Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has credited Antonio Conte with Juventus’ re-emergence over the past 18 months after a number of disappointing seasons.
The 43-year-old guided Juve to the Serie A title and Coppa Italia final last term, and they sit atop of the table this time round, and Prandelli is in no doubt as to who is behind their revival.
“Juventus have shown that with the right mentality and structure you can make up for the lack of a top player. Conte has been doing – and still does – an extraordinary job at Juve,” Prandelli was quoted by Tuttosport.
“He is extremely organized and has created a culture of sacrifices, determination and focus.”
Prandelli then went on to claim that Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has the potential to become one of the top five players in the world.
“He’s a guy who is carrying a very heavy burden for someone of his age. There’s his image, the fame, his complicated background, and wearing the jersey of the national team,” he said.
“If he’s able to turn all this into the motivation to give his all for the full 90 minutes every game, he can become one of the top five players in the world. I think that he can achieve this.”
Balotelli has a contract with Manchester City until June 2015, but AC Milan are keen to lure him back to Serie A this winter.