No matter what league in Europe, one thing that is the toughest to achieve is dominating on both a domestic front and in the Champions League. This is what Juventus are aiming to do for the next couple of seasons. They have put together a squad that they believe is capable of doing that, and their focus is simply to win as many trophies as possible while they have top-end talent at their disposal.
It’s weird to think of Juventus being without Gianluigi Buffon, but as one modern icon of football leaves Turin, another arrives, as the Old Lady have made a major summer statement.
Italian World Cup winner Andrea Pirlo has revealed that he has held talks with members of the Italian FA and other clubs as he considers stepping into a coaching career. The 38-year-old hang up his boots during the back end of 2017, and he is expected to be given a formal send-off at a San Siro testimonial next month.
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has revealed his desire to remain at Stamford Bridge for the remainder of his existing contract. The Italian’s future has been a topic of speculation in recent weeks with reports emerging that he could get the sack at the end of the campaign.
Speaking ahead of the Watford game, Conte stressed that there is no rift between him and the club’s hierarchy whilst insisting that he would like to honour the remainder of his contract which expires in 18 months’ time, he said: “From the start of this season there have been a lot of speculation and rumours around me. The only thing I can tell you now is I still have 18 months of contract with Chelsea. My intention, my will, is to respect the contract.
Italy is in turmoil after failing to reach the World Cup finals for the first time since 1958 and now the blame game has started. The Italian football federation president Carlo Tavecchio has revealed that he has not slept since their elimination at the hands of Sweden and he blamed the debacle squarely on the shoulders of head coach Gian Piero Ventura.
Of course Ventura was the first victim of their exit when was sacked from the job two days after the game. Tavecchio was expected to follow suit but he has remained resolute and is staying in the role as things stand and he didn’t hold back when talking about that fateful night.
The dust has barely settled on the Italian national team’s disastrous World Cup campaign and the obituaries are still being written. But there is no doubt that Gian Piero Ventura’s spell in charge of the Azzurri will be long remembered as one of the darkest moments in Italian football history.
Giampiero Ventura has clarified that his decision of allowing Andrea Barzagli to leave the national squad had nothing to do with any kind of agreement that he had with his club Juventus.
After the game against Albania which they won by the margin of a couple of goals, Italy had to play another game in three days’ time. So the squad had to stay together and there was no question of any player to be released.
However, Barzagli left the squad much to the surprise of the Italian supporters.
It was suspected that Ventura, who is in charge of the Italian team, might have agreed with Juventus to send the defender back to them for the vital game against Napoli and it was because of that agreement that he let Barzagli go.
But, as per Ventura, there wasn’t a mutual consent between him and the Juventus management and there is never a possibility of that because for him, nothing is a bigger priority than the Italian national side.
Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri claims that a sixth consecutive league title would be historic for the club.
Juventus have been the dominant force in the Italian football landscape over the last seven years. Former manager Antonio Conte helped them come back from a struggling position into a position where they could win three consecutive league titles. Allegri has carried on from this position and has helped them win the title in the last two seasons. This season, however, is the most challenging with Juventus facing intense competition from Roma for the top spot. If Juventus win the title in this 2016-17 season, they would also become the first team in Italy to win the league title in six consecutive seasons.
There is a high possibility of Juventus winning the title, as they have opened up a four-point advantage with a game in hand over Roma. The second placed outfit suffered a 3-2 loss against Sampdoria during the weekend, and it allowed Juventus to stretch stage advantage further.
Even though there has been the suggestion of Juventus not having proper competition, it can be clearly dismissed once the team manages to win six league titles in consecutive fashion unlike any other team in the history of Italian football. Juventus are dominating the league even after selling midfielder Paul Pogba to Manchester United in the summer.
“The players won and the credit goes to them. There are no secrets, it’s about having good players and a good club. The Coach just has to do as little damage as possible. A sixth Scudetto? It would be legendary for the club, no-one has ever managed to do it. But we have Roma and Napoli behind us, and we face Inter on Sunday. It will be an important game,” said the manager after being crowned as the best coach during the recentGran Gala del Calcio.
Antonio Conte is regarded as one of the best coaches to come out of the Italian Serie A in the last decade.
Alongside the likes of Carlo Ancelotti, they have been the new generation of Italian managers to go around Europe and dominate their specific leagues. Ancelotti is the reigning Champions League winner while Conte looks like he may win a major trophy in his first season at Chelsea. The former Juventus and Italian national team manager has made a spectacular start to life at West London. His successor at the national team level, Giampiero Ventura, appears to have one or two issues with the former Italy boss.
Ventura has used strong words to describe the former national team boss’ time with Italy and Juventus. Conte has managed to go from success to success largely because of his impressive record with Juventus. He managed to get the club from the second division of Italian football into successive champions in the Italian Serie A all in the space of a few years.
After his recent stint with the Italian national team, he has moved to Chelsea in what would be his first major job outside Italy. Unsurprisingly, there are several references made by current manager Giampiero Ventura about the status of the national team.
Ventura believes that the national team has a tough situation since Conte left behind an ageing team.”The European Championship left us with one of the oldest squads in the last 150 years,” said Ventura. Conte may have struggled to replace several of the important players from the national team, but he did extremely well in terms of just results. Ventura argues that Conte had a great opportunity to reduce the age of the national team, but he chose not to in order to preserve his individual records.
The striker, who is currently plying his trade at Nice says that an explosive return to the Italian national team is all he has in mind.
This was his view in an interview, where he also threw jabs at his former clubs, AC Milan and Liverpool.
The last game Balotelli featured in for Italy was in 2014 in their defeat by Uruguay, the grand final match in the 2014 World Cup games at Brazil.
So far, Balotelli has enjoyed a lightning start with Nice, which has seen him score five goals in six league appearances, thereby pushing them to the top of the table above PSG and Monaco.
Despite this, the 26 year old was not invited to make up Italy’s squad in preparation for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers, first with Spain at home and next, away in Macedonia. The future isn’t looking bleak for him as a return to the Ventura’s led Italian squad isn’t so far away.
“It was right not to select me because I didn’t deserve it,” Balotelli told Sky Sport Italia. “It’s better for Ventura to not select me this time around because when I return, I want to be at my best.”
He joined AC Milan after an end to his three year spell at Manchester City, before heading on to Liverpool on 2014.
After a torrid end to a controversial three-year spell at Manchester City, Balotelli joined AC Milan in January 2013 before moving to Liverpool in 2014. His stay at Anfield wasn’t long before he returned to AC Milan on loan last season. He was unfortunately hit by a groin injury.