#tlk2conte - 12 novembre 2012

Uploaded by juventus on 12.11.2012

Hello everybody! A big “Hi” to all our fans and everyone who is logged on.
I’m back, chatting with you, after a long time.
I chose to speak to you, the people who, along with my family, the players and the club
have been the people who have been closest to me recently during my absence from the bench on Sundays.
Thanks for the thousands of questions you’ve sent in. This is the first chat via a social network, it’s called “talk2conte”.
Well, I’m really stunned to see so many fans, so much passion from all over the world.
I see that 70% of the questions have come from outside Italy, “Hi” once again.
Let’s start with the questions. Some are very, very interesting!
We’ll begin with one from Silvio Gorgoglione, who asks: “What feeling do you have when you hear the chants from the fans dedicated to you during the game?”
I’ve always said that, for me, fans play a massive part in football. I believed that as a player and it’s even more the case now.
As a player, every time we hear our names being sung it’s an injection of adrenaline. It’s something that sends shivers down your spine.
In the same way it’s fantastic being stopped by fans in the street by fans who thank me and the players for making them proud of this Juventus side again.
In fact, last night, an old man stopped me in the street. The nice thing he said to me was that, irrespective of whether we win or not, I’m a Juventino. I like watching Juventus because the side always expresses passion,
expresses something good and, irrespective of whether we win or not, we’ll always be grateful for that!
These are the best feelings that you fans can give us and they push us, the players and me to give even more for the team.
From Laurensius Bretya, who asks: “What were the first things you said to the players after winning the Scudetto?”
We didn’t speak much because we were hugging and celebrating! There were even tears of joy! We knew how important it was for us to win the Scudetto last season, to reach the final of the Coppa Italia and to go the season unbeaten.
All the work we put into it. When people talk about sweat and tears of desire, passion and aggression, these were all situations we went through last season and led us to win the Scudetto.
They are things we’re trying to repeat this season. We know it won’t be easy. But, often, all we need to do now is just look at each other. There is no need for words.
From Ale Bazzanella, who asks: “Tell us the truth: How much do you miss sitting on the bench?”
Well, in essence I’ve had one built at home! My wife had this sweet idea to have one built at home so that when I’m watching TV at night I have a bench to sit on!
And every so often I also ask some members of my coaching staff to turn up. I have to argue with someone, after all! But, it’s inevitable that contact during games with players, fans and referees is something you really miss.
I think so anyway. In the job I do I think that the amount of work we now have to put in has tripled over the past 3 months. Before I was able to make changes during games, even something that we hadn’t envisaged or practiced during the week becomes even harder now.
But I’m lucky enough to have exceptional people on my coaching staff: Alessio, Carrera, Filippi, my fitness coaches. And especially having a group of very responsible players.
Players who above all are exceptional people and exceptional professionals. That’s helping me a lot. Results are also helping me a lot. Even the fact that we’ve been together as a group for more than a year is helping us with our organisation on the pitch.
We’ve been together for almost 13 months. So the players have a good understanding and let’s say I have managed to get into their heads from a football point of view. That helps a lot.
But I really miss not having that contact for 90 minutes. That contact with the pitch, my players, the opposition, fans and referees.
From Marcello Pustorino: “How do you think you’re going to replace Asamoah during the time he’s away playing in the African Cup of Nations?”
Well, let’s just try to get to January in the best way possible first! Then it will be easier to start thinking about replacing a player who, for sure, is proving to be an important player in this part of the season. Just as all the other players are proving to be.
I believe that we already have good players in the squad, and I’m referring to De Ceglie even though in this part of the season he’s had a few injury problems. He’s had to have surgery on his knee to remove the screw that had previously been inserted in his kneecap.
He’s a player who I have a lot of faith in and a player who last season played a fundamental role in winning the Scudetto. We have Giaccherini, who is good, no, he’s fantastic, to use in various roles.
Another bonus is the return of a player such as Pepe who, after 3 torrid months out through injury, now appears to be – and hopes he is – back to full fitness. There’s also the versatile Padoin, who we can use either on the right or the left.
Therefore we already have a lot of options and we will try to make use of them. I have a lot of faith in these players and the squad I have available to me.
From Riccardo Demelas: “Modern day coaches now have more than one role: coach, manager and certainly a psychological role too. Which role do you see yourself fitting best into?”
