Juventus President Andrea Agnelli describes the second-team project: ‘An important step in terms of sustainability.’
The Old Lady’s President attended an event at the Allianz Stadium on Sunday morning, organised by the club. Many important guests joined Agnelli, including FIGC President Gabriele Gravina, Lega Pro President Francesco Ghirelli, Lega Serie A President Lorenzo Casini and AIC chief Umberto Calcagno.
Milan Sporting Director Ricky Massara was also among the guests, which featured messages from ex-Juventus players such as Alvaro Morata and Sami Khedira. The event was organised to discuss the importance of second teams for Serie A clubs.
Juventus are the only Serie A club to have established a second team playing in Serie C, Italy’s third division.
“This is the fifth season for us, we are not talking about innovation here, we are copying those doing well. It is an important step, not just for Juventus, it is an important step in terms of sustainability, we invest, but salaries are lower,” said Agnelli, as quoted by Goal.com.
“Alessandro Costacurta deserves praise for strongly wanting this project, he pushed for this.”
Costacurta had a role in the FIGC when second teams were established. Juventus U23 made their Serie C debut in 2018-19 and changed their name to Juventus NextGen last summer.
“During our first season, footballers were a bit confused, they were accustomed to loans, and there was a climate of hostility,” continued Agnelli.
“After four or five defeats, I went to the pitch and told the players that they represented Juventus, so they had to think about this path as a way to develop. Fabio Miretti played for the Primavera team, U23 and the first team last season. I told him: ‘Do you know what you are doing?’ He replied: ‘I’ve always played for Juventus, I’ll put my shirt on and play.'”
Several current and former Juventus players have gone through second teams in Italy and abroad where several top clubs use this system to develop their best prospects.
“Second teams are useful in preparing for the senior squad. To play in a second team means to have an opportunity afterwards,” said Morata, a former Juventus striker, who came through the Real Madrid academy.
“I think it is the right step to develop, especially at a big club, it was crucial for me.”
“My experience at Stuttgart was so important,” added ex-Juventus midfielder Sami Khedira.
“The second team is a transition. Young players need time, and then you have the chance to make a further step forward and play in the senior team.”