15 December 2019

by Niccolò Russo


“What is the Bomber?

It is opportunism, intuition, decision and capacity for realization.”

The good Giorgio Perozzi will forgive me if I took the liberty of partly reviving one of his famous maxims enunciated in the cult film “My friends”.

On the other hand, we know, the Florentine people are used to brightly coloring their days to the sound of jokes and football emotions.

Those that only great talents can offer.

Precious diamonds that shine with their own violet light.

Boys who suddenly become heroes under the sky of Viale Fanti and the incessant cheering of the Curva Fiesole.

A destiny that concerns only men capable of combining talent and wisdom.

Qualities belonging, without doubt, to Dusan Vlahovic: one of Pantaleo Corvino’s happiest intuitions in the course of his many years of lily experience.

An idea so clear and strong that it pushed the D.S. di Vernole to invest, in June 2017, an amount close to 2 million euros to win the performances of the Serbian center forward born in 2000.

Yes, you read that right, 2000!


A market operation that almost resembles a risky bet on casino roulette.

However, there are two reasons that push the purple property to endorse the transfer: first of all, the renowned ability of the Corvo to be able to sniff out the odor of the most promising football plants in advance; in the second instance, the closed-eye confidence granted to the boy by his home club: Belgrade’s Partizan. A team that, despite its ambition, did not think twice about offering the very heavy number 9 jersey to the then sixteen year old Vlahovic.

A certificate of esteem paid off by Dusan in terms of commitment and enthusiasm.

You are surely wondering: but the goals?

Don’t worry, there are those too.

One in the league and two others scored, respectively, in the semifinal and final of the Serbian Cup 2015-2016 edition: a trophy conquered, precisely, by the brave Partizan in the sign of his prodigy center-forward.

From here, in practice, the phenomenal feeling between Vlahovic and the national cups arises.

Fiorentina’s Primavera squad knows something about it: Dusan’s first “apprenticeship” in the lily jersey.

Under the technical guidance of Emiliano Bigica, the best purple youth won the 2018-2019 Italian Cup.

A goal made possible thanks to the extraordinary achievement of Vlahovic, author of six goals: three of these he even scored in the double final against Turin, effectively grabbing the trophy and the title of top scorer!

A not bad business card for an authentic jewel already baptized, among other things, in the magical world of Serie A: see the flash debut against Inter in the San Siro temple (25 September 2018) and the starting shirt worn against Sassuolo in Reggio Emilia on the threshold of 19 years (9 December 2018).

Dusan’s universe therefore spins at a supersonic speed despite the immobility that surrounds it.

In fact, we have reached the end credits of the Della Valle era: the relations between the owners and the lily fans have become, in fact, irrecoverable and we can no longer go on.

The paradoxical farewell of Stefano Pioli to the purple bench, the unhappy return of Vincenzo Montella, the semi-final of the Coppa Italia lost against Atalanta and the tragic “play-off” in the last championship against Genoa to avoid relegation to Serie B close (at worst) a 17 year long history.

Fortuna wants football to be so beautiful and special that it always gives new and unconventional emotions.

From a painful salvation to the most unbridled enthusiasm the step is really short … and American!

On 6 June 2019 Florence embraces its new President Rocco Commisso and returns to dream of a great future in the good living rooms of Europe that matters.

To begin with, Rocco decides to present his “new creature” to his fellow Americans through the team’s participation in the International Champions Cup: a prestigious summer tournament that sees us protagonists together with Arsenal, Benfica and Chivas Guadalajara.

The viola appear at the appointment as an “open construction site” and with a few too many headaches.

As we say in Florence: “Here we go again”…always him, Dusan Vlahovic!

After announcing the return of Sporting Director Daniele Pradè and the confirmation of Vincenzo Montella as coach, Rocco focuses his attention on Federico Chiesa’s stay in the Viola jersey, courted several times by his historic rival Juventus.

As the days go by, the issue becomes so intense and engaging that the fans forget almost everything else, including our overseas tour.

The President, on the other hand, seems no longer in the skin of the idea of ​​being able to meet his boys on the field.

Fiorentina, as expected, takes the match against the Mexicans of Chivas and loses the two matches against the noble Arsenal and Benfica.

Despite this, Rocco still manages to find a reason to smile … thanks to a young center forward who, despite his age and a still immature European experience, makes his way through the mighty English and Portuguese defenders with the typical skill of the predestined, to the point of even scoring a goal against the legendary Lusitanian team of the myth Eusebius.

Who am I talking about?

As we say in Florence: “We are at the usual” … always him, Dusan Vlahovic!

The last desperate card played by Montella in the hot (in every sense) August 18, 2019.

At the Franchi Fiorentina-Monza is played for the third elimination round of the Italian Cup.

In spite of the two categories of difference to the detriment of the Brianza, the latter take the field with the same warrior spirit as their coach (and former purple lion) Christian Brocchi.

Brighenti’s goal around the half hour of the first half gives everyone an icy shiver at the height of the back; an annoying sensation that even drags on for another hour of play.

Fiorentina thus finds itself one step away from the sensational early elimination from the national cup.

Twenty minutes of play seem insufficient to strike up an adequate tactical counter-move: we might as well have recourse to the Dusan amulet, correct?

Said and done: Vlahovic enters the field in place of Benassi, talks with the talented teammate of Primavera Tofol Montiel and overturns the Lombards with a providential brace!

