There was great excitement at Venditalia when Italian football legend Giovanni Trapattoni made a surprise visit to the N&W stand, but the company’s UK Managing Director Dave Ward wasn’t sure what the fuss was about – until it was all over.
“I quite like my football,” said Dave, a follower (at a distance!) of Coventry City, “but my Italian colleagues are fanatics. I must admit, I didn’t recognise the Great Man when he arrived on the stand, but there was so much fuss you’d have been forgiven for thinking God had just turned up!”
One of the most celebrated managers in football history, Trapattoni is one of only three coaches, alongside the Austrian Ernst Happel and the Portuguese Jose Mourinho, to have won the league title in four different countries. Together with the German Udo Lattek, he is the only coach to have won all three major European club titles and the World Club title. He also holds the record for the most UEFA cup wins achieved by a manager. To make another dent in the case for Dave’s defence, Trapattoni is currently manager of The Republic of Ireland… “Oops,” you might say.
“Be fair,” countered Dave, a self-confessed ‘petrol head’. “If it’d been Vettel or Prost or Alonso who walked on the stand I’d have been weak at the knees too, but a footballer?”
Notwithstanding Dave’s failure to recognise him, Trapattoni was happy to be interviewed on the N&W stand. He signed a Necta Capsy coffee machine before spending time dealing with hundreds of requests for autographs.
Joking aside, Dave said, “We were honoured when the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) chose our Capsy and Concerto machines to equip the Irish Euro 2012 training camps in Montecatini Terme in Italy and subsequently in Danzig, in Poland; but ‘Il Trap’s’ impromptu visit to the our stand at Venditalia really was the chocolate on the cappuccino!”
However, Dave was quick to refute rumours that the coffee-loving football legend would be transferred to the UK in time for Vendex…. “He’s a bit pricey for us!” he said.