“I am cruel because I take revenge on everyone.”

“I am cruel because I take revenge on everyone.”

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29 Jun 2022
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A hard look, a fierce expression. “I’ll be the last to die” is a WhatsApp status. This is not a description of Giorgio Chiellini, but an illustration of Federico Gatti, the defender who took his place in Juve and the national team.

The path of Gatti is a real movie: plowed from dawn to evening, lacked sleep and made his way upstairs

Facial expressions in the game and the status in the messenger are not a mask for Fede. It’s a way of life. There are 26 posts on his Instagram for three years, in his little world there are only old and trusted friends. When Gatti was asked about the opportunities that money and fame opened up to him, he replied: “I have a girl from Verbania. We’ve been dating since the days when I had nothing. Once I reach the top, I will share my success with those who have been with me since the beginning.” Maybe he would have grown up as an ordinary football player, tightly locked in a bubble of money and social networks, but life threw him into another world. At the age of 14, Gatti was considered unpromising at Torino, at 16 – at Alessandria from Serie C. The guy got a job at Pavarolo. This team played in the 6th division, but even there the player was taken only by acquaintance: the director of the club, Franco Cipriani, is a family friend. In 2015, his father lost his job, and poor amateur football finally turned into a penny hobby for a 17-year-old guy. Gatti became a market seller. He got up at 4 am, worked his shift and had a 2-hour workout in the evening. Football and work brought him 300 euros a month. He did not leave a cent for himself: “Father sacrificed a lot for me. I owed him. Family is everything to me.” To earn more, Gatti went as a bricklayer to a construction site: “It was not easy. I got up at dawn and went to work, even if it was freezing outside. I plowed for 9-10 hours, after work I took a 30-minute break for a small sandwich and went to training on foot. Finished at 10 pm, had dinner and fell asleep, and got up again at dawn. He came to training all in paint. But I’m glad I got through it all. Difficulties have hardened me.” Gatti’s career would have been bogged down in the minor leagues, if not for the occasion. In 2017, he moved from the position under the attackers to the center of the defense. “Pavarolo” went bankrupt, the team fled. I stayed because I just wanted to play,” Fede recalled. The club has recruited teenagers. I was the tallest, and the coach moved me to the defense. It changed my life.” A year later, the talented defender joined Verbania, one of the leaders of the 5th division. During the negotiations, Gatti found out that the director was building a villa, and immediately asked for it as a roofer. Football and construction brought him 900 euros a month. This continued until the summer of 2020. And then it spun. Gatti rose to Serie D, flared up in Serie C and became the best defender in Serie B. In two years, he went from laying the roof to moving to Juventus and debuting with the Italian national team. “No one could have imagined that he would build such a career,” said Verbania coach Roberto Frino. “What makes Gatti stand out is character. To describe it, I will quote Sun Tzu: “Victorious warriors first win, and then go into battle. The vanquished first get involved in the battle, and then they try to win. This phrase fully captures his determination, spontaneity and madness. 

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