Collecchio, 7 January 2022 – Andrea Rispoli spoke on Sportitalia’s ‘Speciale Calciomercato’ programme this evening.

Here’s what he had to say:

“COVID-19? We must approach it like we are going to be playing, we know mentally, that we have to go out onto the pitch and train every day in order to be ready to play our game against Crotone. Our last match was with Alessandria, a month or so has passed since then. Unfortunately, it is not easy. We have lots of questions, we must think about doing our best on the pitch and always be ready, for when they tell us and confirm that we can play. As for a championship without promotion or relegation? I don’t know if this will happen, certainly when there are so many players in a team, this is certainly not normal. It’s one thing to play with a full squad, it’s another to play with 15 or 20 absentees. This is not normal. Keep playing? Without football we cannot live, it is right to protect our health first and foremost, but we must move forward. Knowing that it is an unprecedented and delicate situation, there are many situations where COVID-19 is punishing us. However, if we know that we are vaccinated and we are extremely well protected by these vaccines, we know that if there are no health risks, we will always prefer to play”.

“It’s a difficult situation, where there are more cases now than before. On Saturday afternoon the whole team will do the third round of testing and we only have the case of Gigi Buffon as a positive. What kind of football will Parma be playing when the championship resumes? Fortunately, as we only have one infected person, we have tried to put minutes in the legs, we have increased the training sessions which have been very intense, especially with the double sessions. And then when other teams can get to have 10-15 positive players, they will have more difficulty to come back. That’s obvious. What has changed with Iachini? I’ve only been at Parma for a short time, I see a team that has great potential. We know that our place in the standings isn’t pretty at the moment but we also know that we have the whole second half of the season left and there are so many games left. And the playoffs are not far away, we are only 5 points off them which is not a lot and we know that we can reach them. We will assess it game by game and see where we can end up finishing. What’s the team like? It’s certainly a team that is developing day by day, the coach takes care of every detail, he demands a lot from each of us, from those who play to those who do not play, from the smallest to the largest. So we will definitely be able to improve a lot”.