Thursday, May 08, 2008

Lost In Translation: An Evening with Roberto Donadoni

Last week I was invited by Birkbeck College to attend a special Question & Answer session with the Italian national manager, and former AC Milan midfielder, Roberto Donadoni. The chance to hear one of the great stars of the 1980s who won everything at club level was not one I wanted to miss and I was looking forward to his insight and thoughts given the academic setting.

Sadly what the audience got was what I can only describe as a media briefing or press pack style interview. With the Italian and UK press in attendance the chance to hear his real thoughts on the dilemma of club versus country priorities or advice on the development of young players in Italy and England was lost as we were instead, thanks to some pretty mediocre translation, treated to a series of stock and cliched answers that did little to further my knowledge of the game. A crying shame really given the man's wealth of experience and the huge collective appetite of the audience. That Donadoni was not given more of a platform or the means to share his thoughts in more detail meant this was a real missed opportunity.

Tropping out afterwards, I was overtaken by a perma tanned Ray Clemence of the FA who I overheard commenting to his colleague "...well that was hardly rocket science was it." Quite!

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