Few youngsters manage to make it as professional footballers, and even fewer go on to enjoy careers of the calibre of the likes of Claudio Marchisio and Sebastian Giovinco, so a large portion of the kids currently involved in Juventus' grassroots area will not reach the heights everyone so hopes they can.
“From time to time I remind them that their Juventus jerseys have only been lent to them. The key idea here is that the collective helps the individual to improve by bringing out the best in each person, with the idea of football as a team sport central to everything we do.
"Even the youngest kids need to be able to interact with their fellow players – and at the same time they need to be aware that what they’re experiencing is a dream that could come to an end at any time. Indeed, as time passes, fewer and fewer lads manage to make the step up,” explains Valenti.
Once they have started training with the Bianconeri, the youngsters are evaluated on the basis of four key criteria: technical, physical, mental and emotional. Without just one of these elements, the lads are unlikely to be able to progress sufficiently, explains technical coordinator Stefano Baldini.
“How do we go about it then? First and foremost, we guarantee the same opportunities for all, offering them something truly excellent. We then teach them the idea that they all play a part in everything that happens to everyone else.
"To paraphrase coach Meo Sacchetti: 'I didn’t have a great deal of talent, if not that of hard work and passion, but I can say that I helped those around me to improve.’ You could say that the biggest task for every one of them is not just to play a decisive role in their own development, but also to ensure that their team-mates improve too.”
Indeed, Meo Sacchetti – the legendary former basketball player and Italian title-winning coach with Sassari – played a key role in one of the training sessions organised at Vinovo for youngsters and coaches alike.