Marcello Lippi believes that Juventus will still be a force in 2012-13 – even if boss Antonio Conte won’t be on the touchline.
The tactician has been given a 10-month ban as a result of the Italian Football Federation’s inquest into match fixing. He can still work with the side at Vinovo though.
“I don’t know how much of a handicap the absence of Conte will be,” the former Juve tactician told Tuttosport.
“The real work is done in the week during training, but it then depends how much a Coach is able to transmit from the sidelines and he’s one of the most emotive.”
Juventus will start the campaign as favourites after adding to an already impressive squad with some important signings.
“I’d love to Coach Sebastian Giovinco,” Lippi said of the summer recruit from Parma. “He’s a genius and, in my opinion, he is Juventus’ best summer signing.
“Andrea Pirlo will repeat his past season because these types of players do not age. As for Arturo Vidal, he reminds me of Edgar Davids.”
The Old Lady’s spending hasn’t finished yet either as their search for a new striker continues. The latest to be linked are Manchester City’s Edin Dzeko and Athletic Bilbao’s Fernando Llorente.
“They are both great players. If one of them arrived then the team will have been significantly strengthened for the Champions League.”
One man who won’t be in Turin this season is Alessandro Del Piero – the veteran who helped Lippi secure club honours as well as the 2006 World Cup.
“I love Del Piero and I hope that he continues to play football if that is his desire, but if his career ends with Juventus then that would be a romantic finale.”