English subtitles

← There is not just one first league | Fabrizio Lori | TEDxMantova

Get Embed Code
3 Languages

Showing Revision 5 created 09/09/2019 by Nicoletta Pedrana.

  1. Good morning everybody.
  2. As the speaker already said,
    my name is Fabrizio Lori.
  3. I see an "A” in front of me
  4. and this is a letter that I loved so much.
  5. But I also hated it,
    and now I'll try to explain why.
  6. It was 2004-2005, we're talking about
    almost 15 years ago.
  7. Back then, the managers of Mantua
    asked me for a sponsorship.
  8. I immediately said,
    "No, I'm not interested."
  9. But then I reconsidered:
    "Doing something for the city, why not?"
  10. Because back then, unlike today,
    with basketball, five-a-side football -
  11. there was just football,
  12. it was in C2 Series.
  13. And I said, "Okay, why not?"
  14. More to do something for the city
  15. but not at all thinking
  16. that it would have turned out to be
  17. a similar experience.
  18. Anyway, we start
    the first year in C Series,
  19. a fantastic enthusiasm builds up,
    the team played so well.
  20. Of course, I never thought the team
    would win and go straight to the B Series.
  21. Also because we had stayed
    for 35 years in C Series.
  22. Here is a nice photo of the stadium,
    to prove the enthusiasm.
  23. What did emerge there
  24. was a real merger between the city,
    the fans, the players.
  25. Everybody spoke about Mantua team.
  26. And finally we came to the B Series.
  27. We had never gotten
    to B Series for 35 years.
  28. It was a real event for Mantua.
  29. Here is a picture
    that is particularly dear to me,
  30. look at the stadium
    that was really "bombed"
  31. it looked like a "bomboniera"
    (wedding present)
  32. And the moment we got to the B Series,
  33. many fans, especially a few hooligans,
    asked me to play in the A Series.
  34. In the A Series?!
  35. We have been in C Series for 35 years,
    let’s stay in B Series!
  36. "That's fine, ok"
  37. Players were rather worried:
  38. it was another category,
    with other players,
  39. there were other important teams,
  40. like Atalanta, now you see how well
    it is playing in the A Series, incredible.
  41. The Torino team -
    I find it hard to say, Torino.
  42. And then there was Catania -
    there were a lot of emblazoned teams.
  43. At the end of the day,
  44. Mantua was a small town,
    with just 48,000 people,
  45. compared to Turin, Bergamo, Bologna.
  46. Long story short, we start at full speed,
  47. I remember the first game we lost,
  48. maybe some supporters here also remember
  49. it was in December, the last match
  50. against Pescara,
  51. beating all other teams -
  52. and this is the ranking of the B Series
  53. of the first half, the winter round.
  54. There was Mantua 42, Catania 40,
  55. I can't pronounce that, Atalanta 38.
  56. Incredible!
  57. In fact, Sky's call comes in.
  58. Look, Sky TV calls me,
  59. the director - I can't remember his name,
  60. it was long time ago, I can't remember.
  61. He tells me: "Fabrizio, we have to meet
  62. because we have to sign
    the agreement for the A Series.
  63. "For God's sake", I say, "let's just
    wait a second, it's still early".
  64. "No” he adds "because it's never happened
  65. that a team that got first in the ranking
    in the first half of the season,
  66. didn't go to B Series".
  67. Well, even though it never
    happened before, I was not so sure.
  68. What happened?
  69. We failed, unfortunately,
    we remained in B Series.
  70. And it hasn't happened later, also,
    in the 80, 90 years of B Series.
  71. The only time when a team came first
    in the first half of the season,
  72. and got stuck in B Series.
  73. What was the team? Mantua.
  74. Okay, it doesn't matter.
  75. Here we do the playoffs.
  76. Many people from Mantua
    remember them, I think.
  77. I remember them like yesterday.
  78. We played against Modena,
    a great round-trip game,
  79. we went to the final with Turin
    and played the first one home,
  80. we won 4-2.
  81. We are already close to the dream,
  82. that dream that frankly
    I never hoped would happen.
  83. But it was happening.
  84. Mind you, during that week,
    after the 4 - 2 match we played at home,
  85. perhaps the best match
    I've seen played by my Mantua team.
  86. Had we played against Real Madrid,
    we'd win against Real Madrid.
  87. Anyway, we play great.
  88. A title is published in the Gazzetta
    "Betting scandal”,
  89. which means, Juventus team
    is relegated to B Series.
  90. No, it's not possible.
  91. And then we go to Turin,
  92. we played a "honest" match,
  93. but it was no real match,
  94. something was clearly wrong
    since the very beginning,
  95. because Mantua was a small town.
  96. Juve and Toro could not
    stay in B Series or go in B Series
  97. and let Mantua go to A Series.
  98. So the game was
    nothing short of scandalous,
  99. with an arbitration -
  100. let's say unlikely, to be kind,
  101. and we remained in B Series.
  102. What a disappointment:
    it would have been a fairytale
  103. and it would have done good
    for Italian football too.
  104. This fairytale of this small team,
  105. starting from the C2 Series,
    and in three years goes to the A Series.
  106. That's what happened, anyway.
  107. The day after, I remember
    the endless sadness, I cried, I remember.
  108. I cried in the stadium,
    like most of Mantua fans.
  109. Because you know,
    it's not easy to repeat yourself.
  110. However, in the second year of B Series
    we played with Juventus, Naples and Genoa,
  111. I mean, no small teams.
  112. And in September
    I go to the players' market,
  113. because there is the players' market -
  114. and I say:
  115. "Let’s see some players
    to strengthen the team:
  116. after all, the winning team
    was already there.
  117. We got to A Series, after all:
    they just didn't allow us to play.
  118. But now I'm not here
    to say things I could regret -
  119. Whatever.
  120. I meet a journalist, still from Sky -
