“Believe me when I say it with all my heart: I’m so proud to be part of this history. I’m proud to have been the captain of this great club, wearing this great “Maglia Crociata”. I’m proud to have been Alessandro Lucarelli: one of you”.
Lucarelli decided to stop playing football. And Parma Calcio, to honour him, decided to retire the number 6 from its kits forever.
Let’s read the farewell speech he made at Tardini stadium.
“Hello everybody, welcome back to Serie A!
This is not the first time I have a microphone in my hands: I used to have it on the pitch, at Collecchio training center, in a court or during our training summer camp. First of all, let me say: thank you. Thank to all my teammates: we shared something special during these three years. It’s wonderful to see you here, tonight, on this pitch, because in the last three years the “Maglia Crociata” was for us first in everything. And with you we reached a dream, the dream to let Parma come back to Serie A, where this club deserves to be. Thanks to this club, who let felt us like we were in Serie A even we were playing in Serie D. Thanks to all our fans: you deserve the Serie A. Thanks to the Coach, to the technical staff and to all the people working for this club: this success is also yours. Let me say also thanks to my wife Cristiana and my sons Matteo, Jacopo and Diego: during all my career they stayed by my side, supporting me but also bearing when I used not to play.
Since I came here to play for Parma, for me it was an amazing experience of 10 years. I arrived when the club was in Serie B and we got promoted, then we also achieved a qualification to the Europa League. But there is also a second part of my experience here: passing through all the problems we had, for you I became simply “Ale”. A friend. The symbol of our rebirth. The Captain.
It’s simply to explain why: during the sufferings we became one thing. You started to appreciate me, to know me as a man, and not only as a footballer. You stood by me in the battles we fought, because you exactly know I was fighting as one of yours. We had bad moments, but we always got up. Parma always got up. In the last playoffs I broke my ribs, but no one could stop me and in the final in Firenze I was on the pitch. This season my meniscus was broken instead, but after 23 days I got back to play in La Spezia. That’s the spirit we shared during these seasons.
After the bankruptcy I said: “I died with Parma and with Parma I want to rebirth”. Thanks to you and to my teammates we did it. It all began in Arzignano and we arrived to La Spezia, passing also through Reggio Emilia… And we alway, always won. Thanks to our obstinacy. Thanks to our energy. Thanks to the group. Thanks to us.
I will never forget that roar, on friday night in La Spezia. No one will. On that pitch, we were one. It’s a perfect image, the best I would ever choose for what I have to say now. It’s been a difficult decision. I played here for 10 years, giving everything for this club. We’re back to Serie A, and our mission is accomplished. I know what being in Serie A means: playing in beautiful stadiums with historic teams. But I made history with you and I don’t need to play in Serie A again. And you know me: for me it’s all or nothing. I made you a promise three years ago. Nothing could feel me better than the pride for all these promotions.
Every summer I went to our training camp with the strong will to give my best on the pitch for the season to come. Now I’m not sure I can do it anymore. Ok, now I’m scared: I don’t know if I’ll be a reference point out of the pitch as I was on it. After that win in La Spezia I ran to you, to celebrate. Now let’s run to me. Stand by me guys, and carry me on in this new amazing adventure. I’m not leaving Parma: I’ll part of this club again.
Believe me when I say it with all my heart: I’m so proud to be part of this history. I’m proud to have been the captain of this great club, wearing this great “Maglia Crociata”. I’m proud to have been Alessandro Lucarelli: one of you”.