03 August 2016
Every close season brings a turnover of old faces and the arrival of new ones yet few summer transfer windows have had as large an impact on Juventus veteran Andrea Barzagli than this one.
Returning to training for the first time since crowning a magical campaign with a second consecutive domestic double in May, the defender has already been taken aback by the quality of the Bianconeri’s acquisitions thus far and hopes that their early Vinovo impact is a sign of things to come.
With such striking reinforcements, the Wall predicts another strong and possibly better showing on all fronts from the reigning champions while adding that only results will decide if Juve’s 2016/17 vintage is superior to that of 2015/16.
Also taking time to discuss his side’s ambitions for the coming season and the positive first impressions from new national team coach Giampiero Ventura, the key quotes from Andrea’s media meeting are as follows:
“Some top players have arrived and they have undoubtedly raised the quality of our squad – but results next season will decide whether this team is better than last year’s. Our goal is to ensure that it is.
“There are some excellent defensive units across the continent and with the additions of Dani Alves and Medhi Benatia – two players with a proven track record of silverware and experience - I feel that now we’ve taken another step forward ourselves.
“Higuain? Given the number of matches we will be playing, he may well be the difference for us over the course of the season. He is an excellent centre forward and he has shown that with the number of goals he has scored everywhere he has been.”
New season ambitions
“As ever, our objectives are to triumph in Italy, express ourselves in Europe and improve on our achievements of the previous campaign.
“The Champions League is a competition like no other with a handful of truly world-class contenders. For me, I see this as one of my last two opportunities to win it; quite simply it’s the pinnacle for clubs and players alike.
"We know that the road to get to the final is a tough one and to advance through the competition you need a host of factors in your favour such as injuries, form and even a touch of fortune. We’ve grown a lot over the last few seasons and we hope to go a step or two further this time around.”
New international desire
“It was great to meet the new coach and my first impression was good; the meeting he held with me and the other Italians in the squad was very productive. I have always been intrigued by him as a manager for his attention to detail and his knowledge about the game.
“The fire in my belly is back and if I can stay in form and in good condition physically then I don’t see why I couldn’t return to the international setup once more. Of course it’s not up to me but should the coach call me up, my response would most likely be a positive one.”