Madala: Things have become harder since Fantunes left the Italian team

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From May 26 to June 3, 2012 Agustin Madala took part in the 4th South American Transnational Bridge Festival held in Montevideo (Uruguay). Fernando Lema, CSBNews editor and BridgeTopics.com’s correspondent for South-America, took this chance to interview him. The questions touch on important subjects, such as Lavazza’s resignation and the upcoming European Championships in Dublin, Ireland.The interview was recorded on June 8 at Madala’s home in Buenos Aires (Argentina).

 Agus, please tell us about the South American Festival which you recently played.

I was very pleased to have participated in this event, because since many years I hadn’t had the opportunity to take part in a South American championship and play with my Brazilian, Argentine, and Chilean friends. Above all I’ am very pleased with the organization and the surroundings. We played in a very cheerful and friendly atmosphere. My team came in the final and we lost by a very narrow margin. To tell the true I am a bit sad for the defeat but very glad for the experience. My impression about the event is very, very positive.

During the South American Festival the news about Maria Teresa Lavazza’s resignation as Italian captain became public. Your reaction please.

Like everyone else, I am so sad because Maria Teresa was a very important person to me. She offered me great opportunities in both the Lavazza as the national Italian team. Still, she was my coach for two championships only (Ostend and Veldhoven, editor’s note), so I do not have the same relationship with her that Lorenzo, Norberto, Giorgino and other players have. They had her as coach for many years, achieving great successes with her. Together they created probably one of the best teams in the world. I understand her choice and I agree. Things have become harder since Fantoni and Nunes left the Italian team. Since then the atmosphere has been increasingly stretched and the team has not had the same support of cheering as before. And I think Mrs. Lavazza is a bit tired of everything and she likes to find a more calm and relaxed atmosher.

What is the best method to select a team in you opinion. Trials or Techical Commissioner?

Here I agree a lot with Norberto Bocchi’s view. In Italy for many years we had a Technical Commissioner. I mean a coach or a non-playing captain who selects the players. This format was very good and brought good results because it always presented the strongest team possible to the international championships. Therefore Maria Teresa (and we) are very disappointed that after so many successes so many controverises arose. I mean the controverises connected with Lavazza’s decision to designate me and Norberto instead of Fantoni-Nunes. In that time there were four pairs which all deserved to play in Italian Open team. If we could play bridge with eight persons, we would al be happy and nobody would be disappointed. It ‘s different in other countries like the United States or Argentina, where there are always plenty of high-level players. In these countries the trials are the right way, even though I can not tell whether it is better to make pairs or team trials.

Last question. You are about to go to Dublin. What can the Italian supportes expect?

We always have the desire to win. We are good players and serious professionals and we always give the full hundred percent when we represent the national team. The aim of the Italian national team is to qualify for the Bali World Championships, but the players and Maria Teresa go to Dublin to win medals as well.

 ***

Interview realized by Fernando Lema [English edition by Laura Camponeschi for BridgeTopics.com & Neapolitan Club]

June 11, 2012

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