45 Belgians have passed in Serie A. Mertens and Lukaku know them all, but there are also some who have passed without a trace but hide interesting stories …
Not only Nainggolan, Mertens, Scifo and Gillet. Among the Belgians of Italy there are also them. The other Lukaku, the former Football Manager phenomenon, the goalkeeper turned golfer, the alleged genius of Genoa, the full-back with braids. Of the 45 Belgian players who passed in Serie A, some stories that you may not remember.
Bomber name, but he’s a full-back …
If he hadn’t listened to his mother today he would be wearing the white coat. Jordan Lukaku was studying as a doctor, but mother Adolphine convinced him to change course: “You will play football, you have talent, trust me”. Romelu’s example did the rest. He arrived at Lazio in 2016, with Inzaghi the best season of his career: 44 games and a goal in 2017-18, including the assist to Murgia in the Super Cup, against Juve. After about twenty games in Antwerp he is ready to play his chances with Sarri on the bench: “I’ll go to retreat, then we’ll see”. A few girls here and there: at the time of the Anderlecht he made his apartment unusable due to the frequent use of the barbecue. Twenty thousand euro fine. In 2017 his license was withdrawn for 3 months. Offensive full-back, 66 games and a goal in Serie A, a string of injuries in the key moments, in 2013 bewitched Tare at the Viareggio Tournament. In the second round he eliminated Bollini’s Lazio by scoring a penalty against Strakosha.
Football and more
Clothes, rap and… no more braids
There is no trace of a ball on his Instagram profile. Nice clothes, nice cars, big brands, no more braids. Luis Pedro Cavanda is released. From 2017 to 2020 he played in Liège, before that in Turkey with Galatasaray and Trabzonspor. In Italy with Turin, Bari and Lazio. A lifelong full-back, 2 international appearances, a few months ago he said that in Belgium “there are no better sides than him”. The last year, however, remained without a club. Discovered by Sabatini in 2007, Lazio remember him for his braids and a period from outside the squad in 2013. Zarate welcomed him on Twitter: “Welcome Luis among us”. Time a couple of months and it will return to the ranks. Curiosity: as a lover of rap, in 2015 he recorded his first single with Quadraro Basement.
Fenomeno… a Football Manager
Anyone who plays Football Manager remembers it: in 2007, at the time of Anderlecht, it was bought for a million. Fullback, central, midfielder, phenomenal statistics in every position. The reality is different: Vanden Borre said goodbye to football in 2019 at the age of 29, but then ripped a couple of contracts between Congo (Mazenbe) and Anderlecht, the club of his life in which he played three times. Thirty-three Serie A matches between Fiorentina and Genoa (2007-2009), eight trophies at home, 29 games with Belgium, a presence at the World Cup in Brazil (2014), a double in the Champions League against Arsenal and a stunt that could have cost him dear: in 2016 he shouted “bomb” at Brussels airport. Apparently they rejected it at check-in. No complaint, but JetAir has banned him for life from its planes.
In Italy, a purple meteor
In Florence they called him “the alternate”. Almost never a starter, 27 games and 2 goals in 2018-19, some bucking in the wing to earn the redemption from Everton at 7 million. He did not succeed. Kevin Mirallas was one of Corvino’s proteges, the talent scout, the one who tried to snatch him from the British a couple of seasons earlier. Winger with easy dribbling, 29 goals in the Premier League and 10 with Belgium, in Italy he was a meteor. “In Pioli’s 4-3-3 I can play in all attacking roles, even in the center”. He never convinced. In his cv a season as top scorer in the Greek league, 20 goals with Olympiacos ten years ago, before consecrating himself with the Toffees. In recent seasons he has wandered a bit without finding the right destination: after Antwerp in Belgium, today he plays for Gaziantep in Turkey.
The alleged genius
Away from the U21, with 6 months of disqualification
Preziosi welcomed him like this: “With Lestienne I wanted to exaggerate”. After all, the profile is one that makes fans fall in love: inspiration, dribbling, imagination, creativity. Although very little was seen at Genoa, 23 games and a goal in 2014-15. Just some level play. Two assists with Sassuolo, a flicker to Inter, platinum blonde hair briefly gassing the steps. “Milan wanted me, but I said no”. A great red and blue blunder. He never made his debut with the Belgium of the greats, but in 2013 he got kicked out of the U21 for having invited a girl to retire: six months of disqualification. Two years later he was involved in a fight with Zoet, the Spezia goalkeeper: all in handcuffs. After PSV, Rubin Kazan and Malaga he returned to his homeland: since 2018 he plays with Standard Liège.
The dynamite of Treviso
It made the balloons pop
The midfielder Walter has returned home: today he is councilor for sport in the municipality of Tubize, but woe to call him a politician. “I love to help out in my city”. They called it “dynamite” because of too strong a shot. In 2005, at the time of Anderlecht, he blew a ball against Silvio Proto’s La Louviere, former Lazio goalkeeper. The game was also replayed. After touching Lazio, Inter, Milan, Fiorentina and other clubs, in 2006 he signed with Treviso. A year and a half in Veneto between Serie A and B, in the city where his father grew up. Baseggio has Italian parents: his mother was born in Naples and he speaks the language with a southern accent. “Impossible to forget the origins.” Fifteen games and a goal in A. He retired in 2012 after defeating a thyroid tumor.
The accident man
Fragility and personality
They say about him, for a lifetime: “Without injuries …”. It didn’t go badly though: Martinez’s starter in Belgium, 4 out of 4 matches at Euro 2020, 19 trophies between Ajax, Barcelona, Arsenal and Vissel Kobe, Japan, where he chose to finish his career. Vermaelen has played 84 matches for the national team and now challenges his past: in 2016-17 he played in Spalletti’s Rome (11 appearances. The fans remember him for a mistake against Genoa and Luciano’s sword defense: ” we must create victims. ”Born in 1985, elegant central, he made his debut at the age of 18. Wenger made him captain of Arsenal:“ He has personality ”.
He followed another passion
Goalkeeper with two destinies: the first in the name of his grandfather, Silvio senior, Sicilian miner who emigrated to Belgium, the second … with goals. In Proto’s CV there is a goal in Gent scored with Beerschot in 2009. More than 370 games with Anderlecht, 13 in the national team and 9 with Lazio from 2018 to 2021. At 37, with Olympiacos, he played great against Juve in the Champions League. In his career he won 16 trophies, even if a few too many injuries affected his career: in 2014 he missed the World Cup in Brazil with an arm problem. After around 500 pro appearances he retired to become a professional golfer.
July 1, 2021 (change July 1, 2021 | 21:23)
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