiful places of this world in a very “hard land” to live, to believe, to fight for.

I would love to be good the half as Bruce is in telling and sharing stories that can represent anyone everywhere in the world. Just a few, simple pics of common daylife that everybody has to deal with, no matter how rich, how good you are. We’re just fighting the same fight: be good men, good brothers, good parents, no matter where and when our journey starts.

We just think about doing good what WE can control on a daily basis. It’s about making our part in our own history. It’s about not giving anybody else the chance to decide our final destination.

As a basketball player, Springsteen should be a perfect point guard: it’s all about making the right decision, calling the right play, making sure that everybody in your team feels comfortable with his role and making the crowd believe that you are in control. Bruce does it everytime and everywhere he goes, and for those who remember the amazing performance he made in Florence [We should remember it as the”Who Can Stop the Rain” night, my “brothers” Gianmaria and Massimo were there] you know that he will never give up until his job is done. And his job is actually to make people feel good, feel better, feel proud of what they are.

I don’t know if he would agree with my interpretation of what the Bruce Springsteen nights mean to me. But I do think that there’s not only one Springsteen for everybody. He just found a common language to talk about our stories, that are very different and very similar at the same time. That’s why everybody has his/her songs, concerts, performances and memories.

Today I feel blessed because I actually found the way to share my Springsteen feelings in Milan with my favorite friends and the girl I love. Then I made it in Paris with my brother, in his very first Bruce Springsteen concert appearence.

Today, I just feel proud and happy. That’s the sense of being here, I guess. See you in Rome, everybody.

Waiting 4 London: My 1st Euroleague TV season review

My feelings (and “awards”) about my work on Euroleague Basketball Magazine (you can find it on Youtube, also check

Things I’ve seen, people I’ve met, thoughts I’ve had.


Best game attended: Olympiacos Piraeus-Anadolu Efes Istanbul (Playoffs, Game-5)

Not only because of the atmosphere at Peace and Friendship Stadium. Not only because the game was the most important of the season for both teams. It was, in fact, a great basketball game. Anadolu Efes put up a great showing for 25 minutes, then Olympiacos came back strong to finally win it. It was a shame to see Jordan Farmar sitting on the bench because of an injury, missing the last quarter. The game missed some fashion and great quality without him (and, of course, the Turkish side missed his talent).

Honorable Mention: BC Khimki-Olympiacos Piraeus

Khimki has been one of my favorite teams throughout the season. I watched a lot of their games during 2011-12 Eurocup victorious campaign as a commentator with Eurosport Italy, and I was curious to see them in Euroleague. I was not disappointed with the quality of their game, which was brilliant in terms of team identity, chemistry, execution and ability to read the game. They brought all those things to the table when the defending champions Olympiacos visited them in Top 16. And the Greek team answered with a marvelous second half, using their pick and roll play with intelligence and adapting their defense to stop bleeding in the paint, overcoming a 13 points game to force Khimki to their first home defeat in three years in the European cups. Just marvelous.

Best trip: Moscow, Russia

It was my first time in Russia. And it was a great way to celebrate that watching two top level Euroleague games (CSKA-Panathinaikos & Khimki-Olympiacos). I didn’t had time for sightseeing, just a little walk in the Red Square and a couple of coffees. However, it was great to sit down with 16 great players (4 for each team) and get a inside look on their team’s life (especially those that were traveling), spending almost a week there.

Best Interview: Vassilis Spanoulis (Olympiacos Piraeus)

When I sat down with him (we were in Russia at Olympiacos’ hotel, during a Top 16 trip) I felt that Vassilis really understands who he is. A big time player and an important personality for his club and the sports we all love in his country. He was concrete, lucid and pleasant to listen. In fact, I had the same feeling when I spoke with him a few minutes after the regular season victory in Milan (where the home fans rewarded him with a standing ovation) and also in other post game interviews (after the game in Khimki and after Game-5 against Anadolu Efes). He knows that talking to the media is a part of his work and he does it with style. It’s a true pleasure, as a journalist.

Best post game interview: Heiko Schaffartzik (Alba Berlin) after the game vs. Brose Baskets Bamberg

Quote: “We never got down in any way and when we received a punch we gave them two back in their face. And that is what made the difference today”.

