Monday, July 13, 2009

Summer Village Goes Crazy For Del Piero

It was a festive Sunday for the thousands of Juventus fans who visited Pinzolo and the epilogue was no less: at the end of the afternoon training session in fact, the stage of the Summer Village hosted captain Alessandro Del Piero driving enthusiasm sky high in what was one of the most awaited moments by the public.

Alex thanked all for their affection with which he was greeted and responded cheerfully to the many mistakes asked by Valeria Ciardiello and dj NanĂ , some of which serious and others lighter in theme. Speaking of these first days of camp the captain confirmed the common sensation, that is, that the team is highly motivated:

"We are working with great enthusiasm, even if this is not an easy time seeing the fatigue but after all it is rightly so. These are important days. The coach, the staff and some players are new but everything is going on well and we hope it will continue in this way because we want to win. We hope it will be a great season, better then the last".

After having thanked Diego, who had defined him a football genius, Del Piero said he is happy to be close to home:

"The Dolomites are part of me, seeing that I am from Veneto and so I feel they are my own even if we’re on the other side. Here the environment is spectacular, for the view but also for the welcome we receive".

Finally, Alex quenched the curiosity of the fans saying that he calls Ferrara mister and not Ciro, “It is only right”, that his favourite cartoons as a child were Goldrake and Holly e Benji and what work he would have liked to do if he hadn’t become a footballer (an electrician). Asked how he passes his free time during the camp, he answered with a joke: "A man of a certain age must rest". The rest of a warrior.
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Alex And Brazzo, Two Goals Each In The Mini-Matches

Juventus have got down to business. As announced by the technical staff in the last few days, as from today the athletic work load is being increased and the schedule is being respected. The bianconeri began with a technical session.

The defenders were followed by Maddaloni, perfecting movement in phases without the ball while the midfielders and the strikers worked with Ferrara and Sormani on triangulizations and long balls.

After approximately 30 minutes the athletic session began with the binaconeri divided according to role and kept busy with four repeats of 1,200 metre runs. Once again it was Christian Poulsen who impressed together with Momo Sissoko setting very good times.

"It is work to strengthen the aerobic side which will be repeated in the coming days, after having verified the reaction of the players" explained trainer Andrea Scanavino on Juventus Channel. Alessandro Del Piero and Diego did not take part in the session with the rest but worked in the gym.

Diego remained in the gym with Cristiano Zanetti even in the afternoon while the captain was regularly on the field. The team was first busy in a series of ten-a-side mini-matches on a reduced field, playing first one touch football and giving a great show particularly thanks to the two shots by Sissoko which went inches wide and a plastic-like overhead kick by Amauri saved by Kirev.

After another mini-match with low balls the group was divided once again into two. This time it was once again long balls and shots at goal for midfielders and attackers while the defenders took care of positioning on crosses and one-on-one football.

This was followed by yet another mini-match, this time an 8-a-side one, which ended 4-3 for the team with green bibs which had Del Piero and Amauri as forwards both of whom scored. The captain scored twice, just like Hasan Salihamidzic his opponent of the day. The other goals were scored by Tiago for the greens and Trezeguet for the whites.

On Monday Ferrara will grant half a day of rest to the team who will only have a morning session.
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Juve fans battle over Cannavaro

There is a battle brewing between Juventus fans and those ultras protesting against Fabio Cannavaro and Jonathan Zebina.

The role of the ultra’ in Italian football has always been a tricky one and there is set to be a deep split within the fanbase, which is already evident in pre-season training.

Cannavaro’s return from Real Madrid three years after he walked away in the midst of the Calciopoli scandal is the focus of the trouble.

The World Cup winner and the other Confederations Cup players do not begin training in Pinzolo until Thursday, but ultras already chanted slogans against him during this week’s sessions.

‘Madrid dumped you, Napoli repudiated you, only your avarice brought you back to us,’ read one banner, while others declared Canna ‘a traitor.’

Zebina was also targeted for abuse, but he was never a particularly popular figure among the Bianconeri fans.

Unusually, the majority of supporters turned on these hardliners with their own chants and jeers, but the situation is set to escalate when Cannavaro actually joins the squad.

The ultras have already been using fireworks and smoke bombs during the training sessions to make their protests clear.

According to Turin-based newspaper Tuttosport, the deep split between the sets of Juventus supporters could blow up next week with Cannavaro’s arrival.

