Roberto Russo: “I, world champion, learned volleyball in Ciammarita”

Roberto Russo: “I, world champion, learned volleyball in Ciammarita”
Roberto Russo: “I, world champion, learned volleyball in Ciammarita”
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He learned the fundamentals with his uncle Claudio’s thread in front of the sea of ​​Trappeto. Then the rough road of a great talent that starts “late”, at 15, but wins a world championship at 25. This is the story of Roberto Russo da Partinico, 2.05 tall, central of the national team consecrated on the top of the world in Poland. “Getting noticed in Sicily is almost impossible, you have to have” cazzimma “, shrewdness – says Russo – my Sicily is the smell of salt and sea and the historic center of Palermo with its markets and the desire to be together, but also my favorite rosanero team “.
Did you realize that from Partinico he became world volleyball champion, but he only started when he was 15?
“Compared to the World Cup, I still don’t believe it. From Partinico to Serie A with Perugia and the national team, my career was so fast that I didn’t even realize it.”
Yet, as a kid, he only kicked the ball.
“It wasn’t love at first sight with volleyball. I was 8 years old and my parents made me do a month’s trial. But I hit the ball with my feet. So, I enrolled in football school. My idol was Ibrahimovic, with his class and his bravado. I got away with it and I auditioned for Inter. In Alcamo, however, I didn’t find myself with the coach and the team and I didn’t enjoy myself anymore. “
And volleyball has arrived: how did you learn the technique so late?
“With my uncle Claudio, who was a volleyball player. We used to sit in the garden, in the Ciammarita holiday home (in Trappeto in the Palermitano. Ed.). He would stretch a thread that symbolized the net and hit me with a ball and then I would cry” .
From uncle Claudio’s thread he reached the world final in Katowice in Poland, in front of millions of people
“They told me I had talent, I didn’t realize it. But I was lucky and I met the right people. Like the Palermo coach Ivan Tamburello who took me for kilometers and kilometers around Sicily, but it wasn’t right away. easy”.
What happened?
“At the regional selections I was discarded and did not go to the Trophy of the Regions. Then the coach of the junior national team Barbiero noticed me and scolded the regional selector. In Reggio Calabria I was noticed by the former national coach Mauro Berruto. C ‘ he was my father, it was 2014, and soon I would have signed with Club Italia. Then came the A2 with Ravenna, the A1 in Perugia and the national team “.
Those born in the South start at a disadvantage. What would you say to a young Sicilian who wants to undertake an athlete’s path?
“In the national team I have bonded a lot with Daniele Lavia, who is from Calabria and is a” southerner “like me. Getting noticed in a small club in Sicily is almost impossible. For this reason, a Sicilian takes a little more nastiness, or as they say, it has more “cazzimma” “.
The president of Coni Malagò said that Sicilian sport has “many lights and many shadows” referring to the facilities in a state of neglect.
“Unfortunately it is true. Not only is a sports hall in Palermo missing, but also top-level teams. It is a political fact that depends on the money that goes around. We are the country where the Var’s mistake in a football match is told about the world victory. of the national volleyball team. I, in my small way, try to make a contribution. In these days in Sicily I have participated in public meetings and I have talked about volleyball on all occasions “.
What are its places in the heart of Sicily?
“When I come back I always go to Ciammarita, to the sea. I do it alone or take a beer in the evening with a friend, because I need to feel that air, breathe the saltiness. I also love the Castellammare del golfo area. And then I love Palermo, its culture, the historic center, markets such as Vucciria and Ballarò and the desire to be together. With Partinico, however, it’s love and hate. I don’t like the mentality and the fact that there is nothing for young people , apart from the stories of drug dealing and arrests. But it is the place where I was born and to which I will always be linked “.
A strong love also for the rosanero team
“Yes, I saw the match against Genoa before the semifinal. But I was also at the stadium for the promotion to Serie B and with friends I celebrated at Politeama with a sandwich with panelle. But I also remember the years of the great Serie A as a season ticket holder. with my father in the North curve. It is the team of my city, I have to support it “.
Who is Roberto Russo off the pitch?
“I am a normal guy, who loves being with historical friends and even just spending an evening with my brotherly friend Alessandro in a party street that we have nicknamed” Casuzze “. Then I hope to graduate one day in Motor Sciences, because I want to continue career in sport and teaching it “.
At 25, however, his career is still long. Where do you want to go?
“The last two years have been very difficult because I had a serious Achilles tendon injury and then other physical problems, so I couldn’t prove my worth in Perugia. My teammates like captain Simone Giannelli and mine helped me. the will to fight. The other great dream is the European Championship and then what I miss, after the disappointment in Tokyo, an Olympics “.

The article is in Italian

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