Matuzalem's Joins Genoa's Thug Life (but Not for Long)

Francelino Matuzalem has adapted to the cynical ways of Genoa CFC. After injuring ex-Lazio teammate Cristian Brocchi in February, he has ended the season of Sampdoria midfielder Nenad Krsticic.

Genoa has a way of turning players into thugs and its fans are no better. Their thuggish ways and lack of intelligent football should be punished with relegation. It will be great revenge for Sampdoria fans after their distasteful procession two years ago, celebrating Samp’s relegation.

Matuzalem was a player I liked when he played for Brescia from 2002-04. He played a part in the Lombard club’s fights for survival and played alongside the likes of Luigi Di Biagio, Stephen Appiah and, of course, Roberto Baggio.

He was a useful player at Shakhtar Donetsk and even at Lazio but he has injured two players during his time at Genoa, ending their seasons. Worst of all, the referees had only given him yellow cards for each tackle.

Matuzalem injured Krsticic during the Derby della Lanterna on the weekend. The Serbian has three lesions on his left ankle and he had to be stretchered off the field. To rub further insult to the wound, Matuzalem scored Genoa’s equaliser in the 1-1 draw.

Krsticic told Genovese newspaper Secolo XIX: “In the locker room he asked how I was and that was it. He didn’t apologise. If anything, he was giggling. I received many messages of support and solidarity, but none from Genoa.”

Matuzalem didn’t apologise to Brocchi either for his tackle and Genoa fans have been making fun of Krsticic’s injury on social media. Both Matuzalem and the Genoa fans have been despicable with their actions.

The Brazilian has nothing on former Genoa captain Marco Rossi though. He is biggest Doria-hater of them all. Not only does he tackle roughly but he pushes and shoves players and referees let him get away with it. Fortunately he wasn’t playing on Sunday otherwise Genoa might have got away with more rough challenges.

Emiliano Moretti did a sufficient impersonation of Rossi, perhaps without the ferocious pushing. At least he nailed down the complaining to the ref part, which Rossi is known to do during derbies. Marco Rossi complains so much during derbies, he would complain if he got a papercut.

Juan Manuel Vargas was a player I admired for Catania and for Peru. During the derby, he was more interested in having arguments with Sampdoria right wing-back Lorenzo De Silvestri. When they weren’t arguing, De Silvestri was the better player going down that side.

Marco Borriello made his breakthrough season with Genoa back in 2007/08. He had a good season with Leonardo’s Milan and his stint at Roma wasn’t too bad. On his return to Genoa, he has got his scoring boots on but he still has the Genoa attitude.

Complaining to the referee is a common habit of Genoa’s and usually the get a referee who is intimidated by them. Wouldn’t it be good if they faced a ref who likes to dish out a few red cards?

It’s a shame that players like attacking midfield Andrea Bertolacci and Ciro Immobile play for the grifoni. They are great young talents and their technical ability would thrive a lot more at Sampdoria than with the rossoblu. Unfortunately they are currently playing with a club of thugs.

The Derby della Lanterna on the weekend showed Genoa in its true colours more than Samp at its best. The grifoni wanted a physical contest, they got it and it suited them.

When it came to playing proper possession football, it was Samp that was showing everyone how it was done. Pedro Obiang stood tall and controlled the play. He was the reason any decent football was seen and only Doria were interested in playing calcio, not Genoa.

November’s Derby della Lanterna showed everyone what Genoa would be like without their physical and rough play. Sampdoria won 3-1 and calcio was the winner. Football intelligence and skills prevailed. The Doria-style triumphed over grifone stupidity.

Genoa die-hard fans come from the poorest parts of the city. That clearly reflects on the club they support, judging by the attitudes of the players and fans.

Former England manager Sir Alf Ramsey once said about Argentina in the 60s: “Our best football will come against a team which comes out to play football, and not to act as animals!” Sampdoria could apply the same logic to the recent Genoa derbies.

Genoa fans celebrated Sampdoria’s relegation with a mock procession in 2011 and used a coffin with a Samp flag on top. Genoa die-hards stabbed Sampdoria fans after Doria won promotion back to Serie A last year. Now there are Matuzalem’s acts of evil from the derby. Even with the draw, Genoa is still at risk of being relegated. Wouldn’t that be sweet?

Krsticic said this about Matuzalem and his tackle: “Tackles like that were made to hurt players, just as he did in other occasions during his career. I’ll wait for him next year, if he’s still in Serie A...”

The Brazilian might not be in Serie A next season, particular if he stays with Genoa and it serves them right. If Genoa survives, it would provide a chance for revenge but seeing Genoa get relegated to Serie B would provide great satisfaction to blucerchiati fans.

Genoa footballers can’t play with intelligence and their fans don’t know the meaning of class. Relegation to Serie B for them and Sampdoria’s likely survival this season will prove that.

To stay with the big boys, you must do things with class and intelligence. You must do it like a Doria!