Genoa President Enrico Preziosi reveals why they turned down the chance to sign Robert Lewandowski in 2010.
The Polish international striker has been immense at Borussia Dortmund and his four goals in the semi-final against Real Madrid last night entered the history books.
However, just three years ago he had been sitting in the stands at Marassi watching what he thought were his future Genoa teammates in action.
The transfer collapsed and Lewandowski moved from Lech Poznan to Borussia Dortmund instead for the incredible bargain sum of £4.18m.
“The Lewandowski operation was led by my son Fabrizio Preziosi, as he was the one who tracked the player and brought him to Genoa,” explained the President on TMW.
“The transfer market is like that – some moves go through, others do not. We had Leo Messi in our grasp a few years ago, so we have more regrets over him than Lewandowski!
“At the time we knew this was a very strong centre-forward, although of course we didn’t expect him to develop to this degree...
“We were one step away from completing the signing, but in the end it collapsed due to many reasons, among them his agent requesting a very high commission. Anyway, three years have passed and we don’t think about this any more.”
Former Genoa director Stefano Capozucca gave a slightly different version of events to TMW.
“We believed a great deal in that move and we had agreed every aspect of the deal with Lewandowski. We viewed the player for almost two months, including in training with Lech Poznan and our Coach Gian Piero Gasperini watched him in two games against Udinese.
“The player was even in the stands to watch the derby against Sampdoria. When the President saw him in the stands, he was unimpressed by his physical structure. He was a lot less imposing a figure than he is now and didn’t look like a classic centre-forward.
“These situations happen in football. After all, when Preziosi decided to go for Thiago Motta I did not agree, but in the end I was proved wrong about that.”