Why did I decide to create a website?
There are already a lot of web pages about soccer. Why another?
The answers are very simple and the first is obvious.
Thanks to my soccer past, I chose to be a coach and give individual and group soccer lessons so, of course, I’m promoting my activity.
But there are other reasons.
For example, all the websites teach HOW to play soccer and they do it really well for all ages of players. Thousands of pages in which everything is sectioned in the most minute detail and, because no one knows everything, I also learn something new everyday.
But what is really missing is what soccer IS for the rest of the world and why, even though 17 million Americans play soccer (12 million kids), it is not popular at the professional level like basketball, football and baseball.
I tried to answer this question in an indirect way, by publishing the soccer novel, THE TEAM, in which the protagonist, Marco, struggles everyday with this problem.
Every week I will also publish a Quotation and will develop the concept with a short text.
On the page Learning through pictures, I will approach teaching with a different point of view, by using pictures of international players in action, to underline aspects that I consider fundamental.
Another reason that pushed me to create the site is the fact that I think those who have played at the highest levels should transfer their experience to the new generation of players.
I believe it is our obligation, otherwise our experience will be lost.
Here is something about myself.
I have 50 years of experience, since I am 56 and my father started coaching me at 6 years old. He played in Italy professionally all his life and when he retired, wrote a book about soccer technique.
I was a successful player from an early age because I was very well trained and at 17 years old with my team AUSONIA GRASSI, from Milano, won the National Title U17, receiving a gold medal from the President of Italy. On that occasion I scored 5 goals in the semi-final and final.
After that, A.C. MILAN chose me and I played for two years on their youth team, with a short interlude on INTER MILAN.
Having missed the first team by a hair, I played until 35 years of age on other competitive semi-professional teams, before following in my father's footsteps by becoming a coach.
I dedicated myself to studying soccer technique and in particular how to coach youth teams.
I arrived in San Francisco in 1998 and from then have coached the following teams:
MARIN SOCCER LEAGUE
Marin United, Real Marin
SAN FRANCISCO SOCCER LEAGUE
The Chieftains in 1st division
EAST BAY ADULT SOCCER LEAGUE
Alameda United F.C.
GOLDEN GATE WOMEN'S SOCCER LEAGUE
Bay City United, a team that I left to enter the coaching staff of URBAN SCHOOL. After two seasons, I completely dedicated myself to lessons and soccer clinics on a larger scale, interacting with entire leagues in improving individual soccer skills.
Instead of saying of few words about A.C.MILAN and what soccer is like in Europe, I’ll show a few pictures of their stadium and what it means to be a fan in Milano.
Here you can see Andriy Shevchenko.
I had the honor not only to wear the same jersey 30 years before him, but I even played in the same position.
Just recently he won the Golden Ball being voted best player in Europe.
Here you can see Paolo Maldini. He played for A.C. MILAN for 20 consecutive years starting as a kid of 11 years old. He won everything it is possible to win in a soccer career. Not only was he the captain of the team like his father Cesare Maldini was before him, but, he was the captain of the Italian National team when his father was the coach. I don’t think it’s possible for anyone else to reach this level of achievement.
In this picture you can see him holding up the Champion League Trophy, the highest competition in Europe.
It’s hard to believe, even with time, that soccer could arrive at the same intensity in the U.S.
Stadiums filled with 80,000 spectators and choreography that involve tens of thousands of fans is something out of this world. You get the picture.
If you plan to go to Italy and you pass through Milano, try not to miss a game of A.C. MILAN or INTER MILAN, not to mention the Derby when they play each other. It would be unbelievable and unforgettable to see it in person.
I’d like to close by remembering the greatest coach ever, Rinus Michels, who just recently past away.
He was the inventor of "total soccer" and has carried the Ajax to resounding successes and Holland to a World-wide one.
The Fifa elected him, in 1999, "trainer of the century".
Rinus Michels died at the age of 77 in Belgium.
He was a great personage, a premonitory, one who with his genius provoked the greatest revolution in the history of soccer.
Between the 40’s and 50’s he played 269 games as center-forward for Ajax and earned 5 presences in the National Team, marking in all 121 goal.
He began in 1960, with the team of the JOS Amsterdam. In 1965 he arrived at Ajax where he succeeded to apply his theories fusing them with one incredible generation of talents.
Most famous and discussed was his decision to allow wives and fiancées of the soccer players, to stay in the same hotel together during the World Cup.
The ideas of Michels were transferred to the field in a way that had never been seen before in the history of soccer. Incredible soccer players, besides Crujiff and Neeskens, allowed Michels to exalt his tactical ideas: people like Ruud Krol, Willi Suurbier, Piet Keizer, Johnny Rep permitted freedom of action and interchangeability of roles.
After having destroyed all the adversaries who opposed them in Michels’ way, including Argentina and Brazil, they were defeated in the final by Germany, with Gerd Mueller’s goal and a penalty kick of Paul Breitner.
Michels had to wait 14 years, and another generation of incredible champions, before returning to astonish the world and took revenge on the Germans. In 1988, in fact, Michels guided Holland of Gullit and Van Basten to the conquest of the European Cup.
Causes I support
When we raise our voices in support of needy children worldwide, we can bring real help and real hope into their lives. Click here for more information.