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A former refugee in the Premier League. Tottenham chose Postecoglou: he escaped from the Greece of the dictators

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After losing 14 league games and finding himself outside Europe in a way he hasn’t seen since 2010, Tottenham he found himself leafing through a daisy with illustrious petals: who should you entrust the bank to after the huge investments with Mourinho and Conte? Luis Enrique, Nagelsmann, Zidane… no, the music has changed. Enough with the big (and expensive) names from now on. So much so that the president has elected Daniel Levy, an English billionaire who lives aboard his superyacht in the Bahamas for nine months of the year Ange Postecoglou, 57-year-old Australian of Greek descent and former refugee who until recently was unknown to anyone in Europe. Then he won everything in Scotland this season with the Celtica triple what landed him in the Premier League: «My father dreamed that I would come to Europe. He wanted to get up in the middle of the night in Australia and look at his son.”he told SkySports.

Postecoglou celebrates winning the Scottish Cup

The escape from Greece of the dictators

Dad is gone, but he will be proud of his son, who will soon be the protagonist of the most powerful championship in the world. When he was only 5 years old, he loaded him onto a ship bound for Melbourne with his mother and sister. His company went bankrupt and in Greece there was the Giunta, that is the dictatorship of the fascist-inspired colonels who would rule the country from 1967 to 1974 amid arrests, deportations of opponents and the total absence of political and civil liberties. Different language, no guarantee on accommodation or work. Own only one ticket: “My parents worked day and night. There is a misunderstanding of immigration. When I hear people say: “They emigrate for a better life”, I get angry. People do not move to another country for themselves, but to provide opportunities for the next generation”. The only certainty that Ange Postecoglou finds in footballhis father’s great passion, even though as a boy he fell in love with football, the national sport: “A way to integrate, to no longer be seen only as a foreigner with a long surname”.

Postecoglou was a reliable and tenacious defender. He played almost 200 games in the National Soccer League (Australia’s top league). South Melbourne, club founded by Greek immigrants and quickly became a cornerstone for the local community. He won, but it was as a coach that he turned football in Australia upside down. In 2000, he led South Melbourne to the Club World Cup in Brazil. His Brisbane Roar, for an innovative possession-based game, was nicknamed «Roarcelona». With the Australian national team he played in a World Cup and won an Asian Cup. In Japan he led the Yokohama F. Marinos to a title that had been missing for 15 years.

“My father always said to me: “Well, great, but you can do better”. In the last conversation I had with him before he died, I was very lucky. In Japan my team had won 7-2, he couldn’t have said anything. That was probably the only time he said he was really proud of me and what I had achieved. But to be honest, I wish he was still there to tell me I’m not doing enough and I can get better than I’m doing now.” Well, if he also wins against Tottenham – the losers, i.e. the “losers” of the Premier League – doing better would be impossible.

Source: Corriere

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