Yes. Today a coach isn’t just about handling the tactical/technical aspect of the game. To excel, a coach has to be complete.
He must have important ideas on how to play on a technical/tactical level, but also know what he’s talking about from a fitness point of view because he has to work hand-in-hand with the fitness coaches.
A coach has to be a manager. You’re also a club official, you therefore have a lot of other situations. Not every day, but here at Juventus we often meet with the president, with Andrea. And that for me is a good thing because these kind of meetings stimulate me a great deal. It’s important.
As are the meetings with Marotta, with Paratici. A coach therefore has to try to be as rounded and complete as possible. I also try to do things, as the question says, from a ‘psychological point of view’. Managing the 30 players in my squad.
Every single one of them has their own ideas. And you have to be good at getting into their heads and not just hope that they get in to yours! Therefore you have to work out who needs ‘a beneficial kick’ to get the best out of them.
Or who, perhaps, needs a much softer, quiet word in his ear. Because a ‘kick’ might drag him down. Therefore, from a psychological point of view you have to be very good to get into the players’ heads.
I try to study a lot, because I want to excel. I expect myself to be the best. And not just in Italy!
From Paolo: “If you had to name 3 virtues or keys to achieve success, what would they be?”
Yes, I think there are more than 3 keys to achieve your objectives!
Certainly when I look at myself now I make a lot of references to my past as a player, the things that elevated me from being, to be honest, just an “ordinary player” who arrived here in 1991 at the age of 21 from Lecce, but with a tremendous ability to run myself into the ground for the side.
Yet with a technical ability that certainly wasn’t exceptional. But my biggest ability - and one virtue I still have now - is that of always wanting to improve. To always want the best. A tremendous desire to play and always better myself in every situation.
This desire and humility that eventually allowed me to remain a footballer for 13 years, becoming club captain and playing for the national side in the process. It was certainly all down to my desire. My determination.
The fact that I always wanted to improve. And to become a winner. Because, at the end of the day, what is important, as I keep telling my players, is being able to leave your mark. To write a page in history.
You can only do that by winning, and I like to think that we need to win. And try to excel in playing, in the way we behave and in every single situation.
From Nick: “How much do you regret the draw in Denmark which has complicated Juventus’s progress in the Champions League?”
Well, I believe that we should never look back and regret things. But instead always look ahead. Looking ahead now means thinking about the Lazio game, a really tough game on Saturday in Serie A.
Then looking ahead at the game after the Lazio clash, the one against Chelsea. Therefore, looking back and having regrets is pointless. The match ended in a draw. It was an unfair result. I reviewed the game again and we had 30 shots on goal, 15 of which were on target and 18 corners.
We dominated. It made me smile when I read that Nordsjælland were being compared to a Serie C club. That’s not the case! And I’d invite their critics and the people who said that to look at the games again.
The one against us, as well as Shakhtar v Nordsjælland and Nordsjælland v Chelsea to realise that Nordsjælland are a decent side who fully deserve to be in the Champions League. And that on Wednesday night it was Juventus who made Nordsjælland look like a poor side. 0:13:49.000,0:14:18.000 As I keep telling the players: it’s up to us to make it tough for the opposition. That does slightly belittle the team we are facing. And I also read that Pescara were a side that didn’t test us. But I say that it was the way Juventus played which led people to think that.
But let’s not forget that Pescara have already claimed 11 points in Serie A and went into the game with us following a 2-0 win over Parma. Often, our approach, the way we play and win, makes people belittle the win, taking away some of the credit we deserve and making the side we’ve played look worse than they are.
But I don’t think that’s right, not necessarily for us but for opponents such as Pescara and Nordsjælland.
“We are horny” – luckily I’m learning English, otherwise I would have read that incorrectly! – asks: “Which Scudetto win was the best? The May 5 title or the title won as a coach with the unbeaten run?”
I believe that every single victory with Juventus has been special. Very special. But allow me to say that it was this last Scudetto win because it’s my first Scudetto triumph as a coach.
And I have to say that winning as a coach has a much, much bigger feeling than winning when I was a player. It’s a victory you feel more, as it’s your ‘creation’, along with the club, the president and club officials. 0:15:52.000,0:16:13.000 You’ve managed to create something that you feel is ‘yours’. It’s fruit of a mentality that I tried to give to my players. You’ve given direction, organisation and spirit. You’ve given something to the players. I’m not saying that we never made mistakes during the season. On the contrary!
