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“Mancini is offended, he knows what the truth is.  Spalletti coach is the right man»-

“Mancini is offended, he knows what the truth is. Spalletti coach is the right man»-

“Holidays? Maybe at Christmas…». Gabriele Gravina begins the interview with a joke courierSeriously and passionately after long days of silence and reflections.

Mr. President, why did you choose Spalletti?
“Because he won the Scudetto, which made Napoli excited and everyone who loves football, he is a strong and confident mentor, he has experience and he plays great. But above all because, on the first phone call, he showed infectious enthusiasm.”

When did you meet?
“In the mists of time, as coach of Empoli, he faced my two teams, Castel di Sangro, twice. I have loved Luciano ever since. He is an avant-garde technician who is always improving himself. The right man in the right place. The first name I thought of. It is a romantic and thoughtful choice, perfect for what we have in mind: continuing to innovate by focusing on youth.”

Wasn’t the clause linking the new coach to Napoli a brake?
“At first I didn’t even know that this document existed, I learned about it from the newspapers. Our lawyers reassured me: we can talk to him, and the rest is a matter between Luciano and his old club.”

Did you expect a different attitude from De Laurentiis?
“We spoke to Aurelio. But I didn’t expect anything different from what happened. Other things, however, I didn’t expect.

What did you not expect?
“De Laurentiis has to talk about Mancini’s contract. A contract he doesn’t know. It felt like an invasion of the pitch. Some statements seemed inappropriate to me, like when he said that if we wanted Spalletti we had to pay…».

Explain to us better.
“The situation was clear from the start. Luciano himself told me immediately that the condition was a problem between him and Napoli. And the Italian Federation never thought of taking over.”

Perhaps he did not even expect certain statements from Mancini.
“We’ve been working together for five years, committing ourselves to each other on an extraordinary project. I waited to tell this story, I wanted to settle down and reflect. Above all, I wanted to solve the coaching issue: I prioritized the blue shirt and the national interest, not personalities. But now I can To be honest: I feel bitter. I took it badly. I don’t hold grudges, but the timing of this divorce leaves me at a loss.

But were there really no warnings?
‘I received a letter on August 8, again from his lawyer, expressing his uneasiness about the exit clause in case we don’t qualify for the European Championships. Nothing else.’

And now?
Now I keep asking myself why Mancini said certain things. I wonder if he actually said them, because he knows very well that things are quite the opposite of what he claims. The three of us, Roberto and Silvia, know how it went.

But has it revolutionized personnel?
“This one is big.” And only Ivani, who did not accept another role, came out. Moreover, we are talking about a coach who was on the federal team and entered before Roberto. The others stayed. Lombardo and Nociari, who had other assignments, will return to Coverciano during their national team days. And we strengthened the group with Barzagli and Ggliardi, who referred to it.

Mancini’s words remain.
“I don’t want to stir up more controversy. But they were frustrating, inappropriate, and hurtful remarks towards me. I don’t deny my friendship with Roberto, who always showed his style. I hope you will reconsider your position. I would even go further and say to you: Call him because I can’t believe he expressed himself that way.

How was your relationship?
“Friendship and professionalism. I’ve never taken the field, never suggested a player, never asked for a lineup. I didn’t deserve such words.”

Mancini also said she could have stopped him by not accepting the resignation.
“Remove the item?” Let’s spread the pitiful veil. The more certain speeches we give, the greater the bitterness. Mancini’s motives are weak and superficial.

Do you think he will coach the Saudi national team?
«I read, like everyone else. He didn’t tell me anything. If so, he could have told me about it. Each of us has some weaknesses, I would have understood his weaknesses. And if he goes to the Arabian Peninsula, he will be the one who will explain the reasons for his choice.

How do you start over? Do you think qualifying for the European Championships is really in danger?
«We begin again to think about the system. Italian football must grow: stadiums, nurseries and sustainability. There are many battles to win. As for the European Championship, I have confidence because Spalletti is a great coach and the team is strong.

What left her these dark days?
“New and extraordinary energy. We solved this problem in 5 days. Those who want to follow me are welcome, but the rest will stay behind.”

In politics and sports, the question is always sensitive…
“The bond is tight.” It is absurd to think of politics outside of sports. Politics deserves respect, but those who use it for their own benefit do it no good. Dialogue is necessary, even if it is not always easy, because governments often change and projects are interrupted.

Gravina There will be elections in a year and a half: will he run again?
“There is a lot of time left, I prefer to focus on work, which is a lot. We’ve done a lot of good things. My goal for the future is to contribute to the improvement of football. How and where is not important.