Suspended Lazio falconer Juan Bernabé detailed his admiration for Benito Mussolini after previously stating that he wasn’t a fascist.
Speaking in an interview with Italian newspaper Il Messaggero yesterday, the Spaniard first attempted to justify his actions after Lazio’s 3-1 win over Inter on Sunday.
First of all, it has nothing to do with Lazio and for that I am sorry. For me it’s a military salute, I was born inside the army.
I have a right-wing culture, I belong to the Vox Party like many footballer friends and I am proud of that.
In Spain the fascist gesture is made with the arm folded over the heart at chest level. In Italy it is apparently also like that, I didn’t know that.
He touched on why he decided to shout ‘duce, duce, duce’ whilst doing the fascist salute.
It’s true, I did and I don’t deny it because I admire Mussolini, he did great things for Italy as did Franco in Spain. I am an admirer of both and I am proud of that.
Bernabe did not answer to the question asking if he was a fascist or not.
I am a man who has relations with all races, who has traveled the world, who does business all over the world.
He confirmed that he doesn’t know whether or not he will work with Lazio again.
I haven’t received any suspension notice from Lazio yet, but I’m waiting for it.
It’s in the air, I already know about it informally and it’s right.
The Spaniard accepted responsibility for his actions.
I am responsible for what I did. It was an impulse related to the euphoria of the post-game after a great success.
I didn’t know that way of cheering was forbidden in your country, otherwise I wouldn’t have done it.
I didn’t want to get Lazio in trouble. But I’m here, I’m a man and as such I’m ready to pay the consequences right away.
He noted how he had become a fan favourite during his time working with the club.
Yes, it’s true. All the fans now stop me in the street, but these things are part of life.
There are bad and good moments, but I’ve overcome even worse.
The Spaniard discussed some of those difficult moments that he’s previously overcome.
Covid got in the way, too. Not only for me, also for Olympia it was very difficult in these months, because due to international blockades I was away for a long time.
Then I got a permission to train together, but I can’t forget the work of my son-in-law Matteo, who also took the pitch in my place.
When I came back I experienced special moments, every day Olympia sang hearing my voice and it’s something strong on an emotional level.
Finally, Bernabe showed a spark of hope that he could still be a part of the show.
Lazio have suspended Bernabe and it seems unlikely that he will work with the club again, with president Claudio Lotito working hard to clean up the club’s image.