Juventus coach Luigi Delneri tackling Diego dilemma

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles
luigi delneriDelneri took over at Juventus in May (Photo: Roberto Vicario)

luigi delneri

Newly-appointed Juventus manager Luigi Delneri is already facing selection problems after admitting Alessandro Del Piero and Diego cannot play together.

“Diego and Del Piero together? There is no competition between the two players, but I think it is difficult for them to be able to play together,” said Delneri.

Both players enjoy the role of supporting striker behind a more powerful frontman. It is widely expected that the Brazilian Diego will start the majority of Juve’s matches while Del Piero will be utilised as an impact substitute.

Meanwhile Delneri also dismissed the suggestion that there is direct competition for a starting place between Vincenzo Iaquinta and Diego.

“I read about the alleged competition between Iaquinta and Diego: in my opinion they are two different players,” continued Delneri.

The 59-year-old added: “Diego does not have the power of Vincenzo, who conversely does not have the technical characteristics of the Brazilian.”

Juventus purchased Diego for €24.5 million from Werder Bremen in May 2006 and since his arrival in Turin, his position in the team had led to much discussion.

La Vecchia Donna’s form fluctuated along with the performances of their Brazilian play-maker. After an encouraging start to their 2009-10 Serie A campaign, a run of poor results led to the dismissal of manager Ciro Ferrara.

Former Sampdoria head coach Delneri was appointed as Juventus’ new manager in May.

At the time of his appointment Delneri said: “I want to build a team with a definite identity, that doesn’t change depending on which team it is playing.”

In building a team which represents Delneri’s philosophies, a key issue will be how to unearth the best from the influential Diego.

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