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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Fiorentina Makes Mistake in Selling Dario Dainelli by Jim Riggio

By Jim Riggio for World Football Commentaries

Genoa 1893 vs Atalanta Bergamo

Dario Danielli in action with Genoa.

This winter’s transfer market brought several Serie A clubs new members that should shake things up in the standings.

There is Luca Toni, who joined AS Roma from Bayern Munich. There is Goran Pandev who joined Inter from Lazio. There is Sergio Floccari who joined Lazio from Genoa and even Antonio Candreva who joined Juventus from Livorno. But perhaps the most significant move of all was one that may have slipped under the radar.

Just over a month after Fiorentina sent Dario Dainelli to Genoa, the Viola are probably regretting the mistake they made. Since Dainelli’s departure on Jan. 12, the Viola are winless in five Serie A matches, earning just one point.

Dainelli played in seven Champions League matches for Fiorentina, scoring one goal and helped the club reach the knockout round stages of the tournament. Genoa meanwhile has turned things around. Still with the second worst defense in the league, trailing only last-place Siena in goals allowed, Genoa has vastly improved since Dainelli has come on board.

Genoa, which has allowed 39 goals in 24 league matches, has allowed just seven in the six matches since Dainelli joined the club. This has included shutouts of Chievo, Napoli and Atalanta. If there is one player that is overlooked in Serie A and by the Italian National Team, it is Dainelli.

Dainelli, who turns 31 in June, has just one cap for the Azzurri, having played in a friendly against Ecuador in the summer of 2005 in New York. The 6-foot-3 central defender deserves another chance at representing Italy, especially since there are many injured players and some players that have been chosen by Marcello Lippi have displayed poor form of late.

Fiorentina now faces the difficulty of going into the knockout stages of the Champions League against Bayern Munich without Dainelli and probably his longtime central defender mate Alessandro Gamberini, who suffered a separated shoulder this past weekend.

No club likes having to change both of its center backs, but Fiorentina may do just that. Time will tell, but early on it appears that Fiorentina’s decision to get rid of Dario Dainelli is one it will want to forget.

About the Author

Jim Riggio has written about Italian and international soccer for ESPN/Soccernet, and was an interviewee for my column at AC Cugini Scuola Calcio. After the 2006 World Cup, he contributed an interview with Gianluca Zambrotta of FC Barcelona and the Italian National team for my World Football site.

On 21 February 2008, Mr. Riggio was interviewed by Diane Scalia, also known as Chef Di, for the SportsBites segment about the Champions League on GrandSlamGourmet.com.

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