Exclusive TJ-Zuli on the Juventus experience: “Great years, Meretti draws football and the soul is a crystal-clear talent! Beans? You’ll have his chances. Who will surprise me…”

The TuttoJuve.com editorial team contacted the Juventus coach Primavera and under 23 exclusively by phone, Lamberto ZaoliTo talk in depth about his experience at Juventus and abroad:

You will be able to listen to excerpts from the speech on the broadcast of “Cose di Calcio” on Radio Bianconera (visual from the Sportitalia channel 60 package).

Your experience on Südtirol is short-lived. How is that? what happened?

“Despite having already worked with him at Santarcangelo years ago, director Bravo realized that I did not agree with his idea of ​​football. The truth is that I was wrong to leave Juventus for Südtirol, but I would basically do it again. It was a ridiculous situation, but obviously That it should have gone like this. But I look at the glass half full: I have the possibility, having not started the tournament, to be able to go back to training right away.”

Let’s turn the tape back for a moment and go back to the summer of 2019, in which I officially became the coach of Juventus Primavera. Can you tell us how the important Juventus call arrived?

“In my two years at Empoli, I faced Juventus a few times and probably made a good impression. They considered me capable, even if I was in the youth sector, to lead Juventus. For me this was a great honor and I will always have good memories. I met some people. I’ve worked in a great environment, and in these three years, between Primavera and under 23, I’ve grown really, really big.”

In fact, the first year was also difficult due to ‘Covid-19’, as the Primavera Championship was halted and then not concluded.

“The players have had difficulties, Covid-19 has been more impactful for them than for me as a coach. For the athletes it was not easy to stop for three months, stop training and stop playing, there are those who have had a heavy fetch after that. There were certainly regrets about not being able to do what she wanted, but as I said, the boys were undoubtedly the ones affected the most.”

If Pirlo hadn’t been called up to train in the first team, would Lamberto Zolli still be Primavera coach?

“Yes, I confirm: Pirlo had to coach the U23 team and he was also introduced to the press, and I had to stay in Primavera. Then, when he was called up for the first team, I was asked to apply to U23 and I accepted directly without thinking about it. Second team there are some important players, some of them Like Meretti and Sully, we see them regularly today in Allegri’s team. It’s really great all of that.”

Chapter 23 How were the two years? What can you say?

“Two different years, but it couldn’t be otherwise. It’s a passing team, created to make the boys grow up and at the same time the goal is to bring them closer to the first team. There are many talented players, someone like Fagioli in Cremona who also manages to get great satisfaction.” Not forgetting Ranocchia, champions of the Premier League in the second division, and Di Pardo who now plays for Cagliari. Last year the club decided to put together a smaller team, and the results were seen in the field and its growth.”

That’s right, some of them, as I mentioned before, managed to win the first team permanently.

“And all very well deservedly, with no gifts or help from anyone. Today we are talking about Meretti, Aki, Sully who are in the first team, but also about the other players who did well on the Tour in America. And that is a testament to the great work they have done. .Juventus is doing and the importance of U23.”

Last season you were very close to eliminating Padova and only the base of the rankings stopped you. Did you think that the U23 team could win the playoffs and thus win the second division?

“Every game in the play-off is very difficult and we made the draw to meet Padova who were a really strong team and often built with players from the second division. The context is still great, with challenges from inside and outside preparing the youngsters in an important way. For them, as well as Participating in a difficult tournament in which the outcome is important, it becomes imperative that they live such a formative experience.”

Now Juventus are being called the next generation and with Trento they made their debut with victory. Would you like to upgrade them?

“We are talking about sports and football, so matches will always be played to win. But the main objective of Juventus, in my opinion, will be to get many very young players to play in a difficult league like Serie A. It is clear. And, then, that the result will be Always important.”

Fans say, even on social media, that Fabio Meretti paints football. What do you think of this statement and what do you think of it?

“Fabio draws football, he sees the game first and can play in any position in midfield. The fans are absolutely right. He has an extraordinary personality, and one of his strengths is definitely the way he controls the ball. When he is eight years old. The 9-year-old shows a special talent, his former coaches have always agreed to recognize him as something different from the others, Juventus have been patiently waiting for him, he has grown and matured until his arrival to deserve to wear the first team shirt. Thanks to all the people close to him who taught him what it means to be Be a footballer. The club has been good at building such a player at home and strengthening him.”

He could really fill any midfield role, but were you surprised to see that he’s a little more advanced in terms of where he’s played with you?

“He’s so young, and then the innings leave the time they find. I was always amazed that he could control the ball, even when he received it sloppy, in such a way that he always found the right solution and thus opened up the field. Maybe his best qualities, but there are so many other things. We are talking about a boy from 2003 who divides an important space at Juventus. He is not something for everyone.”

Another man who could have some significant opportunities this year is Fagioli. What is your opinion in this?

“He’s a little different from Fabio in terms of playing style, he’s a talented guy and maybe he needs more time to get used to the team. In Cremona, he struggled a bit at first, but then he exploded under Pecchia and got a promotion on the pitch. Even if There has been a lot of talk about Fabio at the moment, I personally put Niccol on the same level and he will have his chances to do well this year.”

Speaking of roles, even if they left the time they found for you, could it be the idea of ​​bringing Soulé back to the middle?

“We are talking about a boy in 2003 who is building himself, someone who knows him as a very obvious talent. Several opponents I met in Serie C asked me questions about him and Merretti because they admired their talent. He is a striker and he is never easy. On the games, perhaps in other roles it is easier to do a good job right away. It may take a little longer than Matthias, but he has been training in the first team for years. He is a fighter and certainly not he will give up, and you will see that he will be able to make his contribution to his comrades.”

If we really want to find it, it has to improve from the point of view of continuity.

“Yes, I often told him that he has to improve and try to play in every area of ​​the field. He is a player who always tries to play it, but with attacking players he does not always succeed. We always talk about continuity in these cases, but it is also important to know the percentage of dribbling risk Or tricks he wants to try.”

Did I mention the name Sully on Südtirol this summer?

“When I went there, they linked me with many players I know, but the only big chance was Hans (Nicolosi Caviglia Ed). The other players are still very young and I hope they can carve out an important space in the Juventus world.”

Can you name one or more of the men’s surprises you’ve worked with in the past years?

“I’ve been with Juventus for three years and I appreciate their investment in the youth sector. Even in teams that were less than the ones I’ve coached, I’ve seen some very important players. It’s always hard to name names, but one of them is Mbangula who amazed me and has all the potential to emerge. I’m thinking too. In Seri, whose important qualities I can identify with, there is da Graca who has recovered from very few injuries and I hope his year will be. Hoping to bring out important and talented young people.”

We thank Lamberto Zauli for the courtesy and availability during this interview.