Fairytale over, after 11 years Sassuolo is relegated to Serie B. Berardi's absence is too heavy


By John

Sassuolo is mathematically relegated to Serie B. A verdict that is not surprising, for months it had been understood that the team had lost a soul, but above all important players, always sold at a high price (Frattesi, Scamacca, Locatelli, Raspadori, Acerbi, just to give some examples), but not always replaced with players who are up to the task. And so the black-green fairy tale ends. After 11 consecutive years of Serie A, a qualification for the Europa League in 2016, the provincial jewel built by Giorgio Squinzi has lost all its value. Mister Mapei had taken over Sassuolo in 2002 and had taken it from C2 to the highest levels, making it a virtuous footballing example, but after his death in October 2019, it was clear that it would never be the same again.

Great coaches took turns on the Sassuolo bench, from Allegri to Pioli, Di Francesco to De Zerbi. With Dionisi (sacked at the end of February 2024) the club had perhaps found the right man, but after last year's salvation, the last transfer market, which was profitable from an economic point of view, proved to be a failure. The environment probably also contributed to this decline. Visiting fans have always found fertile ground in the stadium, which they own, forcing Sassuolo to play their home games, given the small number of black-green fans, often as if they were away. Like today against Cagliari. The team trains in Sassuolo in the new owned sports centre, the players most of whom reside in Modena, the playing field in Reggio Emilia, a city in which the neroverdi have never been looked upon favorably, are aspects that they have taken away from Sassuolo a true identity. And even the relegation arrived almost in total indifference, without major protests other than a face-to-face meeting with some fans just after the end of the match. It must be said that the injury that occurred to Berardi, the team's technical leader, and the talent that he always chose to stay in Sassuolo had a bearing on. Eleven races ago when Ballardini arrived, Berardi ruptured his Achilles tendon (game lost in Verona) and since then there have only been two victories (Frosinone and Inter), six defeats and three draws. Too little to get out of the relegation zone, without considering the 74 goals conceded. Now Sassuolo will start again from Serie B with a new coach, the future of general manager Giovanni Carnevali and sporting director Giovanni Rossi is uncertain, but above all many players will change. With the hope of reopening a new chapter.