Coach Cesare Prandelli’s charges were able to once again make an important stand, albeit achieving only a point after a score draw against Juventus. Returning from a trip to Turin with a point is not an easy feat considering the Bianconeri boast players of high caliber such as Brazilian Diego and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, as well as the likes of Giorgio Chiellini.
The result confirms the Gigliati’s positive moment and bodes well considering the critical stretch of matches coming up, including two must-win games against Hungarians Debrecen in the Champions League, as well as clashes with Napoli and Genoa in Serie A. Fiorentina remains fourth in the league table after emerging unscathed from the weekend, except for Marco Marchionni’s injury. The former Juventus winger will miss the midweek clash in the Champions League and there is no confirmation of the extent of injury or the time he will miss. Coach Prandelli will certainly try to instill some humility into his players to ensure la Viola’s players approach the match against Debrecen properly so as to secure a vital win that will go a long way into improving the club’s chances of moving beyond the group stage. The club from Tuscany must take six points from the two encounters with the Hungarian side in order to engage in the clashes with Lyon and Liverpool with less pressure. Making it to the elimination rounds of the Champions League will secure additional funds for the Tuscan club as well as attract quality footballers while enticing the current crop of stars, namely Stevan Jovetić, Sebastien Frey and Alberto Gilardino, to commit to la Viola’s cause in the near future.
On the transfer front, the team from Florence continues to be linked with a number of players, with the latest addition to the list being David Luiz. The Brazilian defender plays for Portuguese side Benfica and will be a solid signing but the asking price seems well over Fiorentina’s reach. The 22-year-old has a contract tying him to the Lisbon club until 2015 and he has attracted the attention of a host of European teams, including Spanish giants Barcelona and Italian league leaders Inter. It will be hard for la Viola to compete with the funds available for such established clubs. Fiorentina is clearly showing great interest in strengthening the defensive department and is rumoured to be pursuing Palermo’s Simon Kjaer. The defender is highly regarded amongst elite clubs in Italy and Europe with Juventus also showing interest in securing the player’s services. La Viola will have to fork out a handsome amount in order to lure Kjaer from Palermo and it is unlikely owner Maurizio Zamparini will let go of his prized asset for less than €12m.
A current Gigliati player who will probably be on his way out this January or perhaps next summer, is Juan Manuel Vargas. The left-wing back is reportedly on his way to Real Madrid in a deal worth €20 million according to Spanish and Peruvian media outlets. Vargas was captured from Catania and has previously been compared to Brazilian Roberto Carlos. Both Fiorentina and los Galácticos have yet to confirm any of the reports pertaining to this transfer, though recently la Viola has been linked with Real’s own left-wing back Royston Drenthe. The Dutch player can perhaps be used as part of an exchange-deal for Vargas in addition to a sum paid to the Florence club. With rumours continuing to grow, Fiorentina’s interest in Ezequiel Muñoz, who plays for Boca Juniors, further fuels the reports linking Vargas with los Blancos.
The current climate surrounding the club has been quite positive with the string of decent results further cementing the status of Cesare Prandelli as a quality Coach who is likely to be considered as a future candidate for coaching an elite club and perhaps even la Nazionale. Prior to the start of the season, Prandelli was even linked with la Vecchia Signora, showing how far he has gone in building a solid reputation as a capable and shrewd tactician who can get the best out of his players. The draw against the Old Lady might not have witnessed the anticipated fireworks, but it was certainly an entertaining match during which Juve’s Coach Ciro Ferrara was unable to outfox Prandelli. The next ten days will be crucial in confirming Fiorentina’s status as a top-four team in the domestic league and as a contender for qualifying beyond the group stage in Europe. The mission must start with a victory in Hungary in order to confirm the current positive mood in the Fiorentina camp.
Fiorentina Club Focus
Viola continue to grind out results – September 15, 2009
La Viola lose Gilardino and the points – September 18, 2009
Fatigue catching up with la Viola – September 22, 2009
Della Valle Resigns as Fiorentina triumph over Sampdoria – September 25, 2009
La Viola finally win away as De Silvestri makes debut – September 29, 2009
The beginning of the Jovetic era in Florence? – October 2, 2009
Two points lost and a wasted opportunity – October 6, 2009
Good news all round – October 9, 2009
International Week (Republic of Ireland-Italy, Italy-Cyprus)
Transfer rumours abound as Gilardino fires la Nazionale to South Africa – October 13, 2009
Gilardino shines again as la Viola eye the Bianconeri’s scalp – October 16, 2009
La Viola holds firm against Juventus – October 20, 2009