The Italians are very scrupulous about their own history. Not only luxurious mansions, but also any rustic semi-ruined barn, reaching a certain age, gets under protection – it can not be demolished and modernized too much by building terraces and balconies, expanding the windows. A hut becomes the pride of the country.
And now the historical property of the Italian Republic is Alessandro Nesta – the last member of the great defensive line of the beginning of the 2000s, who continued playing , it was called “Italian concrete”. And if you compare him with building type, it is, of course, a luxurious mansion, which will be admired by the next generations.
Some smokers believe that it’s easier to part with the habit gradually, and try to reduce the number of cigarettes smoked. The players are about the same: there are those who break up easily, but there are those who bring themselves to the crucial decision gradually, finishing the last matches in a less intense championship. Sandro could not part with football abruptly. He chose the second path and spent the last season in the Canadian “Montreal Impact”, although many European clubs would have been happy to see him play even at his 36.
The news of his resignation did not cause hysteria. It was supposed to happen, and it happened. No one was watching this Canada, and Nesta was playing in a blissful tranquility – perhaps not everyone was aware that he was still playing. Of course, he deserved the right for this tranquility.
He always managed to hide in an amazing way the game brutality behind elegance, and the pain behind the new victories. Now it’s time to hide from everything in the world – Sandro will have a rest for several months, but then he will return to football as a coach. It’s a pity that we will not see the Italian concrete in the field anymore – it has cracked with time and moved to perpetual storage in the museum of Italian football glory.
Something you must not forget
Alessandro Nesta became world champion in 2006, but “concrete” got frozen much earlier – it was at Euro 2000 that Italy brought absolutely impenetrable defence. Sandro went to the championship as the best defender of the championship of Italy 1999/00, and in the fields of Belgium and Holland showed his power. The Dutch still dream of a semi-final game, most of which the Italians held in the minority, but managed to win in the penalty shootout.
It was like the siege of the great drug dealer’s villa – Francesco Toldo saved his republic with brilliant saves, and Nesta and Fabio Cannavaro literally died holding back Bergkamp, Kluivert, Zenden and Overmars.
Sandro and Fabio fought at the limit of human capabilities in the final against France, but they were unlucky, and gold swam out of their hands.
Nesta joined Lazio at the age of nine. The representatives of Roma (namely Francesco Rocca, who later trained almost all the Italian national teams of the smallest ages) came to him, but his father was a fan of Lazio, so it was not even a matter of choice – as soon as Lazio announced the next set in its own school, Sandro hurried to interview.
In “Lazio” Nesta learned everything. His talent was explored, tried on a variety of positions, but in the long run he was transferred to the defense. In 16 years he was taken in the main team, and in 1994 he made his debut in Serie A – Dino Zoff released him instead of Pierluigi Casiraghi for ten final minutes in the game against Udinese.
At the age of 18, Nesta broke Paul Gascoigne’s leg, after that incident he told that he was shocked at least as much as Paul and could not recover for a long time. “In the future, every time I went into a tackle, I remembered Gascoigne’s distorted face,” Nesta said. The Englishman, in his turn, told that the tifosi were ready to come to the camp and simply destroy Nesta for their idol, but he asked them to calm down and leave the young defender alone.
During less than two decades in “Lazio” Sandro Nesta won the Italian Cup twice, two Super Cups, the Cup Winners Cup, the UEFA Super bowl and one scudetto. An impressive collection that could have been replenished further on, but for the financial collapse of Sergio Craniotti. Alessandro Nesta was sold to Milan for 30 million euros – he was not meant to become such a legend for “Lazio” as Francesco Totti did for Roma, although this could be expected.
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10 years in Milan
Despite the fact that Nesta’s transferring to Milan was mainly forced, it brought the defender world fame and many trophies, there were two scudetto and two victories in the Champions League among them. Sandro played along with Maldini and Costacurta – this fact alone can be considered as a gift from heaven. Strictly speaking, Nesta did not go to Milan, but to Maldini – Paolo’s call became the main reason why Nesta connected a significant part of his career with the “devils”.
Subsequently Nesta played with Yap Stam, Kakha Kaladze, Dario Shimic, and, finally, Tiago Silva – by that time he was already on his way to resignation. He was treated a lot, but returned to the field despite threatening forecasts. He fought with his fate for a very long time, and eventually won. Many players would retire at 33. Nesta is 37 years old, let us recall once again.
224 matches and seven scored goals – the result of being ten years in Milan.
About what can be forgotten
Franco Baresi once said: “Nesta is different from me. He is stronger physically. ” Sandro really was an athlete – a wiry, strong-willed and unyielding fighter, who always fights to the end. But his body periodically rebelled against increased football loads – Sandro got injured with an unpleasant regularity. There were many incidents he suffered from. One day he had to treat the tendon of the left thumb of the left hand for a month – he just played too much with the Playstation.
About more serious things I don’t even have to say – Nesta treated everything that is possible (and many times): ligaments, back, muscles, shoulder, knees … This took a lot of time. But Nesta always came back and beat all the rivals. Exactly until the moment a new injury occurred.
It dragged on since childhood. Yes, he was into football due to problems with his back – when he was a child he used to visit a doctor who advised him to go in for sports. Correctly metered loads were to drive away pain permanently. But it turned out to be a little bit wrong – until the end the pain relief didn’t come, but the awards, recognition and glory came to him instead.
