Exclusive - AMAURI: "MLS could adopt the NBA model. Chiellini and Buffon, America would welcome you with open arms"
If Amauri's life were to be told in a movie, the title would certainly be "The pursuit of my happiness". Because it is not only a tribute to the film starring Will Smith, his favorite actor, but also for his great determination to never give up that allowed him to realize his dream of playing football. Currently overseas, TransfermarketWeb has reached him to talk about Stars and Stripes football and more:
In recent years MLS has increased its popularity. Can you explain the perspective of those who live there and have played in MLS to us?
"It is a constantly evolving brand of football; if MLS is becoming more and more important it is also thanks to the big signings arriving from Europe. Names like Gonzalo Higuain, Blaise Matuidi, Josef Martinez, Chicharito and many others. The league is different from what we are used to seeing in Europe: there is no relegation and teams’ objectives are very different."
Although MLS is gaining traction in recent years, is it true that the league hasn’t been able to fully conquer the hearts and minds of Americans as of yet?
"No, other sports are mainstream. But people are very fond of football, even the lowest team in the standings can easily sell out their stadium on game day. Over here, fans were already in the stands last weekend; I think that in a month life will return to normal. Here football is a big celebration, the fans attend games and experience them with the same enthusiasm whether the team wins or loses. In Italy and in many other countries this is not the case, there is always tension during a match and mood swings depending on how the match is going ".
What convinced you to sign with Fort Lauderdale in 2016?
"Once the contract with Torino had expired, it all happened very suddenly. My oldest daughter wanted to come and study in the United States; I had other offers this time I decided to follow my family’s wishes and not the other way around as it had always been the case".
And then the New York experience.
"Yes, it was Barone who approached after a very well-played match against them and convinced me to join him there. My family that had always been by my side was not there, so after four or five months I left".
Who will win the MLS?
"The league has just begun play, I think the most famous teams are the early favorites. There will be no surprises this year, in my opinion. I heard that MLS could become like the NBA: every team should have one or two star players".
"Cincinnati is not a big club, that's why I wouldn't see Giorgio as a good fit there. But I'd like to see him here in the States, his pedigree as a winner would be highly appreciated in the U.S. After so many years at Juve, I don't think he would go to Milan or Inter. I don’t know what he’ll do, but America would welcome him with open arms. "
While Chiellini is still undecided on his future, Buffon has confirmed that he will not play in Turin.
"I don't know, Gigi would be number one anywhere. I think he would be a great fit in MLS, he would be an icon."