In a frankly bizarre twist, Sampdoria caught a Genoa scout dressed in camouflage gear spying on their training ahead of Sunday’s derby.
The two local rivals will face off at Marassi on Sunday at 19.45 UK time. Click here for a match preview.
It seems Genoa were hoping to gain an advantage, but were left red-faced when Primavera youth team goalkeeping Coach Luca De Prà was caught spying on Samp’s training session.
It was Sampdoria who revealed the strange story with a statement on their official website and photograph of the man dressed in full camouflage gear to hide in the bushes outside the Bogliasco camp.
“We knew the derby was a matter of nerve, tactics and strategy, but we frankly never expected it to become a matter of espionage,” read the Sampdoria site.
“And yet, in Genoa, this too can happen. Just two days before the big match, Delio Rossi ordered training behind closed doors and an emissary from the other team was asked to spy on the tactical systems for Sunday night.
“It was a real secret mission set by the Genoa generals, a military action with full camouflage gear and mountain boots.
“Like a would-be Rambo hidden in the Poggio bushes, Luca De Prà, Coach of the Primavera youth team goalkeepers from the club of such noble descendants, could not fight the counter-measures of the Blucerchiati’s intelligence services.
“However, there are no prisoners, nor bloodshed. Once he was caught in the act, with his hands in the cookie jar, the soldier from the other side was set free so he could return to base.
“After all, one must always forgive enemies, as nothing irritates them more.”
Genoa released their own statement assuring the spying mission was his "personal initiative" and De Prà has been suspended awaiting "an explanation."