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Parole di calcio di Emanuele Giulianelli (@EmaGiulianelli)

Archivi per il mese di “luglio, 2013”

Un viaggio in Uzbekistan

Logo_lokomotiv_tashkentSe penso a un posto lontano, a una città irraggiungibile e allo stesso tempo persa nel sogno, il primo nome che mi viene in mente è Samarcanda.
Echi di carovane, falò nella notte come nella canzone di Vecchioni. Uomini e donne col volto coperto diretti verso occidente per mercanteggiare in stoffe o spezie, preziose più dell’oro. Bukhara, Khokand, Khiva: nomi impronunciabili di antichi Khanati dell’Asia centrale. Pedine di quello che fu il “Grande gioco”, di una partita iniziata nel 1813 e terminata nel 1907 tra Russi e Inglesi per la conquista di quella parte di mondo, fino ad allora neanche sulle carte geografiche.
Questa terra ha un nome: si chiama Uzbekistan. Non ha sbocco sul mare: si distende sopra il Turkmenistan, schiacciato sulla pancia dal Kazakhstan, il gigante dell’Asia ex-Sovietica che gli impedisce anche di raggiungere il Caspio.

Romik Khachatryan ha 34 anni e gioca a calcio. Armeno di nascita, ha iniziato a giocare nel suo Paese per poi intraprendere una carriera da girovago, tra il Caucaso, la Romania e molti anni a Cipro.
Dallo scorso anno ha scelto proprio l’Uzbekistan per continuare a giocare: è stato ingaggiato dal Lokomotiv Tashkent, una delle squadre della capitale. L’ho intervistato in esclusiva per conoscere un po’ il calcio di quelle terre così lontane e misteriose.

Potete leggere l’intero articolo su “CalciaMondo”: A tu per Tu con..Romik Khachatryan


Steve Beleck: “Vydra will remain at Udinese”

beleckI’ve interviewed Steve Beleck, former Watford player owned by Udinese, now i training camp with the Italian side waiting for a loan.
The interview, in Italian, is available on at this link:

At the end of the interview I asked this question to Steve, at Arta Terme with Matej Vydra:
“Will Vydra remain at Udinese?”
His answer:
“I think so!”


Pozzo’s Italian job

Watford_1982_Elton_johnAt the dawn of the second season of Watford with the Pozzo family to the ownership, I think it’s appropriate to make a point on the situation and try to illustrate how the network of teams that the Italian entrepreneurs are building around Europe works. Their project giving is arousing on the one hand controversy, on the other hand great enthusiasm.

Giampaolo Pozzo was born as an entrepreneur in the wood and metalworking industry. In 1986 he bought the football team of Udinese and brought in Friuli two world champions, Fulvio Collovati and Francesco Graziani, besides the Argentinian Daniel Bertoni; but the nine-point penalty for match-fixing scandal of the previous season condemned the club to relegation.
Years of seesaw between Seria A and Serie B, until the promotion in 1994-95: from then on, stated the exponential growth of the Bianconeri, with eight qualifications reached in Uefa Cup and two in Champions League. In the last three seasons Udinese collected a fourth, a third and a fifth place in Serie A.

They are now firmly in the elite of Italian football, getting ahead, from time to time, teams like AC Milan, Inter, Roma and Juventus. This result has been achieved in spite of the club’s policy to sell each year the brightest talents discovered and valued by the team, as Alexis Sanchez sold to Barcelona for € 37.5 million.

The secret of the Udinese’s continuous success? Soon said: a network of scouts around the world who bring every year dozens of young talents in Friuli. These players have the opportunity to grow up in Italy, in a peaceful location that does not ask them immediately for results, with the hysteria typical of the big teams. Udinese can afford, because of this, the luxury of missing purchases, of buying many young talents, of abrading. All of this in order to bring out from each brood two or three future international players.

Pozzo changes his game in 2009. The family business are concentrated mainly in Spain, at Barcelona: the president of Udinese tries to take over Espanyol, the second team of the Catalan capital city, but he can’t. He changes direction, as well, to Granada, driven by his collaborator and former football player Quique Pina: he buys the majority of the Andalusian team in the Spanish Third Division and uses it as a training to test the talents he buys around the world in a league more competitive than Primavera (Under 21 Italian championship).

The Italian businessman buys some players from the lower leagues in Spain and takes some other directly from Udine: in 2009-10 10 players of Granada are branded Udinese. The result? Immediate promotion to the Spanish Second Division. And the following year, with 12 players sent to Andalusia, the team regains the La Liga for the first time after 35 years. Among the stars of that team there is a certain Luis Fernando Muriel, today a target of Liverpool.

