A Journey Through Calciopoli Outside The Regular Walls
Calciopoli was an Italian football scandal that involved some of Italy’s elite football clubs. The scandal erupted when a few telephone interceptions showed a relationship between team managers and referees. The teams were accused of manipulating games by selecting favorable referees. As a result of these accusations trials took place and each of the teams involved were punished. Juventus were relegated to Serie B, were stripped of the 2005 and 2006 Serie A titles. They also had 9 points deducted. (they started in Serie B with a point tally of -9 and not 0). AC Milan had 8 points deducted from their 2006/2007 Serie A season. They also had 30 points deducted off their 2005/2006 Serie A campaign but still managed to make it to the Champions League. Fiorentina, another team that was punished, had 15 points deducted from their 2006/2007 Serie A campaign and were out of the Champions League. Lazio and Reggina had point deductions as well. As a result of the punishments, Internazionale Milan was awarded the 2005/2006 Italian Serie A trophy.
Perfect picture, eh? No. There’s much more about Calciopoli than the above would suggest. From illegal activities that lead to the discovery of some shady phone calls to the appointment of pro-Inter people in organizations related to Italian football, to the fact that Inter eventually turned out to be the only party that benefited from the scandal raises questions that SHOULD be highlighted and answer. We’ve decided to take the time and let you know what has been forgotten or what was meant to be buried with time.
Inter – Only Team To Benefit From Calciopoli
Anyone who watches series like C.S.I would know that the number one suspect of a certain crime would be the one with the biggest motive and evidence that connects him to the murder. Well, it’s sort of the same story. Who had the biggest motive to destroy Juventus and AC Milan? I’ll let you come with the answer yourself. Why would Inter want to destroy Juve and Milan? Well, the only way to make it back to domestic success would be with the top 2 teams out of sight. Before Calciopoli, Inter Milan hadn’t won the Scudetto since the 1988-1989 Serie A season. During that period, Juventus and Milan dominated Serie A. Both teams had won a combined 11 Serie A titles since Inter’s last. These facts clearly show that Inter were a relatively “weaker” team than AC Milan and Juventus in Serie A. That was of course before Calciopoli. Now if one takes a look at the titles won by Inter after Calciopoli, the record is crazy. Inter won 5 consecutive Serie A titles, with no real competition in 3 or 4 of them. Inter also went on to become a team that attracted a lot of great players like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who was vital for most of these 5 titles. Coincidence? Don’t think so, but that’s just a piece of the puzzle. Please, continue reading.
Telecom Italia – FIGC – Gazzetta Della Sport – Moratti
Putting the “Inter benefited the most” argument aside, one must take a look at the parties involved in the “development” of the Calciopoli case. How were they connected? Was Inter again involved in a rather sarcastic way? Sarcastic it is, as conflict of interest doesn’t come out of nowhere.
First Party: Gazzetta Della Sport
Gazzetta Della Sport is an Italian sports newspaper that is known by the name “ Gazztta Dell’ Inter” by rival fans. The newspaper is owned by Carlo Buaro, vice president of Inter and a self-proclaimed Interista. How is the newspaper related to Calciopoli? It all started when the newspaper itself performed an ILLEGAL ACTIVITY and published transcripts of Luciano Moggi’s telephone conversations. Those transcripts however didn’t make their way to any incriminating party involved. However, Gazzetta Della Sport’s involvement doesn’t stop there. The media frenzy that resulted from these transcripts forced FIGC (the Italian football federation) to open an investigation.
Second Party: FIGC
Before Calciopoli evolved, Adriano Galliani was the president of FIGC. Due to the scandal, Galliani was forced to resign from that job since AC Milan were one of the clubs accused of involvement in a certain type of cheating (“certain type” will be discussed further on in the research). His resigning from the presidency of the FIGC was no controversy but actually a step forward toward “a better trial”; or at least one would have hoped so. The person that was appointed to replace Galliani was Guido Rossi. He was a director at Internazionale Milan from 1995 to 1999. He is also a self-proclaimed Inter fan, a shareholder in the club, and a friend of Massimo Moratti. As part of his first assignment Rossi would be in charge of Calciopoli. Interesting, eh? Well, here’s another interesting thought: Guido Rossi handed the 2005/2006 Serie A title to Inter after Juventus were relegated. His relationship to the case doesn’t stop there. He later on resigned from his position as president of FIGC and became president of TIM (Telecom Italia).
