Tuesday December 10 2019
Demiral: 'Juve have best defence'

Merih Demiral has vowed to “fight for his place” at Juventus, who have “the best defenders”, and revealed his good relationship with Cristiano Ronaldo.

Demiral joined Juventus from Sassuolo over the summer but has only played once in Serie A this season.

Nonetheless, the 21-year-old assured he would keep working hard to convince coach Maurizio Sarri of his worth.

“Juventus are one of the best teams in the world,” he told Fanatik.

“A team with the best defenders of the past and present and, of course, it’s great to be here.

“Reaching this level was part of my plans, in the short, medium and long-term plans. But I didn’t think I would reach Juventus this quickly.

“My principle is to give 100 percent during training sessions and matches. Thanks to this, I always feel at ease.

“Then the coach will decide and it’s not up to me to comment on his decisions. But I must emphasise that my goal is to always fight for my place.”

His lack of minutes has triggered reports linking him with moves away this winter, most recently to Milan...

“I focus on my work and my representatives will take care of the market. I’ve heard the talk just like you [journalists] have.

“But as I said, I try to give 100% in every match and every training session. If I do, things are likely to go well for me.”

Demiral then spoke about how he was received by the Bianconeri squad, as well as how his grasp of Portuguese helped forge a rapport with a certain No 7.

“What struck me the most was the fact that when I came to J Medical for my check, our captain [Giorgio] Chiellini came to see me, even if the team was on vacation.

“I was very pleased. When I first arrived, Emre Can helped me a lot to get to know the club. Mentally, Cristiano [Ronaldo] is always ready to help me.

“He saw I spoke Portuguese with [Joao] Cancelo, when he was on his way to Manchester City, and he came to me and told me he was happy that I spoke Portuguese.

“Since then we have always spoken Portuguese. He’s a very warm person. He’s teaching me new Portuguese words.

“He’s helping me figure out what to do on the pitch. He warns me if I do something wrong.

“I think Ronaldo is the best in the world. This is my chance to be in the same team as him."

Turkey will play Italy in the group stage of Euro 2020, and Merih is looking forward to the match.

“Italy are a strong team. They demonstrated this by not losing any games in the group stage.

“The opening match of the tournament will be between Italy and Turkey and for me that was a nice surprise. As we always do, we will do our best.


“I know their players; Chiellini came up to me in the dressing room and told me: ‘We are better than you.’

“I turned to [Blaise] Matuidi and said: ‘We have beaten the world champions.’ Then Matuidi concluded: ‘But France finished top of the group.’

“We all laughed together. I love this fun part of the sport.”