Football

  • Dean van het Laar

    editor NOS Sport

  • Dean van het Laar

    editor NOS Sport

After playing football for five and a half years with Udinese, Bram Nuytinck switched from one Italian club to another in January. He signed with Sampdoria, which he is having a bad time in the sporting and administrative field.

The club is penultimate in Serie A. And it is also very restless in the administrative field, partly due to a severed pig’s head and a bullet letter.

Bram Nuytinck at Sampdoria

In the eye of the storm, Nuytinck tries to focus on the tough relegation battle while secretly enjoying himself. La Dolce Vita. Because under the radiant sun and with a house on the water, Nuytinck feels like a happy man in Genoa. The former NEC defender has been playing soccer in Italy for almost six years and has fallen in love with the country.

“We recently discussed it with some teammates and we came to the conclusion that Italy is the ideal country for a footballer. Life outside of football is wonderful and the experience of the fans is incomparable. I have never experienced that. Also, the level in competition is very high”.

mafia practices

It sounds like a fairy tale, but the reality is much less rosy for Sampdoria. The club received negative news earlier this year after a severed pig’s head was found outside the club’s main building and a bullet letter was delivered to the club.

Both were addressed to the club’s owner, Massimo Ferrero. The fans hold him responsible for the terrible economic and sporting situation in which the club finds itself. For example, the club must pay eleven million in back wages to the players and coaching staff before May 16.

February 2023: the Sampdoria team for the match against Inter; standing second from right Bram Nuytinck

Nuytinck and his teammates, including former PSV player Sam Lammers, try to avoid it as much as possible. “I understand that payment of salaries before the deadline in May will be fine.”

“The players who have been here for a long time are used to it. And I’m not too surprised either. It is very common in Italy not to charge three months in a row and then charge everything. properly”.

Focus on the field

Because you can’t use peripheral matters at the moment. “This club is too big to be relegated. We have come together as a group of players and have found that we have little influence on administrative vicissitudes.”

“Also, the fans I speak to are not angry with the players, but especially with the president. That’s why we can only do everything we can to make sure this club doesn’t lose to Serie A.”

That is what Nuytinck feels obliged to the Sampdoria fans. “If I have to mention one thing that has caught my attention since my time here, it’s the fans. The intensity and passion with which they support us in large numbers during home and away games is unparalleled.”

Bram Nuytinck in duel with Dusan Vlahovic of Juventus

“We recently lost to Bologna at the last minute and where you’re invited to a flute concert in the Netherlands, they applauded loudly here. I’ve never experienced that in my entire career. Not even with Udinese and Anderlecht.”

Nuytinck and associates will desperately need the support, because the accumulation of safe 17th place, Spezia’s current position, is a whopping ten points. A huge gap with ten rounds to go.

longer stay

For Nuytinck, the application would be very nice, because in that case his contract with Sampdoria will be automatically extended by two and a half years. “My goal is to stay here a little longer. I’m totally committed to that. I would love to live a little longer in this beautiful city.”

At the same time, Nuytinck is also thinking about the future and hopes to play football in the Netherlands again. “I know I won’t be staying in Italy for another five years, so if something comes up I’ll definitely think about it. Until then, I’ll be happy here and enjoy everything this country has to offer.”