Last night’s 2-1 win over Bologna saw Fabio Quagliarella named in the starting line-up for the first time in almost a year. An important step for the man who has successfully battled his way back from a serious injury.
“It was great to relive certain feelings, even just the warm-up itself,” he told Valeria Ciardiello on Juventus Channel. “I’m happy about the performance and for the result, because the Coppa Italia is very important for us. At the start perhaps many turn their noses up at it, but when you get to the quarter-finals or the semi-finals, everyone wants to win. And we want to go all the way.”
Fabio tried several times to open his account against the Rossoblu but was thwarted by a scintillating display from their goalkeeper: “Yesterday we came up against Agliardi who was in great form, definitely the best player on the pitch. I also went close on Sunday, but Lichtsteiner unintentionally blocked my shot. Stephan gave me a box of Swiss chocolates to say sorry…”
And when the frontman does find the back of the net, he already knows who he’ll dedicate his goal to: “It will be for the club who have believed in me and for the fans, who have always been close to me, even during the toughest moments after my injury. The new stadium? Having the public so close provides an amazing boost and I think the results can be seen.”
As far as short-term ambitions are concerned, Fabio is fully focused on maintaining the Bianconeri’s positive start to the season: “Being first and unbeaten is a nice feeling, because it allows us to work calmly during the week. We’ll aim to end 2011 unbeaten and at the top of the league.”
Instead, the striker refuses to get carried away when considering the bigger picture: “We’re not thinking about the Scudetto, but it’s normal for the fans to dream – after all, we do the same. However, as the manager reminds us, we’re coming off the back of two seventh-placed finishes and so we must work, work and work. There are many teams who are set up to win: Milan, Napoli, Lazio, Udinese… we must see how we’re placed in March. From that moment we’ll be able to have clearer ideas.”
Finally, a look ahead to Monday’s showdown at the Stadio Olimpico. “It will be a great game,” declared the 28-year-old. “They’ll give their all and the stadium will be packed out… Roma’s troubles? I believe it’s normal that they’ve had some, having changed manager and aspects of the club. They’re aiming to build a young side and patience is required, even if I appreciate that it’s a demanding environment. After all, patience is often lacking in football.”