Chelsea Literally Thieve Reggina PhenomBy: The Offside | February 21st, 2008
I was planning on writing up a little bit on how Big Bad Chelsea came in a poached Reggina’s 15 yo youth phenom Vincenzo Camilleri by literally landing a helicopter in the middle of Reggina’s training field and whisking him away to London. A situation which has now turned into a full blown soap opera in the south of the boot (Italy? Soap opera? Never!). Then, right before I began, I found a nice little article about how his youth system teammates wrote him an open letter about their memories together and how much they miss him. This can’t be serious, can it? This has to be a movie script.
Reggina is understandably pissed because he was going to be signed to a professional contract when he turned 16 which is March 7th (soon, very soon).
First things first, the oh-so-sweet open letter:
“Dear Vincenzo, you left so suddenly that we didn’t even get to say goodbye,” it begins.
“Over these last three years we have shared everything – the accommodation, the trips to school, the canteen, the joy of a victory and the anger at defeat, the training and the shouts of Coach Pierantonio Tortelli.
“Our friendship was born on the pitch and continued within the walls of the St Agata sports centre, which was our house.
“Do you remember when you got picked for the Coppa Italia game against Inter?
You were so happy and we felt the same for you.
“On Sunday we won against Lecce. We spoke so many times about how we thought it would be difficult to beat the leaders, but we did it. We were so happy, but like everything else it would have been better with you there.”
Reggina prez Lilo Foti has been on the horn with Michel Platini, Champion to the Little Man, who agrees with Mr. Photographs on the subject of big clubs poaching youth phenoms. The situation has now become legal (In Italy? Never!) and Reggina is trying to prevent him from training with the Blues.
The Amaranto will get some sot of compensation, and the last time something this big happened, Chelsea had to pay £5m to Leeds for Tom Taiwo and Michael Woods. No clue what it will be for Reggina, but no matter what, it’ll probably be less than they could receive – considering the kid’s this ginormous a talent (Chelsea beat out ManYoo) – in a few years when he’s an elderly 18 or 19.
Bad for football and The Little Guy, but great fodder.