Since, as we say in Italy, the appetite comes with eating, in the wake of the successes reached in Spain, understanding that the new model works, Pozzo buys Watford in the summer of 2012. The Hornets are in Championship.
He sends again 11 players from Udine to England: under the steering of an Italian coach who knows very well English football, mister Gianfranco Zola, they arrive to play the playoff Final for the Premier League against Crystal Palace. Watford lose the match, but the project goes on: indeed, the purposes of Pozzo, as evident from the transfer market session in progress, are to strengthen even more the team to point to the direct promotion. The Premier League would mean a sea of money.
But, in addition to successes, comes the controversy. Someone in England tells about unfair competition, because of the big availability of loans for Watford taken from the enormous reservoir of Udinese and Granada, while local teams, who don’t have satellite teams abroad, can take only two loans in England.
So, the Football League decided to draw a line at the number of loans, five players per team. This has not proved an obstacle to Pozzo, who has done nothing that make players signing for definitive transfer to Watford. Purchases, to all intents and purposes.

To this day, the assets of players controlled by the Pozzo’s network is huge. Udinese have registered 34 players, with an estimated market value (source Transfermark) of 104 million euros, Watford 26 players with 27 million euros, Granada 34 players with 58 million euros. The Italian ownership, therefore, has 94 players under contract for a total value of 189 million. The potential of the phenomenon is enormous.
So far so good: Udinese locates players around the world and sends them to Spain and England to play in high level championships, also hoping to find emergent talents from Watford and Granada to do the reverse path. But what will happen the day that Udinese, Watford or Granada will qualify together for the European Cups? The ENIC case of the early 2000s, with the multinational that owned a lot of teams in all Europe, like Vicenza, AEK Athens and Tottenham, has led to a European regulation: you can’t enter the same European competition two teams of the same owner.
However Pozzo goes on to weave his huge canvas. It’s just started a sports cooperation (for now) with the Hercules of Alicante in Spain and there is talk of a strong concern for FC Koper in Slovenia. A network that wants to grow. To get to win: with Udinese, Watford or Granada?

Emanuele Giulianelli (@EmaGiulianelli)

Italian version click here

Vydra can now come back to Watford

matej-vydra-watfordA lot of Watford fans expected from me news about Matej Vydra for today.

First of all, the situation. After a lot of voices about interesting from big teams such Chelsea, Matej is still training with Udinese (who olds his ownership). The Italian team is making it’s mind to keep the possession of the Czech player, protagonist in the last season with Watford.
So the management of Udinese is thinking about refusing all the proposals of definitive transfer, in order to keep the control on a player that they consider could became a star in the next years.

In this perspective the idea of another year on loan at Watford is becaming more than an hypothesis: under the hands of Gianfranco Zola, Matej Vydra could have the time to grow up more, to play another season in Championship in order to be ready, in the future, to come back to Udine and become the ideal heir of Totò Di Natale.

Salvatore Trunfio, an Italian agent, told me this: “I think that Watford will take back Vydra on loan from Udinese“.
This is the news that Hornets fans were waiting for.

Now there is only one obstacle between Vydra and Watford: Swansea. The Welsh team is very interested in taking him, and the perspective of playing in Premier League and Europa League could seduce Matej, but the will of the Italian management could  make the difference.


Daniel Pudil exclusive interview

Daniel Pudil, born 1985 in Czech Republic, is a defender.
He entered in the Pozzo’s network in 2012, when the president bought him from Cesena, in Italy, for his Spanish side, Granada.
Then he went on loan to Watford where he played the last season: 37 matches and one goal with Hornets made him an important player of the team trained by Zola. And the Italian manager insisted for his definitive purchase. Pudil has signed in this summer until 2017.
I interviewed him in exclusive.

How can you describe your last season with Watford?
“Nobody expected Watford to be in the final. But during the season we showed good performances lot of time and we deserved to play the final in Wembley. Unlucky we lost the last game, but that’s football”.

Why do you think you lost at Wembley?
“I really don’t know. I’m sure we were ready for the game, but in that moment we didn’t play our best football in the same way as we did during the whole season”.

Which was your best match with Watford?
“You have to ask someone else, not me. I think that last season was my best ever: I felt very well during all the games, stronger and confident with the ball.”

What do you think about mister Zola?
“He is the one of the best manager I ever had. He knows how to work with team and he knows exatcly what every player needs”.

Do you think Vydra will come back to Watford?
“Matej has the best season in his carrier last year, he scored more than 20 goals. I would like to see him back in Watford jersey but I’m not sure he will. Now he is back in Udinese. But in footbal life you never know what’s going to happen the next day”.

