Current Nantes and former Juve and Roma manager Claudio Ranieri gave an extensive interview today in Corriere dello Sport. These are his words:
How do you see today’s match?
Very interesting, tactical, difficult for the two clubs, and for Roma because it is never easy to get a result at Juve. In the league, they’ve lost only four times since the new stadium was built. They’ve returned to full form, as usual with Allegri teams, during this period. It must be said, though, that Roma, in their last five matches, have eleven points while Juventus have ten. But Juve is Juve. The players they bought are all doing well and have started to put their qualities on display. As for Roma, Di Francesco is doing a great job, we can see that the players are moving in unison. However, to win the Scudetto, it seems to me that Roma still score too few goals. I have the table here in front of me: 28 goals scored and 10 conceded. The 10 conceded is good, in fact very good because they have the best defence, but they are sixth in goals scored while Juve have 16 more. It will be a beautiful match, I can not wait to take it in.
What do you think of Serie A this season? More balanced?
To me, it seems great because there are several teams within a few points of each other. Lazio have a match in hand, so they could be at 36 points. I felt sorry for Sampdoria because it is a team that plays very well, but in the last five matches they’ve lost three times and lost some important points. Atalanta is the usual Atalanta, they’re doing well even if it is not like last year because playing in Europe, you tend to lose energy. Gasperini and his team are doing very well in Europe and I hope they continue. Atalanta-Lazio was truly a spectacle. Both teams played to win. Great football.
Your favorite player of Juventus and Roma?
My favorite Juventus player is Dybala. I like him, even if he is going through a difficult moment now. But it is a growth period that can be explained in the life of a young champion. He’s found himself at the center of the media storm but surely he will come out of it, because he is led by a great club and a great manager.
And of Roma?
Without a doubt Nainggolan. He’s got technique and character.
How do you remember managing both Juve and Roma?
They were two different teams. I managed Juve the first year after Serie B. Everything was new. Having gotten third place the first year back was a good result. I certainly felt that it was a super-organized club dedicated to winning. In Turin, it was clear that we always had to win. And the first year after Serie B, we immediately reached the Champions League, which was rightly considered a victory. At Roma, I arrived at the end of the cycle, I took over a team that had zero points after two matches and we were thirty minutes from a Scudetto. Thirty damn minutes.