Raciti: I present to you Catania-Messina: “The derby escapes predictions”


By John

Catania-Messina cannot be a match like the others for Ezio Raciti: Etna origins, eight years spent as coach of the red and blue youth team but with two consecutive miraculous saves achieved at the helm of the white shield team. They are the two teams that are close to his heart, it is difficult to take sides in the week that leads to a very heartfelt challenge, as always, in terms of sporting rivalry but with very high stakes also at stake in terms of the rankings.
What game will it be?
«It's hard to predict, a derby always escapes all predictions and the dynamics of the championship. It is a very particular challenge, in terms of emotions and tensions, but it will also be so for the ranking.”
Messina is five points ahead of Catania, but neither team is mathematically safe yet. How much longer?
«I believe that the odds for survival this year are 44-45 points but obviously a lot will depend on what the teams that are currently in the playout zone do. Monopoli plays two at home and can potentially score six points. Monterosi should perform a miracle to close the gap but I think they are cut off and therefore the fifth from last will be safe. From Potenza on down, however, no one can still consider themselves safe, even if Turris made a serious misstep in the last round. Catania has a tough calendar because after Messina, they will face Sorrento who are looking for a place in the playoffs and Benevento who are fighting to start from second place.”
Let's look at the path of the two teams that will face each other on Sunday at the “Massimino”. What kind of championship was it for them?
«Catania is the team that has disappointed the most, together with Potenza and Crotone I think. He could have done much better. Too much pressure or expectations? If you wear a shirt like the Catania one you can't suffer these dynamics, you know that 20 thousand spectators are watching you. Personally, I think the lack of offensive impact played a role. To win a championship you need to score at least 80 goals, Catania have scored less than half of them. The major flaws are there. Then there are the three coaching changes that made it difficult to create a team identity. Exactly the opposite of what happened in Messina, where from the beginning there was a precise technical project and we continued on that even in the toughest moments, leveraging some elements that are fine, like Zunno. Excellent championship.”
And also thanks to some elements that you know well.
«Frisenna, a boy I had in the youth team, surprised me in a positive way. Great performance at first experience among professionals. But let me say that the true soul of Messina are elements like Fumagalli and Ragusa, exceptional men as well as great players of the past and present. Real people who know how to overcome difficulties and in many situations make the difference.”
Heart divided in half. Who will you root for?
«My heart beats red and blue blood but in Messina I was accepted and welcomed in a great way despite the rivalry. I have also built an excellent feeling with the fans and for me this is almost as important as my origins.”
What was missing from this Messina to make the leap in quality that seemed possible at a certain point?
«It's the episodes that sometimes have an impact. We often only talk about the difficulties, I spent two years in Messina but in addition to the obstacles, which there are, it is a place that can give you a lot. It makes me smile when I hear about Messina as an uncomfortable and complicated reality, this year I received four calls, spread across the three groups of Serie C, and the conditions proposed were not so different from those of the Acr. Those who do this job know the conditions of many realities that are between the third and fourth series. I have inside me the emotions of the matches with Taranto and Gelbison, there is a lot of good and it seems like an alibi to talk about the things that are wrong, because you have to face them and overcome them without pointing fingers.”