Domenico Criscito reveals what it was like to have his Italy room raided by police and has a Genoa comeback dream.
The Zenit defender was dropped from the Euro 2012 squad when he was under police investigation over the betting scandal, though was later cleared of all wrongdoing.
“I was in my room at the Coverciano training ground when we heard a knock,” he told Premium Calcio.
“It was the police come to search my room and they also went to my home in Genoa. I told Cesare Prandelli that I felt calm, but he said there was too much pressure on me and I couldn’t focus on the football.
“I remember that day Antonio Di Natale was really upset that I left. Other teammates also came to my room, as they were angry and disappointed.
“There was so much media noise about this investigation, then when it was shelved hardly anyone mentioned it. I was dragged into the scandal because of a photograph, but I was there to talk to Genoa fans after the derby and clarify a different situation.”
Criscito is playing in the Champions League with Zenit St Petersburg, but they have been stuttering so far this season.
“Perhaps we don’t realise our strength. People talk about team spirit, but it’s odd that each of us have a separate room for our post-match shower.
“I’d love to come back to Genoa, the club I really grew up with. As a Neapolitan, it’d be good to play for Napoli, but it’s not one of my ambitions.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's World Cup tipster competition - £10,000 to be won!