Cagliari President Tommaso Giulini explains what Leonardo Semplici changed to transform Cagliari. ‘We were practically relegated, this was a sporting miracle.’
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The Sardinians had arrived thinking they needed a point would guarantee their Serie A safety, but in the team hotel, they saw Crotone’s last-gasp equaliser with Benevento, which means they are already out of danger.
There were reports of celebrations in the corridors and President Giulini posted a picture of the whole team and staff together.
When Leonardo Semplici took over from Eusebio Di Francesco in February, Cagliari were in 18th place with 15 points, 10 behind Benevento and five adrift of Torino.
“It was an avalanche of emotions, both wonderful and complicated. We were all together watching the game and we toasted this success together, because we deserved this,” The President told Sky Sport Italia.
“We were 3-1 down at home to Parma, we were practically relegated and everyone gave us up for dead. We fought back to win 4-3 at the 94th minute and from there something clicked.
“This was a sporting miracle and everyone worked so hard. I am really proud to say we never had a row in the locker room, everyone made their contribution to build this extraordinary achievement.”
Cagliari had started the season hoping to aim for Europe under Di Francesco, but found themselves scrambling at the foot of the table throughout.
“We were upset last season, as after a great first half to the campaign and in our Centenary year, we lost our way. We had hoped to start strong, but unfortunately we couldn’t change the trend.
“We tried to bring a different identity to the team with a strong coach, but there were errors all around from various different people, so we all take responsibility. What we tried didn’t work, and fortunately with the chance of coach, there was also a radical change of trend.
“Semplici brought enthusiasm, unity, but also a type of football we needed to fight for safety. You need a completely different mentality to battle in the relegation zone and he brought that.”