“Non avere peli sulla lingua,” literally translated to English means “Don’t have hair on the tongue.” It’s a very Florentine way of saying “straightforward” or “honest conversation.” Here at Viola Nation we know it can be easy to fall into an echo chamber in which the same ideas bounce back and forth, so we’re starting a new regular feature in which we will speak to one of Florence’s most knowledgeable and experienced calcio minds. Therefore, we’re bringing in our friend Stefano Del Corona of FiorentinaNews.com to add a new (very Florentine) perspective to the topics we discuss everyday.
Stefano is the Director for FiorentinaNews.com where he has worked since 2000, delivering a lot of the information we read and discuss here daily. He is currently in Moena covering Fiorentina’s preseason. In his time as a respected journalist he has collaborated with Lady Radio, Radio Studio 54, Calciomercato.com, and La Nazione.
Our first installment focuses on Fiorentina’s ownership change, our approach to the mercato and the expectations for the International Champions Cup. Enjoy!
This conversation has been lightly edited for clarity and conciseness.
Viola Nation: How has Rocco Commisso’s takeover changed the fan’s outlook on Fiorentina?
Stefano Del Corona: Fiorentina’s fans were upset with the Della Valle family. It was the right time to change the ownership of this club. Commisso has brought great enthusiasm into this city.
VN: We have seen the many videos of the fans serenading Rocco after he bought the club. A few weeks later what is the city saying today?
SDC: Feelings and sensations are the still the same of his first day. But now Mr. Commisso has to move from word to deeds, building a competitive squad for the next season.
VN: What is your take on the market so far? Are we back to self-financing or will there be a budget beyond sales entered at some point? What is the significance with August 10th for purchasing players?
SDC: Pradè has a new budget for this market, but he wants to spend the right price for the players he’s trading. The other owners know that Commisso is a rich man and he cannot disappoint Fiorentina’s fans, so they are trying to take advantage of this situation.
Well August 10th, it is just a date. I don’t give too much importance to that. I obviously hope some players will arrive before that date.
VN: What are your thoughts on the Chiesa saga? How good is his brother Lorenzo? How can this affect the relationship with the Chiesa family and his brother’s prospects of playing for Fiorentina in the future?
SDC: The presence of his brother will not be important in this saga. I think that Commisso, Barone and Pradè are so determined to confirm Chiesa for the next season. There is a contract for him to respect and Fiorentina has the knife on the side [ed. note: this means that Fiorentina have the advantage in the negotiations]
VN: We’ve heard many of the rumors from your site moving Veretout, Hugo, Dragowski, Ceccherini, Simeone, Chiesa, Pezzella, Dabo, Benassi, Hancko, Vlahovic, etc. How many players from last year’s roster do you expect to see in purple once the season starts?
SDC: Not too many players from last year’s team will be around for several reasons. The most important one is that this team failed the last championship, rescuing the relegation in the final game. By the way Fiorentina must still confirm Chiesa. After that, all of the others are like accessories.
VN: What is your level of confidence going into the ICC against Guadalajara, Arsenal and Benfica?
SDC: We cannot expect too much from this experience. The most interesting part is to analyze the youngsters. We’re going to decide if players like Ranieri, Vlahovic, Castrovilli, Sottil and so on, are good enough to stay on this roster, or if they need to go away to improve.
VN: Finally, look into your crystal ball. Who will be the biggest signing in this market?
SDC: If you’re referring to Fiorentina’s market, I hope we bring in Balotelli and De Paul (obviously with Chiesa staying in this team). This offensive trio will cause serious damages to all the other teams in Italy.
Grazie Stefano! Appreciate your time and honesty.
We will have an installment of “Non Avere Peli Sulla Lingua” each month with Stefano. If you have a subject you want his perspective on, please send it our way. We will log those and try our best to include as many of them as possible.