NEWS
Saturday June 29 2019
Cairo: 'Torino deserve Europa League'

President Urbano Cairo insists Torino “deserved” to enter the Europa League after 63 Serie A points, even if it did need Milan’s exclusion first.

The Rossoneri had been due to enter the tournament in the group phase, with Roma in the preliminary round, but UEFA excluded them for Financial Fair Play violations.

Consequently, Roma were bumped up to the group phase and Torino enter the preliminary round starting July 25 against either Debrecen or Kukesi.

“It’s very satisfying. I’m sorry for Milan, as I was a fan of theirs when I was a child, but it was a spectacular year for us, our best since I’ve been President and Torino’s best in the era of three points for a win,” President Cairo told Sky Sport Italia.

“In the last 15 years, no side that amassed 63 points had failed to qualify for Europe before now. Our qualification therefore is deserved and there were some marvellous victories along the way, not to mention an impenetrable defence and Andrea Belotti back to his best.

“It would’ve been a real shame after that not to enter European competition. Walter Mazzarri gave this side an identity and we now speak every hour practically, let alone every day, to work out our plans and reinforce the squad.”

The preliminary round schedule inevitably forces Torino to change their plans, but also their approach to the transfer market.

“We’ve brought forward the start of pre-season training to July 4, while we’ll have 11 days in Bormio and then return to Turin before the first leg on July 25,” explained Cairo.

“We will maintain the best talents, which was already the plan, and add in a few new faces. It won’t be easy, but in the second half of the season once the injuries died down, we were basically the fourth best performers behind Juventus, Napoli and Atalanta.

“The players have absorbed Mazzarri’s teaching now and can give even more from next season.”

Cairo was asked about reports Torino are going back in for Watford man Roberto Pereyra.

“Nobody has mentioned him for a long time, so we are honestly looking at different objectives. Lyanco did very well at Bologna and for Brazil, so he has improved a great deal since he went out on loan.

“Armando Izzo has a four-year contract with us, we met with his agent to discuss the interest from foreign clubs, but we want to keep him with us.”