Sunday January 10 2016
Sorrentino: 'War with Ballardini'

Palermo captain Stefano Sorrentino confirmed the team is at war with Coach Davide Ballardini. “He isn’t speaking to us.”

The goalkeeper was set to be dropped, sparking a huge row between Sorrentino and Ballardini yesterday, but he started in today’s 1-0 win away to Verona.

“I was lucky on the double save. Adrenaline and experience also helped me put the problems and chaos of the last few days behind me and concentrate on the game,” Sorrentino told Sky Sport Italia.

“I am the captain of this team, I am the oldest and most experienced players. Some of my teammates are young enough to be my children.

“Ballardini did not speak to the team before the game, at half-time or after the match,” confirmed the goalkeeper.

“The last two days were chaotic. I will not allow anyone to insult or doubt the professionalism and moral integrity of this team. If they do, then they have to deal with me.

“Did Ballardini doubt their moral integrity? You said it, not me. I reacted the way I did yesterday because that’s what I am like, I am face to face.

“With Iachini we all gave 101 per cent. With Ballardini we all gave 101 per cent. I prefer to be called rubbish than to have my professionalism doubted. If that happens, I become vicious.

“I want to thank the staff and the Palermo fans for being close to me, but above all my teammates because what they did yesterday evening is one of the many things that will remain in my heart. They came out and made it clear they were on my side.

“I’d never been in a situation like this before. What we saw today is that the team played basically by itself, without a Coach, showing heart and unity to win a six-pointer.

“Whoever comes after Ballardini will find a team with heart and unity. I don’t know if the Coach will be sacked, I just want to say that if he is then we are in history because it’ll be the second time this season our tactician has been fired after a victory.”

Iachini was sacked after a 1-0 win over Chievo.

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