The Giallorossi club built by Corvino can now look to the future with optimism and new resources: because some valuable players will leave, others will stay to continue growing
At 7am this morning, Pantaleo Corvino, the true architect of the Lecce miracle, was on his way as usual, except a day early. Not enjoying what happened yesterday in Monza, when the team he built, coached by Marco Baroni and managed by Saverio Sticchi Damiani, banished all nightmares and negative thoughts with the penalty converted by Lollo Colombo in the eleventh minute of injury time . but because he hasn’t had a day off for three years. He won the bet with his Lecce, with his territory. In two years he brought it back to Serie A, he saved it with very little means and today he only has in mind the Primavera team that will try in Reggio Emilia from next Monday, in the regular season playoffs so far as possible, with Federico Coppitelli on the bench, he finished the game in first place. “It was worth it, we did it again,” enthuses the director.
The team worth a treasure
But what he built today is worth its weight in gold. Because there are guys in the Lecce squad who are now coveted by many. And many are owned. Considering that goalkeeper Falcone, world champion defender Umtiti, young Milan school forward Colombo and midfielder Oudin are all on loan and we’ll soon start thinking about what to do with them, the Giallorossi treasure is no small feat. Two highlights can be seen in the window: Danish playmaker Morten Hjulmand and central defender Federico Baschirotto exploding thanks to Baroni’s cure. They are the two who have impressed the most and it is logical that they pique the interest of many. In particular the Dane, who had already been courted by the prime minister in January.
Lecce is solid and the rescue guarantees stability, after the considerable efforts of Sticchi Damiani and his partners. With just one sale, the club can be said to be virtuous. But if you enter the boutique and go inside, you will discover two-thirds of France’s Valentin Gendrey from 2000 and Antonino Gallo from Palermo, who have played more than 30 games and ensured the defensive compactness that was the basis for obtaining the extraordinary redemption. Going further, we’ll find 2002 Spanish midfielder Joan Gonzalez, whom Corvino promoted to the first-team from his beloved Primavera.
The Strefezza jewel
Then there’s another precious diamond: Gabriel Strefezza, a winger whom Baroni has inspired to believe even more in his attacking abilities. Double digits in Serie B, eight goals in Serie A. Strefezza, a Brazilian, thinks he can fly. He’s just switched agents and will want to try to match himself elsewhere by raising the bar. The workshop in Lecce is not cheap. Because what he has achieved is visible to all. And on offense come center forward Ceesay, wingers Banda (another discovery of Corvino the Zambian) and Di Francesco. It won’t be easy to keep them all but Lecce is fine, we can still grow and that’s a factor not to be ignored.
May 29 – 12:10 p.m
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