    seems like a destiny.
  121. And he says: "President Lori, please,
    don't buy anybody this year".
  122. And I say, why not?
  123. Excuse me, we got all the way
    to the B Series.
  124. And I'd like to try
    and play in the A Series.
  125. “Please, do not invest anything,
  126. Juventus, Napoli and Genoa
    are poised to go to the A Series.
  127. There probably won't even be playoffs".
  128. I was like, you're kidding:
  129. but that's what happened.
  130. First time in the history of football,
    Juve, Napoli, Genoa go to A Series.
  131. We ranked fourth or fifth,
    we had a great season.
  132. But we did manage to do one thing, anyway.
  133. And now I want to show you what it was.
  134. Please, video.
  135. [Video]
  136. [10 years ago, epic win
    at Martelli stadium]
  137. [January 13th, 2007]
  138. [LITTLE BUT PROUD -
    the triumph of red and white pride]
  139. [Even for red and white players,
    it's the day when a dream comes true,]
  140. [Playing against the idols of their youth]
  141. [A match to watch again and again]
  142. [Buffon, newly nominated world champion,]
  143. [leaving the stadium injured
    among everyone's applause]
  144. [A last minute mistake by Del Piero]
  145. [We made the history: Juve KO,
    after 45 matches in A series]
  146. [What a party!]
  147. [A night to remember]
  148. [President Lori, today: "That was
    the peak of my management"]
  149. (Applause)
  150. Thank you.
  151. (Applause)
  152. I don't know if it was
    the peak of my management.
  153. Certainly, the victory was
    a great satisfaction.
  154. But this victory proved -
    Juve hadn't lost a match in two years!
  155. Then there were all
    the world's champion players,
  156. among which Trezeguet
  157. even though he played for France,
    he also played for Juventus,
  158. Del Piero - everyone.
  159. And we showed, especially to the League,
  160. that we also were an A Series team.
  161. That was it,
  162. that's why my boys
    put their hearts into it
  163. and we won that game.
  164. Then I went through a number
    of rather quiet years,
  165. we played three more years in B Series,
  166. so five years of B series,
    not bad for a little town like Mantua.
  167. Then in 2010 we had a few issues,
  168. we had a very good team
    but we couldn't understand -
  169. I remember sitting with coach Serena,
    that maybe someone remembers,
  170. at a table, trying to understand:
  171. how come we cannot win a match?
  172. We couldn't figure out."
  173. Long story short,
  174. we lost position after position,
    not figuring out why.
  175. Then we had to face a bankruptcy,
  176. a frankly unpleasant chapter of my life
  177. beyond the disappointment of that year.
  178. Then, after two years, it became known
  179. that we filed for bankruptcy
  180. because we had players
    who sold themselves against us.
  181. And that was my life's
    biggest disappointment,
  182. because one feels betrayed.
  183. You always try your best,
  184. then a few players spoil everything
    betraying your trust.
  185. Someone can figure out
    what I felt back then.
  186. In fact, for some years
  187. I decided to have
    nothing to do with football
  188. because I was disgusted,
    sorry to put it bluntly,
  189. Even disgusted, maybe,
    doesn't convey properly.
  190. I was disgusted by the corruption
    in the football world.
  191. Then, after a few years,
    I got a bit over it
  192. and I decided with my partner - Hi Elena -
  193. to start this little
    amateur football academy
  194. with children aged 4 to 12 years
  195. to teach them - these are
    the pictures of children -
  196. to teach more than to become champions,
  197. to live and have fun
  198. because football must be fun.
  199. If it starts to become, like,
  200. "I'm going to be a player
    so I can earn millions of euros,"
  201. then it's best not to do anything.
  202. And this is something I'm proud of,
    in addition to this small academy
  203. AS Diverso
  204. is a company here in Mantua
    dealing with disabled people.
  205. We merged and we created
    this fabulous team.
  206. This team is called
    Accademia Fabrizio Lori - AS Diverso.
  207. And this year for the first time
    we played in the B Series in Milan.
  208. We are a small reality, of course,
  209. and we played against teams
    like Inter, Genova, Fiorentina,
  210. which are all affiliated
    with professional teams.
  211. The academy Fabrizio Lori
    is only affiliated with my academy.
  212. We went to the stadium with small buses,
    I drove one and Riccardo drove the other.
  213. They came on Inter-branded buses, instead.
  214. We played a great championship.
  215. I got shivers,
  216. because I remembered my old Mantua.
  217. We beat Inter, Genoa and Fiorentina,
  218. so we basically ranked third
    in the standings.
  219. How many of them did go up?
  220. Two.
  221. (Laughter)
  222. Well, it doesn't matter
    because we received
  223. the most beautiful award
    a president could ever receive.
  224. This is the fair play award.
  225. There were 45 teams
    and it was given to us,
  226. They were possibly sorry
    for us, I don't know.
  227. Anyway I think that will entitle us,
  228. they have already told me, informally,
  229. because basically first,
    second, third team are up;
  230. then there was the fourth that had
    an unthinkable difference of points.
  231. So I think they're going
    to make us go further -
  232. I want to go to this A Series, sorry.
  233. And anyway it's another way
    of seeing things,
  234. but these guys made me really happy,
  235. I call them special guys,
    because for me they are really special.
  236. I'll tell you more.
  237. I learned much more from them,
    over this last year
  238. than they from me
  239. because they have given me
    a sense of lightness and happiness
  240. that I never felt in so many years.
  241. I thank you so much,
  242. I hope I haven't bored you,
    and I thank you for listening to me.
  243. Thanks.
  244. (Applause)