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Fabio Grosso May Move To Juventus Next Week

Ligue 1 : Fabio Grosso (Lyon)

Lyon defender Fabio Grosso could be joining Juventus next week, according Le Parisien, but his future is dependent on that of Porto left-back Aly Cissokho.

Grosso's agent recently suggested that his client would like to return to Italy, but the conditions did not exist for that to happen at the moment. However, that could change if the French club manage to secure the services of Cissokho, who nearly joined AC Milan last month.

Juventus have been linked with the former Palermo star throughout the summer, as they look to continue their impressive transfer campaign and make a run for the Serie A title in 2009-10.

However, the player's agent admits that such a move appears unlikely at first due to the presence of other left-backs in Turin, and the Old Lady's desire to land a midfielder above all else.

The Bianconeri have already snapped up Diego from Werder Bremen, Fabio Cannavaro from Real Madrid, and are on the verge of signing Felipe Melo from Fiorentina.

The 31-year-old made 28 appearances in all competitions for the Ligue 1 outfit last season. Lyon have already signed striker Lisandro Lopes from Porto and are hopeful of bringing in Cissokho as well.

Adam Scime,
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Moratti: Juve are very competitive

Inter patron Massimo Moratti sees Juventus as the main Scudetto contenders, but is less concerned with Milan and Roma.

“I think we were strong last season and have kept the basic structure with a few new additions such as Diego Milito and Thiago Motta, so we are even stronger now,” he told Sky Italia.

“Milan are facing some big changes, starting from their Coach, as I admire Leonardo a great deal. He’ll adopt different tactics, so we can expect anything from them, both good and bad.

“They could rediscover the hunger they have been lacking in recent years, at least in Serie A.

“Juve were already a good team last season and have become very competitive with the introduction of Fabio Cannavaro, Felipe Melo and Diego.”

In recent years Roma had been the main challengers to Inter for the title, but last season they failed to finish in the top four and are struggling financially.

“There are few families who are still able to control a football club,” sighed Moratti. “It is a very difficult thing to deal with.

“The Sensi family did very well in the past and this girl [President Rosella] has the tenacity and pride to keep hold of the reins.

“I admire her a great deal and know full well the problems one has to face in making these decisions.”

Perhaps the hardest working side on the transfer market has been Napoli, as patron Aurelio De Laurentiis snapped up Fabio Quagliarella, Luca Cigarini, Hugo Campagnaro, Juan Zuniga and Morgan De Sanctis.

“De Laurentiis has done very well, as he made some good buys last year too. He took a very generous approach to the passionate fans and I hope he can do well – although preferably not taking three points off us the same way they have done in the last two years!”

Inter have been defeated at the San Paolo for the last two consecutive seasons.

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Sissoko: "We Do Not Fear Anyone"

The counter-proof will never be available but many are those who think thet without Sissoko’s injury (fractured leg during the derby against Torino) the 2008/09 season would have had a different result for Juventus. The Franco-Mali player entered the Juventus group and the heart of the supporters with the force of a cyclone.

Sissoko was immediately decisive for the team’s fate, ever since his signing in January 2008. He was important for all the year up to the stop due to an injury which in retrospect Momo speaks of in this manner:

"During the match against Catania I felt a pain in my foot that is why I stopped for a week before getting back to the field. Then during the derby I felt a more acute pain and we decided to do the operation. It was I who decided to go on playing after the first stop. The only time when I do not play is when I’m not feeling up to it and when this happens I say so".

"I was sorry not to be there at the end of the season but I don not think that everything depended on my absence. We are a team and a play cannot make the difference on his own. Having said this I was happy to feel the faith of my mates and the club".

Now Sissoko is back with a new hairstyle which has definitely not gone unnoticed and even more determined. This could be seen during the first days in PInzolo. During the athletic tests under Massimo Neri he was always amongst the best and was ready to fight hard even with words:

"We are working hard in these days even to get closer as a group. The team spirit must be our secret weapon. The club did well and with the new signings we are even stronger then last year. Diego? He is a nice person and a great player, like he showed with Werder and we are sure that he will do so here too. With him we will change formation but this does not frighten me because I am ready to put myself at the disposal of my mates".

This Juventus has something more then last year when a decline at the end of the season – during the time when Sissoko was injured – saw the possibility of fighting for the Scudetto go up in smoke. Momo is therefore ready to launch the team for a great season:

"Inter won the last scudetti but we never felt inferior. Now we are even stronger and we do not fear anyone. I don’t think it will be a race between two teams. There are other teams which have improved and which will be ready to fight".
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