Originally published in la Gazzetta dello Sport
Every week Football Italiano brings you a translation of one of la Gazzetta dello Sport’s interviews with a major name from the world of Italian football. This time it is the turn of Fiorentina president Diego Della Valle…
Diego Della Valle
“As a supporter I’d like to understand what these footballers want to do when they ‘grow up’. But I’d like to understand it within 2-3 weeks. Not in a year”. Diego Della Valle points the finger at the Viola Team. The president took part to “Gr Parlamento – La politica nel Pallone”, a TV programme hosted by his colleague Mancuso. And he wasn’t kind towards Mutu and his team-mates. “The Della Valle Family entered the world of football also to see some values on the pitch, values like commitment, passion and tenacity. Against Palermo I didn’t see any of these values. As a supporter I believe that footballers are lucky. They do the job they love, earning a lot of money. But they must fight with their heart. In short, it’s not a drama, but I don’t want any more distractions. There should never again be a Fiorentina without the heart”.
In spite of that last defeat you still have enough points to qualify for the next Champions League.
“Today’s league table is excellent. In fact, the team’s position is better than what they’re showing”.
The supporters booed.
“Fair enough. Fair enough indeed. Violent protests or the small conspiratorial operations by a part of the local press are not fair. Genuine protests are instead justified. The players have got precise commitments and duties”.
How bitter a pill was the elimination from the Uefa Cup?
“It certainly was a bitter pill. First the Champions League and now the Uefa Cup. We paid for our inexperience. But should we fail the European adventure again next year, the opinions would change”.
Is Prandelli going to stay in Florence?
“We’ve got a path to develop together. Our coach got annoyed over some small local matters of no importance”.
Are Gilardino and Mutu the best strike-partnership of the championship?
“The figures, that is the goals, are on their side. But I’d like to see more running rather than strolling”.
How much will the Champions League qualification affect your project?
“Everybody wants to play in the Champions League. Our project will only be able to develop, if we are allowed to build the Cittadella Viola, with the stadium, a recreation ground, museums and a shopping centre. This is the only way to keep Fiorentina at high levels. There will soon be the elections for the new mayor; may the best man win! But surely the new mayor will have to consider our project. And give us answers shortly”.
Also in the football world the figures don’t add up anymore.
“Sooner or later there will be the need to discuss lowering the costs. Especially the sign up costs. It takes a European agreement though, because were Italian football to be the only one, all the champions would leave the country.
The refereeing world has a new president: Nicchi.
“I didn’t know Gussoni and I don’t know Nicchi. Italian referees are doing a good job and a little vivacity in football can’t hurt. Otherwise what would we talk about on Mondays?”.