Third Party : Telecom Italia (TIM)
Telecom Italia (TIM) was the company that recorded the conversations that lead to the scandal. That doesn’t mean that Inter were part of all this or even that Telecom Italia “purposely” involved themselves indirectly in the case. However, the following issue does raise some suspicions. On the board of TIM were both Massimo Moratti and Carlo Buora. The connections between the many parties involved in Italian football and Calciopoli don’t end there. Inter’s second largest shareholder after Moratti, Mario Provera, is the owner of Pirelli, which owned TIM at the time and is the official shirt sponsor of Inter Milan. So in a nutshell, all parties involved were connected in every possible way.
Calciopoli: The Trial
This “circus” doesn’t stop there. What was Milan and Juventus REALLY accused of? Well, in a nutshell, “having an exclusive relationship with the referee designators”. That relationship itself was seen to have given both teams an advantage. Milan were accused of having that relationship with referee designator Pairetto. Meanwhile, Juventus were accused of having that same relationship with another referee designator, Bergamo. The teams violated a rather minor infraction – unsportsmanlike conduct. One can say that both teams deserved to be punished. But what was the punishment for such violation? A fine. The punishment never exceeded that. How did it reach titles stripping and point deductions? Well, our friend Guido Rossi comes up again. He decided to make “contacting a referee designator” an infringement (wasn’t against any rules before that). He managed to group all the calls together and sprinkle a little magic, “enough” to accuse the clubs of “match-fixing” when there’s no evidence whatsoever of that. So basically he grouped a series of minor infractions to create a rather major one.
During trial, 171000 phone calls “magically” missed from the court documents and were not taken into consideration when Juventus, Milan and the rest of the teams were punished. The calls that were taken into consideration were the ones that seemed “perfect” enough to incriminate the clubs and parties punished. What about the rest of the phone calls? Couldn’t these phone calls have helped brighten Juve and Milan’s picture? Or even accuse a certain club of cheating? Say, Inter Milan? Some of the phone calls eventually came out and the Inter presidents were overheard speaking to referee designators.
Either Punish All, Or Punish No One
The facts stated show that Calciopoli may as well have been invented by Inter to incriminate other teams. If Juventus did wrong by having an exclusive relationship with the referees then why were all phone calls involving Inter ignored? Moggi himself said it: either all should be punished – or none. And since many were, then Inter should have as well. They should be punished upon the same standards that Juve were punished on.
Sources: wikipedia.com, acmilanblog.net.
In celebration of this week’s one-sided brilliant derby victory, as well as our city rivals shock 5-2 humiliation on home turf vs. the 10th placed club in the Bundesliga, we EXCLUSIVELY present you an extract from L30nardo’s new book expected this summer, titled “Goodbye Milano: L30nardo’s Guide to Coaching”. The books’ publishing company, 3 Derby Defeats ®, has put a price of 30 Denarii on each copy.
L30′s Guide To Coaching
1. Use 27 strikers/match.
2. Extensive attacking training, but peaceful attacking. “Attacking” is such an aggressive word, brings negativity, don’t want to spread that around the world.
3. Soft defending. Don’t press your opponents too much or it might irritate them. Remember, Karma is a bitch. What goes around comes around.
4. Happy positioning. Players should be positioned in a way as to create a smiley face. This way, it would bring a positive vibe to the team and help them win.
5. The art of conceding. Because games aren’t fun unless the total goals are more than our number of strikers.
6. Group hugs after conceding. It would help strengthen the teams’ spirit and morale. Also it would ease crying into each others shoulders. Remember, crying kicks the boo-hoos out.
7. No tackles while defending, it might hurt the opponents and this is not good sportsmanship.
8. Leave gaps in defense. This way the opponents get more chances, the football fans get entertained, and Julio Cesar earns his paycheck. Therefore, everybody goes home a winner.
9. Special bonus for Chivu after every red card. The bonus is bigger if it’s 2 yellows. and even bigger if it’s 2 games in a row.
10. Only maximum of 3 players have to be in the team’s defensive half. The rest of the players should attack (peaceful attacking) every area of the opponents pitch. Remember, offense is the best defense.
11. If the team can’t produce something useful with the ball, then give it to the opponents and open wide gaps so that the audience receive value for their tickets.
