Filippo Carobbio is the player who accused Siena and Antonio Conte in the betting scandal and insists he “expected others to follow and say what was really happening.”
The 32-year-old testified in the investigation, alleging that then-Siena Coach Conte knew of match-fixing agreements dictated by a betting syndicate.
“It’s quite laughable, really,” he told La Repubblica newspaper. “As a player I was never very famous. I had a decent career, but stopped short of celebrity status. Now I’m more talked about than Leo Messi. The truth is I am a normal lad.
“I said some tough things in my testimony, but I prefer to think I merely took my share of the responsibility.
“I am struck by the fact I’m the only one who finally said how things were. I expected after everything that others would follow and break the wall of silence, to say what was really happening. Instead they did not... and I have to ask myself why.
“There are too many interests around football, in economic and image terms. Therefore at the end everyone looks after their own interests. The truth can get lost.
“I decided to speak out because I have nothing to lose. I am 32, my career is finished, so at least I cleared my conscience and took a weight off my shoulders.
“I explained that the football world is not what people think it is. These things have been going on for a lifetime and everyone – I repeat, everyone – has too much to lose in order to really change.
“Personally the moment I walked out of the interrogation room, I went back to being the normal, transparent guy I always was. I played football, was not Diego Maradona, but still did my profession. That is all.
“I know that I’ll be in trouble now, that people will say I was sneaky trying to drag bigger names in so I could save myself. All I hope is not to be banned for life, as I’d like to teach football to children after I retire.
“Other than that, I have nothing to lose. The others are the ones trying to save themselves, those who deny, stay silent or judge. The truth is the sporting justice system didn’t have much evidence and I could’ve easily denied everything or feigned ignorance. I just wanted to try to change things.
“When you’re in that world, after a while you realise everyone does it, so you join in. Now looking at the papers and the fact I was the only one to speak out, some may suspect it was just me and it’s all a hallucination. If only someone else had followed my example and spoken out, there would’ve been a revolution.”
Carobbio also confirmed he is now working in a rehabilitation centre for drug addicts. “It’s a way of clearing my conscience.”