My All-Interview 1st Team

Vassilis Spanoulis (Olympiacos Piraeus)

Quote about his work behind-the-scene to get ready for each game: “It is mental preparation, self-criticism, watching lots of videos of yourself because when you watch videos you face the truth, because if you don’t see it you could say that a moment in a game was not your mistake but someone else’s mistake. But when you see the video you see what is real. Of course you need character to pass difficult situations because in the end who is more mentally strong will take the titles”.

Roko Ukic (Panathinaikos Athens)

Quote about playing with Panathinaikos: “It is better to be the host than the guest in that gym [OAKA] and the fans give us support and they support us even when we lose. All that feeling is great even when you see all the flags up on the roof and you feel you are part of something important and that really makes you feel special”.

Kelvin Rivers (BC Khimki Moscow Region)

Quote about his role with Khimki: “To be honest with you I have completely no idea what my role is. I just fit in where I can you know. Whatever is needed whether it is to go and play defense or at times just try to take over when it is needed. I do what I know I can do and I do not do anything I am capable of doing”.

Andy Panko (Unicaja Malaga)

Quote about his Panathinaikos’ stint: “I always wanted to play in Spain, even in the summer, I told my agent that my priority was to play in Spain but when Panathinaikos came, I mean I got to be stupid to pass that up so it was a great opportunity for me to play for one of the best teams in the history of basketball”.

Ioannis Bourousis (EA7 Emporio Armani Milan)

Quote about his life in Italy: “Of course I like my Greek philosophy but Italian life is a lot easier. It is more relaxed. You know Italy. ‘Vai tranquillo!’ [in Italian], you know Italia!”

Coach: Rimas Kurtinaitis (BC Khimki Moscow Region)

Quote about the clutch-time decisions: “I don’t want to tell that those decisions are right, but they’re happy. I don’t know how to explain that, it’s just a feeling coming from inside. I do a lot of things just by feeling, as a former player. if you ask me why I made a substitution or why I call a play, sometimes I have no answer. I just feel we must do what I feel”.

My All-Interview 2nd Team

Marko Popovic (Zalgiris Kaunas)

Quote about his father playing basketball: “I remember him [his father] playing very well because my mum took me to my first game when I was three months old and since I walked into the gym at that time I have never left it. Basketball is basically in my blood”.

Earl Calloway (Unicaja Malaga)

Quote about his life in Malaga: “It’s very relaxing. Everything shuts down from two to five and they just go and enjoy life so that is pretty interesting. There is no stopping in America. A thirty-minute break and you are good to go”.

Rimantas Kaukenas (Zalgiris Kaunas)

Quote about a funny anecdote when he played in Israel: “A few times when I played in Israel there were some funny things because some people thought I was Dolph Lundgren! If I walked outside in the mall in Tel Aviv, people sometimes came to me asking ‘Are you Dolph Lundgren?’ [smiles]”.

CJ Wallace (FC Barcelona Regal)

Quote about a funny moment during a waiting in the airport when he was playing in Capo d’Orlando, Italy: “We had to keep ourselves entertained, we were a small team in Italy, you know we couldn’t buy fancy iPads and stuff like that so we played hide and seek and it wasn’t a very big airport so there weren’t a lot of places to hide and there was a store kind of near the base…and while the guy was counting I went in there and put on a helmet and had a bag and just kind of stood in the window for a little while. The lady that was working in the store was very nice, she let me get away with it but no-one found me for like 15 or 20 minutes and I won!”.

Kresimir Loncar (BC Khimki) 

Quote about playing in Russia: “I have been here for a long time and I can speak Russian but it is not easy for a European player to come to Russia. I think that the players who come here in the first year can see that this is an unbelievable city. It is cold but it is cold in other European cities as well. If you want nice weather then you go for the summer to Ibiza”.


Milano città dello sport. O anche no

Il Milan si presenta con una delle peggiori squadre degli ultimi vent’anni, ma spacciando di aver “scelto” la politica dei giovani.

L’Inter di Stramaccioni rimarrà nella storia per essere stata la prima squadra italiana a vincere nel nuovo stadio della Juventus. E di questo si accontenta, perché il resto non si guarda (o non si vede, come Sneijder).

