The Juventus director spoke to La Gazzetta ahead of the Champions League tie against Atlético: “They are a great team but Juve today are a different prospect in Europe."
Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici gave an interview with La Gazzetta ahead of the Serie A champions’ clash with Atlético in Europe and discussed Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala and Leo Messi as the only logical replacement for the Argentinean forward.
“Leaving Ronaldo aside, the signing that I am most proud of is Dybala,” Paratici said. “He came in to replace [Carlos] Tévez, We’d just played in a Champions League final and we spent 40 million euros on a striker from Palermo who had scored 13 goals. It’s the sort of deal that can give you sleepless nights. On the other hand, the players that is was hardest to part with were [Fernando] Llorente and Alessandro Matri on a personal level. They are the kind of players nobody wants to tell if you have to sell them. Technically, [Arturo] Vidal, who was one of ours. Pogba? We knew we couldn’t turn down those offers forever. I doubt he’ll come back, it would be very difficult. But Pirlo is the best player I have ever seen. I don’t think we’ll see another like him in the next 35 years. He saw the pitch as though he was flying over it, finding impossible angles.”
Dybala replacement: "Even with Neymar I’d have my doubts"
Of Juve’s Champions League opponents Atlético, Paratici noted: “They are a great team, but I’ll be honest: Juve, today, are a different prospect in Europe. We work hard, only God knows how much, to feel that we belong among the greats and that’s where we are. If our ambition is to win the Champions League, we have no need to feel inferior to anyone. This Juve side doesn’t need to undervalue anybody or be fearful of anybody.”
Finally, the Juve sporting director addressed speculation that Dybala is set to leave Turin after finding himself somewhat in Ronaldo’s shadow since the Portuguese arrived. “Dybala is staying; Juve only sell players if they want to leave. The only way we could improve on Dybala is by signing Messi, maybe, and even with Neymar I’d have my doubts. Dybala is always by your side, he plays every game and when you watch him to the pitch you can see his personality.”