Former Napoli youth player Giovanni Padovani allegedly beat his ex-girlfriend to death with a hammer and a baseball bat after leaving his team’s training sessions citing ‘personal reasons’, a court heard.
The Italian player is currently on trial on suspicion of attacking and murdering his former partner Alessandra Matteuzzi. Prosecutors have said Padovani attacked her in the lobby of her apartment after flying to Bologna to confront her.
Padovani had previously been a youth player within Napoli’s academy, but has been a journeyman player, flitting between clubs in Serie C and Serie D. However, barely one month after signing for Sicilian fourth tier side Sancataldese, he reportedly left the team’s camp to confront Matteuzzi, where he is alleged to have murdered her.
Matteuzzi’s sister Stefania claims she heard screams over the phone as she was attacked. She said to a local TV station, “She got out of her car and started screaming, ‘No Giovanni, no, I beg you, help.
“I was on the phone. I immediately called the Carabinieri who arrived straight away. I live 30km away. In the end he beat her to death.”
Padovani allegedly bombarded Matteuzzi with messages and phone calls to an extent that she reported him for stalking. Residents have also said the central defender has sabotaged her car, disconnected her meter from the outside and even tried to climb up the building to her balcony.
“She was very afraid of him because he had become persistent and she didn’t want to let him in the house”, one neighbour said to local media. Another neighbour has also claimed Matteuzzi had previously asked her to not let Padovani in if he tried to ring the buzzer to get into the building.
This case has caused shockwaves and anger throughout Italy, amid claims the justice system has failed to protect women from abusers. Justice minister Marta Cartabria has ordered inspectors to investigate the actions of Bologna police that proceeded Matteuzzi’s initial complaint. However, Bologna chief prosecutor Giuseppe Amata does not believe there has been any judicial negligence in the case.
“We did what we could,” he said, adding the stalking report did not highlight “situations of a concrete risk of violence, it was just the typical conduct of bothersome stalking”. The case continues.