Ferrero: “It was as if I were playing for two nations, returning to Masnago will be beautiful. Regarding the future I say that…”

He has just won the Serie A2 championship, with Triesteagainst Cantuin a mere game of destiny.

Giancarlo Ferrero he wrote history, once again, with a red and white shirt, not that of Varese, however, but that of the Julian club, which returned to A1 after only a year in purgatory.

A promotion that it smells, inevitablyOf Varese, given the interpreters. A promotion that now raises the big question about Gianca’s future and whether or not we will see him again at the Masnago stadium, his home, next year, on the other side of the fence but never as an opponent for his Varese team.

Giancarlo, in the meantime, shall we start from the happiness of the promotion achieved?
“There is certainly a lot of happiness. It was very difficult to reach this goal on the first try. Personally, it had been many years since I had anything to do with Serie A2, a difficult championship, with great competition, full of teams fighting to move up to A1. It was certainly a complex year for us, it wasn’t a triumphal ride but the final success was the right recognition for a second part of the season in which we put together everything we sowed and overcame during the year.”

How was your first season after so many years away from Varese?
“Without a doubt I had to change some things, including my approach to the game. At the beginning of the year, both in terms of numbers but also in terms of concrete contribution, I struggled. It took time to readjust and be useful to the team precisely because, as I said before, the demands change between A1 and A2 even for a specialist player like me. I found some differences, but thanks to the work and trust I have always received from coaches, teammates and the club, I am happy to have been able to give my contribution, as I wanted, in the second part of the season.”

How difficult is it to play in A2?
“It’s a difficult championship, first of all because there are large historic places with large followings: I’m thinking of Trapani, Cantù, us, Udine, Verona, Fortitudo Bologna. They are historical realities of our basketball, next year there will be Brindisi and Pesaro, all clubs that want to move up immediately and there are two places. This year has been complicated, because after a long season in which perhaps one reality dominates, we have to interface with the playoffs, with teams that are now increasingly better equipped, both in terms of Italians and foreigners”.

This year he found himself playing in a basketball context very inclined to the Varese philosophy of Moreyball: similar but not so the same though…
“Very different I would say. There were similar concepts but I think that, especially towards the end of the season when we found our dimension, our game was really not close to that of Varese last year. We had to shape everything on our individual qualities, on our characteristics, on the way we play, on the fact that we found advantages near the basket. I can say that only some concepts were assimilable, then things changed in terms of pace and possessions played compared to what was done in Varese a year ago or to the initial concepts. We have had a metamorphosis.”

You, Arcieri, Reyes and Ruzzier have won a promotion with a strong Varese flavour…
“Very true (laughs, ed.). When I thought to myself last year, after signing with Trieste, I thought about how nice it would have been to move up to A1 in a final against Cantù and fate wanted it that way, not even Shakespeare would have written an ending like that. Our strength this year was the group. From day one I had the perception of a team that had been together longer. Many players had been here since the year before, the ones you mentioned we already knew each other and this led us to have great cohesion, desire and hunger to come back immediately. It was also a bit of a Varese promotion, I had the perception of playing for two peoples between messages and attendance at the arena. I knew this would happen and I was really pleased.”

How much emotion did you feel in seeing, after the two races in Cantù, so many Varese fans present to greet you and hug you again?
“It was a great emotion. The Trieste staff was amazed by this, it is something uncommon which once again, yet again, gave me testimony to how much affection there is with the friends of Varese. On social media, in messages, I received a lot of love and it’s something unique.”

It’s true that we’re talking about A2 and luckily he never had to play with Varese, but isn’t there a bit of a bad taste left in your mouth from the fact that, to lift a trophy again, he had to leave Varese?
“I definitely thought about it. I have often said, and I continue to do so with a smile, that Varese is something unique for me and will go beyond the sporting aspect, so it is obvious that being able to lift a trophy with Varese was a dream I had and that maybe it will happen… as a fan.”

One year later, with a cool head, how much did you miss not being able to say goodbye as you would have wanted and as all the red and white people would have wanted, your Varese?
“After a year, clearly, the emotions become lighter. It’s obvious that I can’t wait to return to the arena and greet all the people who love me, because the truth is this, the Varese public loves me more as a man than as a player. Fate will tell if I will do it as a player on the other team, but never as an opponent, or as a spectator. I don’t know, but certainly, in both cases, it will be a great joy.”

Since the evening you won promotion, how many times have you imagined yourself in Masnago on the other side of the fence next year?
“I honestly have a hard time imagining it. I don’t know if it will happen, because this is the reality. At the moment I don’t have a contract with Trieste, I will wait in the next few days to have a nice chat with Mike Arcieri to understand if I can be useful to the team next year in Serie A, but really seeing myself not wearing the Varese shirt in Masnago is something that I find it hard to imagine but it will be beautiful in any case, as I said before.”

So, what will be Giancarlo Ferrero’s future if he doesn’t stay in Trieste?
“I can’t give you an answer today. Trieste and Michael Arcieri have precedence over everything, a man I have to thank because he gave me a great opportunity. It wasn’t an easy moment for me, he believed in me and thought I could be useful to the rebirth of this team and he has priority over everything. After that, many paths will open up: from accepting another challenge or deciding to quit, dedicating myself exclusively to my work as a financial advisor.”

Alessandro Burin
IG photo Giancarlo Ferrero

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