Originally published in la Gazzetta dello Sport
Every week Football Italiano brings you a translation of one of la Gazzetta dello Sport’s interviews with a major name from the world of Italian football. This time it is the turn of Juventus winger Mauro Camoranesi…
Camoranesi, the last 16 are a challenge between Italy and England: who’s going to win?
“I believe and hope it’s going to end 2-1 to Italy”.
Who’s got the hardest task?
“Inter. Besides the titles Manchester are a strong team that lets in only a few goals and that have tremendous strikers. Considering Adebayor’s absence though, Roma have a better chance”.
What about Juventus?
“Chelsea are favourites, in the last years they have always been at the top of the league: it’s no surprise they got to the final last year”.
This year though they’ve been having some problems.
“I don’t think they are in such a bad situation. They are almost all internationals and this means experience. Moreover, changing their manager gave them more motivation”.
What changed from Scolari to Hiddink?
“I don’t know how Scolari used to work. But I know how Hiddink does because I remember how Australia challenged us at the World Cup. Like Korea and Russia, they were an aggressive and dynamic team: that’s their trademark”.
Who’s more worried? You or them?
“We’re not worried, we always try to make as few mistakes as possible. As for Chelsea, Juventus qualified first from their Champions League group, which included Real Madrid and last years Super Cup winners Zenit, therefore they’ll have the right respect for our ambitions”.
Anelka or Drogba?
“Drogba. He’s got everything a striker needs: power, technique, physical strength, sense of goal, qualities that make him different”.
Ballack or Deco?
“Deco, without doubt. He runs, he sees the game, he’s got fantasia and quality. He’s one of my favourite players”.
Is Lampard the more dangerous one?
“There are many. I’m not crazy about Lampard: I find him a normal player”.
What if it was a goalkeepers challenge?
“Gigi has always been our most decisive man, he’s the number one in the world after all. Cech is supposed to become the next one. Chelsea have more decisive players”.
Will a Juventus ‘Bernabeu-style’ be enough?
“That match made us more confident, it made us aware of our abilities and gave us determination. We can repeat it in London”.
You play less and less in the side, why?
“This year our game has changed a little: we’re less interested in deep lying players. And wingers play behind the strikers instead of out wide. I liked it more before”.
Do you like the way Juventus play?
“There are well-played and less well-played matches. The strange thing is that in the last month the performances haven’t concided with the results”.
How come you don’t manage to keep up with the level you had before the break despite getting some players back, you included?
“I don’t have a clue. As far as I’m concerned, this was my worst Italian football season: I got many injuries, all different from each other. Perhaps it depends on the fact that this year we’re more committed, therefore the chances of getting hurt increase and there’s less time to recover”.
At this point is it better to focus on the Champions League?
“Not as long as we’re 9 points from Inter. But if it becomes 10 points, it wouldn’t make sense to think to be able to win the championship”.