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Ranieri lauds Del Piero contribution

in Serie A 28 Apr 2008


Juventus coach Claudio Ranieri heaped praise on evergreen forward Alessandro Del Piero a day after the Italian giants secured their place in next season's Champions League.

Juve are guaranteed to finish at least third in the table after their 5-2 demolition of Lazio on Sunday ensured they cannot be caught by the teams directly below them.

Del Piero scored his 18th league goal of the campaign in that victory and is closing in on his best ever return, despite beginning the season on the bench.

“Del Piero is the player who has surprised me the most throughout the course of the season,” said Ranieri.

“At the end of December he had some problems but he came back better than ever.

“I never doubted the quality of this champion but I didn't expect him to grow in such a way.”

Ranieri is expected to try to strengthen his squad during the summer break to cope with the added demands of playing at home and abroad next season, something they did not have to do this year.

“We won't undergo a revolution but just a retouching to complete this organism which finally has become a team.

“We'll need between 22 and 25 players, two for each position, that will be the right number to compete on two fronts.”

Juventus are reportedly after Arsenal's Mathieu Flamini to strengthen their midfield, as well as Palermo's Amauri to bolster their front-line.




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