Former Italy striker Dani Osvaldo left football behind because ‘it took my freedom away’ but admits smoking makes him ‘feel like dying’ on the pitch.
Osvaldo retired from football two years ago to focus on his career as a rock musician, and the ex-Roma, Inter, Juventus conceded his eccentric nature was not a good fit for the beautiful game.
“The world of football was no longer for me,” the 32-year-old told Marca.
“Cristiano Ronaldo likes to go home and do 150 press-ups, but I like preparing barbecues instead.
“Football gave me the chance to help my family and earn so much, that I can afford to not work again.
“It allowed me to travel and get to know different places and people. It changed my life but it also took my freedom away from me, and I can’t give up my freedom. Still, I love football and won’t deny it.
“I used to smoke at training camps with the Italian national team, but the Coach could ask me for a light.
“[Guillermo Barros] Schelotto, instead, threw me out of Boca because it surprised him that I smoked. However, I went to play with friends yesterday and felt like dying. Now everything hurts me.
“Would I like to be like Messi? No. I’d like to play like him, but he has no life. It’s as if he lives in a golden prison.
“He couldn’t go somewhere and quietly drink something. Maybe he doesn’t care about it, but I do.
“I imagine him buying the biggest TV in the world, but then he’s never in his living room to use it.
“Failing that, he probably drives a Ferrari, knowing he lives 15 minutes away from the Barcelona’s training ground…”
So who was the Coach that best understood Dani?
“Pochettino was able to understand me, especially when we were at Espanyol,” he added.
“At Southampton he did a little less so, perhaps because he changed as I was the same person as before.
“He was like a father to me, but the best Coach of all is Antonio Conte: he was always right! He seemed to always see things before others.
“I had moments of tension with Luis Enrique, but that’s because he is a sincere person, who would never lie to you.
“As a Coach he was a genius, similar to Guardiola; with him, you felt like you could score six goals a game.”