Chiellini urges Conte to extend stay
Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini says the thought of the club without Antonio Conte is unimaginable.
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The Bianconeri coach's contract runs until 2015, but given the success he has brought to the club in just under three years at the helm, Chiellini is hopeful Conte will commit to an extension.
"I can't see a future without Conte, at least not a near future," Chiellini said at a book launch in Turin. "I think this is a vision that we all share."
Conte has won back-to-back scudettos since taking charge of a Juve side starved of success, and reeling from two sub-standard seasons in which they only finished seventh. His side went through the 2011-12 season unbeaten on the way to their first title since 2003, and they have continued to set the pace in Italian football since, largely thanks to Conte’s influence.
"We all hope that Conte stays at Juventus and we can convince him by giving 100 percent on the pitch," added Chiellini. "Let's just concentrate on that."
Juve have opened up a 14-point lead at the top of Serie A, with Conte admitting at the weekend that a third straight title is "50 percent" theirs. That would not be enough for Chiellini, though, who has his sights set on Europa League glory as the final of the competition is being played at the Juventus Stadium.
"It would be great for Italian football if we could face Napoli in the final," he said. "We've first got to get past Fiorentina, but we're a match for anybody in knockout games. Maybe the snow in Istanbul was destiny because we were meant to play the Europa League final in Turin.
"March is going to be a decisive month for us. We're playing every three days with three tough away games, the last one at Napoli, but we need to carry on this trend and maintain the advantage we've got over Roma. I'm sure [Francesco] Totti and his teammates still believe they can win the scudetto and they need points also to keep Napoli at a distance."
Meanwhile, the widow of Juventus legend Gaetano Scirea says she will ask for her husband's name to be removed from the Curva Sud at the Juventus Stadium if the fans who are accommodated there do not improve their behaviour.
Further defamatory chants were heard from the Curva Sud, or Curva Scirea, during Juventus' 1-0 win over Fiorentina on Sunday and although they were not punished this time, after having had two closures already this season, Mariella Scirea warned she will not tolerate her husband's name being associated with such delinquency for any longer.
"We really must find a solution," she said at the launch of a book dedicated to her late husband. "It's horrible to see in the papers, at home and abroad, the name of Gaetano, who was an exemplary sportsman, being associated with such uncivil acts.
"I'm going to talk to heads of the Ultras who I know. I always believe in dialogue and I hope we can find a solution. If they carry on like this, I could ask for the name of the Curva, which bears the name of my husband Gaetano, to be changed."
Scirea was capped 78 times by Italy, winning the World Cup in 1982. He appeared over 350 times for Juve, winning seven league titles between 1975 and 1986. In addition to the Curva Scirea, the road which runs past the Juventus Stadium were renamed Corso Gaetano Scirea in memory of the defender, who passed away in 1989.