Thursday July 25 2019
Brescia back in business

Brescia are back in Serie A after nine years and Vijay Rahaman believes the Rondinelle can surprise people this season.

Brescia will be playing their 23rd season in the Italian top flight and led the Serie B standings since November, playing an attractive, yet controlled style of football under Coach Eugenio Corini.

If there was one piece of play that fully encapsulated La Leonessa DNA, it was by a goal scored by Ernesto Torregrossa against Salernitana back in late April. The Sicilian-born forward collected the ball inside his own half, raced away with two defenders chasing him, did a spin move with the ball between them, played a lovely one-two with strike partner Alfredo Donnarumma and calmly finished in the far corner.

It showed determination, skill, tactical awareness and a killer instinct that Brescia came to be known for last year. Now they will be trying to bring that same entertainment to Serie A.

However, things could have gone so horribly wrong for the Lombardy side, as just a few years ago, they were almost relegated to Serie C and on the verge of filing for bankruptcy, that was until a saviour appeared. That was none other than Massimo Cellino, the former maverick owner of Cagliari and Leeds United.

The deeply superstitious Sardinian (he reportedly removed the Number 17 from Cagliari's stadium seating when he was their President), took over the club two years ago and hired four Coaches in the space of just over a year. In fact, ex-Cagliari striker David Suazo had been on the bench for the first three games of the season before making way for Corini.

The former player who grew up in the Brescia youth system led the club to 18 wins, 13 draws and just two losses. He changed the entire culture of play at the club and the fact that their promotion after eight years was achieved with two games to spare was a testimony to his impact at the Stadio Mario Rigamonti. 

The player who has grabbed most of the headlines has been deep-lying playmaker Sandro Tonali. The 19-year old has been likened to the former Brescia player Andrea Pirlo and it's easy to see why, with the way he controls the midfield by keeping it ticking over and spraying passes around, sometimes without even having to look at his intended target.

However, it will be foolhardy to think this is a one-man show.

The club's leading scorer was Donnarumma (no relation to Gianluigi), who racked up a highly impressive 25 strikes to take the Capocannoniere title. Attacking midfielder Nikolas Spalek and defensive stalwart Simone Romagnoli also contributed massively to their promotion. The latter came on loan from Empoli and has since returned to the Tuscans, who are ironically, now in Serie B. 

So far they have held on to Tonali, that despite him being linked with a host of clubs, so that may yet make the biggest difference between them solidifying their Serie A status and going right back down. 

A club like Brescia can't go out and splash the cash in the transfer market, so they have to look for bargain buys and so far have added six players at the total cost of €11m. Almost half of that was spent on Finnish goalkeeper Jesse Joronen, who will no doubt be looking to usurp current number one Enrico Alfonso between the sticks. Another interesting pick-up is striker Florian Aye from Clermont in Ligue 2. The Parisian scored 18 of his team’s 44 goals and garnered five assists, helping the club finish in 10th place. 

Brescia has a history not to be sniffed at, which includes an Anglo-Italian Cup in 1994, reaching the Intertoto Cup final, while having a certain Divin Codino Roberto Baggio for four wonderfully legendary years between 2000-2004. 

While it's unlikely they can hit those heights next year, if they can keep hold of their key players, add a piece or two more before the mercato ends and continue with the football that brought them up in the first place, there is no reason why they can't re-establish themselves in Serie A for years to come.

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Have your say...
Alfredo Donnarumma to get Italy callup this season. Hope Brescia have a great season. Loved Dario Hubner when he played.
on the 29th July, 2019 at 2:05pm
Brescia presumably will win scudetto this year! any comments?>><<
on the 27th July, 2019 at 5:48pm
Pretty excited to see this team play. I think it would be good if Tonali stays another year or two to guarantee top level playing time before moving to a bigger club.
on the 25th July, 2019 at 2:24pm
It's brilliant to see Brescia in the top flight, and looking forward to them playing Atalanta in one Calcio's most fierce rivalries, I hope the day that occurs passes as a sporting spectacle and without dire incident.
on the 25th July, 2019 at 12:18pm
Alfredo donnarumma Italy callup from Mancini this season. Any thoughts?
on the 25th July, 2019 at 11:22am

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