Roberto Donadoni has “no regrets” in his career and shelves Milan ambitions. “Bologna could be my ‘big’ club.”
He has transformed Bologna since taking over from Delio Rossi, notching up 28 points in just 16 Serie A rounds.
The former Milan player has always had the air of a serious, calm and ethical man, so La Gazzetta dello Sport’s SportWeek magazine tried to dig deeper.
“Have I ever insulted another driver on the road? Oh many times, especially when they are both wrong and arrogant.
“I never insulted referees, though. I struggle to put names to their faces, so I don’t know how some people can say they’ve got a bad record with that official. The way I see it the referee is an accessory to the game.
“I do confess I’m very pernickety, so if I see something at home that’s in the wrong place, I do put it back. Bad habits? Um….. I used to bite my nails.”
Donadoni is well respected in football circles, yet has had his fair number of dismissals and humiliations, including on the Italy bench.
“I do think there are many people who shouldn’t be part of the football world, those who damaged it in different ways and are easily recognisable.
“How did I remain myself? Because if I tried to seem anything else it would be a terrible strain.
“I do get angry with players in the locker room, especially if they are rude or impolite. In my view that is above all a lack of respect towards others.”
When he was fired by Napoli, President Aurelio De Laurentiis said Donadoni was “too sad” to be a Coach.
“It is the opinion of someone who doesn’t know me. I’ve been fortunate in my career with Presidents, because having to deal with people who had a very different personality to mine helped me to enrich my experience.
“It’s not true that I am taciturn, as I never have been. I just like to listen and only intervene in a conversation if I think I have reason to. In any case, I now talk much more than I used to.”
Donadoni spent most of his playing career at San Siro and confirmed many times he is a Milan supporter, so why hasn’t he been called in by President Silvio Berlusconi?
“It’s not a question I can answer. I can only continue doing my work. I know full well that my future goes through my present. Besides, the ‘big club’ I’m searching for could be Bologna.
“The Nazionale was not a regret. It was a great honour. My rapport with the Nazionale did not end because of the penalties at Euro 2008, but for other reasons.
“In our line of work, you must be able to sell yourself and I am no good at that. So when I consider someone unworthy of my respect, I ignore them.
“I have no regrets from my playing career either. I tried to live every experience intensely, aware that I could’ve done more if I had approached moments of the game differently. Now I try to help my players avoid the same mistakes.
“I don’t have a good memory for statistics, but what I do remember are the faces of my teammates and those who shared those experiences with me.
“Would I like to apologise to someone? Every day, but I am incapable of holding a grudge. Whether I’m right or wrong, I always make the first step to end an argument.”