Max Allegri praises Paulo Dybala for acting as if ‘it’s his first year at Juventus,’ prepares for Udinese and warns everything he achieved before is ‘in the museum, you have to keep challenging yourself.’
The campaign kicks off at the Dacia Arena on Sunday, when Juve visit Udinese.
“As I have always said, the first game is very difficult, especially as Udinese are a physical side. They didn’t concede any goals from corners last season, are good on the counter and well-organised at the back,” said Allegri in his press conference.
“We must be ready, as to win we need a solid performance with good technique and a lot of patience.”
The coach is expecting reinforcements in midfield, but in the meantime, has been using Aaron Ramsey in front of the defence.
Locatelli arrived from Sassuolo, on a two-year loan with obligation to buy for €25m plus bonuses, and could well get his debut tomorrow.
“Ramsey is improving there and it’s a good role for him, as he doesn’t have to run as much there. I am happy with Locatelli’s arrival, but he needs 10 days of work to get into full squad. If he’s needed tomorrow, he can maybe play 15 minutes.”
Dybala is in advanced negotiations to extend his contract with Juventus and take a more central role than he had under previous coaches Maurizio Sarri and Andrea Pirlo.
“Paulo turned up to pre-season training as if this was his first year at Juve. He too knows that the last two seasons were not at the level of his potential. He’s talented, but you need to train at a certain intensity if you want to play football at a certain level. He will be the captain tomorrow, if he plays.
“We must realise that in order to win the Scudetto, we need daily work that is physical, technical and mental. If we are still in the running for the title in March, that means the team has found its balance.”
With so many changes at title-holders Inter, and the return of Allegri after a two-year absence, the betting for this season has been dominated by Juventus as Scudetto favourites.
“Usually, the favourite is the team that won it last time… Let’s take it one step at a time and try winning the first game,” added the coach.
“I don’t feel that I have anything to prove, what I did in the previous five years will remain in the museum. We all have to challenge ourselves every day, otherwise we can’t be in a condition to win.
“It’s the same for Cristiano Ronaldo, he won five Ballon d’Or trophies, but if he has a bad season, people will only remember that. The same goes for Federico Chiesa, what he did at the Euros no longer matters.”