Francesco Moriero: “I have lived it so much in recent years, he often came to Puglia to visit me. We spent the days at the Inter Club and relived our past together: think that we still laughed at my Eurogol in Piacenza and what happened that afternoon on the field, when the coach from the bench yelled at me to pass the ball and I after the goal I ran towards him saying that now that I had scored I could pass it … I owe him a lot and I carry it in my heart: he wanted me at Inter and thanks to him I conquered the National team. Under his management I lived the best year of my career. I still keep his teachings, that’s why I feel like a student of his: being sincere and humble always pays, this is his most important life lesson. For his humanity he was loved by the people and also by his opponents. We in the locker room were all in love with Gigi, he was one of us. Even when not young he was so clear in his choices and relationships that it was impossible to get angry with Gigi. More beautiful memory? The UEFA Cup victory, Zanetti’s goal had an incredible joy in his eyes. He was not the classic coach, he was a kind of dad for us. He knew how to take us and make us feel good without ever raising our voice. On the first day of retreat he told us that we were all the same except one and pointed to Ronaldo. It wasn’t the usual banal talk that many coaches do and it won us over. A loyal and sincere man, he knew how to manage the locker room with a smile. I only saw him pissed off: on April 26 after Juve-Inter when they took away the Scudetto … “.
Fabio Galante: “For me Gigi Simoni was a father rather than a coach. A man of an unbelievable kindness. As soon as I heard the sad news, I was speechless. That Inter was very close to him who had been able to forge an extraordinary group. On and off the pitch. We won the UEFA Cup, but we could also have won much more. I also had it at Toro and I recommended him to the property, because he was a great coach as well as an exceptional man. Not home from the first to the last of the fans and he loved us players. He managed to make himself loved for his behavior which was an example of humility. I don’t hide from you that on the pitch we all gave something more especially for the coach. He knew how to make us feel good and in harmony. He never scolded anyone, but he explained the mistakes to you. He didn’t need to scream or scream to be heard and followed. We would have followed him everywhere because for us he was much more than a simple technician “.
Mauro Milanese: “A football gentleman leaves us, there are no more people like him in the world. Gigi Simoni was one of the last gentlemen of football, an exceptional man with values of the past. I want to emphasize the human aspect, also because the professional one is known to everyone. Seven promotions and a UEFA Cup won and great results in all the squares where he coached. It was a big one on the bench. However, I had the privilege of also living the Simoni man, not only the technician. We had last seen each other for the last time: the coach had come with his wife to see the final playoff between Pisa and my Triestina. It was very nice towards me in that circumstance, even after 11 years from our last football experience together the relationship was intact and it was still very strong. He loved me. Unfortunately, shortly afterwards his condition worsened. A great trainer leaves us, whose main talent was humanity together with extraordinary humility. It was impossible not to love Gigi Simoni. I offer my deepest condolences to his wife Monica and his family. We will miss you mister ”.
Nicola Ventola: “Unfortunately, a respectable person leaves us, a special man who knew how to make himself loved by everyone in the locker room and trust that it is not something for everyone. Gigi Simoni was a wise man who told you the truth in his face, but he always explained the reason for every decision he made. And above all he always kept the promises of what he said. You appreciated his loyalty and consistency, even if he left you on the bench, because he spoke to you like a father. Candid and direct, always. Anecdotes? There are many. I’ll tell you this: when Taribo West disappeared, and often happened, the company wanted to punish him, but he knew how to filter and managed the situation. Taribo was a bit our Dennis Rodman, genius and disregard but the coach knew how to take him and in the end on the West field he was a lion and always one of the best. I had a good relationship with him even though at the beginning, sometimes, I didn’t understand why I was left out. Coach Simoni, however, knew how to manage me well and charge me anyway, so much so that I got angry on the field and managed to be decisive by scoring important braces like Cagliari and Lazio. It created me that healthy competitive anger that made me devastating while entering the game in the race. ”
Beppe Bergomi: “I am deeply attached to this person, Gigi Simoni, I carry it in my heart and it will be like this forever. I still remember his first words when he arrived: “Beppe I have no prejudices, with me who deserves, play.” And so it was, so much so that I experienced one of the most beautiful years of my career, coming to regain the national team and to play a World Cup at 35 years old. This would be enough to tell you how important it was for me, but Gigi was much more. Simoni was a great person and one of his main qualities was to be able to speak to everyone, finding the right word for each of us. Colonnese told me right away: ‘Beppe don’t expect a soft one, it will be hard training’ and so it was. He works hard during the week, but I’ve never seen him raise his voice to anyone. He made himself respected with education and we became totally attached to him. That was one of the most loved by the Inter and it is also thanks to him. Moratti himself admitted that it was a mistake to send him away. I think it was a shame not to give Gigi the opportunity to play the quarter-final with Manchester United after he had conquered it by beating Real Madrid on a magical evening. I was the captain of his Inter and as an expert footballer I had a direct line with him. Simoni was talking to me, we talked long before the matches as it is right that he is between captain and manager. I remember that in the national team the same thing happened between Bearzot and Zoff, even if all the choices and decisions were totally Simoni’s. Gigi was a person who knew how to decide, taking all responsibility. For this reason the whole group appreciated him, he was able to speak to each of us finding the right words every time. Gigi Simoni was a beautiful person, a positive example for everyone and trust me that it is not rhetoric: we would need more people like Gigi Simoni in our football “.
Nicola Berti: “Today a respectable gentleman left us before a great coach. A great man of the past. I am truly troubled by this news. I remember when I saw him with his wife and children at the presentation of his book, it was the portrait of education and refinement. Just celebrate the man, but let’s not forget the coach, a great coach who made us win the UEFA Cup in Paris. I say this even if he never let me play … You can’t imagine how many times I teased him after training on this fact, even if in reality Gigi was right: I was now in a waning phase … They wanted a good soul everyone, even us who played less because it involved us all and made us feel important even from the bench. A fantastic person, hello Gigi. We will miss you…”.
Sandro Mazzola: “I learned the terrible news from you, I can’t believe it. It is truly a blow for everyone. Gigi was a great coach, little celebrated perhaps by the press but really smart. He was a great friend of mine and I will miss him very much. I had brought him to Inter and at the time I remember that there had been some controversy, because not all the leadership of the time agreed with my choice. I convinced myself he could be the right man to restructure the environment and open a cycle. Ideal for managing many important players by shaping them into a group. Many were skeptical. Instead Simoni has shown all his technical and human value, leading us to win the UEFA Cup and one step away from the championship, but that’s another story. You all know what happened that year. I don’t want to have bad thoughts and I want to remember Gigi with the maximum affection he deserves ”.