Now this a type of article that would not usually be published on this site; but I found the story so intriguing, that I just had to share it. The following article is not opinionated nor fictional; these events that I’m about to tell you are real.
Fabio Quagliarella is an Italian striker, that currently plays for Sampdoria in the Calcio A. Throughout his career, he has played for EIGHT different Italian clubs, and there is a fascinating, yet scary, tale behind it all.
Fabio has been fighting an off-field nightmare for the past eight years, regarding his family and his own personal safety. The striker recently was brought to tears in a interview when he was brought to tears when he openly talked about how he had been stalked for the past eight years, and was making his life a personal Hell. During his early youth career, Fabio’s dream was to secure a contract at his dream club Napoli. In 2009, he finally got the opportunity to sign for the club, and he didn’t even hesitate. But, despite signing a five year contract, he was forced to leave just one season after signing for the Italian giants. After being forced to leave the club, he joined Napoli rivals Juventus, which made him receive enormous amounts of abuse from Napoli ultras. Love had turned to hate, and when returning to visit family and friends, he’d have to disguise himself just to avoid insults and harassment from citizens in the streets.
Now, I bet you’re all still confused to as why Fabio’s life was being tormented for eight years. Well, hears where it gets juicy, so listen here. A former policeman named Raffaele Piccolo has been sentenced for four years in prison for attempted to ruin Fabio’s life. How did he do it? Well, the reason why Fabio was forced to leave his boyhood club Napoli was because of Raffaele. Raffaele sent letters to the Napoli president, Aurelio De Laurentiis, accusing Fabio of being a paedophile, usage of cocaine, and for being apart of the Camorra Mafia. Aurelio then was forced to sell Fabio after the 2010 World Cup, and Juventus came in buying. Therefore, resulted in Fabio and his family to be insulted by Napoli fans for years. Fabio originally didn’t know that Raffaele was the one who sent to explicit content to Aurelio, so there was no way to accuse him of the crime.
Here is also why Fabio’s life was being tormented. Fabio knew this officer, and trusted him life a friend. Fabio told Italian newspaper Le Lene that even his father was receiving incriminating messages. He stated that: “My father received threatening messages. They told him that someone would shoot me in the head or that they’d blow up my home with a bomb.” Fabio then went on to say: “One time I even had a coffin delivered with my picture on it. My first response was to call Piccolo, the policeman, to help find the culprit. All the while the Quagliarella family were confiding in him and being assured that he would find the stalker, it was Piccolo making our lives a living nightmare”. If you want to read more about what Fabio said during the interview, I will show now, if not, feel free to skip ahead.
The following text is from Fabio’s own words in his interview with Le Lene newspaper. Full credit of these quotes go out Le Lene for publishing them:
“Any tiny scare suddenly became a huge danger, once you knew about these threats. You felt constantly like you were being watched, under threat, always looking to see who was eyeing you sideways. You cannot imagine the tension just being at home. The stalker, being a police officer, was regularly in my home and he was running the whole thing. He asked us to take some people’s fingerprints, kept saying: ‘We’re nearly there, just a little longer…’. He even named some names, but when you’re inside all of this, it’s impossible to understand what’s going on. I couldn’t tell anyone, not even my brothers. My best friend, Giulio, was then called in by the authorities for invented links to the Camorra, but this is when things started to unravel. In the end, my father figured it out. He realised the authorities never got my formal complaints because the stalker was keeping them all to himself. The letters I received at home he also sent to my club. Before the away trip to Sweden, they called me and said I would not play because I was sold to Juventus. It was the first I’d heard of it. People accused me of leaving Napoli for money, but that was not true and really annoyed my family. The fans cared for me and felt betrayed, but they couldn’t know the real reason I left. They saw me becoming their captain, of winning something with the team. If it was up to me, I’d still be there at the San Paolo, as scoring those 11 goals were worth 100 to me. I tried to let them know how much I loved Napoli with little gestures, like refusing to celebrate after the goal for Torino. Would I go back to Napoli? It’d be wonderful even to just know those fans had thought of me. I left unfinished business there”.
A Light at the End of a Tunnel
Napoli fans have forgiven Fabio for the move to their bitter rivals. They even produced an incredible gesture over the weekend in their home fixture against Crotone, which showed the fans pinning up a banner in the upper stand which said “You’ve lived through Hell with enormous dignity. We will embrace you again, Fabio, son of this city” (but was obviously in Italian).
Fabio won three back-to-back Italian titles with Juventus in his time of gloom; let’s just wish now that this nightmare is over, Fabio can continue on with his career, and finish off with a trophy before retiring!