Former Inter goalkeeper Gianluca Pagliuca can recall a time that he received a fine from his former coach Luigi Simoni for deciding to watch a basketball game the night before a match.
Speaking to Italian broadcaster Sky Sport Italia, the former keeper recalled the incident, noting that Simoni decided to fine him two million lira for disobeying his orders by attending the match.
Basketball has always been a popular sport among many footballers, with past and present players in Serie A known for their love of Euroleague and NBA basketball.
This is something that continues today, with current Nerazzurri players such as Hakan Calhanoglu and Andre Onana as well as legendary former midfielder Esteban Cambiasso having been spotted at Euroleague matches.
However, in Pagliuca’s case, the conflict with his duties as a player as well as with the wishes of his coach Simoni proved to be a bit of a problem.
“It was ’98, we had to play against Udinese on Wednesday evening,” he looked back.
“I talked to the coach and I told him I wanted to go and see the Euroleague semifinal between Virtus and Fortitudo.”
He noted that “Gigi told me no, that I had to be a professional.”
“I told him that I would sleep at home,” he noted, “that I have the house next to the Unipol Arena, but he kept saying no.”
“However, on the way home I decided to go there anyway, but then I got busted,” he continued.
“The next day I arrived at Appiano, and Simoni was right there waiting to collect a two million lira fine from me.”