“These are legal issues that I can not answer. I believe that intelligent people always come up with a solution. They know that my intention is not to return and also know the contractual problems.”
–Robertlandy Simon when speaking about the payment Sada Cruzeiro required for him to leave the club this season.
There has been an ongoing situation with the transfer of Robertlandy Simon, the Cuban-born middle blocker with Sada Cruzeiro. It has been reported for some time that Simon was looking to head back to Italy. He had played with Piacenza for two seasons before heading to Korea and Brazil. His intended destination had seemed to be Lube Civitanova. Beppe Cormio, Director Sport at Lube, announced that there is an agreement in place for Simon to join the club for the 2019-2020 season. They simply did not have the money in their budget to pay Sada for the rights to his contract. That amount had been reported at 400,000 USD.
Brazilian journalist, Bruno Voloch, announced that Lube was appealing to the Cuban Volleyball Federation to help because they were the ones able to release the player abroad. The Italian website iVolleymagazine stated that Cuba no longer had ties to the player. This was confirmed by Simon who told Volich, “I and Cuba have not had any ties since I left the country.”
While it is not certain yet what happened behind the scenes, or if they are yet resolved, Simon has left Brazil for Italy. Voloch (esportes.estadao.com.br) spoke to him while he was in Miami, Florida with his wife, Camila Colnaghi. They are expecting the birth of their daughter in September. While he spoke earlier about his daughter being a Brazilian citizen, he now states it is important to he and his wife that she be born in Italy. Simon stated, “… I must say that my needs are also personal. I would like my daughter to be born and acquire European nationality.”
Robertlandy Simon says this should not be a shock to Sada. He explains that he had spoken to the club leadership weeks ago but was not given “due attention.” Simon goes on to explain, “I loved Sada Cruzeiro. I gave everything for this shirt and expected much more understanding, but they only sent threats.”
Sada issued a statement stating they were surprised by the reports linking Simon to Lube this year. “I regret to read that Cruzeiro is surprised to know the news because this is not a reality,” says Simon. “They have known of my will for a long time and only spoke of paying the fine.”
Voloch asked him how he would respond to the fans of Sada Cruzerio who may accuse him of only chasing money. His response was that he left Cuba “searching for a dream, and now it is no different.” He states that he is not going to club offering him the highest wages, but many things contributed to his decision. “I’m not going to the team that pays me more,” he claimed. “And yes,I want to go to the strongest team in the world right now and be in a country where my daughter and my family can live and grow well.”
It now seems certain that Simon will join back up with Osmany Juantorena and Yoandry Leal. They all came from Cuba and all have made their way to Italy (Juantorena has become an Italian citizen). It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. While it is certain he is leaving, there must be some more issues with the contract that will surely come to light in the coming weeks.