SSC Napoli does have plenty of them for the title in Serie A. Lorenzo Badge tells the story of his road to the top.
The Players’ Tribune, a website where athletes, their stories to share with the rest of the world. Recently picked up Lorenzo Badge (26) with a candid testimonial on his way to the top. Talk like the Italian flankspeler and finally his idols, dreams and his youth which he spent in Naples.
‘Before this story start, I want to apologize to God,” he writes. ‘And with God, I mean Diego Armando Maradona. I also want to also apologize to my father, because when I was eight years old, then I committed a mortal sin.’
“My older brother was formerly a football school. On a day I was allowed to come and see how he played, but I had no sense in it. I ran on the field, started to cry and acted like I was dying. Man, it was dramatic. Ultimately, could the coach not hear and he let me play. I showed what I have in my mars had, and was eventually admitted.
‘Football boots I had yet to do so, so sawed them I the ears of my father, his body. However I had two problems. Frattamaggiore, where I my childhood, was known as a tough neighborhood. The jobs were not up for grabs, which my family’s not too wide. In addition, I wanted a specific few: the R9’s. It took Ronaldo just sparkled at the world cup of 1998 in France. Every day I was it busy. My father wanted me to probably kill. He was a fierce Napoli-supporter, and Ronaldo played at that time for Inter Milan. Maradona was his hero and he wanted that I black shoes wore. As El Diego.’
‘When I saw the silvery-blue bones with yellow accents for the first time attracted, I thought to myself: okay, maybe I’m too small, too poor and not good enough, but now I wear pretty the shoes of Ronaldo. Who know, I might him on a day match.
“I polished them every day, because I knew what my father had sacrificed to get me to donate. When they broke, I cried. They were sacred to me. If I were them I think back, I find it rather funny. As a professional footballer, you get so many shoes that they have their value quickly lose.’
“My big dream was always to be with the Napolishirt in the Stadio San Paolo to play. When I was at the youth teams of, amongst others, Inter, Torino and even Napoli tested, I heard, however, that I was too small. To technique, strength and speed you can work, but at your length you can not change anything. Every morning I woke up and hoped in vain that I was grown.
‘Eventually gave Napoli a chance. My family is always fierce supporter, but we had no money to go to the games to go watch. So when I was in the academy was, I wanted every match, ball boys are. So I could be on the sidelines of my heroes at work. I thought: if I now have one match in the Napolishirt can play, I can peacefully die.”
“I owe everything to the club. They kept me loyal, even in the difficult periods. After my debut, I was loaned out to Foggia (Serie C1) and later at Pescara (Serie B). At Foggia I learned to coach Zdenek Zeman know. He seemed straight out of an old movie. Every morning he showed us in his office roads, while one cigarette after the other to raise a hand. If you the door of his office opened, you saw only white smoke. One day I had enough and I asked him if he was smoking could make it if there players were present. He took a pull of his cigarette and answered me grappend that I could afbollen.
“We had a great relationship and I made eighteen goals scored by Foggia. When he was at the end of the season left, I followed him to Pescara. In retrospect, 2011 was an important year because I learned my wife Jenny (Darone, ed) when know. If you are South Italy, which has, you know that her parents would not allow me, they would follow. That season I had a double motivation to play well: I would my dream with Napoli being fulfilled and I could more often for Jenny. I scored nineteen times and after the season I had a meeting with Walter Mazzarri, the former head coach of Napoli. “If you here a place, you conquer,” he said. I replied that I in my life never anything free to me. Nothing could get me that season to stop.’
“Sometimes I hear people bad talk about Naples. That hurts me, because they the city is not know. According to me it is the most beautiful metropolis of the world. If you don’t believe me, just look at my teammates who go to a larger club could and still remained. When I ask them why, they reply that they of the city, the fans and the life here. So if people are bad talking about Naples, they need to wake up. Even God loves Naples and with God, I mean Maradona.
‘A huge amount of respect I have for Ronaldo, but now I’m older and my history better ken, I realize more than ever that Maradona is the greatest of the earth. Ronaldo, you had fantastic shoes, you were a genius and my inspiration. But as a Neapolitan, I am obliged to say that there is only one king and his name is Diego.’
Last year also told Cristiano Ronaldo to The Players Tribune candid story of his life and how fatherhood is to him as an athlete has changed. Read.