Juventus have done some stellar work in the transfer market in the last few years, and while Director General Beppe Marotta tends to get all the plaudits, many know that his Director of Sport Fabio Paratici also plays a key role in many of those dealings.
Speaking at an awards ceremony in Piacenza yesterday, Paratici opened up about his passion for the job, and spoke as well about some players currently at Juve.
“Juventus results are not just thanks to the transfer market, but the work of this great club. We have been together for seven or eight years now and this season has started in the best possible way.
“I never thought about leaving the club. I am in love with Juventus.
“Most of the players who leave always maintain a respect for Juventus. You hear ‘I have great memories there’ or ‘I would like to come back’. At Juventus it’s like a family, an atmosphere that was passed down over the years from owners, to directors to players.”
Paratici was one of the main figures involved in getting Cristiano Ronaldo to Turin this summer, and was never in any doubt about him.
“The intuition did not come only from me, but also from Pavel Nedved, Marotta, the president Andrea Agnelli and manager Massimiliano Allegri, who has supported his arrival. Cristiano’s integration was simple because he is a great champion, he is a champion both on and off the field. Everything was very simple.
“From the very start, Ronaldo was extremely determined to play for Juventus, he strongly pushed for the move. And over the years I’ve learned that when big champions make such decisions, they very rarely go back.
“I was surprised by his simplicity. Ronaldo behaves with the same humility around everyone: teammates, coach, president, store-keepers, medics, press-officers etc. He perfectly embodies the Juventus spirit.
“At Juventus we are a family, and Cristiano has already noticed that and he appreciates it. He himself told me that at Juventus he found something special.”
Paratici wouldn’t be drawn into making comparisons though.
“It’s difficult to say whether this is the strongest Juventus squad we’ve had in this era, as there have always been great players like Gigi Buffon, Carlos Tevez, Dani Alves, Arturo Vidal and Pogba. I will say we are very competitive.
“Now I am focused on how to build an even stronger Juventus. It is only right that there are certain pressures, because we are now among the best 4-5 clubs in the world.”
He also spoke about Paulo Dybala and Federico Bernardeschi.
“Dybala has shown over the years that he is a great player and you can’t evaluate him on just one goal. He hasn’t suddenly forgotten how to play football. We evaluate his overall performances, the way he acts with teammates and in training.
“Bernardeschi? We are happy with his growth, but we never really had any doubts. Federico can play an important role, even with the national team.”
The Director closed out with some comments on Paul Pogba, who has been linked with a return to Juve.
“He is a Manchester United player. As long as he remains a Manchester United player, it’s best that I don’t talk about players at other clubs.”