Farina is an Italian player that refused two hundred thousand euros to fix an Italian cup game in November 2011. That was one of the evidences of a bigger Italian football scandal called ‘Scommessopoli’. As a result of his refusal Farina was decorated by the coach of national team, Cesare Prandelli, with a call. He was invited to the Ballon d’Or ceremony as a guest of honor in May 2012 by Fifa President, Joseph Blatter. But at the end of last season the Italian ‘Hero’ remained without a team because Gubbio, his old squad, didn’t renew his contract.
Farina spent the summer unemployed, months without good news about his future. From hero to zero in less than a month, Simone remained alone, forgotten, and without playing football. His situation was at the focus of discussions of politics and sportsmen that were surprised by his story. As time went by a lot of teams called him for a contract but Farina decided to retire from football player career.
Consequently a new opportunity arrived from England, from Aston Villa. The Villans offered him an agreement as their ‘community coach’. Farina accepted and now he is a member of the Villa’s staff: he can teach new generations the true values of sports.
The 30 year old native from Rome has been at the club since September and now he has completed the course to become an FA qualified coach. Simone is very happy for his new life in England: “Here I can teach to new generations my experience. A year ago I didn’t think that my life would have changed in this direction. I thank Aston Villa, the chairman and Paul Falkneur for the opportunity”, he told avfc.co.uk.
Sep Blatter also commented: "I was very pleased to see that a club like Villa has realised the value of having someone like Simone working in their youth and education programme”. And the secretary general of Interpol, Ron Noble, added: “Simone is a football defender both on and off the pitch, he showed integrity and courage. He needs to become a model for this sport like stars such as Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo”.
This the history of Simone Farina, a man that has fought a corrupt system. An Italian hero that will teach to new players the meaning of words like respect and fairness.
Do you think respect and fairness are attributes which benefit modern footballs?
image: © Ben Sutherland