But even when making mistakes, it’s you that has made them. So, it’s something you really feel as your own. Something that fills you with tremendous satisfaction. With tremendous joy. Just as winning the Italian Super Cup, winning the Scudetto and going unbeaten in my first season as coach and reaching the Coppa Italia final are the stuff of dreams.
I would never have expected that! But the dream came true thanks to a lot of hard work. And I’ll never forget to thank the club. And especially the players who worked hard too.
From Claudio Pozzi: “Do you notice any similarities between your Juve side and Dortmund? In terms of the way they line up and the fact that it’s their first taste of Champions League football?”
Well, Dortmund are a side I respect a lot. I like to watch them often. I’m very focused, almost obsessed about football. I study the game a lot. You could even ask my family, they’ll certainly vouch for that!
Often, when I get home I have battles with my daughter who is watching cartoons on TV. She often says: “Daddy, please. No football! Please change channel!” But, unfortunately for her, the interest of the family comes out on top!
So… I saw the last game Dortmund played, against Real Madrid. They’re a good team, a team I like a lot. They work hard. Last season, statistically along with Monaco, Dortmund were the side that worked the most in all of Europe. They have a good coach.
Last season they won their league but were knocked out in the group stages of the Champions League. They had a lot of players experiencing Champions League football for the first time. I see similarities with us, but I hope that, in contrast to them, we can get past the group stage.
They’re a side I enjoy watching. So, congratulations to the club, their coach and their players.
From Feroce Saladino: “Would you like to become for Juve what Ferguson has become for Manchester United? We Juventini would love it!”
Well, when I first arrived at Juventus, one of the interviews I read that gave me most pleasure was one from our president, Andrea Agnelli, who hoped that, having chosen me as coach, I’d become the ‘Ferguson of Juventus’.
Football in Italy is very intense. Very physical. Very stressful… Everything in Italy for that matter! What we face year on year, not only in terms of football, but also off the pitch, are very, very strong emotions.
I hope I can become that, and for a long time, as I’m at the club I hoped I’d be at. I’m at a big club. I hoped, in fact, I knew that one day I’d return after I retired from football in 2004.
So I’m very happy and I hope to keep growing, to keep developing the team, Juventus in general and to continue this relationship for a long while yet. For as long as I’m still passionate and enthusiastic I’ll always be with Juventus.
If and when there comes a time when I no longer have these two qualities, these two things if you will, this great fire I have inside me, then I’ll be the first to go to the president and say, “It’s time for a change.”
From Donny Aries: “What does Juventus mean to you?”
Juventus means a lot to me. Juventus is a hugely important part of my professional life and I feel very strongly about Juventus. I come from a family of Juventini.
My dad is head of the Lecce branch of Juve fans, so I think that says it all about the way I grew up! Then I was lucky enough to only play for two teams: Lecce and Juventus.
Lecce is my hometown team, so they’re two teams close to my heart. And when I began this new life as a coach, you need to be willing to move around and be professional. And I have been. I loved the teams I coached, I’m talking about Arezzo, Bari, Atalanta and Siena.
Now I’ve come home, to Juventus, so it’s a great feeling. Juventus for me is something I feel strongly about.
From Corrado Solfato: “How highly do you rate Pogba?”
I sometimes hear people say that we have no faith in young players. Paul is only 19 and yet I didn’t hesitate for one moment in giving him a starting role and responsibility. I myself am an example of that, having made my professional bow aged only 16.
I made my debut in Serie A at 16 and so if someone has potential, the coach quickly realises it. If you’re good enough, you’re old enough. Paul is an unbelievable talent, it’s up to him, it’s up to me to try to get him to progress and become a great player.
He’s got everything he needs because he’s a top lad. He’s got a great work ethic and is someone who wants to learn. I can see that from his efforts in learning Italian. He already started learning Italian before joining Juventus. I speak Italian to him. He’s a hard-working lad with great talent, who can become one of the world’s best.
But I say the same for all players at his age, because at that age it only takes one game and the media make you think you’re world class. Then the next time around they’re saying the club made a bad move.
He’s got great talent, so it’s up to me, as long as I coach him. It’s up to how much desire he has to improve himself as a player. I’ll say it here. In terms of his talent he’s a potential champion, potentially world class.