L’EA7 Emporio Armani Milano vanta una serie di cinque vittorie esterne in campionato (contro le ultime, Siena a parte) ma anche di cinque sconfitte di fila in casa (contro le migliori, Siena a parte, ma non solo).

Probabilmente si tratta di una delle peggiori stagioni di sempre nel rapporto tra prestazioni (più che risultati) e attenzioni mediatiche ricevute (anche la mia).

Roba che ci si ritrova a provare nostalgia per il gol di Contra nel derby, le stecche da fuori di Wim Jonk o il collo taurino di Josh Sankes: quando ci si divertiva con poco.

Sport “minori”, a voi: è la vostra grande occasione.


Dieci pensieri sintetici su Barcellona-Milan

Premesso che il mio livello di lucidità era questo: credevo che la partita fosse di mercoledì, ero proprio in “trance” agonistica.

01. Dissento, totalmente, da tutti quelli che oggi parlano di Ibrahimovic e della sua “occasione persa”. Non è che abbia avuto cinque palle gol tirando sempre in curva. O no?

02. Dissento, totalmente, da chi pensa che il Milan sia uscito per colpa dell’arbitro. Il primo rigore era evidente, sul secondo si può discutere. Dice Gianluca Vialli: “In Italia non li fischiano mai ma è un nostro problema, in Europa li danno“. Poi…

03. …60-40% di possesso palla, 21 tiri a 3. De che stamo a parlà?

04. Vedere Nocerino segnare al Camp Nou è una cosa bellissima soprattutto per lui, coronamento ideale di una stagione impressionante e francamente inattesa.

05. Pato: seriamente, ma se la scorsa settimana nessuno aveva idea di come curarlo, come può aver recuperato davvero per giocare a Barcellona dopo un’andata e ritorno dagli USA? Mistero vero.

06. Messi: ha segnato due rigori tirandoli molto bene, crea scompiglio ogni volta che ha la palla, s’è mangiato un gol clamoroso per lui, ogni tanto si piace troppo ma che gli vuoi dire? Siamo a 58 gol stagionali in 49 partite. Whaaaaaat?

07. Guardiola: il limite delle squadre che giocano (meravigliosamente) in un modo solo può essere quello di leggere poco le situazioni. Lui l’ha fatto, partendo con la difesa a tre, schierando esterni larghissimi e cercando costantemente di aprire il campo, memore di ciò che era accaduto all’andata. Poi si è rimesso a 4 dietro una volta rasserenatosi. Bravo.

08. Allegri: mi sembrache abbia fatto il massimo con ciò che ha. Quindi nulla da dire. La stima per l’allenatore è tanta, perché è uno che ha sempre difeso le sue scelte, giuste o sbagliate. Non ha nulla da rimproverarsi, ha perso contro avversari più forti, period.

09. Barcellona: quanti gol in più segnerebbe se ogni tanto tirasse? Sono serio. La sua ossessione nel cercare di entrare in porta con la palla è diventata stucchevole.

10. Milan: la sfida al Barça è stata dipinta come quella tra Davide e Golia. Solo che se è vero che i blaugrana sono Golia, il Milan non può essere Davide. O allora se lo è la squadra campione d’Italia in carica (e prima in classifica) siamo messi male. Ma male, male, male.


Ibrahimovic e il Marchese del Grillo

Sarà che l’attaccante svedese del Milan (Pallone d’Oro solo per i giornali italiani, al momento, com’era già successo ai tempi dell’Inter) e il film diretto da Mario Monicelli (e interpretato da Alberto Sordi) sono entrambi datati 1981. Come chi sta scrivendo queste righe, del resto. Evidentemente tra noi c’è una qualche affinità elettiva.

Ho un’ammirazione particolare per Zlatan Ibrahimovic, perché è uno di quei calciatori che non puoi che adorare per il loro talento assoluto. Poi vince, perde, segna, non segna, importa il giusto (almeno a me).

Mi piace perché quando gioca come sa domina, senza se e senza ma. Poi tutte le storie relative alle sue mancanze in Champions League le lascio a chi ne vuole discutere, non sono così emotivamente coinvolto da farmene un dramma.

