Juventus
    Juventus
      15.01.2016 15:50 - in: Serie A S

      Hernanes explains Juve effect

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      Brazilian midfielder Hernanes puts the Juventus effect into words ahead of Sunday’s tie with Udinese: “There is a winning atmosphere here that soaks into your very skin”

      Brazilian midfielder Hernanes puts the Juventus effect into words ahead of Sunday’s tie with Udinese: “There is a winning atmosphere here that soaks into your very skin”

      A cerebral, thoughtful player with an eye for a pass, it should come as no surprise that Brazilian midfielder Anderson Hernanes de Carvalho Viana Lima is just as pensive and perceptive off the field as he is on it with the ball at his feet.

      For example, ask him for a comment on the atmosphere and character of the Juventus dressing room and you will receive an answer that delves into the very nature of winning via a brief aside on biological science and the Bianconeri’s famous collective mentality.

      Chatting to the Sky Sport cameras ahead of Sunday’s Serie A encounter with Udinese the Brazilian began, “From the players to the backroom staff, we all sing from the same hymn sheet. There is a lovely and friendly atmosphere but at the same time, as Edgar Davids once said, you are taught how to win here.

      “I read a book recently by Bruce Lipton (American stem cell biologist, specialising in the connection between cells and the spirit) in which he says that every cell adapts to its environment. So, in a winning atmosphere like this, it’s only natural that your own way of thinking changes too. If you like, your cells all become black and white!”

      Just as his surroundings are beginning to alter his mindset to that of a Juventus player, Hernanes has also seen his role on the field take on a slightly modified form in recent weeks as exemplified in last weekend’s 2-1 victory over Sampdoria.

      Switching from his familiar position behind the strikers to a screening role in front of the defence, the Brazilian produced arguably his finest performance since arriving from Inter on deadline day last August, demonstrating his self-professed greatest quality: his tactical flexibility. 

      “I was brought here to play in the hole behind the forwards and I have only featured there three times this season. I think the strongest aspect of my game, however, is my versatility.”

      “That said, every player ought to commit himself to a role on the field and work on improving his skills in that position. The boss (Massimiliano Allegri) convinced me otherwise and I feel I have all the right attributes to do a good job as a deeper-lying midfielder.

      “I was happy with my contributions against Samp in my new position. Admittedly, I had a tough start to life here for which I was criticised but there is little use in focusing too much on that kind of thing: I choose to focus instead on what really matters, improving as a player.” 

      What is clear then is the suitability of the 30-year old’s mentality to the challenge that faces him in the coming months: to fight for his place in the Bianconeri line-up and ensure that his promising cameo at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris will be one of many in a Juventus shirt.  

      “It is very difficult to maintain your peak fitness if you are not playing regularly. The most important thing you can do if you are not starting matches is to train doubly hard during the week, particularly since the boss has rotated the squad this season.

      "For me, this is a good thing: you know that for any given game, you have a shot at the starting XI.”

      The Brazil international reserved his final word naturally to Sunday’s encounter at the Stadio Friuli, a ground that will always have a special place in his heart, having netted a superb late winner there while in the colours of Lazio two years ago.

      As he says himself, a recreation of that January joy would signify another excellent afternoon’s work.

      “It was a great goal particularly since it came on the back of a tough run of form for me and it felt like a turning point in my season. I hope to feel the same kind of emotions come Sunday evening. Whether we repeat the same last minute drama or not does not really matter. The only thing that counts is that we win.”

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