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Napoli coach Gattuso: Juventus have dominated Serie A - you can't write them off

Napoli coach Rino Gattuso says there can be no underestimating Juventus in Wednesday night's Supercoppa.

Juve are coming off a poor defeat to Inter Milan on Sunday.

“You must never let Juve smell blood. They have dominated Serie A for nine years, they have the strongest mentality and are ready for anything. That is why we mustn't think that they struggled against Inter, so it'll be a walk in the park tomorrow.

“Juve have champions with a strong mentality, we respect them and are facing a big club, but we will face them with our own strengths and qualities.

“Our identity is different to six months ago, the same goes for Juve, so these are teams that have changed more than a few things over that period.

“This is a Final. It can give you a boost of adrenaline, let you raise the bar, because teams all over Europe and the world are participating in a different sport this season. We have a game every three days, there's fear in the air, tension in the locker room and at home, because COVID is always lurking. It killed a million people, fear is inevitable.

“Because we play every three days, there are also many more injuries. We are privileged in our world and get looked after, but it really isn't the same as a usual season.

“The way to prepare for this game as a coach is to say as little as possible, look your players in the eyes and not crank up the tension, because this fixture prepares itself."

Gattuso was teammates with Juve coach Andrea Pirlo at Milan, but also representing Italy over many years.

“We started together at the age of 15-16, won the Under-21s, the World Cup, everything there was to win. He was very important for my career, I also helped him, as he started as a trequartista and changed to a deep-lying midfielder.

“We are great friends, we had wonderful times on and off the field. Tomorrow is a football match, let the best man win, whatever happens we'll be great friends after the final whistle.

“Pirlo wrote in his book about his pranks on me, I think I gave him more slaps in the head than his father ever did! We're great friends. We used to talk more after games, he was even quite annoying, but I guess he's busy now…

“We have a similar vision of football, we both like to play out from the back and seek something new, which for years we saw the Spanish teams do.

“I have some ideas, but the important thing is to respect Juve and not fall for the idea Juventus are in crisis. They rarely lose two in a row, so we have to put in a great performance, be concentrated throughout and add even more focus than usual.

“Juve are an incredible team and we mustn't make the mistake of thinking they are in trouble."

Carlos Volcano
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Carlos Volcano

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