An interesting “debate”, in which Pro Recco and the head coach of the Football Club Lazio were involved attracted the attention of the media and public in Italy this weekend.
On Friday, after Lazio, the 2nd-placed team in Serie A1, beat Spezia 3:0, Lazio’s head coach Maurizio Sarri spoke with the journalists about the game and the following season. “How many players would you ask from Lotito (the president of Lazio – Ed.) on the transfer market?”, was one of the questions.
“How many players would I ask from Lotito? I would ask for 11 for the championship, 11 for the cup (one of UEFA’s competitions – Ed) and 11 for the Italian cup, as Pro Recco did in water polo”, Sarri answered.
He was thinking back to the times when Pro Recco had a very long roster and (as usual) wanted to win all trophies it could.
At that time, some of Recco’s players didn’t have many official games per season. Recco had many foreigners on the team (significantly more than is allowed in the Italian League). Therefore, some played only in the Champions League. Before the competition format was changed, the teams that started the season in the LEN Champions League/Euroleague Preliminary Stage played up to 10 European games in the season.
8 Eight non-Italian players and only five Italians were on the team of Pro Recco that won the Champions League at the 2010 CHL Final Four in Naples.
But Pro Recco didn’t take Sarri’s comparison well. The ten-time European champion responded, but it didn’t do in an official statement.
Pro Recco wrote a comment under a Sky Sport Instagram post with Sarri’s quotes:
“Dear Maurizio Sarri, you are 10 years behind: we have 16 players, fewer than the team you train.
P.S. And in any case, they are enough for us not to be out of Europe as early as March”.
Lazio finished the season in March in the quarterfinals of the UEFA Conference League.