First day of retreat in Pinzolo for Sinisa Mihajlovic’s Bologna to which was added the new purchase Kevin Bonifazi. It was precisely the latter that was presented to the press during the course of the afternoon. Below are his first words as a felsineo player.
The first sensations of the retreat… What stage is it for your career and why did you choose Bologna?
“I think here is the environment taste to work in a healthy way. The staff and members of the company are people available and ready to listen. For me it is an important stage. Bologna is a great reality and this year we will have to put something more to collect as many points as possible”.
The defense last year was often criticized. It will be a super job for you…
“For everyone, not only for me, but I will make myself available”.
To convince you to come to Bologna you needed a call from Sinisa or did the rossoblù project convince you?
“There was no need for the call but of course I was pleased to receive it.”
Since in an old interview you stated that for you Semplici was like a father and Gotti was his continuation, who is Mihajlovic for you?
“With Mihajlovic it was a different experience. I was smaller and for his part I always felt openness. I didn’t play much for so many reasons including injury, and there was no way to start a journey. I think that the coach is a person prepared with clear ideas and with these assumptions it is easier to create a relationship”.
Did you expect a different fate given your good season in Udine?
“The non-redemption was not a disappointment because I stayed in touch with the coach who expressed the desire to bring me back to Udine, but then the choice was due and corporate choices. The chance to come here was just as stimulating because I have the chance to start from scratch and get involved”.
What couple will you and Soumaoro be?
“I hope close-knit, firm, solid and that she gives guarantees to the team. I would like others to know that they can count on us. We will have the opportunity to understand in these days what the coach wants from us and I hope that we will be able to improve last year’s statistics”.
What idea did you have of the group? Have you already bonded with someone?
“I already knew Orsolini and De Silvestri for experiences in the national team and in the clubs. I see openness on everyone’s part, there is not a guy who does not deserve to be known. I see that there is a nice environment and that everyone is linked to each other so slowly I will insert myself as I am doing”.
Are you better off in the three- or four-way defense? Mihajlovic last year showed an all-out defense… Do you think you are suitable for features?
“I don’t think there are any differences between the three- or four-way defense when there’s a game organization. If you are not organized, neither is good. On the all-out defender I think that today it is necessary to play in that way, because the change of the game requires it. I like to have offensive characteristics, but with reason”.
Does seeing what Bonucci and Chiellini did at the Europeans mean that the Italian school is still valid?
“I don’t think it was this European championship that consecrated these great players. This year a great job has been done that has been crowned in a beautiful enterprise. I believe that the work that is being done in Italy is such to replace these great champions in the future”.
Does Arnautovic’s name hover in the dressing room?
“I can say that he is a great player who if he comes will definitely give us a hand, for the rest you have to ask the director (Bigon, ed)”.
You have a very awake talk… Can you tell us two things about yourself outside of football?
“I studied accounting but then I stopped to continue my football career. I like reading and watching movies.”
Simple can you consider the coach who gave you the most?
“Yes, I have no doubts about this. For his part, I perceived from the beginning almost a love: he gave me confidence when I deserved it little, he gave me advice to grow and he always showed that he kept us to me. Of course, the same applies to me.”
Did Simple tell you anything before I started this adventure?
“He’s not someone who speaks a lot, so no. But I know his thoughts are close to me.”
You have worked with Gotti who is a very different coach from Mihajlovic in football conception. Defending with Gotti is easier than defendingndere with Sinisa?
“They are two different methods. Sinisa prefers to defend herself by attacking. There are different concepts: larger spaces, greater responsibilities… But this does not scare me, I have to change the certainties I had last year in another club but it is part of my job”.
Who will lead the defense between you and Soumaoro?
“I think I have an advantage which is that of language. Here, however, no one wants to be anyone’s boss. Soumaoro is a very respectable player who will teach me so much. I take it on the responsibility of leading the line because I have the advantage of language, but nobody here is playing power games. During the game, with the competition of the race, I talk a lot”.
What effect does it make you have a girlfriend with so many followers on Instagram?
“Honestly nobody. It makes me effective because we love each other but the rest does not interest me”.
De Silvestri had given you an indication of the Club?
“Yes, we have always talked to each other. At the end of Udinese – Bologna last year he threw it at me and told me that this year I could come here and it went just like that”.
How many times before today have you touched Bologna?
“It had already happened other times but never as this time I had seen the interest of Bologna to take me”.
What championship do you expect?
“It’s too early to say, but the goal must be to improve, raise the statistics to increase the performance in the championship. Where we will arrive will tell us the weather but we must not be satisfied with doing last year’s championship”.