From Giorgio Liberace: “Does Crozza’s impression of you irritate you or make you laugh?”
Given the way my wife took it, when she sees me angry she keeps saying,“Dreadful. Dreadful.” I’m happy to see that the words I use have taken on cult status. It’s all positive because when people impersonate you it means you’ve reached a certain level of popularity.
I don’t want to lack humility but I look at it in a positive light. I think fair play to Crozza because ultimately, he’s envious of my head of hair, because he’s completely bald.
I, on the other hand, have a gone long way to try and be different from him, having this operation, even though the stress means I am once again losing my hair. It’s not good, not good at all.
So good luck to Crozza, although I think this chat will end up giving him more material. Lately I’ve noticed he’s lacking a bit of new material to imitate me. As I’ve said, I applaud him because he’s an excellent mimic.
From Uvan Syarif: “Who’s the best player you’ve ever played against?”
Maradona, without a doubt. When I was at Lecce under Boniek he used me in midfield to mark the inside forward. And I remember we played against Napoli in Naples. That was the game in which I also scored my first goal in Serie A, and I essentially man-marked Maradona.
He was coming to the end of his career, but even then Diego was unbelievable, a player you really had to... And the ability of this player, having spoken to Ciro [Ferrara], he told me that he was the only player who could win games single-handedly. He had such charisma and verve.
If he wanted to win a game he went ahead and did it. So, Diego Maradona is definitely the best ever. I would also have liked to play against Pele, because he and Pele are without doubt the best two players ever. And I think at the moment Messi is not far behind them.
From Davide Secco: “Regardless of how good your two assistants are, to what extent do you think the team is feeling your absence?”
I think I was fairly clear on this before, about my disappointment at not being there on the bench and not having contact during those 95 minutes. Being there on the turf, with the atmosphere, players, fans, officials and my coaching staff.
But as I’ve said, we’re lucky enough to have over a year of work behind us, with players who... I couldn’t ask for any better than the ones I’ve got. They’re not only great players, above all they’re great people. And this, along with the ability of my assistants, allows us to succeed despite my absence for those 90-95 minutes.
It allows us to be top of the league, unbeaten in the Champions League and still with every chance of going through. It has allowed us to win the first trophy of the season and do unbelievable things, which I see are rarely praised by the media who prefer to focus on short-term circumstances or whoever’s flavour of the month.
From Daniele Demaio: “Why do you keep rotating the front players rather than settling on a consistent forward line?”
This is a great question because that way I can also answer the media. I think our results can serve as a response to the journalists. Our results are the best possible response. We have 5 forwards with the arrival of Bendtner. Last year we also had 5, with Del Piero and Borriello, who have been replaced by Bendtner and Giovinco.
We retained Vucinic, Matri and Quagliarella because we really believe in them. We believe in what they did last year and believe in what they’re doing this season. Does consistency mean playing the same forward pair for three games in a row?
So ‘consistency’ therefore means not picking the other three and leaving on them on the bench. So you can never be sure of where you are because if you play Vucinic and Giovinco, you don’t play Matri, Quagliarella and Bendtner. All I want is for these 5 forwards to always give me a response, the response I had last year, and the response I’ve had this year.
They know there’s no pecking order because, as I’ve explained to them, they’re all forwards at the same level. They are different type of players, but they’re all as good as each other. I go a lot on what I see in training, on how they are that at particular moment, and the kind of form they’re in.
And so obviously I hope the response I saw from Giovinco and Quagliarella at Pescara will be seen again in the future. Or the response I saw from Giovinco, Matri, Quagliarella again, against Nordsjaelland will happen again in future. Just like the response I’ve seen from Vucinic, from Bendtner. Bendtner when he played against Catania and Vucinic when he’s been in the team.
So what’s important for me is to get a response once I’ve chosen my starting pair. So far I’ve always seen a great response from everyone. And of course people always try to make issues of things because nothing is ever right at Juventus.
Today I read “Quagliarella scores streams of goals but is played in dribs and drabs.” Quagliarella has played a lot this season. He’s got back to being the player he was before his injury. He had to wait a long time to rediscover his best form. But let’s look at the positives: Quagliarella is scoring goals, just like Giovinco.
And tomorrow it will obviously be Matri’s having a goalscoring crisis. These are the bad habits we’re developing in our game. We never look at things from a positive perspective but try and make an issue out of everything. This is not good because it’s bringing Italian football to the brink. We don’t realise it but when we go to Europe we’ll get battered by everyone.
From Aswin Manullang: “What’s the hardest thing about managing a big club like Juventus?”
The difficult thing is winning, which is the most important aspect. The most difficult thing is sometimes having to come up against these bad habits. Things that have nothing to do with the game on the pitch. People wanting you to lose. I think this is the hardest aspect because we always hear ‘You either love Juventus or you hate them’.
I think everyone should have better manners and show greater respect for the work people are doing. Try and say, “Blimey, Juventus really play great football.” Juventus went unbeaten for 49 matches, no one was able to beat us. Juventus have been top of the league for more than 20 games running.
They won the title, the Super Cup. Juventus have the best attack and best defence. But I don’t see any of that. All I see is people wanting us to lose. Even among professionals, perhaps especially professionals, those who work in the media. And as I’ve said, I think this is really sad because professionalism should come before everything else.
And it shouldn’t be a case of cheering against a team, it should be about respect and doing your job right. And I’m sad about what happened after Juventus v Nordsjaelland.
People want the truth and I’ll tell you the truth: After our game against Nordsjaelland, which we won 4-0, Chelsea were still playing Shakhtar. I came through the press room and I had to take cover in a room, where unfortunately, along with Riccardo Scirea, I’m a prisoner as I can’t go into the dressing room.
I’m there having a look at the stats and I heard a roar from the press room. I heard people cheer and celebrate. And we’re not just talking about one or two. I came out and I was disappointed to see professionals who, rather than acting like professionals, were behaving like fans and cheering a goal scored by a team which is not even “one of ours”. It was a foreign team.
I was also sad to see it said that I was on edge. No, I wasn’t on edge. I was calm and happy about our 4-0 win. What bothered me was the lack of respect. And I was embarrassed by those people because they weren’t professional and they can’t be considered as such. And yet they’re journalists who work with us on a daily basis.
From Claudia: “How does it feel to have taken the team back to the top and to have won the title again after Calciopoli?”
It’s a title which is the result of great work by myself, the club and above all the players. I feel great happiness and joy and sometimes when I start to feel tired I think back to last season which was amazing. Because you must never forget that the Juventus of today, now considered the team to beat in the league, on another level to the rest at the moment, has come together in the space of 13 months.
We mustn’t forget that we’ve done this on the back of two 7th place finishes. None of us should forget this. No, in fact I use it to say to our fans that when the going gets tough they shouldn’t join those in criticising us.
No, they should realise that a lot of effort has gone in from the club, the players, the coaching staff, and they must always be behind us. We should be proud and happy with last season’s Scudetto achievement.
And it’s a great example for everyone because through hard work, passion, humility and determination you can achieve things which at first seemed unthinkable. We did that and I am very proud to be in charge of this group of players.
From Daniele Marcucci: “The team appear to have rediscovered that hunger that seemed to have been missing for a few years. What did you say to them after the Inter game?”
Juventus never lost that hunger. Of course, and this is something I talked about before the loss to Inter, perhaps in certain games we showed less bite, intensity and determination but this is more something the players slipped into without thinking. Because as I’ve said, we’re on the back of 13 months’ work. 13 months in which this team has now realised how good we are, the talent and organisation we have, along with our own mentality.
And this of course has been positive in terms of players’ confidence. The team feels strong at the moment. We’ve won trophies so we feel strong. This might mean that at times we underestimate the fact we must never lose our intensity.
The victory against Inter... I meant the defeat to Inter. I’m used to winning, you see! Credit goes to Inter because we put in our all and the game was a cracker. Hats off to Inter, they’re doing extraordinary things and our two sides will surely be fighting for the Scudetto.
And may the best team win, be it us, Napoli, Lazio, Fiorentina, Roma, Milan. If we realise how good we are, and always stay strong, we have a good chance to keep ourselves happy.
Angelo Larabi asks: “Dear Coach, why don’t you play 4-3-3 instead of 3-5-2 against smaller teams?”
Dear Angelo, if we consider that we’re just talking about numbers here: 4-3-3, 5-7-2, 8-1-1; I’m not interested in numbers but our football philosophy. Playing 4-3-3 against smaller teams is a lot more defensive than how we currently play. The way we play this year is the most offensive system by far.
As many have begun to realise, even though I don’t want to focus on numbers, you just need to look at the fact that we have established a new system with new numbers and it’s difficult for others to understand how we play.
The system we’re using now is very attacking and we are familiar with the 4-3-3 but it’s significantly more defensive than how we’re playing at the moment.
Benni Suhendra asks: “Who is the most influential person in your football career?”
When talking about your ‘career’ you need to separate your professional career and life outside of football. Outside of football, my family have been my greatest inspiration. My mother and my father gave me a firm education, especially my father.
They made me into the person I am today: very honest, loyal, firm, someone who doesn’t make compromises. For that, I thank them.
During my professional career, I had the good fortune to play under brilliant managers, all of them were, and I played with some of the best players in the world, such as Zidane and Del Piero, and, let’s not forget, players like Montero.
These guys taught me a lot. As a manager I am grateful for the experiences I had during my playing career. I had great teachers, and I tried to understand what brought them great success. So I thank everyone in my career.
Nicoletta Lepresti asks: “Dear Coach, during these very difficult months, have you ever thought about leaving the game completely?”
That’s a very deep question. It also makes me feel down because you’re asking me about my state of mind. Obviously, I’ve been through incredibly difficult moments, and it is natural for that to happen.
In those moments, I couldn’t find a reason and, being very down-to-earth, I must find a reason for everything. When I can’t find one, I try to. When I haven’t been able to find answers to my questions it’s been difficult. The fact that I’ve had support beyond my family has been a great help, perhaps fundamental in these times.
I’ve had support from people such as Andrea Agnelli, the president, who has given me unconditional support on everything. This has been very important for me to overcome difficult times, when I want to shout many things to the world and I can’t. If you do, you show that you don’t respect the rules and are full of yourself.
I’d like all those who have judged me or made similar conclusions to the judge to spend one day in my position: treated as guilty when, in fact, they are innocent.
Vecchiasignora.com asks: “What have been your two perfect games for Juventus as a player and as a manager?”
I can speak as a player, but it’s difficult to say what are my perfect games when, in my opinion, personally I was imperfect. I can remember certain memorable games such as winning the Champions League despite suffering a serious injury that led to me missing the Euros.
Another game that will always stay in my heart and mind is that against Manchester United when I scored at Old Trafford. I remember returning to the airport and a group of fans came over, gave me a hug and carried me in triumph. I’ll always remember that! I loved it!
As a manager, I hope the perfect game is the next one against Lazio. It’s always the next one! So, it’s the game against Lazio and then it will be the game after...
Ginevra Maffei asks: “How was your relationship with Del Piero last season?”
I’ve always had a very truthful relationship with Ale. We’re always very honest and outspoken with each other. You must remember that Ale and I were team-mates for more than ten years, and we’ve always based our friendship on sincerity, honesty and always telling it how it is.
I’ll always thank him and he knows very well what he did for the team last year. How he acted as one of the experienced players, along with Buffon. Andrea has now come and joined the ‘Old Guard’. For me, the squad, everyone, the club, the fans, it was vital to return to winning ways last year.
I’m happy that now he’s found his calling, his happiness, playing in Australia. I follow him when I can watch the games, I’ve seen he’s the main star and it wouldn’t be any other way. I wish him well in everything he does, I know he always cheers for us just as we cheer for Sydney F.C. and, especially, for him.
MariaGrazia Fasiello asks: “You’ve shown faith in Giovinco. What are his strongest attributes and what does he need to work on?”
I think that for the last 13 or so months I have shown faith in all my players. Giovinco has come through our youth system like Marchisio and De Ceglie. It’s great that he’s playing in the first team, at the club that developed him as a youngster. Just like Barcelona’s La Cantera, we hope to bring as many young players through our own system into the first team and they will be good players like De Ceglie, Marchisio and Giovinco.
We can't afford to bring any rubbish players through. This is a message for all our youth players, the first team is open and ready for you. We need you to show us how good you are. In terms of the forward line, all our attackers are very good players and have different qualities and strengths.
Compared with the other four attackers, Giovinco is better in one-on-one situations, he provides many assists, he wins penalties, by drawing fouls from one-on-ones in the box, and free-kicks, last year he showed his goalscoring prowess with ten goals and this year already he has notched five.
