Pozzecco: “Dinamo you are special what a pleasure to see you again”

The embrace Pozzecco Sardara (photo Mauro Chessa)

First time in Sassari after the farewell for the Milan assistant coach

SASSARI. “Even if ten were to applaud me and all the others whistle, my gratitude for the Dinamo world and for Sardinia would be unchanged.” Tense to death, his voice broken by emotion, Gianmarco Pozzecco tries to mentally live, two days in advance, his “first” as an ex at PalaSerradimigni. Tomorrow afternoon, just before 5pm, the area of ​​Piazzale Segni will be shaken by the return to Sassari of one of the characters who have left the deepest mark in the recent history of the island’s sport.

A question of feeling. The man of the many islands, who was an idol in Sicily and moved to Formentera to live, returns to Sardinia almost a year after the end – not painless – of his relationship with Dinamo. From outside, as assistant coach of Olimpia Milano, he will take a dip in the basin in which he coached for 840 days, leading Dinamo to conquer two trophies with an impressive tally of 85 wins in 125 games. “But no, it’s not a question of numbers – says the technician from Trieste, fifty years old next September -. It is a question of feelings, of emotions. How am I living this eve? I am very agitated, the more the moment approaches the more tense I am. The truth is that I had a wonderful time in Sassari and there will be many people that I will be happy to see again, not only in the basketball environment. Because I had a good time with the club, with the staff and with the players, but also with the people I met every day ».

The Sardinia connection. “I had a very simple life with you, I went to have breakfast in Via Roma, I did the shopping in Piazza Fiume, I chatted with people on the street, if I went to Castelsardo, Bosa or elsewhere I was always treated like one at home These are all things that have gratified me and that I miss so much. I have lived in every moment the affection of the people and the enthusiasm that we had all created together, I have truly discovered an extraordinary people. And I was convinced of one thing: Dinamo is Dinamo, and it’s so special, because it’s a team from Sardinia. I think now of the relationship I have with Gigi Datome: he is Sardinian, what more can I say? ».

Kisses & hugs. «I can’t wait to hug” my “boys – adds Poz -, this is the first thing. But I will be very happy to greet the many people who have allowed me to live well, to be well. Stefano Sardara too? Yes, he too, because he gave me an opportunity and it remains. When he called me I was really a pensioner in slippers in front of the TV. We have already met again and I have greeted him, sport is made up of circles that close and stories that end, even abruptly, but we have the duty to preserve what is beautiful we have lived together. And then, obviously all those who work in the Dinamo world, this time with priority to the medical staff: the other time when I left I couldn’t say hello and I’m still sorry, I’m really grateful for their professionalism and their humanity “. even the day of the return of the public with 100% patience: a beautiful coincidence. “If I said I don’t hope for a nice welcome, I’d be a hypocrite. But I’m already tense enough to think about that too. Even if ten people applaud me, I would still be happy for everything that happened ».

Rewind. Rewinding the film of your two years and 3 months in biancoblù, is there anything you wouldn’t do again? “It would be foolish to argue that if I could go back, I wouldn’t change anything. But there are things that happen, and that maybe hurt you or you regret, but they allow you to grow. People live and make mistakes, I make them and others make them. So that’s okay ».

More man, more coach. Arriving in Sassari after two not so exciting experiences as head coach, seen at the beginning almost as a freak due to his out of line behavior, in a short time Pozzecco was able to establish himself as a great coach, while maintaining an explosive character. Now, as Ettore Messina’s shoulder, he is facing a further step in his career. «Ettore – assures Poz – is a winning mentality, work ethic and a culture of victory. We are aware of the fact that we are competitive on all fronts, and that is what a coach has to do. Given the due proportions, this was what we had managed to build in Sardinia, in a different context and on a different scale. His mentality is unique, he is among the few sportsmen I have known who have almost an obsession with winning, and being close to him you can only respect it. I had been assistant to Veljko Mrsic, a friend with whom I had shared unique moments, such as winning a scudetto as a player, one I really wanted and love. But I’ve always thought that to be the deputy of loving your head coach, you don’t have to have any other personal gratification than him, there is no room for anything else: for me it is indispensable. At the beginning I had a relationship with Ettore obviously not comparable to the one I have with Veljko, but now I feel I love him as a person: I don’t know if it was a long or short process, it certainly took some time, but the relationship it has also grown in tandem with the growth of his confidence in me. I think I convinced him that he was trustworthy. Someone smiles because sometimes I’m the one who calms him down? I’m just as hot as he is, but being composed is part of my role. When I see him agitated I’m sorry, I would like to see him happy and I always try to show him the glass half full. And for us, honestly, the glass is very full this season ».

The super challenge. «We come from two consecutive Euroleague matches – says Pozzecco about tomorrow’s match -, then we will have the direct match that will define the position in the playoffs. We are doomed to always have to win, we cannot make calculations, but the boys know this and live this aspect with a great sense of responsibility. We start as favorites and every match is complicated because everyone wants to make a good impression on us, and Dinamo will be no exception. It’s a kind of pressure you have to live with: it’s one of the many things I learned from Ettore, one of the most important ».

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