La parte affascinante di Ibra (19 gol in 21 presenze in questo campionato con il Milan, al momento) non è solo quella che mostra in campo. Dalle mie parti, in Sicilia, uno come lui verrebbe definito un “picciuttazzu”, nella misura in cui dà l’impressione di fare ciò che vuole, come vuole, e se non ti sta bene sai già dove devi andare (là dove non batte il sole) altrimenti ti ci manda.

Com’è successo oggi a Vera Spadini, di Sky Sport, al termine di Milan-Lecce.

Ecco, qui sotto, alcuni estratti di Ibra vs tutti gli altri.

vs. Massimiliano Nebuloni (Sky Sport)

vs. Arrigo Sacchi (Mediaset Premium)

vs. Vera Spadini (Sky Sport)

vs. Laura Lago (Tele 5)

Grazie Zlatan, alla prossima!


C’era Milan-Juve, chissenefrega di loro. Giusto? Giusto un…

Per evitare equivoci, io capisco, ci mancherebbe. Capisco che il calcio sia lo sport più popolare d’Italia e del mondo, capisco che ci sono milioni di tifosi ovunque ansiosi di sapere come va a finire la sfida tra le prime due squadre del campionato italiano, lo capisco perché interessava anche a noi alla Porsche Arena di Stoccarda.


Quello che non accetto, però, è il fatto di considerare che siccome c’è quella partita di calcio tutto il resto non esiste. E non esiste perché “non ci interessa”. Una cosa che mi sono sentito dire da diversi colleghi con riferimento alla riunione di boxe che sono andato a vedere: dunque “non ci interessa” il mondiale dei pesi massimi (certo, nella versione Wba e senza i Klitschko, ma parliamo comunque di top della categoria), non interessa che ci siano due pugili italiani nel sottoclou. Un pensiero sul mondiale: per quattro persone diverse che fanno quattro lavori diversi aveva vinto Marco Huck, i cartellini di tre e quattro punti a vantaggio di Povetkin sono fantasie senza senso.

Allora parliamo di due ragazzi che accettano sfide difficilissime, a volte al di sopra delle loro possibilità, perché cercano di avere (e giocarsi) almeno un´opportunità, oltre che fare qualche soldo. Roberto Cocco (seguito a Stoccarda da Maurizio Tasso), per esempio, lavora alla Fiat e fa il combattente: dico combattente e non pugile perché pratica anche Thay e Kickboxe, ed è pure parecchio bravo (ha combattuto due settimane fa (contro Arthur Kyshenko). Se avesse avuto, come i tedeschi, un promoter in grado di proteggere il suo percorso di carriera con avversari alla portata, e la capacità di aumentare il numero delle vittorie, oggi sarebbe in una buona posizione di classifica e non dovrebbe semplicemente fare da test per un pugile come Robert Woge, ex campione tedesco dei dilettanti, che non è nulla di speciale. Woge ha vinto, Cocco non ha fatto uno dei suoi migliori match, pace. Nello sport si vince e si perde.

Salvatore Annunziata, invece, lavora al mercato con suo padre tutti i giorni, e si allena almeno due ore in palestra con Biagio Zurlo a Torre Annunziata. Ha perso pure lui, contro Jack Culcay (ex campione mondiale dei dilettanti), in un match in cui con un po’ di lucidità in più avrebbe potuto fare meglio. Ha preso un diretto destro al settimo round che lo ha mandato al tappeto, poco dopo l´arbitro ha fermato tutto. Pure lui è venuto qui, sapendo molto poco del suo avversario (perché come immaginerete durante il mercato c’è poco tempo per fare scouting), e lo ha fatto perché sta cercando “una soddisfazione. Mi dicono: ma che ci vai a fare? A perdere? E perdo, ma almeno vengo qui a giocarmela con avversari di buon livello, davanti a migliaia di persone, con l´incontro trasmesso alla tv tedesca. Magari fa piacere ai tanti napoletani che vivono in Germania vedere uno delle nostre parti in televisione, no?”.

Una soddisfazione, magari, potrebbe essere un’altra chance per il titolo italiano. Oppure qualche altra opportunità di venire a prendere una buona borsa in Germania a fronte di quelle miserie che si offrono dalle nostre parti.

