Chiellini keen to keep up winning habits

Chiellini keen to keep up winning habits
Chiellini keen to keep up winning habits
Chiellini keen to keep up winning habits

“We’re back now after claiming the Scudetto and the Coppa Italia, but as a group, we still want to continue winning, playing well and writing history.”

Giorgio Chiellini’s first words upon reporting back to Vinovo for pre-season in Tuesday’s meeting with official club channel Jtv displayed no shortage of hunger or ambition to reach ever greater milestones during the upcoming 2016/17 campaign.

If the arrivals of Gonzalo Higuain, Dani Alves, Miralem Pjanic, Medhi Benatia and Marko Pjaca have sparked excitement among fans, the defender added credence to the notion that this transfer window has increased enthusiasm also in what is now a very new-look dressing room.

“The club has certainly given us a big boost over the summer, revitalising a group that has already won almost everything there was to win and might have risked struggling to discover that energy again.

“In my opinion, this summer’s transfers will serve not merely to add technical skill to the team, but also to stir excitement amid the ranks.”

As the club get set to embark on a third season under Massimiliano Allegri, Chiellini stressed how the side has evolved and grown into a genuine European force under the Tuscan tactician’s stewardship, not least due to the way players are preparing for fixtures in Vinovo.

“I think that we raised our game last season, starting with the quality of our workouts, and from there our match performances subsequently improved as well.

“The chance to now play both with and against such talented players in training and in games can only help in terms of reaching that next level both individually and collectively.”

Reminded of his breath-taking strike against Sampdoria in May, the 31-year-old admitted that, while hitting the target was always a pleasure, it was his defensive duties that counted for most.

“I’ve always said that I’d take not conceding any day of the week. We’re the happiest guys on earth when the opposition fail to find the net.

“It’s clear that scoring goals can feel very special and you get a huge adrenaline rush, but we’re more satisfied when we keep the back door shut until the final whistle blows.”

One man also eager to keep clean sheets aplenty in 2016/17 is defensive colleague Patrice Evra. Commenting on the Frenchman’s jovial post on Instagram, in which he fielded all nine of Juventus’ recognised defenders in the same line-up, Chiellini said in jest: “Since Patrice opened up his social media accounts, he’s become very active, perhaps too much! Nevertheless, his posts have always been very good-humoured.

“Jokes aside, we’re aware that we have significant squad depth with plenty of options in personnel across all positions. There have been some big acquisitions in defence, which raise further the quality of this side on an international level.”

While a positive transfer window will always help a side’s fortunes, the long-serving Bianconero, now entering his 12th season at the club, had no doubts about the key ingredients to another successful recipe in Turin this term.

“This year we perhaps have to bear even more responsibility and pressure on our shoulders than in previous seasons. Given the quality of our summer signings, the fans might expect us to win matches 3-0 or 4-0, when we know only too well that it won’t be quite so straightforward.

“The secret behind our successes over the years boils down to hard work on a daily basis, humility, passion, desire, sacrifice and the willingness to help one another. All of these characteristics have enabled us to celebrate great achievements in the past and will continue to be key in maintaining our winning habits this term. We can’t afford to lose sight of the great moral qualities that have brought us so much joy in recent times.”

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