Friday, July 24, 2009

Buffon: "I Have A Good Feeling"

One adventure ends and it is soon time for another. After the parenthesis in the fresh air of Pinzolo, Juventus have changed place and climate for their second part of the preparation. The team is off to Spain, in the region of Andalusia, and the heat of Seville to play for the Peace Cup.

Seeing the sort of teams competing, the tournament represents an important opportunity for Ferrara’s team to compare itself with top rivals, but also to continue uniting the group, which is finally complete following the return of Legrottaglie and Giovinco and the addition of Felipe Melo.

Before departing, from the Torino Caselle airport, Gigi Buffon spoke about this. "I have a good feeling. Thanks to the good work done by the management, the team has been strengthened, but this is not enough to win. Many components are necessary. We will still have to work hard to obtain results. Now, we must only think of working and only after can we understand if we are capable of reaching our objectives".

After the first matches against Cisco Roma, Nancy and Vicenza, on the Iberian island the bianconeri will meet hosts Seville and Korean side Seongnam and in case they make it through to the next round, the possibility of encountering Cristiano Ronaldo’s and Kaka’s Real Madrid. These are further tests to evaluate the team’s improvement and the hope to finally see Diego in action. Even before showing his capabilities on the field, the Brazilian managed to win everybody, Buffon included:

"I haven’t yet had the occasion to see him at work on the field and I can only speak of him as a person. I can’t help but saying he’s splendid, he entered the group on tip-toes with total humility. A person like him can make us do a great leap in quality".

Finally, comes the unavoidable question about the next championship and the possible duel with Inter, especially in light of the possible departure of Ibrahimovic to join Barcellona and the arrival of Eto’o for the nerazzurri. The Juventus number one does not think the rivals are weakened:

"A champion like Eto’o cannot be considered as the last in class. He cored many goals in these last years and contributed to the victories of Barcellona".
Read More......

Amauri: "The Red Card Against Vicenza? I Made A Mistake"

LI am really sorry about the sending-off against Vicenza. I made a mistake which the team paid an expensive price for". Amauri admits his faults. The red card he was shown on the 18th minute of the match in Trento on Tuesday, landed his mates in difficulty and ruined Ferrara’s plans. The Brazilian, going back on the episode admitted his mistake: "At this point in the preparation it is important to assimilate schemes and movements on the field and this, after my exit from the field, was not possible. I apologize to the club, the coach, my mates and the supporters. The incident will serve me as a lesson so as not to repeat similar mistakes".
Read More......

Lippi tips Inter and Juve

Italy Coach Marcello Lippi is now certain Inter have what it takes to win the Champions League, but believes Juventus will take the Scudetto from them. Both clubs have been reinforcing their teams ahead of next season, causing some pundits to talk about a renaissance in Italian football.

“Let's not joke, Serie A has not been transformed into a second rate championship. Sure, Kaka has entertained us for many years. Ibra has made the difference for Inter, but our movement always manages to propose new stars,” Lippi told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “I would like everyone to remember that, some years ago, a man by the name of Zidane chose to leave for Real Madrid, but Italian football, despite the loss of a phenomenon like Zizou, won a World Cup and some Champions League titles.

“Let me remind you of three names destined to light up our Sundays. Eto'o is not inferior to Ibra. Actually he has a better goal to game ratio. Lucio had thousands of offers, but chose Inter. Finally Diego is a formidable and very young talent.”Asked if he agreed with the belief that the economic crisis is penalising Italian football, Lippi replied: “The problem is not Italian, but global. Real Madrid are not the normality. The problem is that we will come out of this crisis in only one way: building champions at home.

“However, to go down this road we have to protect the good coaches. Instead, the academies earn loose change and the coaches, even the best prepared, are forced to accept jobs in the Lega Pro to earn money.”

Asked if Italian football needs to win the Champions League, Lippi replied: “Inter are one of the three favourites after Barcelona and beware the Manchester United of my friend Ferguson. He still has a mountain of money to spend and has already signed Owen. Manchester have a winning framework and they will conserve it despite Ronaldo's departure.” Lippi didn't reserve Real Madrid the same praise.

“Kaka and Ronaldo are two phenomenons and two proud men, but you cannot invent a team capable of winning the Champions League in a month. Real need at least a year of 'construction'.”

Asked to explain what he likes about Inter, Lippi replied: “I like Eto'o and Milito makes me enthusiastic. He is a champion who works for his team-mates. Everyone will see that Mourinho will make Inter acquire the right European mentality. Inter are ready to win in Europe or at least reach the Final.”

