Antonio Conte has praised Paul Pogba for his response to picking up the 2013 Golden Boy, and commented on Juventus’ young supporters earning a fine.
The Old Lady’s young Frenchman was yesterday announced as the recipient of Tuttosport’s annual award, which recognises the best Under-21 footballer of the past 12 months in Europe.
“For Paul, I am very happy that he has received this award,” Conte has considered to reporters at today’s Press conference ahead of playing Bologna tomorrow.
“But I am even more please that he has expressed himself in that way, saying that he will not settle for that award and that he wants to aim for a much more prestigious award.
“This must not been seen as an act of cheek on the part of the guy, but as an act of awareness for what he has. Then from there, to continue to improve, to become one of the best players in the world, that is a nice way to go. In this sense there is a lot of work, but there are many lessons for him.
“And above all, for his part, there must be the right mentality, the head that is there now, because he does not forget that he came from Manchester where he played in the youth team and in the first team when we saw him through binoculars.
“Today, in the space of a year-and-a-half, he has grown in exciting ways, so impressively, and so much of the credit goes to him for making himself available.
“I also think that we deserve some of the credit, and when I talk about ‘I’, I speak of the technical staff, the club who believed in him, that have had the opportunity to work to try to improve this guy.
“But as I have said before, he is always wanting to continue to grow. He has the potential to do so. The important thing is that, as I always say, his head is down and he pedals.
“By the time you are halfway through looking around, perhaps there is someone who overtakes you.”
Conte was also asked today about the €5,000 fine Juve picked up this week for their young fans in attendance against Udinese shouting abuse at Zeljko Brkic.
“I think that we must always make the distinction. There are rules to respect and those to punish. And then there is the fury. So I think that this was aggressive. When looking at these topics, such as with children, it is easy to appeal to sentiment, to rhetoric, they do everything, they do everything, they do everything.
“As a family man, I have said for a long time and I am reiterating to you, that we must improve football. When I say this, I am referring to all components, not just those who take to the field or are on the bench.
“Everyone, everyone, including the communication that needs to send out positive messages. I hope the next time against Sassuolo, instead of this word or that, perhaps they say ‘bravo’, for every save the goalkeeper makes, they say ‘bravo’.
“It would be a small step forward for everyone and we would not fall into rhetoric, because to repeat and fall into such a thing is easy.”