Fiorentina sporting director Daniele Prade has revealed the secrets behind the Viola's remarkable success this season.
The 45-year-old was given the job in the summer and has overseen an astonishing turnaround in the club's fortunes by appointing Vincenzo Montella as Coach and signing a raft of new players.
“We took players who knew each other well,” he told La Repubblica. “Boys like David Pizarro, Alberto Aquilani, Borja Valero.
“If you start with the right basis, then a squad is a lot easier to build.
“Take [goalkeeper Cristiano] Lupatelli – many joked when he joined, but he has been a key player for the balance of the locker room.
“There were two key moments really – firstly when Andrea Della Valle said that Stevan Jovetic wasn't for sale, because people then realised we had great ambitions for this club.
“And then our willingness to be transparent, open and honest with the fans. It was brought a feeling that day by day has grown to something beautiful.”
He also commented on their new Coach as well as the players that have surprised him most so far in the campaign.
“We chose the players that would suit Montella's ideas. The Coach can do as much as he wants, but if he doesn't have the right players....
“Jovetic has left me speechless,” he continued. “I knew he was a top player, but I never imagined he'd be so good.
“Ljajic as well. His behaviour has been exceptional.”