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Pozzo: Di Natale will retire with Udinese

Udinese owner Giampaolo Pozzo believes that striker Antonio Di Natale will bring his career to an end at the club.

The 35-year-old has twice topped the Serie A scoring charts since joining the Italian club from Empoli in 2004 but has won no trophies during his nine-year stay.

However, Pozzo is confident that the Italy international will remain at Stadio Friuli.

“Toto will stay with us, because he is our captain and, as I always say, he will conclude his career here,” he told Udinese Channel.

“He will do so certainly as a player and also I hope as a director too, once he has finished his splendid career as a player.”

The 72-year-old went on to outline Udinese’s aims for the 2013-14 campaign, insisting that fans must be realistic about the club’s prospects.

“We start the year with the usual enthusiasm, to keep to our project and our trajectory,” he added.

“We cannot perform miracles for next season, so we will start with humility – first we have to attain survival, we are a small club, we have to take this into account. We begin with a budget of €40 million, the great teams in Italy have €250m. And that is not to be thrown out of the window, but to be used by them to buy strong players.

“We are thinking towards survival, which is the most important thing.”

Pozzo also discussed the proposition of building a new stadium to replace the 41,652capacity Stadio Friuli in Udine – the club’s home for the last 37 years.

“It was not easy to design the new stadium, the problem is bureaucracy. Television income is important, but the stadium is critical to maintain the link with the fans,” he added.

“Our goal is to recreate an atmosphere from the time of Zico. I want to see 25,000-30,000 people at the stadium to support the team.”

Tue 2 Jul, 2013
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