Roma legend Bruno Conti has written an open letter to his son, Cagliari captain Daniele Conti. “I had tears in my eyes.”
The player celebrated his 300th Serie A appearance on Sunday, scoring a brace in the 2-1 win over Torino.
“I thought that I’d seen it all, but then I found myself at the age of 58 on the sofa watching television, with tears in my eyes and your mother next to me. She couldn’t say a word, as we were too enchanted and emotional to speak and break this spell,” wrote Conti in L’Unione Sarda newspaper.
The Cagliari captain ran to embrace his son Manuel – Bruno’s grandson – after the final whistle of the game.
“That embrace represents our family. Everyone knows the great player you have become, but few know what a great man, a great son and a great father you are.
“I often recall that morning the Roma director of sport Franco Baldini called me to confirm you’d stay at Cagliari in a co-ownership deal for one season. I was happy, especially as your mother and I fell in love in Sardinia in 1982.
“Perhaps at the start I hoped to soon see you wear the Giallorossi jersey again and your goal against Perugia in front of the Curva Sud remains indelible. Of course, 15 years later it all went very differently, maybe even better, but certainly special. You made the most difficult choice and at the end you won.
“For years you carried the heavy weight of this name on your shoulders. You suffered when people compared you to me, as it wasn’t fair. With time, you silenced them all, then won them over on the field with your talent, strength and character.
“At least in that we are the same, because we are both headstrong and fair at the same time. We seek no subterfuge, looking everyone in the eye with our heads held high. After the final whistle, you dedicated the win to your teammates, like a real captain.
“Maybe face to face your mother and I never really told you how proud we are. As well as honouring our blood on the pitch, you and your wife Valeria carried on our family values in a society that is complex, problematic and superficial.
“It’s what your grandfather Andrea did, the builder and father of seven children. This, my son, is why we’ll never stop thanking you.”