Accursio Bentivegna, the failed heir of Dybala chosen by Messi

Designated by “Pulce” as one of the best talents of 2015, the Sicilian forward is in Serie C, but he has everything to catch up.

In 2015 Lionel Messi he is undoubtedly the best player on the planet: it is the year of Barcelona’s Champions League success against Juventus, but above all that of the iconic goal against Bayern Munich, a symbol more than anything else of the excessive power of the “Flea”. The then number ten Blaugrana challenge in speed Jerome Boateng swerving quickly to the outside and thus causing the German defender to fall backwards, before beating Manuel Neuer with a very soft touch and sending his team to the final.

Just over 2,000 kilometers to the South West, a Palermothat day there in all likelihood Accursio Bentivegna he had a regular training session with his teammates, in the first team: he, still 19 years old, is one of the most interesting products of the rosanero nursery, in Serie A. He made his debut against Sampdoria on the first day and then was used against Parma, further on. In February that year, he won the title of top scorer of the Viareggio tournament with 5 goals, on a par with Federico Bonazzoli.

He is a winger: his roots lead him, however, to the sea. TO Sciacca and at the work of his father, Vincenzo, a fisherman, who accompanied him to the Kronionone of the best football schools in the area.

“When my friends enrolled in Kronion, the football school of the city, I began to stress my father Vincenzo to bring me too, but he, with his work as a fisherman, could not accompany me. One day, however, he freed himself and took me to the camp “, Bentivegna tells on ‘Sabato Sera’.

The memory, however, travels fast and returns to that 2015 we were discussing before: the match against Milan in Viareggio. Two goals, one on penalty and the other on play: and an expulsion procured, intervening in advance on Gianluigi Donnarumma, goalkeeper of Brocchi’s team, practically left in midfield. A flash, with a thin and provocative mustache.

How football knows how to be, at times, in comparisons: in the 3-5-2 fielded by Giuseppe Iachini in Serie A, on the first day, at Barbera against Sampdoria, in attack there are “El Mudo” Franco Vazquez and the “Joya” Paulo Dybala. But it is on the latter that everyone lingers over the course of the season: it will go to the Juventus, but if there is an heir to Palermo, that is indicated in Bentivegna. A little because of the characteristics, short and agile, a little because many know they have found a diamond at home.

Leaving aside that trace of destiny that marks his furrow in the black and white and that recalls his idols: one is Alessandro Del Pierothe other Fabrizio Miccoli. More or less halfway between his story and that of a player who, unfortunately, will remain only in power.

“Looking at Del Piero, but also Miccoli, I got excited; especially for their way of scoring goals. I would like to meet Alessandro, but I take comfort in watching his stories about him on Instagram or the videos on YouTube of when he was playing “, explains to La Giovane Italia.

After his first season as a professional, he is shot on loan at Como, in Serie B, to gain experience: however, nothing will ever be the same. A long wandering begins that will take him to Serie C, at Carraresewhere it seems to be able to find the shape of the past thanks to Silvio Baldini, Imolese and Juve Stabia.

Too many injuries, too much pressure. Expectations weigh, like a not too constant performance: in the season just ended, the one he lived with the Vespas, he scored 9 goals in 34 league appearances, missing only 2 games against Campobasso and Virtus Francavilla.

It was one of the best seasons of Bentivegna’s recent period, above all in terms of employment: and it is good news, also and above all by virtue of his 26 years. He still has room to recover. Shooting himself and the image that had been attributed to him in the past by those who would have liked to play elsewhere.

Even that of “New Dybala”, who fought so hard to chase away some pressure and expectations. It was Bentivegna: no one else.

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“Physically I would be like Dybala, but in numbers more similar to Vazquez: a pinch of Paulo, a pinch of Franco. Let me say it with modesty: I am Bentivegna with my strengths, which I try to exalt, and the defects, which I want to eliminate by following the coach and working hard. Just call me Bentivegna “, he explained to Corriere dello Sport, also in 2015.

Because for him that is “the year”, par excellence. In that “Call me Bentivegna and that’s it” there is much more than what you read: a precise answer also to Lionel Messi. Yes, Leo. 2015 is also the period of “Messi15”, the team of the best talents in the world composed directly by “Pulce” for Adidas. Ten names that have experienced mixed fortunes in the following years.

The most important is undoubtedly Timo Werner, then in Stuttgart, but on the list there are also Jeremie Boga and Aleksej Miranchuk, currently team-mates at Atalanta. Then there are Khiry Shelton (today at Kansas City), Gyasi Zardes (at the Colorado Rapids), Marcos Lopes (at Sevilla, but with a past season at Olympiacos), James Wilson (at Port Vale) and Kenedy (returned to Chelsea from Flamengo).

“This is something that still makes me gnaw, because I know that in that period I could have really made the leap in quality. Something like that can be beautiful for the recognition that is given to you, but also ugly, because the fact of Messi’s shoes and everything else puts pressure and makes people talk out of turn “.

Bentivegna, as he explains to ‘Sabato Sera’, remembers the experience with some regrets: because talent has always been evident. Luck was lacking, but either you have it and you can’t build it, not even with a shot at the Del Piero who, however, fixes the time. The one that the former Palermo still has and that he can overturn, like a lightning fast counterattack, with dribbling to overcome the future goalkeeper of the National team.

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