12. Never defend a lead, because comebacks are worth experiencing. Even if it’s for the opponents. Wish others what you wish upon yourselves.
13. Extra yoga and massage sessions after defeats. Helps relax the state of mind and gain positivity.
14. If the team wins, they deserve to be praised for winning. If the team draws, they deserve to be praised for trying. If the team loses, they deserve to be praised for participating.
15. Never shout.
16. Only shout if the score ends 0-0.
17. Scratch #16. Only shout if the game ends with less than 5 goals, each.
18. Each player is obliged to have at least 5 daily hugs from me. Makes it easier to smell the hair.
Also there’s a tutor video to help with the look on the touchline. It shows the ‘Hand on the Chin’ gesture to simulate being lost in thought. As well as the brand new ‘Fake Yell’ and ‘Talk To The Bench’ to pretend taking part in the game. Finally we have the good old ‘Follow The Ball With Your Eyes’ trick to help look interested.
We leave you now with photos of this week’s derby hero, Alexandre Pato:
Credit to Cristina for all the media.
“This will be an interesting adventure for him. He has the time to do things properly, I trust Leonardo and am happy he is with us.” With these words, Moratti finished introducing Leonardo to the media as his team’s new coach. As he proudly presented his man, the whole football world sat shocked at the identity of Inter’s most recent employee. Little did anyone know at the time how that move would pan out; however, there was only one thing guaranteed: this season’s Serie A was just about to get very interesting. Taking a trip down memory lane, one couldn’t help but wonder how times change.
One fine day, in the summer of 1997, Galliani flew to Paris. He had a simple mission: to come back with Leonardo. Fabio Capello had already identified his man, the task was given, Galliani had to obey. Leonardo hadn’t joined Milan at the best of times, as the club failed to reach objectives season after season, and a Scudetto medal is the only silverware he could boast with Milan. Yet what was built was much more important, a foundation of a relationship that would grow for years to come. An inseparable bond between Berlusconi’s club and Leonardo was being created, or at least it seemed so at the time.
With Berlusconi, Leonardo’s relationship always seemed difficult, he even said so himself, “I can’t deny our relationship is difficult. We are different, maybe incompatible.” Narcissist was a word Leonardo used to describe Berlusconi, while I couldn’t think of a better word to describe Leonardo himself. “A narcissist doesn’t like anything that isn’t a reflection of himself”, declared Leonardo after leaving, but couldn’t the same be said about the Brazilian? Berlusconi revealed that Leonardo had been too “tough-headed”. For a President that had bossed the likes of Sacchi, Capello, and Ancelotti to name a few, Silvio Berlusconi was no rookie in his business; however, Leonardo was. From the outside it seemed as if Leonardo couldn’t accept criticism from the boss, yet if he hopes to continue in this business, he needs to change his ways. Comparing his treatment with how Zamparini treated Delio Rossi or even how Moratti treated Benitez, it is easy to say Leonardo hadn’t seen the worst treatment from Milan’s owner. This week Ronaldo claimed that Leonardo is “class at human relationships” and that he “knows how to deal with people”, but sadly he failed to build the most important relationship in his career thus far.
Yet how far apart Milan and Leonardo have come was a surprise. Milan is a club famous for its family traditions, so no matter what Leonardo was still “one of them”, and removing him from the payroll wouldn’t change the personal relationship between the club and the ex-employee. That seemed to be the case with Leonardo as well. “I can’t coach another team in Italy, it would be too soon, I couldn’t do that to Milan”. Of course we all know how that turned out. Contrary to popular belief, Leonardo indeed could bite. This same man who studied philosophy and hails Ghandi’s peaceful ways, proved that there is more to his personality than just being “class at human relationships”. Generally viewed as a “good guy” due to his class looks and easy going attitude, Leonardo definitely proved that he could ruffle a few feathers.
