With the spotlight on the Fiorentina men’s new signings, ACF Women’s is flying slightly under the radar. Antonio Cincotta’s group, though, can now announce one of the most exciting things you’ll read this summer: Viola captain and Italy international Alia Guagni has turned down an offer from Real Madrid, who tried to tempt her away from Tuscany with a 3-year contract worth €250,000 annually.
CD Tacón, as the Merengues’ women’s side is called, is planning to open its top flight women’s side in 2020 and is buying up Galacticas, shelling out to bring in superstars like Kosovare Asllani, Thaisa, and Sofia Jakobsson a year ahead of time. Now looking to reinforce the back line, the brain trust there decided that Guagni was the perfect building block for the foundation.
Guagni, though, had other ideas, stating, “I am where I need to be. Florence is my home and I’m happy to be here. I want to thank Professor [Vincenzo] Vergine [ACF Women’s CEO], who is providing continuity to the project, and with him the new owner Rocco Commisso and Joe Barone, who believe in women’s football and want to launch the Viola at even more ambitious goals. We’re setting up a competitive team again this year and aim to do the maximum.”
In fairness, it’s not a terrible professional decision, as Fiorentina remain one of the giants of women’s soccer in Italy, possessing the most impressive trophy cabinet on the peninsula with a scudetto, 2 Coppe Italia, and a Supercoppa; that sort of stability is a lot more than Tacón can offer—after all, the Viola will actually play next season in the top flight, which is more than the Spanish side can say.
Still just 31, the soon-to-be-mythical number 3 has already piled up 204 appearances in the purple shirt, scoring an eye-popping 67 goals. She’s also earned 40 caps for the Azzure and scored once; she was a key part of the side that thrilled Italy this summer in making a run in the World Cup. Across all those appearances, she’s been been booked just 14 times, which is perhaps the most absurd stat for a defender that I’ve ever written. She also turned down a move to giants Lyon when she was 19, opting to stay in her hometown.
I’ll let Guagni wrap this up: “We aim high. We like to talk little, and let the field talk. The new project is ambitious, I’m happy here in Florence and I can’t wait to start again.” That’s what you expect to hear from a Paolo Maldini or a Francesco Totti, and Alia Guagni is ready to take her place with them in the pantheon of true bandiere. We’re so lucky to have her. Damn.