Monday January 13 2014
‘Conte can be Juve’s Ferguson’

Beppe Marotta believes Antonio Conte ‘can and will be’ Juventus’ equivalent to Sir Alex Ferguson, saying the Bianconeri have ‘nothing to envy’ of other clubs.

Conte has helped transform the Old Lady into double-League champions in his short time as Coach at the club, whilst they comfortably lead the title race at the midway point in his third season in charge.

Whilst speculation has indicated that the 44-year-old would be open to a move abroad to further his career, Juve’s director general says he could be the club’s version of Sir Alex Ferguson, who spent 27 years with Manchester United.

“I would say that this team is proving to not have, on a technical level, anything to envy any international club,” Marotta has today responded on Radio 1, to questions of whether Conte is looking further a field.

“Antonio has raced ahead, creating a great team immediately. This makes him one of the best in the world in his work. We are Juventus, a large club, which is gaining credibility once more at international level despite our economic power not being the same as with other international clubs.

“In the Italian scene perhaps he is a little cramped, but he is at Juventus and knows our desire for growth.

“I am optimistic about his future. I hope and believe that Conte can become for Juventus what Ferguson was for United, or Arsene Wenger is for Arsenal, and I am sure that he will be.”

Marotta, who has overseen the club’s transfer policy in recent years, reflected on the club’s recent return to success.

“I represent the company, whilst alongside a great squad always is a great club and for this we must thank the Agnelli family.

“Again, the main merit is with Conte, but you have to also applaud the stability of the club. In the history of Juventus, it has always been the team to beat and in turn our opponents have had to give more than 100 per cent.

“I believe that Conte has understood this thanks to his experience as a player. He has been able to cope with any kind of opponent  with the right capacity and character.

“He has been able to pass on his mentality to the team, thus increasing the boys’ motivation.

“We must look forward and not settle and for this one needs planning and strategy. I consider [Fabio] Paratici as one of the best in scouting and he should have the merit in deals for the likes of [Domenico[ Berardi and other young players who are doing well around Italy.

“Our goal is always to reach the pinnacle of sporting achievement whilst carefully watching the budget, and if we achieve certain results then it is thanks to the expertise of the individual components of Juventus.

“One of our goals is certainly to arrive sooner or later in the latter stages of the Champions League.

“However, as it has already been said, we must achieve our goals without upsetting the budget or creating cracks that cannot be remedied.

“It is a kind of economic law that we have decided to follow up and continue on this road. The goal, however, is surely to compete with other major European sides.

“The Scudetto? It would be historic and we cannot hide from that.”

Marotta considered the current title race, which has Juve out in front by eight points.

“Roma will soon see the benefits of having to think only about the League and Coppa Italia. We and Napoli, in this respect, can have some problems, especially in February and March. We will require the appropriate training to adapt to the European games away that we will inevitably face. And do not forget that we have many in the international team.

“Milan’s issues? It is a shame for Italian football, they are a major club and unfortunately in the world you move ahead on the basis of cycles.”

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