Vanoli: ‘Venezia promotion was well-deserved’


Paolo Vanoli lavished praise on his Venezia team following their 1-0 victory over Cremonese in the Serie B playoff final, securing their promotion to Serie A. Danish striker Christian Gytkjaer scored the only game of the match, following a goalless first leg, meaning Venezia return to Italy’s top flight after a two-year absence. Speaking with Sky Sport Italia, Vanoli reflected on the incredible journey his team had been through:

“I am speechless. We achieved a feat, truly a masterpiece. First and foremost, compliments to these boys. We started from the bottom in November a year and a half ago. We went through significant disappointments, but we rose again and, in my opinion, deservedly reached Serie A. Not to take anything away from Cremonese, who, along with Palermo, are great teams. However, I told the boys that with commitment and hard work, dreams can eventually come true. And we realized ours.”

When asked about the significance of this promotion in his career, Vanoli emphasized continuous improvement: “You can always improve. I told the boys before this match that for a young team like ours, this should only be the beginning. We need to learn how to win. This is the atmosphere they should feel when they learn to win, and they must understand not only how to achieve victory but also the journey to get there. The club supported me, the sporting director, and everyone believed in us, including the fantastic fans who pushed us, especially today and in the final moments of the match.”

On his future, Vanoli remained non-committal: “I want to enjoy myself, savor these moments. It’s been a year and a half without a moment to breathe, and today I want to enjoy these magnificent fans who love me. I’m happy to reciprocate that love because my career started here.”

Before rejoining the celebrations, Vanoli spoke briefly about the challenges faced: “Reflecting on what happened in the January transfer market, I thought about the quality we needed to replace Johnsen. As a coach, you have to think about these things. We no longer had players excelling in one-on-one situations, so I decided to revert to what we knew from the previous year. Bianchi did a fantastic job understanding my requirements for a replacement, which marked the start of our second phase, entirely different from the first. This success is thanks to these boys.”

In the press conference, Vanoli reiterated his pride: “A masterpiece. We started a year and a half ago and reached an incredible milestone. Great credit goes to the players, who endured and worked hard. Hard work and sacrifice eventually pay off. Sometimes luck helps, but you always have to seek it. I thank the club: I owed them, as they gave me my first professional experience, and I cared a lot about this. During the year, I’m very strict, but now it’s time to thank everyone.”

Reflecting on the playoff journey, Vanoli added: “I was convinced we would be promoted directly at La Spezia. Inside, I knew something would happen at Como. That step helped us grow, and we approached these playoffs spectacularly. We faced two teams capable of contending for Serie A, but we did it.”

“At La Spezia, they perhaps didn’t believe as much as I did. But then they understood. At the start of the playoffs, I told the defenders they needed four stellar performances, as everything depended on them. In Italy, every mini-tournament is decided by defenses.”

“When I start a job, I always dream big. Sometimes I overestimate my players’ qualities. At the beginning here, I set the goal of winning match by match. It was a series of visible and achievable goals. The market forced us to change tactics, as we no longer had players capable of one-on-one like Johnsen. My experience in Russia with Spartak was crucial; it wasn’t easy, but we reached a final with eighty thousand people. Here in Venice, it was a masterpiece of growth, accomplished gradually. Our unity brought us here: I must thank my staff. I’m a hard worker, and I know how much I demanded of those around me.”

“I promised the president and the director that despite the huge disappointment, if there was even a slim chance of reaching Serie A, I would seize it, because I’m a consummate professional.”

“Niederauer gave us a home , and even if we make mistakes, he pays our salaries. He is a president with ambition. These satisfactions help us continue.”

“Seeing this enthusiasm, this stadium, gives me goosebumps. Football is about emotion; you must feel it and evoke it.”


Serie A obsessive.