The 43-year-old described his feelings of affection for his former club Juventus.
“I am happy and overjoyed to go to Juventus fan club ‘Vero Amore’, Malta 1975,” says former Juventus legend Alessio Tacchinardi, who is still a die-hard fan of his former club. Recently, Khel Now had the opportunity to interact with the Italian veteran, discussing with him about the fan club in Malta, current Juventus team and their potential and position in Europe.
“When I was young I used to be a Juventus fan and my father used to take me to Turin for matches. So for me, playing for this club was a dream come true. I always tried to do best for this jersey and the fans, because they are incredibly passionate about the club,” he continued.
“When I go to the fan clubs in Italy, I can feel the emotions, love, passion even for the players who are not playing for the club anymore. This is because it is a team who gives everything in the game while playing. Under ex-coach Lippi, the players gave their everything and brought some major honours too, including the Champions League trophy.”
“About this experience in Malta, I am happy to be here. I didn’t think there would be such big love for old players. I was really emotional to be here. All the players who came here told me about this wonderful experience. Despite a less population, Malta has a set of pretty sincere and honest fans of Juventus.”
Juventus Club Vero Amore – Malta, is the largest official fan club with 1,100 members. William Micallef, the international secretary of the Juventus fans’ club of Malta said, “Once in 2007, all the team were here in Malta. We are the only club in the world ever that all the club Juventus players came to visit.”
Alessio Tacchinardi – the legendary midfielder of Juventus
Alessio continued, “I am thankful of Joseph Fenech- the fan club president, for inviting me and sharing its history with me. As he talked, I could sense the passion and love he has for the club and the players of Juventus. I think it is like a family to all of them. For me it is an honour to be here among such loyal and loving fans.”
Talking about the club’s recent performance, Tacchinardi said, “The club has lost many European finals in the past and I hope the current team seeks redemption for the same. You should have seen me at the match against Atletico Madrid, I was cheering, singing and like all the fans, I was overjoyed.”
When asked whether the Juventus of today is stronger than that during the reign of Antonio Conte, Tacchinardi said, “They are strong, but for me, my Juventus team when I use to play, was the strongest as we won everything. This present team has to play every match like they did against Atletico. What they have to do is attack every moment of the match. I hope that in a couple of years we can tell that this team is the strongest because they will win everything like my team.”
“The Juventus of today has not won anything yet. They lost the final in Berlin and another in Cardiff. The teams they played against were strong teams. The team this year is strong but they have to perform consistently just like we did during our time.”
The 1996 UEFA Champions League Final – Extended Highlights
Expressing his views about the current midfield, the current manager of Lecco in the Serie D said, “Emre Can is a good player; played the Champions League final with Liverpool last year. He is strongly built, has a good stamina and good personality and he can also score goals. However, since he was injured the overall pace of the team slowed down. I don’t think it is anything serious. I think he can handle both, the Serie A and Champions League. Overall, Emre Can is a strong physical player with a good personality and great game. Unfortunately, he was not fit during the season and we missed him.”
“I don’t see any problems in the overall squad at the moment. They have a very good midfield and good quality players. And now we also have Cristiano Ronaldo as one of our own players. Yet, I think midfielders like Claudio Marchisio, Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba were at a much more higher level. ”
Further, Tacchinardi went on to speak about how it feels to be a critic of your own team and discussing their games on media programmes saying, “I try to be as objective as possible so that I gain respect from everyone. I said it now and also during the programmes this year that Juventus didn’t perform very well. That is why when I criticize I try to be as constructive as possible.”
“Also when I interviewed Massimiliano Allegri I said that this team can perform much better. In fact they showed it against Atletico. However, I find it challenging to be discussing on TV with ex-teammates who are also good friends. I try to be as objective as possible despite the fact everyone knows I support Juventus,” he added.
At the end of the discussion, the 43-year-old went on to explain his views on the Italian national team and their manager Roberto Mancini. “I was commenting about a game between France and Iceland and I said this time we cannot compare Italy with France. With the team they have at the moment they can continue winning everything as they won the World Cup.”
“At the moment I think our team is way back, but Mancini is working very hard and in the right direction. I like the fact how we Italians have the will to face our opponents with whatever team we have.”
Special thanks to Joseph Fenech, president of Juventus Club Vero Amore Malta, for organising this interview.