Amidst reports that Juventus are considering an improved contract offer for him, soon-to-be free agent Adrien Rabiot opened up in an exclusive with TuttoSport on a number of topics regarding his time in Turin and his further ambitions.
The France international midfielder was the center of attention this weekend after his purported handball allowed him to control the ball and set up Filip Kostic for the only goal in the Derby D’Italia, with Inter Milan seemingly losing their minds with the reality setting in that Juventus are indeed the second best team in Italy this season.
“I’ve understood how it works in Italy, when there is something controversial, they talk about it for a long time.
“I understand football is like a religion in Italy, so it’s an important part of people’s lives. I understand why they talk so much about what happens on the pitch.”
Inter are one of the sides they are looking to catch as they chase a spot in the top four in the table, and the two sides will play again in the upcoming Coppa Italia semi-finals.
“Honestly, I think they are not as strong as in the first part of the season, but even compared to the last campaign or two years ago.
“[On Sunday] I had the feeling they don’t have the same confidence. It’s not a coincidence that they’ve lost many games this season.”
The Bianconeri have been in good form in 2023 and despite the contested 15-point deduction, are still within striking range of the Champions League spots in the table.
“Without the penalty, we would surely qualify for the Champions League, but given how things are going, we could even qualify if the penalty stands.
“I believe we can make it, we can put pressure on those in front and if we win Europa League, qualification would be automatic.”
The midfielder has banged in 9 goals and 4 assists in 33 appearances in all competitions this season, which makes him the Bianconeri’s second highest scorer. However, it has looked likely that he could be leaving Turin this summer with the Premier League mooted as a possible destination for the 27-year-old.
“I followed Liverpool as a kid because I was a fan of Steven Gerrard. He made me dream, so I used to follow the Reds. The other idol of mine was Zizou Zidane.”
Is there still a chance that he stays at Juventus though, especially with how much credit he’s been giving coach Massimiliano Allegri for upping his playing level.
“At the moment there are no updates, but surely we’ll speak soon because the season will finish in two months.
“I am calm. There’s a chance I leave, but I could also sign a new contract with Juventus. I am happy in Turin, I am doing a good job and on good terms with the directors, the teammates and the coach. He has helped me over the last two years, trusting me a lot. This is important to feel well and make the right decision for my future.
“Allegri has many qualities. First of all, he knows how to manage the team and he speaks to footballers like a father. He understands the psychological characteristics of his players. He always finds the right words, even in the movements under maximum pressure.
“Hard work is always the core at Juventus and I like this a lot. I’ve always worked hard, which is why I am here now. Juventus are different from other clubs. I haven’t known other Italian clubs, but I don’t think there are many like Juventus.”
With his powerful marauding runs and long flowing mane it’s not difficult to see why Juventus fans have given him the nickname ‘crazy horse.’
“It’s a bit strange, but I really like this nickname.
“In reality, I am a very quiet and chilled guy, but on the pitch, I transform myself, that’s why I like the comparison with a horse, a free animal who is also strong and elegant.”
Rabiot is very close to his family, with his mother also stepping in as his agent and his brothers also moving out to Turin and at the stadium for the home games.
“My family is fundamental to living and playing well. My mum and I have a solid bond also because we had family problems in the past. They are an authentic pillar to me. With my mum, we can split the personal and professional rapport, she’s also my agent and it’s not common.”