Pargalia, a bit of Italy in Vaduz’s Tale: ‘We, for the first time in Europe without a championship,’ Now let’s have fun’ | first page

Just over five thousand inhabitants and crossroads of cultures. Vaduzthe capital of an emirate Liechtenstein A jewel in a mirror RenaultEurope is embracing football for the first time with the first appearance in the group stage of Conference League. A feat that has never worked in ninety years of history and with a piece of Italy at the center: leadership red There is the Swiss coach Alessandro Mangiaratti and the Italian Francesco Bargaliahis deputy who a “Our crew is four people,” he said in a sudden and silent flight. “With us, we only have a sports coach and a goalkeeper coach. That’s the miracle.” tonight, and Vaduz He will appear for the first time in the third continental club championship in Rheinparkagainst CypriotsApollon. Ready to surprise again: “We are a small club, to get here we went through three preliminary rounds. Great achievement. Now let’s think about enjoying the experience, without losing anything.”

Long trip – Apotheosis a few weeks ago: 1-0 victory against Rapid Vienna and qualify for the group stage. “There are no secrets. We’ve watched hours upon hours of movies and spent nights in front of the TV, studying our opponents a lot and respecting our values. If a Rapid game plan discredits the team, it doesn’t work.” One step at a time: “First, the challenge Konya Sportin turkey. In Konya we were overwhelmed with whistles, hoopla. Alessandro and I started laughing and looking into each other’s eyes, as if saying “what’s going on…”. A 4-2 away win, again against the odds: “Just passing the first turn would have been something extraordinary, we didn’t think we could get this far.”

strange case – PRIVACY: Vaduz qualified for the European Cup and represents Liechtenstein, but it has no role. Balloon anomaly. Today’s team No. 194 of the ranking UEFA, play in Challenge Leaguethe Swiss of the second division, reached Europe by winning the only title crowned between the borders, the National Cup: conspiracy They were born from there,” explains Francesco. Among other things, our commitments in the tournament have been postponed for weeks precisely because of the European matches. Inside, they always do their best to win against us.” In keeping with the spirit in the stands: “Football in Liechtenstein is happiness, no pressure. People love to go to the stadium to support the team, and the outcome doesn’t matter. At the triple whistle, they all go to beer to be in company. ” But this season, at least in Vaduz, there will be some tension: “The trendy word in town is ‘Legend’, they tell us we made history”. Postcards from the old continent.

the fear – Until the first real tests in Europe. “On the day of the draw, some friends wrote to me almost cheering the doubles (Az, Dnipro, Apollon, so). They forgot that we are penultimate in the Swiss second division and that there is a lot of work to do. It’s hard to make predictions in such contexts, we don’t know where we’re at compared to other leagues but I think it’s basically easier to prepare challenges against better teams on paper, there’s less pressure. Too bad for the matches with Dnipro, the situation in Ukraine is far from what is happening on the field. For the Netherlands and Cyprus, we expect a good atmosphere. The recipe is always the same: “Alessandro and I are simple people, we realize that we run a very small club. However, in doing so, we do our best at it and accept the comparison.” An added value, in a team that found key leaders in some of the elements:Milan Djacic It is of another category. He made a great career playing with him Zurich And the Young Boys, which is accustomed to the stages of a certain type. To clarify, he scored in 2009 with a heel against Milanin Champions League. “It needs to be managed, but if he takes matters into his own hands, the team grows with him. Then there is Izekgood defender and HaslerCaptain Liechtenstein and returned with us after a good experience in MLS. I can’t help but mention the number 10, Cicek, author of the match goal against Rapid Vienna. If we’re here, thanks to you (laughs, so)”.

Occasions – The road to Europe was not immediate for Francesco: “I started on the field.acevo centre-back, if necessary full-back. After that, I realized that talent and head do not go hand in hand, and at the age of 17 I started coaching at a football school in Como, my city. I continued like this until I was twenty-six, when I had a chance in the second category. Then I also worked on Kavalaskaone step away from Swissit’s at the noise, across the border. I know the truth Ticino She obtained several diplomas there and began to collaborate with Mr. Mangiarratti. A good understanding arose, last January I had the opportunity to be his deputy and I followed him.” common thread? “The process. It’s important to stay compact on the court and enjoy the ball at your feet. In today’s football there is no good idea for every occasion, we look almost everywhere to get the best.”

always travel – Less fun is dealing with logistics. “We both don’t live in it Vaduz And organizing everything is a great effort. Alessandro from Bellinzona, I live in Como. We always play on Sundays and usually come back Italia after the matches. Then after I rest on Monday, I leave on Tuesday.” The flight path is 217 kilometers, featuring fixed stages: “I’m stopping in Bellinzona, Roberto climbs and we leave together towards Vaduz.” Sacrifices, with eyes on the future. For the first chapter of a career with sculpted milestones: “My idol remains on the bench Jürgen Klopp. He knows how to touch deep topics, including social and political ones, with simplicity. It is not trivial to someone who does other things in life.” However, clarification is a must. We are talking about one of the best in the world, and I have no ambition to become like him (laughs, so). I just think about improving myself day by day. “Europe is a good start.

Harold Manning

"Infuriatingly humble social media ninja. Devoted travel junkie. Student. Avid internet lover."

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