Sampdoria president Riccardo Garrone is happy to take the credit for the team's success last season.

"I have built a great Samp," the 72-year-old said. "We finished with a sprint and never let up. We would have finished even higher if we had started better."

Walter Mazzarri turned Marassi into a fortress where Samp won 10 of their 19 home games.

"Mazzarri has worked very well, as have the players," added Garrone. "Ever since Antonio Cassano arrived, we knew he was special. Apart from his outburst against Torino, he has shown a capacity for self-control."