Interview with Guido Vaciago from Tuttosport

Ciao Guido. You have a lot of experience as a football journalist. Could you tell us a bit about yourself? 

I started in 1992, at 21, and at the time I was covering mostly cycling. Then I started as a contributor with Tuttosport from Milan, at that time my city. I begun to write about football in 1997 and I covered Inter (it was the team with Luis Nazario da Lima Ronaldo) and in 1999 I was after Ac Milan (the scudetto with Zaccheroni on the bench). In 2000 I’ve been hired by Tuttosport as a professional journalist and I started to cover Juventus. In 2004 I go back to the Milan office and for a couple of years I wrote about Inter, but in 2006 I was called by the editor to be the head of the Juventus section of the paper and that’s what I’m doing since then.

The 30th of June is an important date for all the clubs since many loans contracts will expire and the teams will try to realize some capital gains by trading players. However the season will only end in late August. What will happen to the traded players and with which spirit they will play crucial games of the season (maybe even against their new team) knowing that they will soon change jersey?

It’s not so different from other seasons. I mean: only the name of the moths change. You know that it happens very often that trading of players starts in April and May, so there’s always been players who know that will change club at the end of the season (the older juventini surely remember something about Brady, the others have to read about it and fall in love with the Irish gentleman). I don’t think that this will cause deep changes. It depends on the professionalism of the single human being. If you ask me, for example, about Pjanic, I think that even if the swap with Arthur will be a done deal before the end of June, nothing will change in the commitment of Miralem to win something with Juventus, especially the Champions League.

Starting from the 1st game at the Stadium in 2011 many things changed at Juventus, especially in the last years. How do you see Juventus in the next 5-10 years? Can you project yourself in 2030 and try to describe how it will look like a Serie A game at the Stadium? 

Mmmmm a Serie A game or a SuperLeague game? Do you think that in 2030 we will still have the same Serie A that we have now? I don’t think so, I think that in the next ten years a lot of changes will happen in football. A sort of European Championship for club will see the light, a sort of football NBA with the very best, the cream of the cream, something like 25/30 clubs. And that will be the super-professional football: best players, best coaches, best stadiums, best show you’ve ever seen, exactly like the NBA. Then you’ll have domestic leagues like Serie A, Liga or Bundesliga that will still go on, with less money but same passion and they could be like the NCAA, a sort of reservoir of talents that will provide players to the clubs in Superleague but in the meantime will carry on the tradition of local teams. So… Will Juventus be in the SuperLeague? Yes, of course, but I think that in this scenario some clubs, like Juventus, could have two teams: one the SuperLeague and one in the Serie A

What’s your opinion on the eventuality of the Playoffs to assign the Scudetto in case of a new stop?

A brutal violation of every sport ethics, because if you starts a tournament with some rules, these rules MUST be the same ’till the end. So I have the worst opinion that I could have about the playoffs. I can accept this format only because you have to feed somehow the tv and respect the contract giving them a umbers of games, but I think that you shouldn’t assign the scudetto that way, you have to consider the playoffs a sort of friendly tournament like the old Trofeo Birra Moretti!

Guido Vaciago interview international Juventus fans in Madrid ahead of the last-16 game in February 2019

We all know this transfer market session will be different. If you have to bet your 2 cents… which are 3 new players you expect to see at Juve? And 3 that are leaving?

I really can’t answer to this now. It is usually difficult to make predictions on the transfers campaign, but this time it’s like playing roulette. Paratici has almost three or four plans on his desk depending on how the season will end and which players he will be able to sell. By now I can say that I’m slightly optimistic about the Arthur-Panic swap, because I think that at the end Barça will convince Arthur, but slightly means that I give to this deal the 60% of possibility, not 100%. I think that Paratici will do everything to find a solution with Higuain and will try to sell Rabiot. He’s looking for a striker that could play along with Ronaldo better than Pipita and at the same time will stay on the bench without complaining, because I think that Dybala will become a little bit more “untouchable” than now. I imagine the next year a “tridente” with Ronaldo, Dybala and one like Douglas or Kulusevski or Chiesa or something like that. And someone like Milik (that doesn’t mean Milik himself, even if there’s a real negotiation going on for him) who could play with Ronaldo or with Dybala when CR7 is resting. I’m curious about Bernardeschi: he’s clearly thinking about leaving, but a lot of his decisions depends on what clubs will offer him a contract and how the season with Juventus will end for him. He loves Juventus and wants to stay, but he thinks that with Sarri he won’t play as he wants. 

What about Pogba?

Two certainties. One: Pogba desperately wants to come back to Turin (and there are text messages to his old mates to prove it). Two: Pogba currently earns too much money for the “Juventus 2020-21” that will have drastically cut the costs (like many, many other clubs in Europe) and so will not sign players with wages over 6/7 millions net. Pogba is probably getting the double from United and that is the biggest problem in the negotiation. I think that, by now, the Pogback it’s quite impossibile. But it is just the 10th of june, everything could happen in the next four months.

You have contacts with many Juventus players and managers. Can you tell us a little secret or a funny story… something nobody knows?

The biggest fight happened in the Juventus headquarter in the last ten years was between Marotta and the former wife of Dani Alves, who’s the manager of the brazilian. She was discussing about money that she thought Juventus owned to Dani and she was yelling so loud and hitting so hard the desk that two guards came and took her outside for the relief of Marotta that, he told me, he was a little bit scared of her.