© foto di Giuseppe Celeste/Image Sport
Claudio Marchisio has vowed to lift Juventus to victory in Saturday’s Super Cup clash with Napoli. The 26-year-old, whose nine strikes from midfield signalled his best goalscoring return since breaking into the first-team, believes the Bianconeri will burst out the traps when they lock horns with Walter Mazzarri’s men in Beijing.
Speaking at a press conference from the team’s base in China, Marchisio said: “We need to show we’re the strongest in our game against Napoli. We’re playing for the first trophy of the season, we’re the reigning champions and we want to display that on the pitch. Juventus are always hungry for success.”
The boyhood Bianconeri fan moved quickly to refute suggestions that playing in finals is only a worthwhile exercise for the side that emerges victorious.
“Some say that it would be better not to get to the final in the first place than to lose it, but I don’t agree with that. These games help a player grow and allow you to learn how to face similar fixtures in the future. There isn’t a favourite, two great teams will face each other and the side with the most hunger will emerge victorious.”
Saturday’s encounter at Beijing’s Olympic Stadium will be the first time Conte’s men have faced Napoli since a 2-0 defeat in May’s Coppa Italia final. Marchisio is fully aware of the strength possessed by the Partenopei, but thinks the opposition will be equally as fearful of a ravenous Juventus.
“They’ve developed greatly over the last few years and have made quality purchases. However, we’re the reigning champions and they’re also aware they’ll be facing a tough team who want to continue winning.”
There have been whispers that current off-field events might disrupt the Bianconeri’s Super Cup preparations, yet the midfielder insists all sights remain fixed on avenging May’s defeat.
“We’re just thinking about the game. We’ve got thick skin and seeing the manager so focused can only rub off on us. We’re not affected by events going on around us, if anything it gives us a boost to do well.”
The discussion then moved to the club’s work in the transfer market, prompting Marchisio to praise the new signings who have the unenviable task of battling for a place in one of the best midfields in Europe.
“We required fresh impetus. The club has done extremely well to bring in important players like Asamoah and Isla, who contributed to Udinese’s success over the past few years.
“Di Natale spoke very highly of Asamoah while we were on international duty. Asa’s a great lad, besides being a versatile and precise footballer.
“The manager has tried him as an inside midfielder during the friendlies and he did well, but he can also play on the flank.”
This summer’s transfer business has also brought the return of Sebastian Giovinco. The diminutive frontman is back in Turin after a two-year stint at Parma, and Claudio can’t wait to play alongside his close friend.
“Giovinco has immediately settled in brilliantly, I had no doubt he would. He’s matured, the years go by and he’s been able to get on with his football and show his worth at Parma. I was with him on international duty and on holiday and I know he wants to do the same here.”
Many players have expressed their surprise and delight at the incredible reception they have been afforded since touching down in Beijing. And Marchisio believes it demonstrates exactly how highly Juventus are regarded on a global scale.
“It’s a sign of how important Juventus are across the world. We can only thank all our Chinese fans who follow us and wait in the hotel for an autograph or photo.
“The Spanish and English leagues are probably more popular here, but Italian football isn’t inferior, our run in the European Championships proves just that.”