With 90 minutes under his belt in Italy’s draw with Germany on Tuesday evening, Daniele Rugani is raring to go again for Juventus, having been sidelined for the last six weeks through injury.
Upon rejoining his team-mates ahead of crucial matches against Pescara this weekend and Sevilla next Tuesday, here is what the defender had to say this afternoon to the Sky Sport cameras in Vinovo.
Onwards and upwards
“I feel more mature both as a player and as a man and that’s down to the greater responsibility that I have here and the professional environment at Juventus. I’ve made several steps forwards already, but I’m always looking to improve and do my best to become a more important member of the squad.
“It’s a pity about my injury which has held me back a bit, but I’ve returned now, ahead of schedule too, and I’m ready to go again for the rest of what is a very long season.
“I have to keep raising my game both from a physical and mental standpoint, but I’m playing with undisputed champions from whom I can learn a great deal. It’s a privilege to have them as team-mates. I’ll be satisfied if, by the end of the campaign, I’ll have continued to develop and gained greater trust as well as game time in the side.”
Pescara our priority at present
“It’s normal that the match directly after the international break is a tough one. We’ll need to approach it with complete focus because three points are at stake. We must dedicate our undivided attention to this game and only afterwards start thinking about Sevilla.”
Title race still tight
“We’re only at the start of the season and we showed last season how it’s possible to re-open a title race in little time at all. Roma are perhaps our main rivals at the moment, but there are several other sides in contention too, such as Napoli and Milan.”
“The expectations on us are enormous and we need to make sure that we block out any pressure coming from the outside, for example if we were to play part of a match below par or if we failed to play the sort of football we know we can. We need to accept this situation and keep driving forwards down the path we’ve set ourselves.”