Columbus.- The rumors of Giancarlo Gonzalez going to the Serie A have become a reality. The Columbus Crew sold their Costa Rican central defender to Palermo. Costa Rica's newspaper Al Día broke the news this morning and the rumors spread all over the soccer world in social media. By 5:30 pm, Crew Head Coach and Sporting Director Gregg Berhalter offered a press conference to confirm the report.
“Giancarlo Gonzalez is in route to Italy to finalize negotiations with Palermo” Berhalter said.
After His outstanding performance at the World Cup, it was inevitable to stop the offers for the Costa Rican defender, mostly from Europe. Fulham was linked earlier in the summer (the Crew dismissed the offer) but according to Berhalter it was Palermo who showed interest first.
“This is one of the first clubs to come in to for him. This was directly after the World Cup so we talk about the amount of time to get the deal done.”
Things couldn’t go better for Gonzalez, His expectations were clear since the beginning when he came to this league he was clear on what he wanted: Go back to Europe. His first stint with Norway's Valerenga was more of a learning experience, but now things are different, specially after the World Cup performance in which Costa Rica only allowed two goals in the tournament.
According to transfermarket.com when the Crew signed Gonzalez his market value was $ 795,000.00, and today The Columbus Dispatch cited MLS sources that the deal was over $5 million dollars. A great financial return for the club of which Berhalter spoke on.
“We created an environment, a soccer environment that was able to increase these players resale value, his market value in a short period of time. I think that says a lot about what we are doing here, and that very attractive for prospective players.”
“In terms of financially we now have a big chunk of allocation to work with, that helps in the long way building of your team … and then you have funds that you can invest in soccer operations. What We talked about was building a first class organization, and that’s from the top down.. With the first team high performance, around the first team we talked about scouting resources and the all the way down to the academy, we can use these resources to enhance our academy.”
On the field is undeniable that they will miss Gonzalez, but the team had a good experience playing without him during the World Cup and tonight’s game was proof of that with Tyson Wahl filling that role in a seamlessly transition. No Pipo, no problem.