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Sam Dalla Bona has admitted that at 33 he regrets having left English football and that his career ‘at a certain level’ is over.

The former Atalanta youth spent four years on the books at Chelsea before turning down a contract extension and opting to return to Italy and sign for Milan.

However, with just a handful of appearances for the Rossoneri and then later for Napoli amid various loan moves elsewhere, the midfielder has dropped off the radar and finds himself out of contract and regretting his decision to leave England at 21.

“If I could go back, I’d stay there forever,” Dalla Bona has told the Gazzetta dello Sport today.

“Here football is a mess. Especially what is around it. Pressures, the mentality. I am not aligned with the ‘Italian culture’ and I have also paid for that.

“We had to go into retreat in midweek for Napoli-Genoa, for Atalanta-Portogruaro. If you lost a game, the complaints came, the punishments. And I have always rebelled.

“I grew up in a country where for Chelsea-Manchester United, the withdrawal began four hours before the game.

“In Italy they think they are dealing with children. Mourinho is great, he had it all figured out.

“In Italian football second chances are not given. In 2011 my dad got sick, I was very attached to him, I could not do anything for this reason.

“I was on loan at Atalanta, but still had a year on the contract with Napoli. I tore that up to find somewhere closer to home, Mantova. In October, my dad died, I was no longer there in the head, I became depressed. And in practice, I pretty much stopped playing.

“What am I doing now? Nothing. Months ago I met with [Vincenzo] Grella, the Australian former Empoli, Torino midfielder and he asked me to go to Melbourne Heart, but due to personal problems I had to say no.

“Is my career over? At a certain level I believe so. I have the UEFA B licence to coach.”
Interesting how he thinks so highly of himself, i couldn't remember how he played or is he potential enough to be a good player. but not getting a break after switching clubs should be a telling sign.

any comments guys?
 

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He should consider himself lucky for playing football at the highest level and earning a lot of money as a consequence. If he has not thrown it all out of the window the way many players do he should have enough money to live without doing anything for the rest of his life.
As regards his performances he has been a player of Sampdoria in 2005/2006, a long time before his dad got ill, and he didn't perform at all, with peaks of indolence near the end of the season, when it was clear he would go back to Milan after the loan spell at Sampdoria.
 

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He seemed to always have excuses for reasons to do other things. Obviously his dad dying is a shame and so I understand his decision at the time, but even more recently he was offered a move to Australia which he is turning down.

I think when he was at Chelsea in his younger days the pressure was far less anyway, even now in England the pressure is a lot more as many clubs have spent so much more money to be where they are. The truth is he was just an ordinary box to box midfielder. Not much real talent, but a good work ethic. Once he lost the work ethic (as Toni says probably because he made a nice mint when he was young) then he was lost as a player.
 

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I remember Dalla Bona playing one good game at Napoli

Any Italian who can't cut it in serie A complains about the football culture in Italy. Same with Pelle

To put it simply, only the strong survive. To be a pro athlete you have to perform well on the field, but as well as off it (mental pressures etc.) Dalla Bona lost both those battles.
 

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It's funny, but just the other day i was thinking about him and wondered what became of him.

I remember watching him play at Chelsea frequently before the Abrahamovich era, he was a solid player but nothing spectacular. He definitely would not have played as much afterwards, when Chelsea brought in all that talent into the squad. Which is probably why he left in the first place.

I think the cream rise to the top eventually, if he was truly a good player, even if he may not have succeeded in one club or another, he would eventually settle and find the right place for him. But he never did, and i think that speaks more about him than Serie A.

Then again, maybe because he left Italy so young, it was difficult to re-adapt to the way things are done there.

Idk, it's hard to feel sorry for a player who is likely millions more richer than the average person.
 
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