Hi Luca, thanks for this interview. By now you have become very popular, both in Italy and abroad. Introduce yourself in few lines to those who still don’t know you …
Nothing special. Journalist (once in the press and among the federal youth sectors) who works on television and whose main mission is to tell Juventus from as many perspectives as possible. Easy, but also very difficult. The pitch always commands, the market makes us feel alive. Out of my profession, I’m Mr Wynil, I follow the mood…
We start off strong. 9 years of victories and trophies in Italy. The goal at Juve is to win. Always. But we are sure that this imperative will also apply to Pirlo in his first year as a coach … (as Sarri had it last season) or will he enjoy a rookie “bonus”? We could be faced with three scenarios: 1) enthusiasm is regenerated and we can immediately win again thanks to a proper transfer session.. 2) the next season will be a transitory season .. we do not win but the foundations are created to win back starting from the following year … 3) a negative cycle of several years starts like the recent ones of Inter and Milan. Which scenario seems most likely to you?
The most likely scenario is the first one because this Juventus has all the tools to take Pirlo by the hand when and if needed. And the first tool is a smart market. To restart the engine. And therefore the enthusiasm. Then we know very well that the game of odds is very often not the game of reality. But the similarities with Milan and Inter you are referring to – their last steps with Berlusconi and Moratti – are not so evident for now. For Pirlo, however, the center of everything is always the same: to do well you either win the confidence of the players or, at least, be credible as a coach. There are no different bonuses.
What will happen in the event of a false start like it happened with Allegri in 2015/16?
The same thing that happened with Massimiliano Allegri. The management will understand the issues, will dictate the conditions and sends some right messages to the coaching staff and players. Then the next step will be to prove one the pitch that you are actually the best. I understand that many have the Ferrara case in mind, but you just mentioned the Allegri case… which ultimately wasn’t that bad given the result achieved at the end.
Who do you think are the 100% non-transferable Juventus players in this summer transfer market session?
One hundred percent is a challenging percentage. In a normal session I would give you more names, but is an accelerated and crazy session like this one I tell you only four names: Chiellini, De Ligt, Bentancur, Ronaldo. It seems paradoxical, because it seems that time is short. However, it is also a market in which no player can claim credits. So it will be important to look each other in the eyes one by one when the trainings will resume.
Since we have been spoiled in the last years… should we expect Juventus to sign any top player this summer? If yes, who?
Last year arrived De Ligt. He was already a fantastic prospect but difficult to say that he was already a successful and proven top player. This summer Juventus already signed Arthur, Kulusevski and at least two more will come, a full back and a midfielder. Time will tell but the target is to have at least two of this four players develop like De Ligt did.
Considering the Champions League flops of the last two years … do you think Cristiano regretted choosing Juve? Will he remain until the end of the contract?
Regretted absolutely not. Maybe dazed. Who would have imagined changing two coaches in two years? Or getting eliminated by Ajax and Lyon? Or not to take him to an unprecedented final-eight in his Lisbon? The straight bar of the company balances the disappointment. There is no perfect year, no perfect player either. Ronaldo has understood this and knows he can only improve with us, in fact in the second year he did better than the first. So the third …
In the last two years you have anticipated almost everyone by saying that Allegri first and then Sarri would have been sacked. And you were also one of the very first to speak insistently of Ronaldo at Juve. The market is fluid and scenarios can change very quickly. Last year you were aiming for Guardiola as Allegri’s replacement: can you confirm that it was the UEFA judgment that blew everything up? And above all, do you think the possible appointment of Guardiola is just postponed or has everything been reset now?
I definitely felt sure about Guardiola but as we say in Italy… “sure is dead”. Let’s say that journalistically I thought I had everything I needed to be able to believe and affirm it. But it didn’t materialize because the final UEFA sentence didn’t arrive and I was very clear in my speeches that this was a necessary condition. For the future, you know, football goes too fast … with Sarri we have done three years in one and no one would have frankly foreseen it since the ninth consecutive championship arrived anyway.
With hindsight, what in your opinion were the three biggest mistakes in recent years (at transfer market level) made by the Juve management?
If three mistakes correspond to twenty good things, in football this would be a tremendous success. For sure you can’t go wrong with two coaches in a row, one can happen… two would be a mistake. So I should get back to you in a year. Among the players, I would say divesting too early on Immobile and Emre Can was probably a mistake – because I always think about the whole team of 22 players – while the majority of the sales of players to which fans are most affected were almost inevitable. And if we talk about technical choices, it would take a few more lines. But you know we are all coaches…
Who will be the Juventus captain for the next season?
Chiellini. And Bonucci vice-captain. Even if I would give the armband to Ronaldo so his responsibility would be even bigger.
What will Luca Momblano do in 5 years? What personal projects would you like to develop?
I love to think that I will be able to take care of my things, of my most personal and intimate things. Football and music to make a living. Nice, huh?