As the Bianconeri look to bounce back from the disappointment of December’s Super Cup final defeat to Milan at the first time of asking – namely this Sunday’s Serie A match at home to Bologna (kick-off at 20.45 CET) – Claudio Marchisio sums up what was otherwise a positive 2016 for the club, while looking towards the challenges that lie in wait during 2017.
Here’s what the Little Prince had to say in today’s interview with Jtv:
2016 in summary
“I’ve defined my 2016 as bittersweet due to the lengthy injury I sustained. The same adjective could also be applied to the squad, given how the year ended. That Super Cup final defeat was the only blot on an extremely positive 12 months.
“It’s only natural to regret not bringing home what would have been the first trophy of the season, but we need to look at all the great things we’ve achieved: the records broken, trophies lifted and the fact that we lead the way in the league going into this new year.
“All of this means that we can start 2017 with great confidence and determination to kick on from where we left off.”
Beginning the year against Bologna
“It’s great to begin the new year playing at home. We need to be ready for a match that won’t be easy by any stretch, but having the fans behind us will be a boost.
“We’re taking on a team who also want to make a strong start to 2017 and, as we already know, the games directly after the holidays are never straightforward.
“Bologna may not have as many points as might have been expected given the quality of their players and manager (Roberto Donadoni) and they’ll come here looking to give as good as they’ve got.
“In any case, sides managed by Donadoni have always put us under pressure and we ought to remember that our last league draw came against Bologna, almost a year ago, so we need to be on our toes to make sure we kick off the year in the right way.”
So far so good in Europe
“It’s fair to say that we’ve done well so far in the Champions League this term, getting the results we needed to finish first in our group. We’re happy with the last 16 draw because we could easily have been pitted against stronger teams on paper, but at the same time we can’t forget that Porto have a track-record of performing very well in this competition and they’ve many talented players who each year move on to massive clubs, so we must not underestimate them.
“Once you reach the knockout stages of the Champions League, you always encounter teams with quality. No games are easy. We’re fortunate to be playing the first leg away in Porto before returning home for the second match.
“This double-header isn’t for a little while yet, however. In the meantime, we need to concentrate on picking up points in Serie A.”
“Unfortunately we’ve just missed out on one of our aims, which was to win the Super Cup, but we must pick ourselves up again immediately from that defeat and work our way towards our next objectives, namely the Serie A title, the Champions League and the Coppa Italia.
“There are three trophies at stake and we’ve a competitive side that can still give so much more. We’re aware of that and, over the next few months, we need to focus on these three fronts. Juventus can go all the way in each one of the competitions.”