Serie C, Palermo-Padua playoff final: the protagonists

Brunori, Chirico and many others, we discover the key men of the match that are worth the Serie B.

The last bend before the finish line. On Sunday evening, Palermo and Padua will play Serie B in a packed Renzo Barbera. To the advantage of the rosanero the result of the first leg (1-0 in the Euganeo, external success of Floriano) and the local factor, but the equipment of Massimo Oddo has a quality so generalized in the group that leaves open the discussion of the rise. Palermo have two of three results available, while Padua would accept the challenge in overtime by winning by a goal difference, while going to Serie B with more complete success. Many protagonists of the double challenge, many of whom – including those absent from the day – with their eyes set also from a market perspective. Let’s try to find out.

He has lost the goal since February, but has never been the top scorer. The Neapolitan striker, decisive in the semi-finals of the Italian Cup against Catanzaro, remains, however, an important weapon for Padua’s offensive rotations with his superior technical skills – not surprisingly, he has 75 appearances in the Series B- and rear insertion capacity. the defenses (in the time of the youth of Naples, Callejon studied). At the age of 25 he is definitely from Padua, after a long series of loans in the orbit of Naples. It’s time to grow up: in March he lost his mother, he would like to dedicate the promotion to her, looking up at the sky.

25 goals in the league – the top scorer in the entire Serie C – and three in these dream playoffs of Palermo. For the Italian-Brazilian striker it is the best season in history and the opportunity to return (at least) to Serie B – where he had never done before – is just around the corner. The card is owned by Juventus, which could make a profit in the summer with the sale, as the size of the U23 would be too small for such a productive striker. In the calendar year 2022, only Benzema scored more than him among the professionals of the 5 best championships in Europe.

If Padua has come to play in this final, they owe a lot to the foul with the left hand with which the Mesagne striker has punished Catanzaro in full recovery. Oddo’s offensive mechanisms can’t do without him: 13 goals of the season, two of which were in the playoffs, when there were none – see the first half at the Ceravolo – Padua didn’t understand much. At the age of 30 he showed that he made all the difference in C, but he also deserved a new opportunity at the top where he was only appreciated in lightning in the experiences of Foggia and Ascoli.

Unexpected advance, between the rosewood sticks. Samuele Massolo became the owner of the Palermo goal at the end of the season, eliminating Pelagotti. And he has remained the owner throughout the playoffs, leaving his mark with the two penalties against Triestina and Feralpisalò. He has not conceded a goal in 289 minutes and has kept the goal unbeaten in the middle of his 14 appearances, the last being the first leg in Padua (where, in fact, Marconi has remedied an empty start on the line that cost objective). Growing up in the youth team of Sampdoria without ever making his debut among the greats, he has already won a championship: it was the Entella of 2018/19, with Roberto Boscaglia on the bench, who remained 50 days without playing and recovered everything with nine games to recover by winning the direct B. Very different, but this year’s promotion would also be a real undertaking for Massolo.

It is the story of the final, par excellence. Owned by Padua, ceded by the rosanero will try to take the Series B at the expense of the club holding the card. Maybe a little longer, because Palermo seems to have every intention of exercising the right of redemption. Roma’s promising youngster – where he scored in a burst, loaned from the middle of the field in attack by Roberto Muzzi – is the absolute specialist of the entrance from the bench: all his 12 goals (two in the playoffs) they have arrived, in fact, entering the current game. His childhood in South America due to his father’s work and football experiences abroad (Spain, Holland, Portugal) formed his character, Padua took him back to Italy and then temporarily sold him first to Monopoly and then in Palermo. Without ever imagining, of course, being able to find him against him in a playoff final.

For various reasons they will not be on the pitch in the return final, but their season has left its mark anyway. This is the case of the suspended Arlind Ajeti and Samuele Damiani, as well as Niko Kirwan. The Albanian defender, who arrived as a free agent in November, did not skip a minute in the Padua playoffs, proving that he knows how to move both in the defensive line of four and in the three-man version of the last few games. . He has international experience (he also played in the Champions League with Basel) and more than 40 matches and 2 goals in Serie A with Frosinone, Torino and Crotone. Padua will try to keep it tight, but it will not be easy: in case of promotion to Serie B, in any case, the renewal of the contract will begin automatically. A year ago Damiani celebrated Serie A with Dionisi’s Empoli (19 games, almost all from the bench) and now hopes to win another championship. Heading in the last five games alongside captain De Rose in the midfield rosaner, the most experienced Dall’Oglio has advanced to the hierarchy to whom he will return the shirt on Sunday. Palermo has the right to bail out the Empoli loan and is seriously considering it. Niko Kirwan’s absence is justified: Padua’s defensive end is ready to play in the World Cup with his national team, called up for the New Zealand-Costa Rica play-off on June 14 in Doha (the winner will finish in Group E ). with Germany, Spain and Japan). For Oddo, the interplay between the playoffs and the national teams is nothing new: in the time of Pescara, Bjarnason (Iceland) lost the eve of the return match of Serie A against Bologna while a year later -it was in 2016- Memushaj competitions in Albania projected at the European Championship. The absence of the midfielder in the return match against Trapani, in any case, did not prevent the Biancazzurri from achieving promotion.

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