Friday February 10 2012
Ballardini grateful to Zamp

Davide Ballardini insists that he bears no grudges towards Maurizio Zamparini ahead of welcoming his Palermo side to Cagliari in Week 23.

Ballardini led the Rosanero for most of the 2008-09 campaign, but despite having signed a two-year contract extension during the season, resigned at the end of it.

Yet, in repeating a message he uttered almost a year ago as Genoa boss and as Palermo come to Sardinia for this weekend’s League match, the current Cagliari Coach Ballardini has reiterated he has nothing but positive feelings towards his former President.

 “Our relationship is good and I will always thank him for calling me to Coach an important team like Palermo. I just remarked [recently] that as a good Romagnolo [person from Emilia-Romagna] I am touchy, as the Sardinians are, and we occasionally had some arguments.

“Between him and [Cagliari’s Massimo] Cellino who do I prefer? They are two Presidents with great charisma and personality. I am grateful to both.

“In Palermo I arrived in the second week [of the season], in a difficult moment and after a campaign of unusual purchases and sales, with many changes, and we had an extraordinary season.

“There are still great players of quality like [Federico] Balzaretti, [Giulio] Migliaccio and [Fabrizio] Miccoli.”

The latter is out of the weekend’s fixture suffering from more than one injury.

“Fabrizio is a great player, he has extraordinary qualities, but Palermo has a squad with equally strong players, like [Igor] Budan, [Abel] Hernandez, [Eran] Zahavi and [Josip] Ilicic.”

Those options are the reason, said Zamparini in January, as to why the Sicilians let Mauricio Pinilla join Cagliari on an initial loan deal this winter.

“If I was Pinilla would I have left? Well, I’m overjoyed to have him here in Cagliari and he immediately presented himself with great enthusiasm and desire to do well.

“I think [the game] will be different to that seen against Roma, they will probably not hold the ball, in order to be quick to counter-attack.

“Palermo are doing well at the moment, they scored four goals at Inter. But we feel good and ready for the match.”

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