Gianni Di Marzio, is among the 10 candidates for the CALCIOMERCATO.COM AWARD in the talent-scout section. The former coach (Napoli, Catanzaro, Genoa, Lecce, Catania, Padova and Palermo) and sporting director (he brought Zamparini's Venezia in Serie A), Di Marzio was also responsible for the Juventus market abroad from 2001 to 2006. At the moment he's travelling around the world for the Premier League newly promoted Queens Park Rangers. Calciomercato.com exclusively interviewed him today.
Mister Di Marzio, can you tell us how you discovered Maradona?
"It was in 1978 in Buenos Aires. I was coaching Napoli at that time and Settimio Aloisio, responsible for the "Argentinos Juniors", wanted me to see this boy. I went to Maradona's house first. He was short and stocky, with long hair. Aloisio organised a match for us. After 15 minutes I asked him to call Diego out and prepare a contract, which was already being prepared. Maradona's transfer to Napoli would cost 320 million lira and Diego signed it. But Napoli's president, Ferlaino, said no because he thought Maradona was too young. Then he arrived at Napoli some years later, but he always thanked me for those two days".
From Maradona to Messi that you recommended to Juventus...
"Yes, Messi is in the Juventus data base, like Cristiano Ronaldo. I saw Messi in Colombia when he was 15. Lavezzi and Barrientos were also there. In a meeting with 40 scouts of Juventus, in the presence of Luciano Moggi, I said that we should definitely take him. He was already close to Barcelona, but his parents had not yet signed anything with the club. Instead, Cristiano Ronaldo came to have a check up in Turin but his acquisition failed because Salas refused the transfer to Sporting Lisbona. But not just them, I also recommended Robinho, Diego and Aguero, all at the beginning of their fantastic career".
What characteristics does a scout look for in a new talent?
"Many, from his strength to speed, how he plays with his head, coordination with the team and many others. I think I can recognise immediately whether a player has these factors. I have returned from Mexico and Brazil where I saw many talents for QPR who can be bought now for little money. However in a few years...".
Let's conclude with a general look at the market. Will Hamsik go to Milan?
"Yes, I think so. If so, Napoli would go back 20 years, when they used to sell players like Ferrara and Cannavaro. Great teams are built with great players and Napoli should not sell Hamsik, Lavezzi and Cavani".
Will Juventus acquire Aguero?
"I would not spend 30 million for Aguero. He's good but does not have continuity. I would rather add 10 million and buy Neymar for 40. He really is a champion who will make the difference for years".
Inter acquired Alvarez...
"Alvarez is not bad, he's got good skills".