After being substituted against Bologna in 2001, Roberto Muzzi left the field renegade and with a clear message: "Why?". Luciano Spalletti (Certaldo, Italy, 59 years old), then a Udinese coach, told him to keep quiet and at two in the morning he knocked on the door of his hotel room. "Now, if you want, we fight," he told Muzzi, who preferred to sleep. "No, no," he snapped; "Come with me to the room." And, after seeing the first half on television, he asked: "Do you understand why?" Muzzi nodded. "It is the passion made person", the festival recognizes him; "A coach who looked to carry a big one". This is demonstrated with Inter, since he has been the only one of 11 technicians (Benitez, Leonardo, Gasperini, Ranieri, Stramaccioni, Mazzarri, Mancini, De Boer, Pioli and Vecchi) that has settled on the bench since Mourinho will achieve the Champions in 2010.
Spalletti played football as a child and soon arrived at the Fiorentina school. Although, somewhat rebellious, he missed more training than allowed and he was expelled, so he stayed in smaller teams (Spezia, Viareggio and Empoli, of Serie C) until his knee said enough in 1994. Days later, the then president of the Empoli, Fabrizio Corsi, asked him to assume the reins of the team when six days were missing for a utopian salvation. But he did it and three seasons later the team was in Serie A. "We played great football because he convinced us that everything could be done with the ball, even the physical one", said the ex-defense Max Tonetto, with whom he would coincide years more late in the Rome. Although Spalletti, obsessive with the details, left a phrase for the memory after the ascent: "I do not feel prepared, I do not even know the names of the players". Corsi replied with a laugh: "I'll buy you the sticker album." And it worked. The fans shouted: "Sacchi plus Zeman, equal to Spalletti".
But the slogan was soon forgotten because Spalletti came down with Sampdoria in 1998. "It was a team with a lot of ego," regrets Marcello Castellini. "And the best forwards were injured," adds Fabio Pecchia, now coach of the Hellas Verona; "But Spalletti always wanted to give the team an identity, an attractive game, possession and a break in space and depth". Castellini adds: "Before going out to the field, we knew everything we were going to find because that's what the Mister said." After the setback, he went to Venezia, where the matter was also distorted. "We had exhausted the force after saving the category in the previous year and the new ones had more name than game", says the exporter Francesco Benussi; "But his workouts were groundbreaking for the time. He used the goal for the exit of the ball, he got to a middle of third central … Maybe his ideas came too early ".
With the worn out poster, the Udinese gave him two more chances and, although the first did not go well -reconfozo for six months at Ancona-, finally managed to hit the key because the team played two years in a row UEFA and the third Champions. "I knew how to better manage a wardrobe and although in the preseason it was very hard because I said that was the gas for the year, then we did everything with the ball," says Muzzi. Successes that catapulted him to a big one, to Rome, in 2005.
With name and results – achieved the record of consecutive wins of Serie A (11) and put the team in the Champions League for the first time – Spalletti returned Roma to the map. "He lived football 24 hours a day and, if the lighting came, it did not matter the schedule or that it was a party," Tonetto recalls, adding: "His great virtue, which he still maintains, was that he adapted his ideas to the team and not the other way around. "
Something that took its toll on his return to the club, in 2016, when he faced with Totti. "I train the Roma, not only Totti. My goal is the results and I choose based on that, not the story of a player, "the coach decided, which ended up sending him home when the cross of statements increased. Although before returning to Rome, he went to the Russian Zenit, where he stuck with the fans – they still remember the celebration of a League bare-chested against the cold glacier – and the triumphs, although in the last two years he lost his way .
After Roma, he went to Inter and put him in the Champions League after six years of drought. "He is temperamental because he wants to have everything under control and trains a lot the tactical phase of the game until he makes us understand the game," says the media. Borja Valero Spalletti gave the reason a couple of days ago: "The Barça players, on the afternoon of the match, went to pick up the children at school. If we prepared the games like that, we would lose by 18-0. "
This Tuesday they return to see the faces in San Siro, although Spalletti no longer needs stickers to know who has opposite. "It is the propitious occasion to know what our level is because we face one of the best teams in the world. ¿Messi? It's the icing on the cake, "said the Inter coach.