Torino goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu felt disrespected by Paris Saint-Germain
Torino goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu felt disrespected by Paris Saint-Germain, and reveals he lost two friends in the Bataclan attack.
The Italian international spent five seasons in France, but he made just three Ligue 1 appearances in 2015-16 before being loaned out the following season.
“I’d have thought after so many years they could have talked to me about the termination with a director with whom I’d shared something, not a sporting director I didn’t even know,” Sirigu lamented, speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport.
“Among other things, I think there was often prejudice against me in the media.
“We were a nice group, then there were no points of reference like [Ezequiel] Lavezzi and something changed. But playing with two beasts like [Edinson] Cavani and [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic meant we could overcome difficulties.”
Sirigu was also asked about living in a multi-ethnic city like Paris.
“It’s a complicated subject, but I think if someone like [Mario] Balotelli has problems playing for the Italy youth teams then something is wrong.
“When I met him, he jokingly made fun of my accent – you can’t tell me that’s a foreigner! He was born and raised in Italy and absorbed our culture.
“Of course there are some in France who, despite being born there, say they feel tied to the countries their parents came from originally.
“There are also some French people who have an idea of ‘gauloises’ that perhaps borders on racism, though maybe not in Paris.
“I say that if you respect the identity and the history of the country where you were born and take citizenship it’s fine, but you have to accept the rules.
“As far as I’m concerned, I can say that – starting from the dressing room – living in a multi-ethnic context taught me so much.”
The newspaper then turned to the terrorist attacks in Paris, at the Bataclan nightclub and the offices of Charlie Hebdo.
“Terrible moments,” Sirigu replied.
“I lost two friends at the Bataclan, Stephan Albertini and Pierre Innocenti.
“To think that when the news first came through that night I sent a message to Stephan saying ‘are you ok?’.
“I thought he was at his restaurant, but he’d gone to the theatre with Pierre and they were dead there.
“If I think about it though, the attack on Charlie Hebdo was even worse, because at the time you didn’t think such a thing could happen.
“I remember driving home and looking suspiciously out the window thinking ‘what if something happens now?’.
“Religion has nothing to do with it though, it’s about fanaticism.”