Former hero Gianluca Vialli believes Juventus face a ‘difficult year’ and admitted he would give Atalanta forward Papu Gomez the Ballon d’Or.
Vialli, who was given the all-clear in May after two years battling with cancer, helped the club win Serie A, the Coppa Italia and the UEFA Cup, and is still ‘the last captain’ who lifted the Champions League trophy for Juventus.
But the former Bianconeri hero thinks coach Andrea Pirlo has a tough task ahead in Serie A this season, as the challengers eye an opportunity to overtake the dominant Old Lady.
“I think this is a difficult year for Juventus,” Vialli told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “But this goes beyond the change of coach.
“It’s almost psychological, after nine years, that others have found the countermeasures and that you may feel a little satisfied.
“I don’t know who will win, but I believe that this year the others, in addition to having strengthened, will perhaps feel less than before that Juventus are granted the championship.
“It will be more open.”
Vialli admitted Atalanta’s style of play has impressed him and said he would give Papu Gomez the Ballon d’Or.
“I love them as a team and I would have loved to play there,” Vialli said. “They have a style of play that involves you, you score a lot of goals, you make an effort, and you have fun.
“The Bergamaschi play with that spirit that I like: adventurous and courageous.
“Papu has improved over the years, he has become a complete player. He makes the quality and quantity to change the games. He solves them, he wins them.
“Fantastic. But there’s [Lionel] Messi, [Cristiano] Ronaldo, Neymar, [Robert] Lewandowski and you’ll say, oh well, I would award Gomez the Ballon d’Or, but not giving it to any of these is difficult."
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