Football: Dennis Iapichino pondered for two years

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SoccerDennis Iapichino spent two years in tribulation

The left side of FC Sion has been back on the field since the start of the season. A relief before he faces Servette on Saturday and after enduring Covid, illness and injuries.

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Valentine Schnorch

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Dennis Iapichino reclaimed a starting spot in the first two games of the season.

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The tone is hesitant at times. The voice almost trembling when the most difficult moments come to mind. More out of modesty than shame, Dennis Iapichino will not utter the term “depression” himself. But he dares to admit: “Yes, we can say that there was”.

FC Sion’s traditional press briefing before the game was not used to such openness. The derby against Servette is in two days’ time and the Valais club’s communications department had opted to put a former Garnet behind the microphones. But Saturday’s poster was banned at the end of the press conference. Because before that, Iapichino, keeper on left-back for the first two days, felt the need to announce his first two years in Sédunois, which he had moved to Valais in the summer of 2020, at the start of the season -Covid”. He could not imagine plunge into the mist.

The beginning of the “problems”

The virus actually hit the Zurich woman hardest. Not so much illness, which only left him bedridden for a few days. The repeated positive tests isolated him from the world for much longer: “It has lasted 27 days, he is breathing. I was locked in my hotel room. I didn’t move anymore, I didn’t do anything anymore. It was difficult.” He had only played three games in his new colors at the time.

“I was Covid positive for 27 days. I was locked in my hotel room. I didn’t move anymore, I didn’t do anything anymore.

Dennis Iapichino, left side of FC Sion

He hasn’t exercised in almost a month. “So I lost muscle,” he explains. And when I got out, my muscles started to stretch as I played. This is where the problems started: physically I wasn’t that good anymore and when I went on the pitch I had to give the maximum. It was a new situation for everyone, we didn’t know how to deal with post-Covid. I was like many other athletes.

“Problems” are recurring health problems. One sprint and he feels pain. In his first season, he suffered three muscle tears. Iapichino plays a few games and gets injured. Etc. Then, when he thinks he’s coming back, fate stops. A Swiss Cup game in mid-August 2021 and he sustained a collateral ligament injury in his right knee at the end of the game.

18 minutes in 2021-22

And then a blood infection that leaves him at home for almost three months. “One day I had a fever, one day I didn’t,” the site describes. It was another hard hit because the doctor couldn’t find the reasons why. It wasn’t easy because you see the team suffer and you put yourself under pressure.

Dennis Iapichino (left) was one of FC Sion's

Dennis Iapichino (left) was one of FC Sion’s “post-Covid” recruits. That was before the “problems” started.

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The story never seems to end: last January, just before he left for an internship with the team in Marbella, the Covid knocked on his door again. “I felt better than the first time, it only lasted a week. But when I came back I had a small injury behind my thigh again. I could only come back on the penultimate day when I came back against Lausanne. Its just 18 minutes in the league for the 2021-22 season.

For two years Dennis Iapichino was therefore devastated, torn between the desire to get better and get back on the pitch and the need to listen to his body, to accept his weaknesses. “It was very difficult because I wasn’t used to not being able to play at all, he sees again. It was’nt easy. Because when you’re sick, it’s still different than when you’re injured. you don’t see it well I came to Zion with goals and instead everything went wrong.”

“I’m on the right track”

Destiny does not favor the people on whom it rests. There’s no choice but to accept it, even if it looks like a curse: “Looking around, I realized there were more cursed people out there than me, accept – him. C’est la vie, the Covid was a new element for everyone. And I’m a person who tries to stay positive, to look ahead. I had to stick to that.” Did he seek support? “I had my family, my girlfriend, yes. But on the other hand, when something goes wrong, it’s only the pitch that counts. And nobody can really help you with that.” If not the time.

“I understood that I shouldn’t put too much pressure on myself, that I shouldn’t be nervous. Otherwise you won’t get anywhere.”

Dennis Lapichino

Dennis Iapichino just hopes for his revenge. He’s trying to believe that it’s all over and that at 32 he still has big things to do. “I’m not at my best yet,” admits the former Servettien. There are still a few details to be clarified, like the strength. But I’m on the right track. I understood that I shouldn’t put too much pressure on myself, that I shouldn’t be nervous. Because otherwise you get nowhere.” The humility of a man who accepted that his body was not a machine.


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