Rossoblu’s rock Di Vaio key to saving Bologna from a hard place

After a chaotic campaign which saw the club President change four times, Coach Franco Colomba sacked on the eve of the season and two separate point deductions for a host of financial irregularities, Bologna’s board was probably hoping for a period of calm while the new foundations at one of Italy’s most prestigious clubs bedded in.
However, a financial calamity of another kind heaped embarrassment on the Emilia-Romagna side last week after it emerged an administrative error led to promising goalkeeper and future Azzurri No 1 Emiliano Viviano heading north to Lombardy to join Inter.
Bologna had bid around €500,000 more than the Nerazzurri for the shot-stopper at the envelopes, but a mistake in the paperwork halving the €4.7m bid to €2.35m saw the ‘keeper gifted to Inter, leaving current Rossoblu President Albano Guaraldi fuming and declaring that “somebody will pay” for the error with sporting director Stefano Pedrelli saying he felt “like a right cretin.”
Viviano’s form between the sticks for the Felsinei in the last two years has been exceptional, an ever-present in the last campaign with 11 clean sheets, putting him ahead of Federico Marchetti and Salvatore Sirigu to replace Gianluigi Buffon when he decides to call time on his international career. Where that transfer caught the headlines though, Bologna suffered disappointment with another secret bid, losing out to Juventus and consequently on the services of midfielder Albin Ekdal.
The young Swede, who made 24 appearances last season scoring and assisting once each, generally started alongside Uruguayan starlet Gastón Ramírez and just behind the talismanic leader Marco Di Vaio and is another piece of the Bolognese jigsaw to fill during the summer mercato.
Regarding Di Vaio, it may be as well he is as settled in Bologna as he is and enjoying life as a big fish in a small pond, much like his earlier career spell at local rivals Parma. His contribution as club captain last year was a major reason why the Rossoblu survived such an arduous season. Like Viviano, the journeyman striker was also an ever-present and scored 19 league goals, 54% of Bologna’s league total of just 35, adding two assists and confirming himself as a club icon.
Bologna boss Pierpaolo Bisoli will no doubt be grateful to Di Vaio for pledging the rest of his career to the Rossoblu and will look towards the veteran for a similar haul again next season. Bisoli is a fairly inexperienced Coach in Serie A himself. His reign in Sardinia at Cagliari, where he spent six years as a player, was his first in the top flight and did not go well as he was sacked in November. However, a return to the region of his birth and knowledge of his previous record of back-to-back promotions with another Emilia-Romagna side in Cesena should provide him with confidence and an opportunity to prove himself in Italy’s top division second time around.
Given the tools at his disposal at the moment though, a lot of Bisoli’s hopes will be pinned on Di Vaio, the continuing emergence of the aforementioned Ramírez and the signing of another goalkeeper with huge gloves to fill. He will also be praying the Bologna hierarchy do not make any further administrative errors.

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