Monday April 13 2020
Bani: 'Bologna an example'

Centre-back Mattia Bani hopes Bologna can be 'an example' to help 'unite' Italy and reveals the return of Sinisa Mihajlovic ‘became adrenaline’ for the group.

The 26-year-old arrived in Bologna last summer and soon after his new coach Mihajlovic was diagnosed with leukaemia.

Mihajlovic underwent a bone marrow transplant after chemotherapy and last month he was sent to Rome by the club’s medical staff because coronavirus would be extremely dangerous for him during his recovery.

Bani reveals that Bologna fought for the coach and claims Italy could use the team as an example in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We spent a long time without the coach, yet we had a good championship, waiting to see if he would recover,” Bani told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “I would like to see Italy unite in the same way as Bologna did in the absence of Sinisa. Staying home is today’s pattern to feel good tomorrow.

“If they use us as an example, they are not making a mistake.”

Mihajlovic returned to the touchline during a 1-1 draw against Hellas Verona in August but has been absent for most of the season. Bani remembers seeing the coach against Verona and how it spurred the Rossoblu on to having a great campaign.

“I remember when Sinisa showed up in Verona without us knowing it. The promise kept by Mihajlovic became adrenaline,” he added. “Our pact was to make him proud of us. Sometimes we have not succeeded, but other times we did.”

Bologna are only five points behind Napoli at sixth in Serie A and are still fighting for a place in Europe in the event of a resumption.