Following the “divorce”, opinions differed on whether Leonardo had been treated fairly or not. As a coach, some argued that he had shown enough in his first season to deserve the opportunity to continue his adventure, but mostly it was people’s emotions that preferred him. Leonardo seemed too nice of a person to be treated in that manner by Berlusconi, believed the majority. However, it didn’t take long for Leonardo to prove them all wrong. “I want to change skin, to see things as a non-Milanista”, revealed the man last September. Well, at least for once he stayed true to his word. Remember, this is the same man who said he couldn’t coach another team in Italy, only to jump at the chance to coach Milan’s fiercest rivals almost 7 months into unemployment. “I didn’t know what it meant to be a coach, it’s been an extraordinary experience but I don’t know if I will do it again in the future, definitely not for the next few years”. With these words Leonardo ended his stint on Milan’s bench, openly admitting that coaching wasn’t in his short-term plans. Only to join the Nerazzuri shortly after, forgetting all his past promises and declarations.
By joining Inter, Leonardo had signaled the end to a 13-year relationship with Milan. “I wasn’t looking for work, I was looking for a dream and this is the biggest challenge there is”, cried the man who received a more affectionate send off than Paolo Maldini himself. “I thank Milan for 13 years together and I will never forget them but now I start a new adventure. I am a free man”. Clearly Milan were tying down his freedom. After all, that is a club that offered him the chance to finish his career on a high by re-signing him in 2003, as well as giving him work by getting him on the payroll as a director and scout, among other things. As a thank you, Leonardo fought with Berlusconi, left the club, then insulted Berlusconi some more, got rid of his “rossonero skin” as he called it, and then answered Moratti’s call. Not bad for someone who didn’t want to be viewed as a “good guy”, in his own words not mine. Despite Galliani’s desperate attempts, “If he joins Inter one day, I will never forgive him!” quipped Galliani at the time where the rumors had reached the top, “Of course I am joking about not forgiving him. However, I would feel upset to see a former AC Milan player and coach like Leonardo working for our city rivals”. It didn’t matter to Leonardo anyway. “Galliani would respect my decision”, declared the Brazilian, forgetting that Galliani may be the single most important man in Leonardo’s career. He was the man responsible for kick-starting his coaching career, in Galliani’s words “In 2009 I spent three months convincing Leonardo he was able to be a coach and I was right. We hear from each other sometimes and I think his role is as a coach, I knew this before he did as he used to say he wanted to be a director”. The two hit off an amazing relationship that saw Galliani help Leonardo with post career depression. After all what Galliani did for Leonardo, and after Milan’s vice-president last minute attempts to stop the move, Leonardo didn’t bother and now speaks of Galliani as a rival. It would be naive to believe that Leonardo would put Galliani’s feelings before his, don’t forget Leonardo moved on easily from a 13-year relationship with Milan. Obviously it’s much easier to get over one person than to get over a whole entity. So much for being “class at human relationships”.
As if he couldn’t wait to make more enemies. Soon enough after joining Inter and committing the ultimate sin, Leonardo started creating the “anti-Milan”. Perhaps feeling lonely on the other side of Milano, Leonardo tried to convince old pals Maldini and Kaka to jump ship too! Of course it seemed unlikely that either of these two gentlemen would have the indecency to commit the same horror decision, but he tried anyway. Leonardo seemed insecure, desperate some might say for proving Berlusconi and Milan wrong. Perhaps that’s why he seemed like such a perfect match with Moratti, as both men had one target, and one target only: to get back at Milan. Leonardo for the obvious reasons, and Moratti for perhaps watching how once again an ex-Interista favorite of him was enjoying success with the cross-town rivals. Now with both clubs finding themselves in the middle of a tug-of-war for the Brazilian Ganso, Leonardo knows he has a high-profile role to play, and he is doing the best he could. Reportedly the Inter coach speaks on the phone daily with the young Brazilian starlet, such is his eagerness to get one over Milan. Lauded in the past for helping Milan sign world class Brazilians Kaka, Pato and Thiago Silva, Leonardo is now doing his deeds on the “blue” side of the city. For him, the Milan chapter is over, and he is doing the best he could to become “one of the rest” at Inter.
Till this day, Leonardo is still part of the “Hall of Fame” on Milan’s website. Still considered one of the club’s legends, he was recently invited to Berlusconi’s 25 year party. Needless to say he didn’t show up. The difference in class is obvious. Milan didn’t take the matters personal, yet Leonardo did. For Milan, Leonardo’s time with the Rossoneri will forever remain a beautiful part in the club’s rich history. However, for Leonardo, Milan was just another step in his career. The Brazilian was quick to cash in and forget the memories. Him and Inter seem to be a perfect match, indeed worthy of each other.
Note: all the photos credit to Cristina.