Genoa – Paolo Bertelli, 62 years old, is the athletic trainer on Andrea Pirlo’s staff, who had already had him at Juventus and brought him both to Fatih Karagumruk and now to Sampdoria. For Bertelli it is the second experience with Sampdoria, after the one with Claudio Ranieri.
Professor Bertelli, where do we start?
«Since the summer. We only had the final squad at the end of the transfer window, after the first day. Which was followed by the first international break and then another two weeks with absences. It was a completely new situation, with almost all new players. Only three had played the entire previous season for Sampdoria: Ravaglia, Murru and Yepes. And from my point of view, I started the training camp with one group and the championship almost with another. On their part, maximum availability. Unfortunately we didn’t start well, even if we didn’t completely fail in any match. The trust between us and the team has never wavered. Only the results are judged externally, but we cannot rely only on that, but on the weekly work. And we saw that there was continuous growth, which did not coincide with the results, 5 points in the first 8. From the match against Catanzaro, although lost, the data highlighted a clear growth from the point of view of physical condition”.
How much does the players’ past influence the performance of this Sampdoria?
“Very. Those who came from a full season are few. In this squad, if we analyze the number of matches played in the last two years, we go from a medium/low level to a few. Either due to injuries or because perhaps not used due to technical choices. These are additional difficulties. It takes its time. In football, physical preparation is not about putting hay on the farm, it is an old concept and not even a scientific one. It is a consolidation of performance starting from the base you have. Surely this team, with the same coach, the same players, in the same environment, will start from a higher step next season.”
A start to the championship affected by injuries.
«We try to do things as best as possible, but there are so many performance variables, so something always happens, not just to us. However, if I may make an aside, football is a contact sport and you get hurt. We have the good fortune, which can then turn into bad luck in some episodes, of having a group that always trains with very high intensity, so there are contacts, we run hard and it could happen that someone gets hurt. We all wish there were no injuries. Here there is also an important performance structure, but I repeat in football you get hurt. Without leaving aside the injuries outside of any prevention and prediction, as for Ferrari, in one movement the ball took away his support foot and he slipped on his knee. Oh Borini, he detaches a tendon and it could have happened to him at any moment and it happened to him at that moment unfortunately.”
Second time at Sampdoria. Is it in his destiny?
«Last season in Turkey I said to Pirlo, “maybe Sampdoria would call us, even if they get relegated, the same, because it’s a unique, prestigious club, where you feel good”».
You are a trainer of the old guard. Do sensations still exist or do data now rule?
«For me a compromise is needed. The numbers can give you confirmations and solutions, but the experience with which you read them is fundamental. Now we have consolidated a good level, between now and June we will have to take further steps and see where we can get to. Without forgetting that within a group every day there are those who are a little better and those who are a little worse. Football is everyday life, contingent on what happens to us. And it is never, cannot be, a linear path, otherwise it would be too easy”
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