A quelli che si offendono e bollano chi critica lo sport italiano come “esterofili” consigliamo di venire a vedere una volta tanto come funzionano le cose, dove funzionano. Perché tra il servizio “navetta” in Porsche e il fare tutto da soli ci deve pur essere una via di mezzo. Perché è totalmente ingiusto ricordarsi che in Italia si fa pugilato (o scherma, o atletica) solo quando ci sono le Olimpiadi. E perché la difesa di impianti vetusti e organizzazioni difettose non può più essere giustificata con “le tradizioni”, “il sapore delle sfide antiche”.

E perché i Roberto Cocco, i Salvatore Annunziata e tutti gli altri pugili che provano a essere professionisti perché amano quello che fanno meritano di essere rispettati, e aiutati una volta che hanno dimostrato di avere delle qualità. Come la merita lo spagnolo Roberto Santos (che di lavoro fa il guardiano di notte in un campeggio), venuto a Stoccarda per affrontare il pompatissimo Dominik Britsch per il titolo dell´Unione Europea per andarsene via con un pari. Perché aveva vinto, ma non avendo nessuno alle spalle finisce che se pareggia gli va pure bene. Quindi, se per caso si trovassero due minutini di tempo tra un ricorso della Juve per uno scudetto di sei anni fa o qualche altra urgentissima polemica a proposito di griglie arbitrali, fuorigioco e “quanti rigori a noi e quanti rigori a loro”, le “istituzioni” sportive potrebbero anche cercare di capire come aiutare queste persone, e chi vuole essere come loro, magari sognando di diventare come Francesco Damiani invece che come Roberto Pruzzo.



Zlatan Ibrahimovic è una faccia da schiaffi. Roba da buffetti. Quelli che si danno ai ragazzi vivaci (ip. 1), spontanei (ip. 2), o – usando un’altra figura retorica più popolare – con la faccia come il culo (ip. 3). Pare che ultimamente si sia divertito lui a distribuirne qualcuno.

La scenetta che lo ha visto protagonista con i vari Aronica, Nocerino e De Sanctis durante l’ultimo Milan-Napoli è troppo esilarante per meritare espulsioni, squalifiche, ricorsi, e tutte queste belle cose. Faceva sorridere. E fa ridere anche il dibattito seguente: “violento”, “no, violento no”, “però antisportivo”, “ah beh quello sì”, “allora tre giornate!”, “no due!”, “dai due”, “tre!”. Tre, alla fine, pace.

Poi succede che dà una sberla (o qualcosa del genere, ora l’ultimo termine tecnico non me lo ricordo) al portiere Storari in occasione di Milan-Juve di Coppa Italia. Una partita che passerà alla storia come quella della doppietta di Martìn Cáceres (sempre lo stesso che a Torino non andava bene non troppi mesi fa e ora invece sì). Ho provato a vedere i gol ma su Sky non ce l’ho fatta. Poi, confesso, non ci ho più provato. Mi ricapiterà di sicuro qualche altra occasione.

Il “colpo proibito” dovrebbe essere qua dentro. Siamo ben lontani da questo e pure da questo, a dire il vero.

Chiellini si costerna (per l’infame gesto), Ambrosini s’indigna (“Fa la spia”),  Galliani s’impegna (a contenere il danno): siamo in attesa di vedere chi getta la spugna (con gran dignità).


(scusandomi con Fabrizio De André per aver “usato” Don Raffaé alla fine del pezzo)

Conte e Allegri non se le mandano a dire

Per definire la favorita per lo scudetto in questo campionato di calcio, gli allenatori Antonio Conte (Juventus, unica ancora imbattuta) e Massimiliano Allegri (Milan, campione d’Italia) hanno dato vita a dei sottilissimi mind-games ormai da qualche settimana. E così scoppia la polemica, perché nessuno dei due ci sta a cedere. Nessuno dei due vuole dire di essere il favorito per vincerlo, sto campionato. Anzi, se glielo si dice quasi si offendono. Tutto questo è molto appassionante.

Ecco, per i più disattenti, una breve sintesi di questo duello ad altissima tensione: