Monday, July 6, 2009

Giorgio Chiellini: Juventus Are Closing In On Inter

Chiellini - Torino-Juventus Serie A (Grazia Neri)

Juventus finished second in Serie A last season, ten points adrift of champions Inter, but centre-back Giorgio Chiellini believes the Old Lady are making the right moves in the transfer market and will give the Nerazzurri a run for their money next term.

“If either [Gaetano] D’Agostino or [Mahamadou] Diarra will come in, I think we’ll be okay and ready to challenge on all fronts,” Chiellini told La Gazzetta dello Sport from Miami.

“We have improved considerably over the past two years, I remind anyone that we started out from Serie B and were the only team to fight it out with Inter until two months from the end of the league.

“We have reduced the gap on the Nerazzurri. They are obviously still the favourites for the Scudetto, but despite [Diego] Milito and [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic, we have the strongest striking force. Moreover, you need to have the best defence to win the Scudetto.”

Juve have re-signed Fabio Cannavaro, on a free transfer from Real Madrid this summer, amid protests from Bianconeri fans who called him a traitor for walking out on the club in the wake of Calciopoli.

“Fabio is a guarantee, he helped me grow during my first season in Bianconero,” revealed Chiellini.

“He is still the best central defender and we will prove to be the strongest defence line in the league.”

Juve have also signed Brazilian fantasista Diego from Werder Bremen and are still negotiating with Udinese for Gaetano D'Agostino, while Fabio Grosso is said to be the main target for the left-back role.

Vince Masiello,
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Juventus Midfielder Christian Poulsen Heading Back To Schalke

Christian Poulsen, Sevilla

Juventus midfielder Christian Poulsen could be heading back to his former club Schalke after failing to establish himself at the club, according to

Poulsen started just 14 games in Serie A for the Bianconeri last season after joining from Spanish side Sevilla. He has long been tipped with an exit, but he rejected a proposed move to Turkish side Fenerbahce. now claims the defensive midfielder could return to Schalke, the club he played for between 2002 and 2006. It is suggested Juventus directors are set to meet their German counterparts for talks next week. Alessio Secco will try to obtain around €7million for his man.

However, Poulsen's high wages could scupper any chance of a deal falling through as he is currently earning a reported €3m in Turin. Juve reportedly paid €9.75m for him last year.

Reports in Italy claim Poulsen's resistance to leave the club is holding up their plans for other transfer targets. Sky Sport Italia are also claiming Schalke are keen on the player after coach Felix Magath claimed he was interested in the player.

Salvatore Landolina,
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Zebina: It's my year with Juve

Jonathan Zebina was expected to leave Juventus, but is confident he can have one of his best seasons in the Bianconeri jersey.

The former Roma defender barely featured in the last campaign due to a tendon operation in November and was thought to be on the transfer list.

“I am disappointed at the jeers I received from the fans, but I have nothing to apologise for,” he insisted on the official Juve website.

“Personally I prefer to begin again from the applause of the last two games in the campaign. I am set on going forward, for me and for those who had faith in me.”

The Bianconeri pre-season training camp starts later this month, but Zebina is already hard at work on his own in Perugia.

“I am happy to have made this choice. After my return to the field in March I had no more fitness problems and felt in great shape towards the end. I was sorry the season had ended!

“This is why we all decided to do a series of exercises that I will then do again with the whole squad at the Pinzolo training ground.”

New Coach Ciro Ferrara used Zebina in his only two games in charge, so could focus on the Frenchman for the next campaign too.

“I am in good shape and very enthusiastic,” continued Zebina. “I have everything I need to do well, including a Coach like Ferrara who knows me and already put his faith in me.

“I consider this to be a new beginning. I even decided to change my number and take back the 15, which is what I wore on my jersey during my first years in Italy.” Read More......

Juve turn to Hernanes

Juventus juggle offers for Gaetano D’Agostino and Felipe Melo, but they are now linked with Brazilian midfielder Hernanes.

Both Udinese and Fiorentina are not eager to sell their stars to Juve without an impressive price-tag attached, so it’s reported this morning that Ciro Ferrara could look further afield.

“We are Juventus and do not accept ultimatums,” slammed director of sport Alessio Secco.

“If [Udinese President Giampaolo] Pozzo considers D’Agostino is worth more than our offer, then he is free to sell him to someone else.”

Both the Corriere dello Sport and Tuttosport suggest Sao Paolo defensive midfielder Hernanes is their next primary target.

The 25-year-old would be available for £13m, but could potentially be sold for a slight discount.

This is certainly not the first time that Hernanes has been linked with a big Italian club, as Milan were chasing him earlier in the summer.

Other alternatives for Juventus are Lazio’s Cristian Ledesma and Betis midfielder Emana.
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It Is Beppe Furino’s Birthday. Happy Birthday Furia!

The beginning of July is always a period of important birthdays at Juventus. The day after that of president Boniperti, it is the turn of one of the pillars of the history of Juventus: Beppe Furino. The legendary “Furia” turns 63.

Furino practically dedicated his life to Juventus. Having been brought up in the youth sector of the bianconeri, he went on to play for 15 seasons as a protagonist establishing a record which has not yet been equalled: winning 8 scudetti with the same team (the first in 1972 and the last in 1984), many of which as captain.

In his rich trophy cupboard there are also the 1977 UEFA Cup (the first international trophy to be won by the bianconeri) won in Bilbao, the 1984 Cup of Cups and two Coppa Italia.

The final statistics of this great adventure are impressive: 528 appearances (361 of which in the Serie A) and 19 goals scored. He took on a number of management roles for some years and nowadays is a Juventus Channel contributor.

On this special day, all at Juventus wish “Furia” all the best and a very happy birthday.
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Zebina: "Ready For A Great Season"

Diego and Cannavaro: up to know they are the only new Juventus players. However, Ciro Ferrara could have a new player already as part of the team. Jonathan Zebina after having overcome his tendon problems following an operation last November is urging to return to being a protagonist.

This is the reason why he began his training 10 days before. In fact, before going to Pinzolo for the summer camp, Jonathan began a pre-preparation in Perugia under the eyes of Professor Cerulli’s staff who followed him after the operation. The decision was taken together with the Juventus medical staff and trainers in order for the defender to be able to start the season in the best of conditions.

«" happy to have made this choice – declared Zebina exclusively to After having returned in March I did not have any problems and in the last few matches I felt really well and I felt sorry the season was over. For this reason, together we decided to start before. Practically, what I have been doing is a series of exercises which will be carried out by the whole squad in Pinzolo".

Zebina presents himself at the starting line therefore, in great condition and with the same enthusiasm of 2004, the year in which he moved to Turin. This time however, he is free of the physical problems which effected his performances. He is fully charged-up and even though up to now he only expressed this in words he can’t wait to show it on the field:

"I am well and am really enthusiastic. There are all the right conditions for us to do well including Ciro Ferrara as coach who knows me and who immediately showed faith in me. I consider this year a new start. I have even decided to change my number and go back to using number 15 which I wore in my first years in Italy. Me a new addition for Juventus? It will be the field to decide but I am confident".

While many of his team mates are still on holiday (even though dealing with personal programmes), Zebina is working hard followed by a staff of professionals (Stefano Fiorini in particular). The 2009/10 season will be a long and intense one and Jonathan really wants to win back Juventus.

"I like the team which is beginning to take shape. We have all we need to do well. I hope it will be a year rich in satisfaction for us and the supporters".

Zebina concluded referring to the supporters. "I am sorry about the whistling against me but I have nothing to feel bad about. Personally, I prefer to start with applause and support which I received during the last two matches of last season. I am therefore determined to look ahead for me and for those who showed faith in me".
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Last Weekend Before The Start

The holidays are almost over, not for everybody however. The bianconeri who did not take part in any international commitments are in their last week of relaxation before getting back to work. With the departure for Pinzolo on Thursday 9th July the 2009/10 season kicks-off.

This will be the first summer camp for Ciro Ferrara as coach but also the first day of work for Diego one for whom the expectancy in Trentino is great. It will be captain Del Piero and fellow Brazilian Amauri who will greet him and who will be ready to drive the team as from the very first day. After eight years, it will also be the first season without Pavel Nedved and even this is a bit of news which cannot go unobserved.

And so, one more tranquil Saturday and Sunday even for the Juventus fans. As from next week-end (11th and 12th July) the appointment will be in Val Rendena with Juventus.
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