Juventus defender Andrea Barzagli has paid tribute to ex-Wolfsburg coach Felix Magath, saying his influence changed his mental approach.
Barzagli joined Juventus from the Bundesliga outfit in January 2011 for a fee of around 300,000 euros and has gone on to make 94 appearances for the club so far.
Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport, the 31-year-old Italian praised his former coach and highlighted the changes he made to his game under the German’s tutelage.
“Magath was the coach who has changed my level mentally,” the former Palermo defender said.
“I was able to force myself into rigidity and consistency at the level of work during the week.”
It was this psychological training, Barzagli believes, that has enhanced his reputation and allowed him to now be considered one of Italy’s finest defenders.
“There are potentially defenders stronger than me, but in certain areas, namely concentration and physical preparation, I am among the best in the league,” he said.
Juve sit top of Serie A with 65 points from 29 games and their central defender is very clear on his ambitions for the remainder of the campaign.
“I want to finish the season with at least one success at club level and World Cup qualification in my pocket,” Barzagli said.
“We are holding the championship and it’s ours to lose. We will not give an inch because we don’t want to look foolish come the end of the season.”