During the 1994 World Cup, the extreme tactical discipline of Italy‘s manager Arrigo Sacchi ruined the aspirations for glory of Giuseppe Signori, who undoubtedly was one of the best players on that team. Due to the coach’s need of using a 4-4-2 formation that required to have one physically strong forward to create a balanced partnership with Roberto Baggio‘s fantasy, Beppe found himself forced to change his natural position.
As a matter of fact, since the second game against Norway, Sacchi started to line Signori up as a left winger, which allowed him to put Pierluigi Casiraghi right up front. This, of course, created a great sense of dissatisfaction for the player, who claimed to have had the right of being the first option for the attacking line, given that he was coming from two consecutive seasons as the top scorer of Serie A — scored a total of 49 goals in two years.
Nonetheless, as games went by, he kept unhappily playing in the left side of the midfield, in a position in which he could not show the best of his qualities. Moreover, right when the Azzurri qualified to the semifinal of the tournament, the player himself told the coach that he would refuse to keep playing in the already mentioned position.
As a consequence of this, Sacchi accepted the player’s request and kept him on the bench for the two most important games of his career, the World Cup semifinal and final. Lucky as he was, Signori had the opportunity of playing around 20 minutes against Bulgaria as a substitute of Baggio, who was taken out of the game due to some physical problems. In the final, however, he did not have the same fortune.
Years later, when talking about the World Cup adventures to the famous TV show called Sfide, Signori did not hide his big sense of regret he now has for having rejected the chance of playing the most prestigious game a professional soccer player could ever dream of. Not surprisingly, he admitted that, if he could go back in time, he would even accept to play the final as a goalkeeper.
This year, moreover, as the Nazionale is once again preparing for another edition of the World Cup, another one of its players is in serious risk of taking a decision that he could regret for the rest of his life. Without a doubt, the player is none other than Bologna‘s captain Alessandro Diamanti, who appears to be very close to signing a contract with the Chinese side of Guangzhou Evergrande. It is managed by the great Marcello Lippi.
For the 30-year-old, in fact, migrating to China might entirely vanish his dreams of finally playing in a World Cup, a merit that he had been proudly earning in the these past years with great performances, both at a club level and in the national team, where he even had a determining role in the positive Italian adventure of the 2012 European Championship.
For sure, considering his already old age, the Chinese market might offer him some valuable economic retributions that, today, can only be dreamed of in Italy. However, having the honor of representing one of the most glorious nations in history, in the world’s most prestigious sporting event ever existed, could honestly have a greater value than any economic compensation.
As of today, the only hope for Bologna and Italian fans is for one of their idols to not make a decision he will regret in the future. Please stay, Alino!