03 April 2016
For Daniele Rugani, playing against Empoli had the added flavour of taking on ex employers, having represented the Tuscan outfit last year.
As the 21-year-old strutted his stuff on the Juventus Stadium turf, intercepting opposition passes and playing the ball neatly out from the backline, it was clear that, while the defender clearly owes a great deal of his ability to the Azzurri, he has also made noticeable progress since arriving in Turin last summer.
“It was an emotional match for me, coming up against my former club,” he opened. “Nevertheless, I think that I dealt well with it all. I’m happy because we’ve claimed an important victory that takes us a step closer to our objective.
“Displays such as tonight’s certainly help to boost self-confidence. I feel like I’m becoming more composed all the time and I thank the staff and also my defensive colleagues, who have helped me a great deal.
"I’ve still so many things to learn both in training and in the matches. I’m looking to take away whatever I can from every single moment to make sure that I improve with every passing day.”
A steep learning curve, no doubt, but one which Rugani is clearly relishing, as he aspires to become a key pillar in the Juve rearguard for years to come.
He concluded: “The pressures and objectives here are different to elsewhere I’ve been, where there’s less time to grow and you play to win every single match, but I’m gradually getting used to this way of thinking and I hope to keep moving in the right direction.”