Inter boss Walter Mazzarri believes he was “born to be a Coach” and is proud to never have been fired in his career.
The tactician spoke to the Centro Sportivo Italiano today and looked back over his path to San Siro.
“As a player Fiorentina had signed me, but then sent me over to a satellite club Follonica because I was too short.
“I didn’t really like playing, as I didn’t have the character for it. I had some natural gifts, but never expressed them fully. It’s important to be part of the locker room and create something magical, but I tended to go against the grain.
“I retired because of a knee injury, but at the age of 28 already knew I wanted to be a Coach. I watched them work and was already forming my ideas. In later years they asked me to be a Coach on the field.
“Now I am in the job I was born to do. I feel that now I am in a position to do well.”
Despite working regularly in Serie A, Mazzarri is one of the few Italian managers who has never been sacked.
“Being a Coach, in this day and age, is difficult. We are always the first to pay the price. I had many Presidents who went through plenty of Coaches, so it makes me proud that I was never fired.
“It is satisfying and means I did well for the fans, but also for the clubs that paid me to do a job.”
Yet Mazzarri admits that the fear of dismissal did lead him to miss out on his son growing up.
“When he was six years old I was in Sicily and he couldn’t change towns. It wasn’t right to make him change city and school, especially as Catania President Antonino Pulvirenti had gone through 15 Coaches in three years.
“I did suffer, but I wrote my book for him, now that he is older and can understand why I did it. Obviously I missed the day to day stuff, but it’s not as if I was out having fun. I was working for my future and also for his.
“We all need to be more aware of setting the example for children. Competition is the foundation of life, but you must be fair. Every now and then we go beyond those limits and I hope people realise that it is because of the stress of competition.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £11,000 to be won monthly!