Juve Freiburg, Aldo Serena on Sky after almost 30 years in Mediaset: “Trapattoni wanted to bring me back to Juve, maybe today I would be a coach”
TURIN. Aldo Serena will be alongside Maurizio Compagnoni this evening to comment on Juventus-Fribourg, the first leg of the round of 16 of the Europa League, live from 9pm on Sky Sport. A debut at the age of 62 for the former national team striker, who has spent his entire career as a commentator on Mediaset
After almost 30 years in front of the microphone, is this a new first time or does it change nothing for you?
“I feel like a first time, there is a thrill for the debut”.
What memories do you have of the first commentary?
«It was a pre-season friendly, Lazio-Ajax. I had stopped playing for a year and for me it was like going the other way. Footballers don’t feel that journalists and commentators are an integral part of their world, they are something else. For me it was breaking a taboo because I had to start making judgments about players, even critics.”
Who is the voice next to which you found yourself better? I know the answer is obvious…
«Of course, it can only be Sandro Piccinini with whom I did most of my commentary. But I also got along very well with Bruno Longhi. There is affection with Sandro, we spent a lot of time together and we also shared the evenings after the games».
This evening, however, there will be the news Compagnoni, how will you be able to understand each other on the fly?
«He is the manager, he is the one who determines the track. I believe that the second voice should be inserted in the moments of pause, when the commentator gives space to intervene. I will try to tune in with Compagnoni and follow his rhythm. It has never been my prerogative to impose myself, I think it is more pleasant for the viewer to hear the harmony of the two voices, rather than listening to one dominating the other».
The way of describing football has changed since you started: today there are commentators who emphasize, others who feel like gurus, what is Serena’s recipe instead?
“It is wrong to put yourself in front of the event. I find it right to personalize the commentary with charms or with particularities that are inherent in your person, but without ever forgetting that what you are telling must be in the foreground».
Do you study before a game?
“By force. In pre-Internet times, gathering information was a bit complicated, maybe you had to ask journalists who had been to other matches. Now open your computer and find the world, how can you not document yourself? Study how this team plays and what are the characteristics of the players».
Have you ever regretted something you said on commentary?
“Yes Yes sure. Mistakes are made… I’ve always been hypercritical: when I played, even if I was happy, I always found something I didn’t like. The same goes for commentary. I try to write down the mistakes I made, so I don’t repeat them».
«The club is in a very difficult moment in its history, and the players on the pitch are also conditioned by it. The defeat against Roma was undeserved, the three posts are there to demonstrate the opportunities they had, the intensity of the game and the reaction to the goal conceded. A draw would have been the fairest result. Tonight Juve have to mortgage the next round, so I expect an offensive and aggressive team, which also risks a little. Freiburg know how to defend themselves very well, I expect them to be 5 behind, Juve’s most talented players – I’m thinking of Di Maria, Chiesa and Kostic – will have to be good at breaking the balance».
Allegri spoke after the match he lost against Roma about boys in tears, if you were the one going down to the locker room what would you say to the players?
“That crying is too much. We cry for other things, at least if you’ve lost a world final. Between now and the end of the championship there is room to recover the positions in the standings, it wasn’t a definitive game. I would highlight the good things done with Roma and instill confidence, remembering that the Europa League is a fundamental step for the Juventus season. Winning the cup would open up many other scenarios».
What does center forward Serena say to center forward Vlahovic instead?
«I have great respect for him, but to become a champion you have to know how to impose yourself in a club like Juve. The advice I give him is to play lightly to clear his head. And to memorize, even in training, the movements and playing times of the teammates who have to serve him. So as to understand in advance where to go to overcome the opponent ».
Those who follow you on Twitter know you as a man with his feet firmly planted in his time and understand your vision of life. Not many active and former footballers do so, why – in your opinion – this reluctance?
«It also comes from age. I’m not very young anymore, at a certain point there is the elaboration of your life, you arrive at convictions and you carry them forward. At least that’s how it happened to me.”
Gary Lineker could be fired by the BBC for harshly criticizing the government for its immigration policies, comparing it to Nazi Germany. Was he right to expose himself like this?
«It also seems to me that in the past he has taken positions of this kind, even if perhaps not so hard. He has always seemed to me someone who says what he thinks, but each time with a reasoning and a deepening of the theme. If he has chosen to expose himself on a questionable decision like that of the British government, it means that the time was right ».
I see a lot of affinities between you and Lineker, maybe you’re also the same age…
«I am pleased with this combination, also because on the field we faced each other as opponents. I remember him in the final for third and fourth place at Italia 90, even though I didn’t enter».
Remaining on Twitter, the battle between fans is practically daily, how do you keep out of it?
«When there are vulgarities or arguments that concern my direct experience or that are technical-tactical, I don’t intervene. Although I have also commented on certain attitudes of the players off the pitch. But I’ve always done it regardless of the color of the shirt. When I was a footballer, since I changed shirt every year, I had to forcefully forget about the past, also cutting friendships, because I wasn’t particularly technically gifted and therefore I had to give everything on the pitch. To play it against death, I had to let go of the past. Then when I stopped playing I was able to recover all the good experiences I had with each of my teams: and that’s what I’m trying to highlight today».
Do all the fans of your former clubs still love it?
«I find a few grenades who still have an objection to me for the move to Juve. That transfer was not easy, I also wrote about it in the biography “My head shots”. I remember many years ago I was commenting on a derby and I found some Toro fans who still wanted to give them to me [ride]. But the stadium where I don’t have to be recognized is the Bentegodi, there they still have it in for me for a match played behind closed doors in the Champions Cup between Juve and Verona. They accuse me of a hand in our penalty area, but I was pushed by Fontolan, the referee should have whistled a foul for us…”.
This year it will be 30 years since your retirement, are you satisfied with how you are playing your second half?
«First of all I wanted to travel, but I also left myself a small window to be a coach. Trapattoni would have liked to bring me back to Juve with him, but I had just signed for Milan. If I had gone with him, I would have had the possibility of supporting him as a coach once he stopped. That didn’t happen and I never had any other chances of this kind. Being a commentator has allowed me to travel the world and therefore I am happy with what I have done».
Aldo Serena striker who made history or Aldo Serena respectable person: which is the definition you prefer?
“If they said or wrote about me that I’m a decent person, I’d be proud of it, because it would be a corollary of the education my parents gave me.”