Sunday November 10 2013
Marotta: 'Verbal sparring was benevolent'

Juventus general manager Beppe Marotta assured Antonio Conte and Rafa Benitez’s verbal sparring was “benevolent.”

This evening Juventus and Napoli go head-to-head, but in his Press conference Conte said Benitez would have ‘failed’ if he didn’t win the Scudetto this season.

“These statements were part of the media game, but were very well-intentioned,” Marotta told Sky Sport Italia.

“Juventus have the duty to target the best in every competition they enter. Of course there are opponents to deal with, but these are our targets.”

Paul Pogba has become a key figure in the Bianconeri midfield despite arriving on a free transfer from Manchester United.

“We have signed Pogba on a free transfer and Andrea Pirlo before that. A club has to keep an eye on every situation, be ready to step in and also have a little bit of luck, not to mention a Coach who can make the most of these players.”

There have been reports this week that Juve director Fabio Paratici is the prime target to replace Adriano Galliani at Milan next season.

“We are proud that one of our directors is linked with a very prestigious club. However, Juventus have reference points and a solid group of directors in me, Paratici, Pavel Nedved and President Andrea Agnelli. This team is very united and strong, so I see no siren song from elsewhere.”

Juventus could face punishment, as before kick-off there have already been anti-Neapolitan chants in the stands. These are treated as ‘territorial discrimination’ and penalised using the same rules to combat racism.

“We are worried and I think all of football is for the things that keep happening, such as today with Nocerina. This gives a negative image to our football and it’s a great shame.

“I’d love for the fans to only cheer on their own teams and not aim abuse at others. It is something we should all together try to deal with.”

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