We have seen Federico Chiesa out and about in recent weeks which is an encouraging sign as he continues on his long recovery after undergoing surgery to correct a cruciate ligament injury earlier this year.
The Juventus winger attended a charity event in Turin recently where he talked bout his recovery and touched on a number of other topics.
“My dream is to return as soon as possible, but there are schedules to be respected and I think we are doing a great job. At the camp I’m surrounded by great professionals, the Juventus medical staff are fantastic and have helped me in every way, we’ve come together.
“Now we’re in a phase where I’ve started to run, I’ve also started to make the first changes of direction and we’ll see.
“I think I’ll be ready at the beginning of September, let’s see if we can do something sooner, but to be sure and not have relapses in the future, which nobody hopes for, it will be September.”
The Bianconeri made an important signing in January this year with Dusan Vlahovic joining the forward ranks, and Chiesa cannot wait to link up with him next season.
“We’ve already paired up and I get on very well with him on the pitch, then he’s a friend off it and that only makes things better on the pitch. I can’t wait to play with him and give him some balls to score a few more goals.”
With Paulo Dybala now disposed of, the legendary #10 jersey is available, would that be of interest to Chiesa?
“Of course, the number 10 jersey appeals to anyone and above all to Juve it’s something incredible, players of absolute level have worn it, champions. In July you’ll know the number!”
The campaign was a disappointing one for Juve, marking the end of a cycle a decade long that has seen at least one trophy won every season.
“This year has been an exciting season, we were penalized for our start at the beginning, otherwise we would have been there to fight. And then we saw that the match with Inter was a watershed.
“Next season will be even more difficult, Milan won the title, Inter won the Coppa Italia and winning helps to win, so it will be more difficult. We must return to the Juventus mentality, but have a lot more nastiness.”
What of the Azzurri, who failed to qualify for a second consecutive World Cup ensuring stars like himself would be sitting at home while the best players in the world were at the global showcase.
“Mancini and those who work with him know this better than me. We need change, new and fresh players. We also need to change the Italian system, the truth is that we are behind the other nations. The coach is right, the players in Italy don’t play.
“But is the problem that there is no talent or training? We have to start asking ourselves these questions and change our mentality a bit. I think Mancini is the best person for the job.
“He did it after the first collapse, he took us to the top of Europe after missing the World Cup. So Mancini is the most suitable person. In my opinion training is fundamental. When I grew up in Fiorentina’s youth sector they taught the basics, now they think about the result.”
What about the incredible amounts of pressure placed on any young players that do make it to the national team?
“That too. Players who arrive and for half an hour on the pitch are labelled as the new Messi and Ronaldo. The luck is to have the right people beside them and to meet the right coaches who know how to wait, give the right timing and make the most of their potential.”