I believe that those who love football have repeatedly reread the letter with which Cesare Prandelli closes his experience at Fiorentina and, perhaps, his career as a coach. It is the letter from an intelligent and suffering man. Suffering and intelligence are not discussed: they are respected. It is not impossible to guess what happened. There are three sentences in the letter that are worth a confession and advise against – they should advise against – imaginative speculation. “I was blind to the first signs that something was wrong, something wasn’t exactly right inside me.” And then: “In this moment of my life I find myself in an absurd discomfort that does not allow me to be what I am”. And above all: «In recent months a shadow has grown inside me that has also changed my way of seeing things».
Fiorentina and Florence have nothing to do with this shadow. Cesare Prandelli was clear, those who know him know how tied he was to the city and to the Viola fans. The mind does not always follow linear paths: restlessness is like water, it finds every hole. It is possible – but he will have to tell us, and perhaps he does not know it yet – that he has weighed this absurd pandemic year. Every environment and every profession has paid a psychological price to Covid, in a different way. Football – more than any other sport, perhaps any other environment – has tried to stage a normality that was not there. For himself, but also for us. The matches were a memory of serenity, and a little – let’s face it – they gave us some. But the desolate and empty stadiums, the screams in the silence, the health protocols, the infections, the anxieties and the postponements leave their mark. On Cesare Prandelli, a sensitive man, they left him. But, let’s repeat it, we don’t know how much. A personal note, which perhaps serves to better understand what I have tried to say.
I’ve known Prandelli since we were kids – he used to come to school in Crema from his neighbor Orzinuovi, a tireless producer of beautiful girls who, in turn, we were in love with. But his wife, Cesare, went to look for her in Ticengo, halfway; is Manuela, a formidable woman, I had even known her since she was a child. We see each other little, with Prandelli, but we talk: like two peers and countrymen, convinced that every now and then people have to leave their professions behind, look at each other and put a hand on their shoulder. This I want to do today. Forza Cesare: the Italy of football loves you. And not only that.
March 23, 2021 (change March 23, 2021 | 17:42)