Wednesday September 18 2019
Paratici: 'Juve excess is positive'

Juventus director Fabio Paratici insists having players who don’t want to leave represents “a positive rather than a negative. We’d be worried if the squad was too small.”

Their Champions League campaign kicks off against Atletico Madrid at 20.00 UK time (19.00 GMT), click here for the line-up and LIVEBLOG.

“I wouldn’t say we lacked courage here last season, as the Champions League away fixtures are always very difficult. The opening half-hour is an inferno, even against supposedly weaker teams,” the director of sport told Sky Sport Italia.

“Atletico had a great performance at the Wanda Metropolitano last term, we had an even better one in Turin, so we progressed in the competition.

“In the last six-seven years, we’ve always had top quality squads with players who have won a great deal with Juve, at their clubs before and at international level.

“Nothing changes, the Coach knows what he has to do and we’ve always had tacticians who are perfectly capable of dealing with this many star names.”

Sarri famously is no fan of squad rotation, so is he struggling to deal with this many talented players all pushing for space?

“We are not worried. We ought to be worried if our team is too small. We’re into the fourth game of the season, we’ve already lost Giorgio Chiellini, Mattia De Sciglio and Douglas Costa to injury.

“We’re preparing for a long campaign, which means we need a large squad that is complete, competitive and with strength in depth.”

Mario Mandzukic and Emre Can are not even on the Champions League squad list, but refused transfers during the summer.

“People see it as a negative, but we see it as a positive. When we took over many years ago, very few players wanted to come to Juve and quite a lot wanted to leave. Now we are in the opposite situation.

“It’s something to be considered as positive and we thank those players who over the years worked so hard to help the club reach that level.

“It would be mad to say we weren’t satisfied with the last few years. We made changes because we had to bring in above all players to fill the slots that were lacking.

“We brought in Matthijs de Ligt, who last season was one of the best defenders in the Champions League. We brought in Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot in midfield to replace those who left, we brought back Gigi Buffon, who is a legend, and we signed Merih Demiral, who is a very promising young defender.”

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