“Fabio Miretti? I’ve never seen anyone like this”: Juventus’ prodigy’s first coach speaks

Originally published in the May 12 issue of the weekly Cuneodice: at newsagents every Thursday

“Technically he was good, but what impressed me the most the first time I saw him play was the ‘garra’ he had. He was different from other kids, I’ve never seen one like that again.”. On Sunday, May 1, Fabio Miretti from Saluzzo, born in 2003, 19 years old in August, made his debut starting with the Juventus shirt in the match that won 2-1 against Venezia, and then played from the first minute, and well also the following match, lost by bianconeri 2-1 on the Genoa field. He had already made his debut in some segments both in the Champions League and in the league, but the lunch match against the lagoon was his first match as a starter. He placed himself in front of the defense, he dictated the timing of Bianconeri’s play with a veteran’s personality and authority, he made sure to hit all the set pieces and even close to scoring.

Seeing him in front of the television was a special fan: Fabrizio Blengino, not only “A real humpback”as he defines himself, but also Fabio’s first coach at Cuneo’s time, when he arrived when he was 6, after starting at Auxilium Saluzzo.

Fabrizio, can you tell us what you thought the first time you saw him play?

“It was impossible not to notice that he was different from the others. At that time, Ermanno Demarias led the excellent football school youth sector in Cuneo, and I coached Pulcini. He had seen him during an internship in Saluzzo, he had told me that he was very strong and that he would take him to an ‘Open Doors’ in Paschiero. When I saw him play, I was impressed: he was only 6 years old, he was small and thin, much more than the others. The harness he was wearing reached below the knees. He was good with the ball, but what struck me was something else: he had a determination, a crazy ‘garra’. He jumped against the others, who were physically much bigger than him, but in an instant he got up and kept chasing the ball, everywhere. I have never seen anyone with that desire and that accusation again. We combined him with those who were older than him, but that was never a problem, because it also made a difference there. “.

What did he have more than the others?

“On that team there were good kids, some are still and still play at a good level, but he was the best of all. He had a different head, even when he was growing up for how he behaved on the pitch. The others children in training are playful, joking and playing with their peers. Not him, he was very serious, very focused on what to do. He was already training as an adult player. And he was very competitive and aware of his qualities. Once he threw even a bet for me, which he apparently won “.


“We were in the final of a tournament where we participated with a younger team than the others. The result was 1-1, but in the final, our opponents had achieved 2-1. We took the ball to the kick-off, he looked at me and asked me, ‘Mister, may I go?’. ‘Yes, go, but you must hurry,’ I replied. ‘It takes me 15 seconds,’ Fabio replied, telling me I should pay him a coke if he made it. They touched the ball and he went: I saw an incredible charge in his eyes, he overtook them all and in seconds he scored. Then he came to me, not to hug me, but to remind me to pay the bet (laughs, ed.)! “.

How much did you train him?

“For two seasons, he went away. Already in the first tournaments, where professional teams also participated, he had been noticed. It was impossible not to notice him. He originally went to Turin, but as soon as he had the chance, he moved. to Juventus. The family is from Juventus, he too: he had the posters of the players in his room, imagine the excitement “.

Take some credit. What did you teach him?

“But what do you want to learn such a one? (laughs, ed.). What he had was already inside. The only thing I have done is to convey, to him and to everyone else, the importance of collective play. I tried to reward those who made a lot of passes, a way to involve even the less talented on the team. Because if he wanted to, he could have played alone and always scored! “.

Have you seen the match against Venice?

“Of course. I’m a real humpback! And this time I had another reason to watch the Juventus match. He was very good, played a great match and was even close to scoring. What impressed me the most is the the fact that he was the one who hit all the free kicks and set pieces: Not even 19, on his debut as a starter, on a team like Juventus, with all the quality players who were in the field, it really matters. “.

Where do you think it can go?

“He can have a great career. I have always followed him with love over the years because the luck of training such a person, I do not think it will happen to me again. If he retains the determination he already had as a child and not “losing the humility that has always characterized him, he can only do good. But I have no doubt that it will be like this: he is a serious boy with an excellent family.”.

As his first coach, are you waiting for his jersey?

“For a passionate Juventus player like me, that would really be the best thing. If you want to give it to me, I’ll gladly take it, to give it to my son.”.

Gabriele Destefanis


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