Antonio Di Natale has hinted that Udinese believe themselves as next in line behind Milan and Juventus in the race for the 2012 Scudetto.
Week 17 saw the three teams move three points further away from fourth-place after Lazio suffered a shock 4-0 collapse at Siena. Where previous progress in the season has been met with a message from Udinese’s Coach and players that ambition is not beyond achieving League survival, Monday saw Di Natale as the first from the camp to change tone.
Whilst quick to suggest that Udinese are not favourites for the title, the striker indirectly hinted towards a growing confidence within the dressing room of their potential to keep pace at the top of the table.
“I have always said that Milan has something extra and I repeat that, for me, they are favourites for the title,” began the captain at the mid-season meeting between Serie A’s Coaches, captains and referees.
“Now the pair ahead of everyone else is Milan and Juve, but we are attached.
“This year we hope to go all the way. To promise Udinese a Scudetto seems to me to be a bit strong-worded, but we are here.”
Di Natale’s double at the weekend saw him move level with German Denis and Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the scoring charts. It is the latter he chose to single out as a key rival.
“He is the greatest danger. My goal celebration on Sunday, with the hat, I came up with it instantly.
“I hope to repeat it because the goal difference is something we want to improve greatly.
“For now, this is my goal. I will think about the national team later.”
Italy Coach Cesare Prandelli admitted at the turn of the year that he will be calling the 34-year-old up to the Azzurri’s February friendly with the US.
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.