Marotta: Europe harder for Italians
Thursday May 12 2016
Juventus director Beppe Marotta argues winning the Champions League is tougher for Italian sides because of Serie A stress.
The Bianconeri reached the Final last year and have made it clear they intend to go for the trophy next term.
“In the 1990s and early 2000s, our League was considered Eldorado, the promised land,” said Marotta at an event marking the Champions League Final at San Siro on May 28.
“Today it’s almost a transitional League. However, in Italy the domestic tournament saps a great deal of energy from teams. You cannot afford to go to Sassuolo or Carpi while underestimating the test, because you do risk defeat.
“Other teams in different Leagues have the advantage, because locally they do not have the same stress, including that caused by the media.
“Unpredictability plays a very important role in the Champions League, as shown by the fact no side has managed to retain the trophy in its current format.
“Last year we lost the Final to Barcelona, the best team in the world. What matters is reaching that evening where you play the decisive match with the best team available and fitness levels at the top.
“Another important variable is the draw from the Round of 16 onwards and that has a huge say in who reaches the Final.
“Losing to Sevilla means you’re not group winners, not top seeds and that changes everything. Or you can play a game in Istanbul that was on the limits of what is allowed.”
Marotta was referring to the defeat to Galatasaray in 2013 under heavy snow.
“I won’t say that domestic Leagues are won by the team that plays the best football, but it is the better team overall. In October we were 13th and we finished top. That means Juve are the strongest side in Serie A.”