We’ve all heard of spying on your opponent to gain the upper hand, and it does happen (See New England Patriot’s 2007 Spygate scandal).
But a Genoa youth coach took spying to a whole new level last week.
Luca De Pra was discovered outside of Genoa rivals Sampdoria's training ground not only spying, but wearing full military attire as well. Despite De Pra’s valiant efforts to blend in, he was discovered by Sampdoria fans after they heard rustling in the bushes. After a quick chase, the coach-turned-spy was discovered behind a tree.
Fortunately for Genoa, those at Sampdoria found the situation rather humorous, and released this photo with a brilliant press statement.
It read: "Like a new Rambo hidden among the branches of the hill, Luca De Pra, goalkeeping coach of Genoa, has not been able to counter the counter-intelligence and counter-espionage of Sampdoria.
"No prisoner[s were taken], however, and there was no unnecessary bloodshed.
"Once tracked down, he was caught with his hands in the infamous jam. The soldier on the other side was left free to return to their base. Moreover, you should always forgive your enemies: nothing annoys them more."
My guess is this may be the only football press release to contain a reference to “Rambo” films. Great job by the Sampdoria front office creating a comical response to such a bone-headed move.
Genoa has said that De Pra’s Rambo tactics were completely his own idea, and nobody at the club had instructed him to spy, or channel his inner Sylvester Stallone. He has been suspended indefinitely by Genoa.
In the end Genoa hardly needed any counterintelligence, as they won the match 3-0.
Maybe next time De Pra decides to sneak around he will pick a different movie as inspiration- maybe Harry Potter; an invisibility cloak may work better.
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