“Remember when Luigi Simoni fined me for going to watch basketball the night before a game”

Former Inter goalkeeper Gianluca Pagliuca recalls once being fined by his former coach Luigi Simoni for deciding to watch a basketball game the day before a match.

Speaking to Italian TV channel Sky Sport Italia, the former goalkeeper recalled the incident, noting that Simoni decided to fine him two million lire for disobeying his orders by attending the game.

Basketball has always been a popular sport among many footballers, with past and present Serie A players known for their love of Euroleague and NBA basketball.

It’s something that continues today, with current Nerazzurri players such as Hakan Calhanoglu and Andre Onana as well as former legendary midfielder Esteban Cambiasso having been spotted in Euroleague matches.

However, in Pagliuca’s case, the conflict with his duties as a player as well as the wishes of his coach Simoni proved a bit problematic.

“It was 1998, we were supposed to play against Udinese on Wednesday night,” he looked back.

“I spoke to the coach and told him that I wanted to go and watch the Euroleague semi-final between Virtus and Fortitudo.”

He noted that “Gigi told me no, that I had to be a professional.”

“I told him I would sleep at home,” he noted, “that I have the house next to Unipol Arena, but he kept saying no.”

“However, on the way back, I decided to go anyway, but then I got arrested,” he continued.

“The next day I arrived in Appiano, and Simoni was there, waiting to fine me two million lire.”

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