Giorgio Chiellini admits “it’s Juventus against the rest of Italy,” but he is happy to be successful and disliked.
The defender spoke to Tuttosport ahead of Monday’s game with Livorno, which kicks off at 18.00 UK time (17.00 GMT). Click here for a match preview.
“We have the Scudetto in our grasp, but that doesn’t mean we’ve already won it,” said Chiellini after their lead over Roma was cut to eight points.
“Now we need to bring it home. The fixture list might appear simple on paper, but there are dangers, starting from Livorno.
“On the other hand, Roma can play without pressure. They’ve had an amazing campaign, beyond their rosiest expectations. I hope Napoli won’t mind me saying this, but the Giallorossi have second place guaranteed.
“Therefore all the pressure is on us. We are accustomed to that and want to achieve something historic. 100 points? That is a secondary target, as we are focused on two things: the third Scudetto in a row and to go all the way in the Europa League.”
There was controversy this week when Juve director Beppe Marotta complained Napoli “looked like a provincial team” when celebrating their 2-0 victory over the leaders.
“I don’t think it was excessive, it was just the simple celebration of those who want to win and not finish second,” insisted Chiellini.
“Is it Juve against the rest of Italy? It’s been like that since the start of the season. When Juventus lose, everyone celebrates because they hope the title race will be open again. The more you win, the less people like you. Of course, I hope next year they’ll like us even less...
“Are we less entertaining now than at the start of our run? It’s only natural, as our opponents have studied us for three years now. At the time we were the only side to start attacking moves from the back. Now even teams fighting for survival involve their goalkeeper.”
While Juventus continue to dominate in Italy, they went out of the Champions League in the group phase, but as luck would have it the Europa League Final is in Turin this season.
“The Europa League was in our destiny, as the snow in Istanbul is an event that will never happen again. We will try in the Europa League, but our focus must remain on the Scudetto.
“As for myself, I have a deal with the directors and we’ll soon meet to discuss a contract renewal. As soon as we have a little time, that is, as the fixture list is still packed.”
Chiellini was also asked about the World Cup and whether he’d bring Francesco Totti or Antonio Cassano to Brazil.
“I think both of them would deserve it. They are champions and the Nazionale is their home. The Coach will decide.”