By his own admission, playing for Juventus is a different challenge to that of representing former club Empoli, but Daniele Rugani has already demonstrated the hallmarks of a highly promising defender when called upon by Massimiliano Allegri over the last 18 months.
From analysing various areas of his game to complimenting the team-mates that have helped him along the way, all while not losing sight of Saturday’s home game against Atalanta, here’s what Rugani had to say in front of the Jtv cameras today.
Areas of improvement
“I’d say that my greatest strength lies in marking my man and reading the game to be able to break up play or intercept passes.
“I’ve improved my tackling too at Juventus. Naturally, I’ve changed the way I defend compared to when I was at Empoli. Here we often play one on one on an open pitch and that can lead to fouls, but I’m always looking to develop my game and that’s what I need to do as our style of play here demands that.
“It’s essential to have such talented team-mates around me because you can learn so much from each one of them. Between the defenders we have here, their characteristics compliment one another pefectly and I’m lucky to be able to look up to them.”
Winning the aim against Atalanta
“Atalanta’s fine season is no longer a surprise anymore. We need to win the game in order to send a strong signal of intent to the league, showing that what happened at Genoa was just a blip that we’ve learnt from.
“Having a whole week between games has given us the perfect opportunity to train hard and put right the wrongs of last weekend.”
Scoring a special feeling
“To score for Juventus was a great feeling with the added bonus of it being my first game this season. In terms of adrenaline, finding the net possibly just about trumps making a defensive clearance off the line, even if it has to be said that’s very important as well.
“Let’s just say that you remember scoring more easily, especially for someone like myself who doesn’t experience that too often.”
“I’ve many dreams, the greatest of which would be to win the World Cup. As a Juve fan, lifting the Champions League would have to be the ultimate achievement.”