Diego Eyes Success With Juventus And Brazil

Posted on 11/01/2010


Bianconeri star Diego speaks to Goal.com about differing cultures, his past and future, and his desire to star for the Selecao…

Despite his underwhelming start to his Juventus career, the talents of Diego cannot be denied. A certain Pavel Nedved also began his days in Turin in a similar style, before becoming one of the club’s greatest heroes. The Brazilian is motivated to follow in those footsteps and spoke about a number of prominent topics in an exclusive interview with Goal.com

As a child you were a fan of Juventus? Why?

“From what I remember the Italian league was shown in Brazil and I chose to follow a team that was rarely in difficulty. I have always had an Italian background and that has tied me to your football.”

Who were your idols as a child?

“I admired Rai, Ronaldo, Romario…it’s a long list, let’s not even try to complete it. I’d surely forget someone.”

Was there a Juventus player that you knew little about who impressed you?

“No, I’ve always been following Italian football closely. Some champions I admired as a child played for Juventus, so it is like a dream to be here. I always had a special feeling with this uniform and this team and I’m happy to be here. There are some great players and I try to learn from them everyday.”

What do you think of the Italian national team? Can you confirm they are one of the strongest teams at the World Cup in South Africa?

“Of course, Italy can boast some of the strongest players in the world. I am convinced they will achieve great results at the World Cup, perhaps finalists with Brazil being the champions!”

If you could steal one player from Inter and one from Milan who would they be?

“Easy! They would be two Brazilians: Maicon from Inter and Ronaldinho from Milan.”

If you could tell [Brazil coach] Dunga to keep an eye on someone who would you recommend?

“Diego Ribas da Cunha. I can give so much to the Selecao and I want to be in South Africa.”

Juventus seem to be watching many young Brazilians like Alan Kardec, Rafael Toloi, Douglas…what do you know about them? Are there some of your young compatriots you’d like to see with the Bianconeri?

“Sure! Brazil is continuing to produce talented players. I can’t follow them all, but there are some who are doing very well. I’d like to have other Brazilians here in Turin – if the club deemed they were central to our project then they would be welcomed.”

The fans have sung the same chorus that was dedicated to Napoli’s Diego Maradona. How do you feel about that?

“Everything the fans do makes me happy. I have to repay their love by playing my best football and bring Juventus significant success.”

Who do you get along with in the squad? Your compatriots Amauri and 
Felipe Melo?

“Especially when I first arrived I felt very close to them since they are Brazilian. I’m starting to become more familiar with everyone else and we are becoming good friends.”

What is the most beautiful goal you ever scored? And what do you dream of accomplishing?

“My favourite is undoubtedly the one I converted from midfield with Werder Bremen. As for the goal of my dreams, it’s nothing particularly spectacular, just to give the Scudetto to Juventus or the World Cup to Brazil.”

Do you like watching sports broadcasts on television? What do you prefer to do with your free time?

“I like to keep up with all the different championships, so I keep informed watching television programs. Otherwise, I enjoy video games and also TV series.”

What is your favourite Italian food? The best movie you’ve ever seen? And favourite superhero?

“I go crazy for 
spaghetti alla carbonara. I also like the film Rambo and my favourite superhero is Superman.”

You left Brazil very young and in Portugal had some difficulties.

“Actually I do not consider my experience in Portugal as negative. It was important, it helped me adapt and understand the European game. Of course, there were moments when I felt the need to speak with someone. I often looked to my father, who is also my manager and best friend.”

Apart from your family, who else do you think has taken satisfaction from your career?

“Celso Roth. He was the coach who gave me my first important opportunity with Santos.”

Do you miss anything from Brazil or Germany?

“I miss many things from my country, but fortunately I have integrated well and I am happy. I have the opportunity to go home on vacation from time to time, so I can spend time with my family and friends. In Germany, I also left a place where I made good friends, detaching is never easy.”

If you could choose something of Brazilian culture to bring to the Italian one – what would it be?

“I love both cultures. The differences are beautiful. The Italian culture is very well established in Brazil, many people have Italian origins there and the pizza and pasta have also arrived!”

Some say Italy is producing fewer champions from playing less in the streets, while in Brazil this remains a widespread habit and the results are seen even at the highest levels. Can playing on the street help the growth and technique of a player?

“I’m not sure what the solution is for Italy, but I can confirm that Brazil has this tradition that never goes out of fashion of football in the streets. The more children that play, the better chance there is to discover future champions for professional football. In Brazil, football is the reigning passion, everyone dream of it and for many it becomes a reality.”

Goal.com thanks Diego for his time and well-thought responses. Do you think Diego’s views on Brazilian and Italian football are accurate? Leave your comments below!

Fabrizio Ponciroli, Goal.com

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