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Zanetti: “I am more than proud of our basketball season, both men’s and women’s”

Bologna –

In a lengthy interview granted to Gazzetta dello Sport, Virtus Segafredo Bologna President Massimo Zanetti spoke across the board between basketball and cycling (his other great passion with Trek-Segafredo), this is an excerpt of his statements.

Where does your passion for cycling come from? “I am from Treviso…. Italy’s most cycling city. I used to live near Giovanni “Nani” Pinarello, legendary Giro black jersey and great bike builder. With a Pinarello on wheels I learned to ride a bike and I still ride it now. As a child I was rooting for Gino Bartali, contrary to my friend Leo Terraneo, who always had a cult for Fausto Coppi. I loved the tenacity of Felice Gimondi, able to win everything despite that Cannibal Merckx. And then I have ti fato for Francesco Moser, of whom I am a friend.”

Where does he take his pedal dreams? “I would love to discover a young Italian capable of winning a Giro or a Tour-these are the races that warm everyone’s heart. And I have great confidence in Luca Baraldi, who is leading all our sports initiatives, and Luca Guercilena, director of the project. He has gone through a tunnel for serious health problems, but he came out stronger and more lucid than before. We at Segafredo will continue to invest, and I know that John Burke, president of Trek, is equally proud of our achievements.”

What do you ask of your athletes? “A little bit of what I ask of tuyti who work for me. Commitment, honesty exacrification. With an image, I would say, an intelligent attitude. But all the champions I’ve met are. Those who do not have an intelligent approach can have all the talent they can, but they will never be champions.”

On Virtus Segafredo Bologna’s season: “I am also more than proud of our basketball season, both men’s and women’s. The boys dominated the regular season and lost only in the final to Milan, but they won the Italian Supercup and thanks to international success in the Eurocup they earned the right to play in the Euroleague. This is also an achieved goal. So the girls, who in 3 years have already reached second place in the league and will play in the women’s Euroleague.

With Milan there is an increasingly fiery rivalry. Last year we beat them 4-0, this time they won, deservedly so. They were stronger. I am sorry that a sentence I said about refereeing was misinterpreted. I didn’t want to be controversial, if anything I wanted to tone it down: it was getting too high. I have nothing against Milan, on the contrary … I am among the sponsors of Milan and Monza. I love the city, and I firmly believe in fair play. Next year it will still be a challenge between Virtus and Olimpia, in Italy and I hope in Europe as well. We are like Bartali and Coppi, the rivalry is inevitable and makes both of us grow.”