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The parallels

Walter Mazzarri, Watford FC / Paulo Sousa, ACF Fiorentina

Football is a strange thing. It gives you not only emotions but also much food for thought. Sometimes it has special scenarios as if they were meant for you and only for you.
It's not a secret that i have two favourite football coaches (in fact, there are three, but that's irrelevant now): Walter Mazzarri and Paulo Sousa. If you were to ask me, i'd put them both among the best.
Walter Mazzarri, whose player career was destroyed because of severe knee injury. Who came through work with youngsters - at Bologna (as well as the massive other experience like scouting, goalkeepers training etc.) - to some prestigious places in Serie A (Napoli & Inter). Who then moved to England, taking the wheel at Watford.
Paulo Sousa, whose player career was more successful but also was heavily influenced by many injuries (especially back but including, if i'm not mistaken, the knee injury - have you seen that scar across his left knee?). Who came through work with youngsters - for example, with Portugal U16, where he worked with a very young Cristiano Ronaldo - to some (not so) prestigious places in England (Leicester & Swansea). Who then moved to Italy, taking the wheel at Fiorentina.
Mazzarri's style - when everybody knows exactly where he should be and what he should be doing. Organized, proper football, very elaborated tactically. Very much character and grip. Total reality. But Watford starts to shine like the sun when something occurs... something wonderfully unexpected, almost... magical. An icing on the dense and satiating cake. Like the feint and cross of Nordin Amrabat and the backheel goal of Stefano Okaka.
Sousa's style - when everybody feels everybody, anticipating passes and crosses. Beautiful, smooth football made of moving with and without the ball, very elaborated technically. Very much soul and empathy. Total magic. But Fiorentina starts to shine like the sun when something occurs... something wonderfully unexpected, almost... real. A strong, flavourful cake beneath that ethereal icing. Like the run down the right, feint and low cross from Federico Chiesa and the backheel goal of Nikola Kalinic.

See for yourself:

I couldn't believe it... two almost identical goals in two days, from my favourite teams that are led by my favourite coaches. Very different coaches, very different teams, the same magic, real magic. That's what i especially love in this game.



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