Aside from that, Giovinco must develop within the team and must do what I ask all our attackers in games. He’s doing well but as is Bendtner who is learning and improving, and Matri, Vucinic and Quagliarella are all playing well too.
Luigi Urciuoli asks: “Coach, what do you think of the media’s treatment of our team: when mistakes are made in our favour they’re reported to the high heavens but against us, nothing.”
I think I’ve already answered that question comprehensively in a previous point and I don’t want to focus on it too much.
Mimmo Gabbaria asks: “Our lads are often labelled little soldiers, but what human values must a Juventus player have?”
I very much like Bonucci’s idea on the matter. When we say soldiers, we mean professionals. Just as when I talk of professionalism or a professional approach in other fields, my players and I must be professional in our work. We ask our players to be professional.
If I talk honestly with you, when we go to sign another player, when we decide to invest, especially considering that, in these times, we can’t make poor investments, we look beyond the technical and tactical attributes and we see if the player has key human values.
Why? Because in difficult times, and there are many in a season, a player emerges from the shadows and becomes a man. If we have a squad made up of good men we win. Just like we saw last year and, we hope, will happen again this year.
If you have a player that has very little about him, it causes your team to capitulate and we prefer to leave these players to the others.
Giacomo Spiccia asks: “Do you think you can reach the Champions League final? If you could choose, which team would you like to play in the final?”
In these recent months I haven’t spoken much about the need to remind everyone from where we’ve come and I don’t like repeating it. It should be clear and our fans must understand it. Obviously our fans want to think ahead, but we must think and ponder how far we’ve come and what we’re achieving now.
There’s always a route ahead but recently we’ve taken a shortcut created by work, sweat, determination, passion, intensity and tears. This shortcut could win us the Scudetto, something that no-one expected or thought possible, and we’ve done in a short period of time by using this type of shortcut.
We’ve now returned to the Champions League but we must not forget that there is a long way to go. I’ve heard Mancini say that Manchester City need ten years to win the Champions League with all the investment they’ve made. I’ve heard Ancelotti say that Paris St Germain need five years to win the Champions League, and they’ve invested hundreds of millions.
If we consider Juventus in proportion, at a time of great difficulty for football, we’d never win it! But football is not only based on money, instead we must work hard, we must continue this path with the knowledge that we’re not on an easy path in the Champions League.
We’re undefeated, we play our own game. I like what Buffon said: ‘Our destiny is in our own hands’. If we’re good enough, we’ll keep going forward. If not, we’ll qualify for the Europa League.
If we’re good enough to qualify for the Europa League. If not, we have the Championship and the Coppa Italia. I believe that you have to be good enough to win something. If we’re good enough, we’ll move forward. If not, we can’t lose our heads. There is a journey ahead for us. When I speak of ‘us’ or ‘we’ I mean me, the players, the club, the president, and we want to take Juventus to the highest levels.
How? Through hard work but we also need patience and can’t get ahead of ourselves, especially you, the fans. There is already impatience among others, if our fans become impatient it will be a big problem. When they’re impatient our fans say ‘look behind you’ and you smile.
Giacomo Alpacasa asks:“After yesterday there are five teams breaking away at the top. Who will be our rival for the Scudetto, Inter, Napoli, Fiorentina or Lazio?”
There are two missing from your list: Milan and Roma. All of these squads: Inter, Napoli, Fiorentina, Lazio, Milan and Roma are capable. Fiorentina is an ‘outsider’, the surprise package. If I’m not mistaken, a journalist asked me who would be the surprise package this year, and I said Fiorentina.
Perhaps I was lucky with my prediction or perhaps I know something about football... But we need to focus on ourselves and not others because we are the most important team.
We have finished the chat! Honestly, I could have carried on answering your questions for hours because I love talking about football and topics I haven’t been able to discuss for the past few months.
I wish I could have gone into more depth with many of your questions but unfortunately I haven’t been able to because I’ve always respected the rules and the rules must be respected. I’m happy to have come back to talk with you. As I said before, alongside my family, you have been the closest people to me in quite tough times not in my career but outside of football.
I thank you because I’ve seen such affection coming from all over Italy and outside of Italy as I’ve seen questions sent in from Indonesia, you’re very avid followers, and others from China and other places around the world. I feel that I have greater responsibility for everyone.
We have many fans around the world. A big hug to everyone! We’re always united, always together, Forza Juve!