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Football: I OWE EVERYTHING TO IVANO.

Byline: MICHAEL BAILLIE

IVANO Bonetti's name may be dirt at Dundee but Julian Speroni has nothing but praise for his former manager.

The Argentinian is indebted to Bonetti for standing by him when his proposed move to Scottish football looked in danger of collapsing.

Speroni qualifies for an Italian passport through his grandfather which enabled him to bypass applying for a work permit.

And although his application was held up, Bonetti never lost faith in his goalkeeper.

Speroni said: "Sometimes I thought I would not be able to play for Dundee because of bureaucratic problems in Argentina.

"I first came to Dundee in July but I did not sign for them until two and a half months later.

"I had to return to Argentina because it had been left in the hands of agents to sort out, so I had to go and sort it out myself.

"I qualified for an Italian passport but there were a lot of people in Argentina applying for the same thing and it got held up.

"But Ivano was very patient with me. He told me to go to Argentina and sort it out. He has been very important in my career because he gave me first-team football."

When Bonetti was given the boot last summer Speroni considered his future before extending his stay on Tayside.

He said: "I had a lot to consider - we had a new manager and there were some clubs in Italy showing an interest but I was very happy to stay here."

Speroni will be up against his hero, compatriot Claudio Caniggia, at Hampden and is determined to keep him at bay.

He said: "Claudio is one of my idols. He is one of the best players in the world and is physically still very good but I hope he does not score on Saturday."

CAPTION(S):

GRATITUDE: Speroni
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:3ARGE
Date:May 28, 2003
Words:310
Previous Article:GAA: TRAINING STRAIN.
Next Article:Football: LET'S HOPE CANIGGIA SITS IT OUT.


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