Former Juventus and Atalanta defender Merih Demiral feels his ex-teammate Teun Koopmeiners should move to Turin in the summer, but insists he doesn’t like Gian Piero Gasperini’s way of treating footballers: ‘I wouldn’t go out for dinner with him.’

Demiral won the Coppa Italia with Juventus in 2021, beating Atalanta in a final played in Reggio Emilia. That was the last trophy the Bianconeri won.

The Old Lady and La Dea meet in the Coppa Italia again on Wednesday night and Demiral sees no favourites in the Stadio Olimpico showdown.

“It’s 50-50 and I am not saying it just because I played for both sides,” the Turkish defender told Gazzetta.

“Compared to 2021, when Juventus won it, there are no more Cristiano Ronaldo and Chiellini. Atalanta are stronger and closer to Juventus, who have many young players.”

Demiral is a close friend of CR7. Has he ever talked about Kenan Yildiz with the Portuguese star?

“We’ve never talked about him, but I often talk to Kenan,” Demiral replied.

“Yildiz is very happy at Juventus and hopes to play even more. If he becomes the No.10 in the future, like Baggio and Del Piero, I’d be a source of pride for me, for our national team and the whole of Turkey.

“Kenan is pretty unique, he reminds me of Chiesa, but in terms of mentality and culture of hard work, he is similar to Ronaldo, who is still unreachable despite being 39. Cristiano trains harder than anyone else and he keeps scoring. I hope Szczesny is right. It’d be great if Yildiz wins the Ballon d’Or in the future, but now he must remain calm and be serene at the Euros.”

Demiral’s ex-teammate Koopmeiners has been linked with a move to Juventus this summer.

“Teun has reached the peak of maturity and it’s not only about the goals,” noted Demiral.

“When we played in Bergamo, he was curious about Juventus and my experience in Turin. He is ready for the big leap. If he asks me for advice, I’d tell him to go to Juventus.”

Why did Demiral leave Juventus in 2021?

“It was an honour to play for Juventus. I trained for two months under Allegri, but in the end, I thought it was better to play consistently with Atalanta.”

Is he planning to return to Europe one day?

“Never say never,” said the 26-year-old.

“I am happy in Arabia and football is evolving. People are treating me well here, but I’d be happy to return to Italy. I remained for five years and it was also Ronaldo and Paratici’s merit.”

Demiral also explained why Ronaldo was so important to him during his time at the Allianz Stadium.

“Cristiano was special, he gave me some previous advice. When I wanted to leave because of competition from Chiellini, Bonucci, and De Ligt, he talked to me and explained that I should have trained with big champions to grow. I did what he said and I am happy. I still talk to Ronaldo. He’s a friend and a reference point.”

It is no secret that Demiral was not on good terms with Gasperini in Bergamo and the Turkey international revealed what he didn’t like about the Atalanta coach.

“I didn’t say goodbye to him when I left Bergamo, and he didn’t call me. Gasperini can’t be questioned as a coach, results speak for themselves. However, I didn’t like his way of treating footballers. Humanly, I prefer De Zerbi, Sarri and Pirlo. I’d go out for dinner with them, not with Gasp.”


One thought on “Demiral urges Koopmeiners to join Juventus and explains why he doesn’t like Gasperini”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *