Bellini: "Thanks Benetton, what a discouragement to Zebre. Italy? It would be a dream to find it again"

The Treviso wing returns to the transfer that took place at the end of the season. And on the blue: “Nobody called me, an incentive to do even better and more”

It takes courage to change in the race, and Mattia Bellini’s decision to jump on the Benetton train at the end of the season is certainly a choice that is as courageous as it is necessary, as he himself said. The former Zebre winger with 31 appearances in the national team concluded the season in Treviso and in the meantime has drawn up an assessment of what happened in Parma in the last year, amid the desire to find the blue again (“it’s my goal but it’s not an obsession ”, says Bellini) and the desire to continue having fun.

How did you experience this passage “in the running” at Benetton?

“Beyond the magnificent reception received from Treviso, it was not easy. I was trying to give my all for the Zebras and always hoped that my situation within the club would improve. There was a lot of discouragement and I couldn’t miss an opportunity like the one that was created thanks to the availability of Benetton. I also had to put aside various personal needs, since I was living with my girlfriend in Parma. From a rugby point of view, however, it was a very stimulating thing: I had the opportunity to enter a new and different context, in a club with very similar characteristics to those in which I trained in Padua. From a mental point of view it was challenging to draw a line with my past, but my difficult situation at the Zebras lasted for a year and there didn’t seem to be a chance to improve it ”.

What did this discomfort consist of? What was wrong?

“I perceived a strong change of perspective that had repercussions on that group of athletes with whom I have grown up in all these years. I have always tried to be useful in helping the group, the team and the club because it is part of my way of being, but maybe the club needed or was looking for something else. All legitimate, but very painful for me. I’m sorry not to have been able to wear the Zebre shirt with them for the last time, and thus create a further memory of the many years happily spent in Parma with Castello, Violi, Canna, Bisegni, Lovotti, Fabiani, Giammarioli, Di Giulio, Mbandà, just to name a few “.

In this period he also left the national team. Do you miss the blue?

“Of course I miss it. It is always a pleasure and an honor to have the opportunity to play for Italy. But the biggest disappointment was linked to my situation with the Zebras, because obviously in the club you live and work every day. The blue is a consequence of what you do with your team. After several years in which I gave my all, even in moments of difficulty, I was unable to have opportunities in blue. This is what hurts me the most. If you do not play or play little, it is difficult to be called up for the national team, without detracting from those who deserved to wear the blue jersey. ”

Why do you think you have been “shelved”?

“More than shelved, it seems to me that the staff have decided to explore other avenues. Often in sport cycles and people with different ideas and visions alternate. That’s all. Maybe my technical-physical characteristics are good for some but not for others. I am only 28 years old and I look to the future with the desire to find the ideal conditions to best express my rugby.

Is it one of your goals to rediscover the blue? Did he talk to Crowley or Smith?

“No, no one from the senior national team has called me in recent months. I hope to have the opportunity to win back the blue. It would be a dream to find it after what I went through and I hope to be able to do it by starting from Treviso. It is something that has to be built over time, especially now that there is so much competition and the movement is more alive. It is something that does not scare me but rather stimulates me to do even more to improve even more “.

Your contract has not yet been renewed?

“With Treviso we promised ourselves to talk about it at the end of the season. Which we are doing. My priority is to stay at Benetton. Then, eventually, I will talk to others who are looking for me. Treviso gave me the opportunity to get back into the game and I am very grateful to them for this. I knew that in a few weeks I would not be able to express myself 100% and so it was, but I hope I made myself appreciated both as an athlete and as a person. Time will speak “.

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