The care, suffering and emotions of the Serbian coach, between present and future: the hard month alone in the hospital but with a special relationship with the team
“Tonight I finally see him smile.” Bologna-Inter has recently ended and Dr. Francesca Bonifazi, who is treating Mihajlovic in the advanced cellular therapy program of the Sant’Orsola hospital, is a night watchman and enjoys the moment of joy and serenity that gives Sinisa back a smile and the tone of voice of the best moments. “Tonight I need the Lexotan to sleep, I still have adrenaline on me. I also had the time shift of a bag of medicines so as not to have balls in the game”, roars Miha. Power of a victory that made him proud and moved, giving him a new full of energy and sweeping away for a while that understandable bad mood of those who are counting the days and can no longer look at the four walls around the bed. A constant turning off and on again the TV and the phone, the only distractions in addition to the workouts seen on the iPad and the sessions with the staff, on days that are all the same, which never pass.
LONELINESS, NOSTALGIA AND SO MUCH SENSITIVITY
To the treatments, already hard to bear even for a lion like him, the burden of not being able to see anyone has been added in this new chapter of his game of life. In almost a month of hospitalization, the precautions related to the anti Covid regulations have prevented the possibility of having visits. The only exception, one day, was that of a couple of hours of her wife Arianna, who during her illness three years ago had never separated from her husband and this time she had to give him strength from afar. In the relationship between risks and benefits, that visit had appeared necessary to lift his spirits inevitably dropped. Orthodox Easter celebrated alone, while the memories of him carried him to his happy childhood; the missed birthdays of two of his six children; the distance from little Violante, daughter of Virginia and Alessandro, who made him a grandfather. And then the thoughts, the doubts, the anger that at certain moments also accompany those who have an iron character and have always looked forward without breaking down.
“Eh I understand you, Sinisa …”. “No, you can’t understand it …”. He is right, it cannot be understood, only those who pass through can succeed. And you also have to see how it goes through … Because every body and every head reacts differently. The only certainty for everyone is that while the white blood cells are zeroed, to the point of canceling the immune defenses before rising, in the meantime the sensitivity that in everyday life we are used to protecting explodes. We get excited and live everything without filters. “I’m back to cry immediately, fuck you go …”. Sinisa admits, recounting the emotion during one of the last skype meetings with the team, in which she asked to give him a courageous and open-faced match, as he likes. Without fear and with the desire to win.
Football lessons, life lessons
Miha’s physique has held up much better this umpteenth test, you can see it from the face in the photos and you know it from the kilos that this time they have not abandoned him too much. But morale was severely tested. And his team, the staff and the players were very important. Miha did not give them up for a moment, but so far they have been extraordinary for professionalism, unity, compactness. A body and a soul with their technician. A whole, since he leads them remotely, capable of equalizing at home to Milan and Juve, with Udinese even without seven owners and beating Sampdoria and Inter launched towards the Scudetto. A dream … Indeed no, this is not a dream: it is a real and beautiful story, made of sweat and effort, of values and ideals, of union and friendship, of smiles and tears, of esteem and love. Sinisa was very keen on this recovery with Inter. He did not like the insinuations of those who gave the Bologna beaten at the start and he had not forgotten the attempts of the Nerazzurri club to win this game at a table. He did not ask only for the performance, but for a proof of pride and belonging. And so in the pre-race meeting he moved, as only he knows how to do, the ropes of the group. Arnautovic said at the end of the coach’s emotional speech: “he gave me so much strength that I could have gone into battle with my bare hands.” De Silvestri, one of the most sensitive boys, thanked him in a different way: “he is teaching us life lessons”. Which are sometimes more important than tactics, even for winning a game. Because seeing who never gives up helps you bring out those hidden energies you don’t know you have.
Him and the team, one family
When the team and staff went under the hospital window yesterday morning, Sinisa again barely held back the tears, while the chills ran down the backs and arms of the boys who sang a chorus for him. Then, as a Gascon that he is, he found one of his brilliant flashes, like certain old punishments with effect, and joked: “They won’t let me out because it’s good and without me you win. You lose the next one or else they keep me here.” And down laughter, with no need for exorcism. They know that if someone with Roma doesn’t give 110 percent, Miha will be pissed off like a beast. At the end of the match, CEO Fenucci joked with him: “You rest, I took over the technical guide, I manage the team and decide tactics and substitutions …”. With Saputo the relationship is one of mutual respect and affection, but less confidential. The president is more reserved, even during the season he almost never intervenes. But there was a long phone call between the two when Sinisa announced the need for his new hospitalization and before Inter they spoke via video conference.
Society awaits it
This year, after January there were also different visions. Sinisa did not like the transfer market, Saputo complained about some of the team’s results: it happens. There have also been rumors of a possible separation at the end of the season. It is part of football: cycles are born, continue, end and time gives them the right dimension and importance. Sinisa’s has been wonderful so far because it has combined an incredible story of sport and life with the results. But most importantly, it’s not finished yet. The alchemy, the union between the team and the coach, the principles of the game and the moral ones that have merged into one thing, cannot be bought on the market. To separate this magic would be absurd. And the company knows it. Mihajlovic has another year on his contract, the club wants to continue with him and can’t wait to be back on the bench for the end of the season and then sit down again to set the future. Everyone’s hope is to be able to do it with the newfound health of the technician. Too proud Mihajlovic to evaluate a renewal now: the very idea that it could be linked to an emotional aspect disturbs him. He has always earned things on the pitch. Come on then, we are at the last kilometer of the climb, on Sinisa pedals! The finish line is near, we are all there waiting for you.
April 29 – 08:14
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