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Emotional video-speech helps Bologna win

You wouldn’t wait reading this story to realize how much sports are connected with mind and psychology rather than strength and talent. There’re plenty of examples, where a minor talented but deeply inspired team exceeded their limits and won a match or a tournament. But it’s always emotional to learn such stories, as the one happened last Sunday in Brescia, Italy.

The math between hosts Brescia Calcio and visitors Bologna FC 1909 was at halftime. The hosts have secured a 3-1 lead. A neutral observer could wait for more goals from the home side during the second half, as Brescia Calcio has dominated the play and made twice as much shots on goal.

However, the second half was a complete different story.  A totally determined Bologna made an unexpected comeback, scoring three times without reply to win the match by 4-3. Bologna ended the match with impressive 68% possession, 21 shots on goal and 84% pass accuracy, records achieved mostly by the second half performance.

What happened at halftime? As Bologna FC players told the Press, they’ve called their coach Sinisa Mihajlovic, who was unable to travel with them at the time. The Serbian coach was at Sant’Orsola hospital, receiving chemotherapy for an acute form of leukemia. Despite this, Mihajlovic asked to be video-called, so he would make a halftime speech to his players as if he was present in the dressing room.

His words were kept like a secret: Nobody revealed the exact points of his speech. But it was inspirational, no doubt. Bologna FC players later admitted that when they got out for the second half, they were sure that they could win.

On 13 July 2019 Mihajlovic publicly announced in a press conference his serious health problem. Club administration insisted on the Serbian coach keeping his job, even if he wouldn’t be even on the bench for some matches. The 50-year-old coach, being in charge of the squad since last January, accepted the challenge, as he said his job will keep him active and flourishing psychologically.

On their way home, the players agreed to pay their tribute to their coach for his help: They asked the bus driver to guide them to Sant’ Orsola hospital, and when they got there, they got out and starting yelling “Dai Sinisa ale, ale”, a familiar chant to Mihajlovic ears from his glorious playing times in four top Italian clubs (Roma, Sampdoria, Lazio, Inter).

A surprised but fully excited Mihajlovic showed up after a little while to his hospital room window and tried to joke: He even invited his players to come up to his room, so they could watch the match video together and he could easily point out their mistakes during the tie!

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