What do you remember of your Italian experience with Cesena? In that season you scored a goal against Milan!
“I was there just few months and I broke my feet there, so I played just 7 games. But it was a good experience to play in Seria A. Now I’m so happy to be part of the Watford family and league. I love full stadiums and fans in England”

What do you think of  Watford supporters?
“They are among the best supporters in the world. I’ve never seen fans like these this before. That’s why we would like to make them happy every game. During all the last season they were fantastic. I’m happy we found deal until 2017 here in Watford and I’m very proud to stay here with all of my family”.

You won two championships in Czech Republic and one in Belgium: the level of Watford could be compared to one of your previous experiences?
“Every League is different. I’m sure in Czech league Watford would play on the top of the ranking. In Italy you have many good teams and different ways of playing football. But probably watford should be in good position in Serie A”.


Watford-Udinese fly and back

ranegie (1)The revolving door between Udinese and Watford never closes.
To complete a team that could work seriously for the promotion to Premier League the Hornets need a midfielder and a striker who won’t make Matej Vydra be regreted.

Pozzo’s network is ready to fill these empty spaces in the roster with two very important names, as Udine sources say: for the midfield the candidate is Matias Campos Toro, left midfielder or left back, the last year on loan to Siena, international with Chile; the forward who can guarantee a good number of goals could be the Swedish Mathias Ranegie, born 1984, 20 matches and 1 goal the last year in Udine.
The only goal of Ranegie in Serie A was scored in the winning 2-1 against Milan.

Talkyng about Vydra, the Czech striker played the second half of the first summer friendly of Udinese yesterday, scoring one goal. He is getting in condition to be ready for the season’s start.
Where will he play? With the selling of Ranegie to Watford he could even remain with Udinese, to gain his chances to play during the matches of Europa League.
Or he could go to Premier League: Crystal Palace is asking for him.

Giaccherini and Sunderland: updates

"Ciao Paolo! Do you want me to come to Southampton?"

“Ciao Paolo! Do you want me to come to Southampton?”

Yesterday some media wrote that here had been a request from Sunderland to Juventus for Emanuele Giaccherini.

Born in 1985, Giaccherini started playing in lower division teams before arriving, in 2008 at Cesena, in Serie B.
With the team from Emilia Romagna he was promoted in Serie A and he played very well in his first year in the top Italian division.
His performances drew on him the attentions of some of the biggest teams in Italy: Juventus bought him in 2011.

Right winger, but very versatile, he won 2 times the Italian Serie A, scoring 4 goals in 40 matches played and gaining the call for the National team.
With the Azzurri he played 14 times. He has been one of the best players in the last edition of Fifa Confederations Cup, scoring a wonderful goal against Brazil.

Di Canio wants him for his ambitious Sunderland. I’ve asked around to a lot of agents and experts of transfert market and all of them told me that the interest in Giaccherini by the English team is real and concrete, but that Conte won’t deprive himself of a player so tactically important because able to play different roles.

The identity of Watford mysterious goalkeeper and Battocchio’s sign

Watford--Vicarage-Road-General_1058454“A new goalkeeper is training with Watford in Northern Italy!”. The voice started to spread all over the web on yesterday afternoon.
I managed to know who this player is.

He is Serbian, and his name is Marko.
It’s a good clue.

In the meanwhile, Cristian Battocchio has annunced his sign, definitive with Watford!


Il tempo non esiste

tempo21 giugno 2011:
Roma, sondaggio per Strootman (

4 luglio 2013
ROMA: Sabatini, sondaggio per Strootman (vari siti internet)

Corsi e ricorsi storici, anzi rincorsi!
Oggi come ieri: tutto cambia perché niente cambi.
Il risultato? Per ora zero, come recita la casella degli acquisti della Roma.

Vydra: his agent talks!

matej-vydra-watfordA little call today with Ondrej Chovanec, Matej Vydra‘s agent.

Matej, as eveyone knows, is no more with Watford team that is training in Italy. But he is in the same Country of his previous team: Vydra is, in fact, training with Udinese, the club that owns him.

I asked mister Chovanec if he knew something about Vydra.
He answered to me: “Matej is training with Udinese”.
Then I asked him, to know something about deals: “What about Vydra’s future, deals and teams interested on him?”
and Chovanec answered in the same way: “He is training with Udinese”.

He doesnt’ want to reveal anything: now the only truth is that Matej Vydra is a player of Udinese. For how long? Who knows?
But I don’t keep out a clamorous surprise.

Stay tuned.


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