Udinese midfielder Rolando Mandragora said he ‘dreams’ of earning a place at Juventus. ‘They believed in me during a dark period’.
The defensive midfielder suffered a cruciate ligament injury in June and revealed he hopes to be back in the Friuli team before the end of the year.
Udinese have struggled in Mandragora's absence and sit 19th in Serie A after seven games.
“I’m very well, I feel good on the pitch and the worst period is behind me,” Mandragora told Sky Sport Italia.
“I’m thinking of returning as soon as possible and I hope to be there for the end of the year. It was a big blow, I had prepared myself to play many games after the lockdown.
“But fate played this bad joke on me and now I look forward. I hope to contribute.”
The 23-year-old said the 'championship is long' and stressed the Friuli are working with 'desire to score points' after a difficult start to the new campaign.
“I’m the first to make mistakes on the pitch. Some games are good and others are bad,” he added. “The start could have been better but it’s a long championship.
“We want to do well, and we will enter the pitch with our claws out and the desire to score points.”
Mandragora has a contract until June 2025 with Juventus, but an option for a further year at the Dacia Arena.
But the Italian midfielder admitted his ‘dream’ is to play for the Old Lady and that he hopes to earn a place in Andrea Pirlo’s side.
“In a dark period, that of the injury, Juve believed in me and this is a source of great pride.
“I will do everything to earn that shirt, it’s a dream and a goal and everything comes from the performances with Udinese.
“By building on the pitch, I can reach Juventus and play with very strong players. It would be a privilege to be coached by a great former player like [Andrea] Pirlo.”