Sampdoria manager Delio Rossi summed up his feelings as his team await a daunting opening-day fixture against the champions of Italy with one succinct and revealing phrase: “We couldn’t have come up against a more difficult opponent.”
Speaking to the media this lunchtime ahead of tomorrow evening’s encounter at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, the 52-year-old pointed out that he had realised the size of the challenge facing his men long before Juve’s recent 4-0 demolition of Lazio in the Italian Super Cup.
He said: “Even if they had lost that match by the same scoreline, it would have made no difference to the difficulty of the task we face tomorrow. They are a side made up of great champions who always want to win and are determined to get back to winning ways if they lose.”
Rossi enjoys the record of being the only manager to have done the double over Juventus last season, but insists his men must put last year’s feat behind them as they strive to upset the odds once again.
He added: “I believe that Juve are the strongest side in Serie A this season: they’ve brought in world class players like Carlos Tevez, Fernando Llorente and Angelo Ogbonna. The fixture list couldn’t have handed us a worse opponent on the opening day of the season, but we’ll try to play our own game.”