Ettore Messina “Blood, sweat and tears for Italy”

2016-01-20T16:07:05+00:00 2016-01-20T16:19:07+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

20/Jan/16 16:07

The legendary coach is back and ready to bring his national team to the Olympic Games

By Eurohoops team/

Perhaps the greatest Italian coach in the modern history of European basketball, will once again sit at the bench of his country’s national team. Ettore Messina, who is also assistant coach of Gregg Popovich in San Antonio, gave a quite moving speech during his official presentation, saying that he will give his everything to lead Italy to Rio.

“In 1993 a president that was a little bit…. drunk (Gianni Petrucci in Messina’s coaching debut with the national team) decided to trust a young boy which was full enthusiasm. After so many years i am fully aware of the importance of coaching the national team and i realize the responsibility that comes with it. Being at the helm of the national team comes with a certain weight, but all these people that i see in this room make me glad since I feel lots of affection coming from them.

Simone Pianigiani (Italy’s previous head coach) has left me a team that is full of enthusiasm and guys that have a great desire to go to the Olympic games. They are knowledgeable, skilled and cohesive. Once upon a time, the president of the USA Franklin Roosevelt wanted to achieve his goals with “enthusiasm and confidence”. My Franklin Roosevelt today is Gianni Petrucci. But myself… I feel like Winston Churchill, so I am going to say that I cannot promise anything but blood, tears and sweat for this shirt (pointing at the jersey of the Italian national team). We will play in the pre – Olympic Games with all of our abilities and the calm that is needed in order to win big games. We will try to go to Rio. I hope to celebrate this with you.”

The president of the Italian Basketball Federation, Gianni Petrucci welcomed Messina back in the national team: “I am very pleased to announce that Ettore Messina will coach the national team for free. I do not think that anyone else in the world does such a thing. This demonstrates the love he has for his country’s team. We are already working to renew his contract after the Pre – Olympics”