Medhi Benatia reflected on his departure from Juventus in an interview with Sky Sport: “In December, I was on vacation in Dubai, I talked with my wife and my kids were asking me all the time why I was not playing. I was burning inside and I was unhappy for that. I left a team full of friends I am very attached to, but I would have liked to give my contribution on the pitch.”
“When Leonardo Bonucci came back, I talked to Massimiliano Allegri, who told me that he needed me and that I would have found some room. However, things changed after that, but I do not have any problem with him, I do not look back at what could have been and was not. I played my last game against Milan in San Siro, which was a tough one because I had to guard Gonzalo Higuain. I played well but I stayed out the following fixtures.”
“If he achieved that kind of results, it means that he is good coach. I hope he can be the one to bring home the Champions League, but I do not know, I am not entitled to pass judgement. They are not done yet, they can advance and reach the final. Atletico Madrid is tough to deal with, but Juventus could have played better in the first leg, I expected them to control the game.”
“The level of Serie A has improved a lot over the last three-four years, it is not true that it is an easy league. It seems like Juventus are way superior, but we went toe-to-toe with Napoli last year. The strength of the club is that they never botch a game, meaning that they work always in the same manner, whether you are about to face Frosinone, Napoli or Real Madrid. The Partenopei played a lot better than we did last season, but we were more practical. We had 16 or 18 games in a row without conceding, something they were unable to do. This is the kind of attitude that helps you win games.”
“The coach often correctly says that there is a big difference between finishing first and second and you either get that right away at Juventus or you are out. At a defensive level, I do not think there is anybody quite like Giorgio Chiellini, I knew that before playing with him and I further realized it while practicing alongside him. He is the best.”
“When you see how Cristiano Ronaldo practices, you understand that he is a champion through and through. He works harder than everybody else, he is proper war machine. He is also too smart on a personal level, he is an exceptional guy, incredibly humble and he has a great desire to win and be the best in the world. That is not arrogance, it becomes such if you think that your skills on their own can be enough and that you do not need to work on your game.”
Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Andrea Pirlo has signed with Juventus, but, despite the rumours swirling about him being appointed for the U-23 team for next season, for now it is a mere technicality. Pirlo intends to undertake the UEFA Pro special class to coach in Serie A, but in order to enlist you need to have been under contract for a club for eight months. He is set to decide in the summer whether he will continue his career as pundit or whether he will begin managing a team.
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