The world championship 2006
World Cup in Germany – this is a very contradictory page in the history of Nesta. On the one hand, he finally received the golden medal with the Italian national team. On the other hand, the injury in the last match of the group stage prevented Nesta from participating in playoff games. This trauma gave the green light to Marco Materazzi, who came off as follows – in the final he played in the position of Sandro, scored goals back to the French team and got beaten into his chest with the head of you know who.
Italy won and took revenge on France for Euro 2000, but Nesta watched this vendetta sitting on the bench. And it’s not for us to decide what to do about it – to forget it or leave it in memory.
Nesta often said that he wanted to end his career in MLS. He was ready to leave for the US before the age of 36, but – that’s the banality – there were no worthy proposals. Therefore, when the Canadian “Montreal Impact” showed some interest, Nesta caught the opportunity. He is obviously devilishly tired of tense matches, exhausting training sessions and other daily routines of a huge European top club. Of course, players don’t feel completely relaxed in the MLS as well, but it’s much easier to be there for a mature football player.
In addition, it was in Montreal that Nesta could quickly adapt himself, because Marco Di Vaillot, Bernardo Corradi and Matteo Ferrari played there – the whole Italian team.
Of course, the period in Montreal looks like a blank spot on Nesta’s flawless work book – it would be much more respectable to finish the career in Italy. But the president of “Lazio” Claudio Lotito once cut the way home for Nesta, saying that he does not need spent players. Sandro felt very insulted. Perhaps, it was after these words that he finally decided to leave for MLS.
A born warrior and a champion, in North America Nesta won his last trophy. It’s a pity that it was not Scudetto, the Champions Cup or at least the Italian Cup, but only the Walt Disney Cup.
“Our friendship with Alessandro is for a lifetime. He is a great man, both in the field and outside it. I have always considered Sandro the best defender in the world, and I hope that one of us will decide the fate of derby. I’m most likely to do it. But for him and for me, friendship is higher than football rivalry. Whatever happens on the field, we will remain best friends all the same.” (Francesco Totti before the Roman derby in 1999)
“The reason why me and Maldini could play at a high level last season is Nesta, playing with us. We would like to continue playing this way and win as many titles as we can. “Milan” certainly made the best acquisition in the last 10 years. ”
“Now we play in the same team with Nesta – for a long time we did not have such protection. I want to keep scoring ! “(Filippo Inzaghi)
“Nesta, Maldini and Costacurta are the professors of our defence.” (Adriano Galliani)
“Nesta is too sweet. When it was necessary to say something in the locker room, he preferred to remain silent. He did not like exposing himself to others.
He was always afraid of hurting someone. If arguing erupted, he tried to stay away. But I think he had the right to speak out – he was the captain and the symbol of “Lazio”. But in the field he was completely different. He was angry, shouted at us or even swore at rivals. ”
“Look: Nesta was injured for a year, and now he is the best and everyone is begging him to return to the Italian team!” (Fabio Capello)
” we grew up in the same city with Nesta, but found ourselves in different teams. An interesting twist of fate. If we played in the same team, we would meet in training and in the locker room. Lord, what I’m talking about! do not print about the locker room, please! ”
“There are many talented players. For example, Rio Ferdinand. But a footballer from England is difficult to demonstrate himself in Serie A. But Nesta could play well in the Premier League – he is undoubtedly the best central defender in the world. ” (Franco Baresi)
“I have no reason to worry that the defense of Milan has become weaker after Baresi’s departure. I owe this to Nesta. ”
“I’m close to completing my career. The only place , where I want to play right now, is the beach. ”
“Look, it’s an international tournament – no one wants to make a bad impression here.”
“In the ninety-eighth in France, I got injured and I got her. Then the trauma was gone, and she stayed with me. ” (about his wife Gabriele)
“I miss football so much … A year has passed since I last participated in the match. As for those who write about the end of my career, they do this only in order to sell more copies of their newspapers “(during the recovery after another injury)
“I always like to go back to Rome, play with Lazio at that very stadium. There are a lot of memories and every time I go out in the field against “Lazio”, something pops up in my memory.”
“It’s unpleasant to see that Milan is experiencing financial difficulties. “Rossoneri” could always afford a large purchase, but now it’s different. I still watch all the matches of “Milan”, and will remain its fan forever. ”
“Talking about the growth of Fabio [Cannavaro] is like talking about fog in Milan. When I played with him, I never felt that he lacked growth, because he jumped higher than anybody else and always played with his head perfectly. ”
“I started my career with Marco [Di Vaio] when I was eight, and with him I’ll finish it.”
“I’ve played in Europe for 20 years. Now I want something new for myself and my family. I believe that Canada or the United States is an ideal place for raising children. ”
“One thing I can say for sure is that I will not go to Juventus.
“I bought a Porsche, but I’m going to sell it. It’s too dangerous for me. ”
“Success depends on the ability not to lose touch with reality. Don’t let success carry you away. Don’t think about luck, don’t focus on it – then it definitely won’t pass you by. ”
“I owe Eriksson everything I’ve achieved. He helped me a lot throughout my career and played a key role in my formation as a football player. ”
“Berlusconi and Galliani always wanted the best for the team. The pressure was very, very strong, but Ancelotti smiled every day. He was great. ”
“I’ve been a fan of Lazio since childhood, my father took me to watch their games. These things remain deep in the heart. ”
“Defence is like life – you never know who will grab you for your pants.”