Federico Chiesa’s third Viola goal is only useful for statistics and for those who live off the transfer market: the cover, however, is all for our Serbian “savior”!

Vlahovic, however, can no longer be satisfied: the Serie A, in fact, is there at hand, ready to be grasped with all the strength and ambition of this world.

It’s November 10, 2019: Fiorentina are literally sinking into the red and blue sea of ​​Cagliari … the partial 5-0 in favor of the Sardinians, twenty minutes from the end, is crumbling the purple universe into a thousand pieces; among the latter, fragments of Vincenzo Montella’s bench can also be found.

A situation so sad as to make the search for a glimpse of light in the midst of darkness almost useless.

Saving face now seems impossible, but the young Dusan does not want to participate in any way in the collective defeat; a first low missile and a second billiard shot (both baked with the fairy left foot) are worth his first two hits in the top flight not even 20 years old!

A great personal achievement, no doubt about it.

Nevertheless, there is no trace of joy in the expression of the Serbian striker: for him only the final result obtained by the Viola counts.

Consequently, we need to roll up our sleeves even more and try to revive the fortunes of a group in total apnea.

The subsequent confirmation of Montella, moreover, does not cause the effects hoped for by the President Commisso; in fact, Fiorentina takes a scary tunnel at full speed, remedying three more consecutive defeats against: Verona (0-1 at Bentegodi), Lecce (0-1 at Franchi with a lot of heavy injury to the star Ribery) and Turin (1-2 in grenade earth).

Respectable but far from impossible opponents.

That’s why A’s next turn conveys even more fear.

Sunday 15 December 2019: at the Artemio Franchi stadium a chilling Fiorentina-Inter match will be played from every point of view.

If Antonio Conte’s Nerazzurri travel in first class at the top of the championship, we are forced to move again on foot and with semi-ruffled shoes.

Vincenzo Montella therefore finds himself having to save his fate in the most complicated match ever; to succeed, he decides to propose the usual 3-5-2 super buttoned, with two very defensive outside midfielders (Lirola plus the former Dalbert on duty) and an advanced “sui generis” department formed by an outside attacker (Chiesa) and an attacking midfielder adapted for the need (Boateng).

If we add Franck Ribery’s forced absence to all this, it becomes impossible to participate in the big date with a carefree smile on his lips.

In such delicate situations, then, it is not even possible to trust one’s friends … not even 10 minutes of the game have passed and we are already down by a goal: the signature is of our old idol Borja Valero.

The former Florentine “Mayor” who decided to run in the primary of Inter Milan.

The fact that the Spanish todocampista does not rejoice as a sign of respect for the Curva Fiesole changes the state of affairs little.

The ascent of the lilies now appears to be as hard as the fearsome stage of Monte Zoncolan in the Giro d’Italia.

Inter, on the other hand, can carry on the match by following the track they prefer: that of the counterattack.

The almost perfect understanding between Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez is an authentic time bomb capable of detonating the purple defense: only the intervention of the VAR (goal canceled by the Nerazzurri) and a Dragowski in Toldo version (at least two miracles of the Polish goalkeeper) allow us to stay still in the race.

However, the general feeling is that there is no more room for recovery: the technical gap between our “yard still open” and the tried and tested leaders is really too big to hope for who knows what.

To further confirm the above, ask Montella what he thinks of Handanovic’s miracle on Badelj and of Chiesa’s injury around the hour of play; probably, he will already put in writing the word “end” on his second adventure in Florence.

Ah, I almost forgot: Dusan joined the field instead of Federico.

An almost obligatory choice, but also a little superstitious.

After all, the Serbian has already “saved” his coach once in the very complicated match of the Italian Cup against Monza (another Lombard team) … so why not replay the same card?

The fact is that Vlahovic, of balls, touches a few or points: the fault of the Nerazzurri strength and of a lily machine perpetually blocked by fear.

We have arrived in full recovery: not yet fully satisfied, Inter decides to opt for the search for the double … Politano starts from the right wing and tries to concentrate to conclude the action with the left … the purple defenders make a block and deflect the ball towards the sideline … our left fielder Dalbert then throws a powerful left-handed forward in the hope of hitting Boateng’s foot … improvised veil of the Ghanaian and ball that ends up on the feet of Vlahovic, the which has more than 50 meters of field in front of him and the gigantic Skriniar to shadow him … the situation is disheartening, but the Serb doesn’t want to let go of that blessed ball … Dusan flies straight to Fiesole wearing the breath of his scorer … his race is so intense as to sow our number 10 Kevin Prince … Vlahovic is now alone … Skriniar realizes it and decides not to intervene, counting on inexperience of the “little boy” and on the posi secluded action reached with difficulty by the latter inside the Inter penalty area … Dusan observes the space granted and thinks: “Now or never” … indeed, he does not think about it … left-missile to cross the far post, Handanovic petrified and the net inflated for the most beautiful of the “bombs in the air” … Fiorentina-Inter 1-1!

Vlahovic observes the scene, brings the index fingers to his ears and fully enjoys the sound jam of a Franchi literally exploded: it is his first goal scored in Serie A in front of the Viola crowd and, moreover, against a big player in our football. .

The habitual aplomb of Vincenzo Montella gives way to the unbridled joy of those who have just managed to find the bench-saving flicker.

An unexpected smile which will be followed by: the exemption of the Campania technician, the arrival of the “warrior” Beppe Iachini and a salvation suffered in the middle of the Covid pandemic.

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