The first thing to say that Gigi Simoni – who died on Friday 22 May at the age of 81, a year ago he had been suffering from a serious illness – he was a good person, very simple, kind, in the sense of the educated, not the submissive. I’m sorry, even now that there is no more, to read that he will be remembered above all for his lack of rigor on Ronaldo in the match with Juve. too little. However big the mistake may have been, Simoni he had a great life out of that game too. It’s not fair to close it in one episode and it’s not fair to even close it in a team.
Simoni has touched 18, I think it’s a record, (Genoa, Turin, Naples, Inter, but also Ancona, Gubbio, Carrarese). He won seven championships of B. The Inter Ronaldo gave him and he returned one Uefa Cup won in Paris against a big one Lazio which disappeared immediately. I was there that evening, I went to the locker room only to see the eyes of my old friend. They were radiant, exhausted, a person no longer just serene, but finally distraught by love. Something big had won. He knew he was capable of it, but it never happened. It was like he had turned his world upside down and forced him to go to his side.
It goes without saying that it didn’t last long. Simoni he brought with him a little bitter fortune, he understood life, he was a master, but he could not parry all the blows. He had severe pains, such as the death of his young son, and major disappointments. I think that the greatest football player gave him Inter seven months after the UEFA Cup. It was late November, the day before he had beaten Salernitana. And that same morning in Coverciano they had given him the Golden bench for the season. He saw it coming Mazzola with his head down, he understood that he was carrying his exemption. He felt the humiliation of not being fired from Morattiwould have understood better. So he took it very badly but soon realized that if he continued to love Inter, the Inter players would return it to him. That would have been his true memory, his image in history. Who today also recognized Moratti himself: he was a great protagonist in the history of Inter: he was prevented from winning a championship that he would have absolutely deserved.
Simoni was eighty-one, he started in football when the Italian way of playing had just become a school. He never took advantage of it, I always saw his teams try to play football, even the most unlikely. As a player he was for a long time a wing that pointed to man. But he was intelligent, he understood that it was not enough. Cos participated, came back, tried to be a little bit everywhere. This became, what today would be called a tuttocampista, a lot of intelligence, not too much running, some shots to take the opponent behind. Edmondo Fabbri, his coach in Mantua of Miracles and technical commissioner of the National team, took him with him in three meetings. Fabbri was an old-fashioned gentleman, he would have preferred Gigi Meroni to him, but he could not bear the treats, long hair on his shoulders, the hen on a leash around the city. I think that the cold football of Fabbri, another very good person, another wing, has brought Simoni a sense of rational and round play. That Emilian desire to talk to people, the belief that life is basically only a respectful mutual trust.
It was a torinista since I was a child I found his chance to regret at Inter. He has given and befriended hundreds of players, managers, referees. he was a gentle and convinced football teacher who missed the good star in the moment when he would really light the way. But I know he was happy, aware of himself and his wisdom. I have no regrets, of course. But having that convinces me that I have lived a good life. He told me one evening in Viareggio a few years ago. He still played football and still won: with Gubbio from C2 to B. He was right. He always had it.
President De Laurentiis and SSC Napoli join the Simoni family’s grief over the disappearance of dear Gigi.
– Official SSC Napoli (@sscnapoli) May 22, 2020
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