Passing to Juve, Lippi said: “They are ready for the Scudetto. I remember what Gianni Agnelli always used to say: 'I prefer to win the championship rather than the Champions League.' The Bianconeri have decided to open a new cycle.

“I like this 'new' Juve a lot. The new signings. Ferrara on the bench. The staff with the return of Gautino. The frightening euphoria of the fans. It's the petrol that can help Juve fight shoulder to shoulder with Inter from the first day of the championship.”
Read More......

Peace Cup Team Guide: Juventus

Giorgio Chiellini in acton with Juventus

Bolstered by Brazilian midfield imports Diego and Felipe Melo, the Bianconeri have Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan in their sights as they begin the quest to bring the Scudetto back to Turin.

Preseason hurdles include La Liga third-place finishers Sevilla and Korea’s Seongnam who are, according to Juventus’ official website, “only lacking some improvement in their main matter pending: defence.” An ironic statement given the Old Lady’s current state of affairs.


Juventus are the most successful club in Italy, having won 27 league titles (not counting, of course, the two rescinded in the wake of the Calciopoli scandal). Their first era of dominance began in the early 30’s when they romped to five consecutive Scudetti.

However, their return of two European championships is seen as highly unflattering for a team of Juve’s stature and it wasn’t until 1985 that they captured the trophy on the strength of current UEFA president Michel Platini’s penalty kick. It’s a dark footnote that their first European victory served as the backdrop to the Heysel Stadium Disaster, which resulted in the deaths of 39 people, mostly Juventus supporters.

In 2006, the club were relegated to Serie B after certain club officials were implicated in the Calciopoli scandal. A handful of top players such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Patrick Vieira and Fabio Cannavaro jumped ship, though the team nevertheless bounced back up after one season.


Juventus have been steadily rebuilding their squad since returning to Serie A though this hasn’t always gone according to plan. High-profile Portuguese midfielder Tiago is one of the biggest flops in recent memory.

With the arrival of defensive midfielders Mohamed Sissoko and Christian Poulsen, from Liverpool and Sevilla respectively, Juventus had two hard-nosed ball-winners but not much more in the way of playmaking. The Bianconeri have been forced to continually rely on the aging legs of Alessandro Del Piero, Mauro Camoranesi, David Trezeguet and the now-departed Pavel Nedved.


Werder Bremen’s Diego and Fiorentina’s Felipe Melo were brought in to jump-start the team’s often sluggish attack. Diego’s role as the number 10 will unburden Del Piero, who can now push higher up the field. It remains to be seen if Melo will repeat his splendid Fiorentina form while much anticipation surrounds 22-year-old Sebastian Giovinco, who is expected to have a breakout season.

It’s the defense that’s more worrisome. The ossifying Fabio Cannavaro is the only significant acquisition in the rear guard and his slowing motor was woefully exposed by a rampant Liverpool in Real Madrid’s Champions League mauling last year. Of even more concern is the recent form of Giorgio Chiellini, considered by many to be the next great Italian centre-back until an insipid showing at the Confederations Cup revealed a ponderousness to his game that’s not often taken advantage of in Calcio. It’s fair to say that full-backs Jonathan Zebina and Zdenek Grygera will prompt few managers to alter their tactics.

Peace Cup 2009

This will be a time to blood Diego and Melo, find the optimum role for Del Piero and allow Sissoko and Poulsen to offer more cover to a questionable defense. Look for Giovinco and Amauri to make statements and new manager Ciro Ferrera to bring a few fringe players in from the cold.


Sevilla – Juventus (July 24)

Seongnam – Juventus (July 28)


Despite the holes, Juventus remain a formidable team and a difficult opponent to overcome. They have experience in spades, and though a dangerous and well-balanced Sevilla squad may give them problems, Juventus should outlast their Korean opponents.
Read More......

The“Peace Cup” Mission Begins. The Bianconeri Have Landed In Seville

The “Peace Cup” mission has officially begun. Juventus left in the late morning from the Torino Caselle airport and arrived in Seville, in the Andalusia region, for its first participation in the famous international tournament, a tournament which seeing the participants deserves to be entitled “the Summer Champions Legaue”.

Twelve teams, from all over the world, are participating. Ciro Ferrara’s team will be playing in Group A where it will meet home team Seville (Friday 24th July at 22:30hrs) and Korean side Seongnam (in Jerez on Tuesday 28th July at 20:30hrs). If the bianconeri make it through to the next round, they will most probably meet Real Madrid in the semi-final.

This evening, the squad will have a training session which will be followed by a fine-tuning session tomorrow morning, a few hours before the debut in the tournament.
Read More......