Genoa coaching staff caught spying on Sampdoria training dressed as 'Rambo' | inside World Soccer

An espionage scandal was uncovered ahead of Sunday's Derby della Lanterna as Sampdoria caught a Genoa coaching staff spying on their training session in Rambo-style camouflage.

Sampdoria released a photo of Luca De Prà caught in the act on their website
Sampdoria released a photo of Luca De Prà caught in the act on their website


Genoa youth team goalkeeping coach Luca De Prà was camped out among the trees on the hills that skirt Sampdoria's Bogliasco training complex on Friday morning as he watched and took notes on what was supposed to be a closed training session.

Unfortunately for De Prà, Sampdoria fans spotted rustling in the nearby trees and notified the staff, who chased after the rustler and found him hiding behind a tree.

But fair play to Sampdoria, they saw the funny side of the incident and published a hilarious official statement on their website.

"We knew the derby was a matter of nerve, tactics and strategy, but we frankly never expected it to become a matter of espionage," read the statement.

"And yet, in Genoa, this too can happen. Just two days before the big match, Delio Rossi ordered training behind closed doors and an emissary from the other team was asked to spy on the tactical systems for Sunday night.

"It was a real secret mission set by the Genoa generals, a military action with full camouflage gear and mountain boots.

"Like a would-be Rambo hidden in the Poggio bushes, Luca De Prà, coach of the Primavera youth team goalkeepers from the club of such noble descendants, could not fight the counter-measures of the Blucerchiati's intelligence services.

"However, there are no prisoners, nor bloodshed. Once he was caught in the act, with his hands in the cookie jar, the soldier from the other side was set free so he could return to base.

"After all, one must always forgive enemies, as nothing irritates them more."

Genoa, though, denied having any knowledge of De Prà's attempt at espionage.

"No director or member of the coaching staff sent Luca De Prà, goalkeeper coach for the youth team, to watch the training session at Bogliasco. It was a personal initiative," Genoa said in a statement on their website.

"This has never been done before and is not part of the club's modus operandi. The club makes it known that De Prà has been suspended with immediate effect pending further explanations."