Cagliari’s Vice President Fedele Usai spoke to Radio Tv Serie A within Serie Allnews show.
THE BARI FINAL
"The best memory of last June 11 in Bari? I'll never forget the words at the end of the match from my two sons, who live in Milan but are huge Cagliari fans: 'Dad, this is the best night of our lives.' A year earlier, again with them and President Giulini, we were driving away from Venice, after an absurd relegation: a journey that seemed to never end, surreal, I still had in mind the tears of my two boys. In Bari we played in an incredible environment, against a strong and well-organized team, a great tifo, always fair despite their final disappointment. Coming out of the stadium I empathized with their state of mind, we had been there the season before. That's it, that's football: it always gives you another chance and that goal in '94 by Pavoletti changed everything."
COACH RANIERI'S CREDITS
"I am bound to Claudio by a relationship of sincere friendship, so I have a hard time talking about him. I can certainly say that I have never seen a group as united as his Cagliari. Last year when we started the playoffs I was really convinced of promotion, despite the fact that we were facing strong teams coached by valuable coaches: Venezia, Parma and precisely Bari, are teams that deserve A. But I saw a granitic locker room, which had found in the coach its leader, the ideal guide: the team was really convinced of what it was doing on the field and so it was able to react even to the inevitable difficulties. Against Parma, for example, it was an emblematic match: at the end of the first half Cagliari was down by two goals. The team - aided by our public, which gave its incessant and crazy push - turned it around in the second half: I think those 25 minutes will remain forever in the memory of the Rossoblù fans."
THE IMPACT WITH SERIE A
"Today the level of Serie B has risen so much, it's a complicated league, there are so many teams that work very well with young people, the distance between playoff and playout is always a few points. Then of course Serie A is a very tough league. We presented ourselves at the starting point with a young team: there are players coming from our Primavera like Luvumbo and Obert; others are the result of important investments like Prati, Sulemana. In any case, it is not easy to adapt immediately: Prati, for example, comes from the C; Dossena, Makoumbou, Azzi are debuting in Serie A; Radunovic himself had little experience in A. Hatzidiakos and Wieteska are very recent arrivals. So it will be important to make as soon as possible the change of mentality that the league requires; just as last year it was necessary to adapt to B. This is the work that coach Ranieri is doing; I am very confident about the cohesion I see in this group."
"Nahitan is a jolt on the field, he is someone who gives everything. The fans understand this: his rushes are also important for the team because in moments of difficulty, his accelerations give courage to his teammates. His "garra" is incredible, fundamental for this team. Last year in Serie B he had a crazy turnaround. And in Serie A his role is even more important, he also brings his experience."
SERENITY AND CHARISMA
"The return of Claudio Ranieri is also a romantic aspect of football: his exploit in the late 1980s and early 1990s - Cagliari's double promotion from C to A, an extraordinary salvation - had remained in the hearts of all fans. In that case, too, the charisma of the coach was fundamental; he was very young, but in fact he is still very young. He knows how to convey a lot of conviction, but above all a lot of serenity, and this for a footballer - especially a young one - is very important. I think in his genre he is unique. He is a straightforward, decent person, and this the footballers feel."
THE GREAT COACHES
"There is something in common among the great coaches who have made Cagliari's history: I am thinking of Scopigno -the father of the red and blue coaches, an incredible character, totally ahead of his time, who was able to win a historic Scudetto; Mazzone, who took the team to the Uefa Cup; Giorgi, who led it all the way to the semifinals; and then Coach Ranieri. We are talking about people of great experience and sensitivity, capable of being fathers of the group, who fit into a particular environment where an entire Island gathers around the team."
GIGI RIVA: THE MYTH
"Is Riva's gesture of staying at Cagliari forever unrepeatable? Meanwhile, we are talking about a totem, a reference point not only for the Rossoblù fans but for all of Italian soccer: for what he did, for the man he is. Today the reality is very different, what is happening in Saudi Arabia proves it. However, there are footballers who decide to say "No, thank you" to a much more attractive economic offer, because they bind themselves to a team, to a city, finding ideal living conditions there. This happened to Riva: he who had lost his parents as a young man, in Sardinia, in a people, found his second family. It will be something difficult to find again. Let's say that Riva with his choice certainly gave up earning more, but in return he gained eternity."
"In football as well as in a large multinational company, in the one where I work today as well as in those where I have been throughout my career, what I consider most important is human resource management. On good or bad management depends success or failure. The difference lies in the fact that in football the pace is much faster, it is a world from which I am learning so much: obviously it is a reality with its own peculiarities, here the human factor is even more decisive."