“There are girls who are ahead of her” – Corriere.it

"There are girls who are ahead of her" - Corriere.it


Of Andrea Serene

Italy coach Milena Bertolini annoyed by Gama’s possible role as ambassador: “This doesn’t fall within my remit, I can’t answer”

A difficult decision, a break with the past. A way to turn the page and look forward. Milena Bertolini is not hiding: the exclusion of Sara Gama from the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand is a “technical, tactical and physical” choice. There is everything inside. The younger girls growing up, the problems the captain had in the last year, who hasn’t played for Italy since last summer’s European Championship. Even the feeling, which the coach does not expressly say, that her presence even on the bench could become cumbersome and difficult to manage. For her and perhaps also for her companions. And indeed, faced with such a strong choice, Bertolini shows a certain annoyance over the possibility that Gama will go to the World Cup with the national team in the role of ambassador, a subject being examined by the federation. “It’s not a topic within my competence – she adds – I can’t answer”, the coach glosses over, who evidently would see her role also delegitimized if the former captain were present.

«Do you think I could have made such a light-hearted choice?» Milena says in the press conference that opens the retreat in Riscone di Brunico, the first stage in Italy towards the World Cup, monopolized by the Gama affair. «It was difficult, but this is my role, my responsibility. I have the right and the duty to choose, to make the best possible World Cup». Gama was only called up from the English European Championship in March for the friendly against Colombia, which she watched from the bench. Despite the fact that your performance with Juventus has grown in recent months. But her coach has clear ideas about her: «There are players who I think are ahead of her. Young people who are coming forward and are doing well». On the timing and methods of communication, one of the things Sara did not like, Bertolini explains: «Time is personal, it must be contextualized. There is no one that is right for everyone. When I resolved my doubts I called Sara. I wanted to be sure of what I was doing».

Bertolini has rediscovered his players, «with whom I have traveled for over ten years and have a human as well as a technical relationship». How did they take the exclusion of the historic captain? “The girls are here with such enthusiasm. I’m sorry for Sara, she’s normal. It’s difficult for them too, they’ve been in the national team together for a long time. But we are playing for a World Cup, there can only be a lot of energy », says Milena. The friendly against Morocco on Saturday, the last one before leaving for Auckland: «We are proud to have qualified. The goal now is to be able to play a good game and pass the first round, get through the group stage». Then there will be a way to dream bigger, as happened in France in 2019. This time, however, without the Gama totem.

June 26, 2023 (change June 26, 2023 | 15:26)


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