Antonio Di Natale assures he “never had a doubt” on Udinese, having signed a new lifetime contract with the club.
The captain put pen to paper on a deal holding him to the Stadio Friuli until 2015 with an option for another season too. By the time it expires, he will be almost 39 years old.
“I never had a doubt on my contract with the President and the Pozzo family,” Di Natale told Udinese Channel.
“It is important for the fans and for Udine, but also for me. It will be my final contract and I hope to do well from here to the end.
“Could I reach 200 Serie A goals? It’ll be difficult. My objective is to be in good shape physically and also psychologically.”
So far the veteran has 176 top flight strikes and last season found the net 23 times in 33 Serie A matches.
“I have been here for 10 years and seen so many young players come and go. Udinese is certainly an excellent environment for youngsters to grow and improve. I hope to lend them my experience to help them become great players.
“Now we must think about doing well in the Europa League this season rather than qualifying for it the next. Our primary objective in Serie A is to secure 40 points and safety, then we’ll see what happens.”
Di Natale had been linked with Milan ahead of his contract renewal, while a few years ago he turned down an offer from Juventus.
“It is always pleasing to be of interest to other clubs, because it means you did well on the field and your work was appreciated. The President always knew my desire was to end my career at Udinese and we had no problems working out a contract very quickly.”
He scored in Euro 2012 against Spain and was allowed to rest for the Confederations Cup, but could Di Natale be back in an Azzurri jersey for the World Cup in Brazil next summer?
“I am focused on having a great season. Cesare Prandelli’s words were very encouraging and if I do as well as last season, or even better, and am called up then I will always be ready to give a big hand for that jersey which means everything to me.”