Bernardo Corradi reveals he almost joined Milan rather than Valencia, but changed his mind out of ‘gratitude’ to Lazio.
The centre-forward is now a youth team coach aged 44 and hung up his boots after one final experience at the Montreal Impact in 2012.
“My football journey was different to most, because when I was 18, I was still dividing my time between the lower leagues, having to do night school and fit that around training sessions,” Corradi told Sky Sport Italia.
“I spent a few months training with Inter because most of their squad was out of action due to the World Cup, then I got to Lazio in an exchange deal and suddenly was in a dressing room with these fantastic players. Fans would stop be in the street and ask me to score them a goal, it was incredible pressure.”
Corradi reveals his career path almost took a different route when Lazio sold him and Stefano Fiore to Valencia in 2004.
“I already had a deal with Milan, but I accepted the Valencia move out of a sense of gratitude to Lazio, as thanks to them I made my Italy debut. I might still have the contract with Milan around here somewhere.
“I travelled a lot in my career, but was fortunate to always be in wonderful cities. I was born in Siena, then had spells at Cagliari, Parma, Udine, Valencia, Montreal, a few months in Milan, and of course Rome.
“The city means a lot to me when I choose a club, as I was single for most of my career, so was able to travel with some freedom. In the end, my family and I chose to settle in Rome.”
He did eventually get married to TV presenter Elena Santarelli and they had children, but their eight-year-old son was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2017.
“I have played in front of 80,000 people and millions of spectators watching on television, but in these situations, my wife is far stronger. Our son also gave us strength, as he was phenomenal throughout the treatment.
“I went into that hospital with him thinking, why did this happen to us? But I left it saying, ‘we have been blessed.’ Only when you realise what can happen do you fully appreciate how important health is.”
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