No No10, no problem for Diego(uefa.com)
Brazilian international Diego admitted he felt "privileged to play alongside a football genius like Alessandro Del Piero" when he was officially unveiled to the press as Juventus started their pre-season camp at the Alpine resort of Pinzolo.
With Del Piero in proud possession of the No10 jersey in Turin, Diego has ended speculation about what number he will wear after opting for the No28 shirt. "Two and eight – the date I was born," explained the 24-year-old, born on that day in February 1985. The loss of the No10 from his back is, the playmaker insisted, a happy compromise if it allows him to feature in the same team as the Juventus captain. "Me and him together will be the solution, not the problem," he said.
"My favourite role is just behind the forwards," Diego added as he speculated on how he and the more out-and-out attacker Del Piero may be used in tandem. Set-pieces, it was suggested, is another area of potential overlap, yet Diego, the €24.5m summer signing from Werder Bremen, will be happy to share duties with the Italian, 34. "It does not make any difference who is taking free-kicks," he said. "The only thing that matters is that we will have several options and that makes everything more difficult for goalkeepers."
The former Santos FC and FC Porto man has signed a five-year deal with the Bianconeri, who begin the season determined to claim their first major silverware since capturing their 27th Serie A title in 2002/03. "I did not have any doubts when it came to deciding which team I should join," said Diego. "Juve have a great history, a strong team – we can achieve big things."
The UEFA Champions League is on that shopping list, and with the experienced Fabio Cannavaro also arriving this summer and Ciro Ferrara installed at the helm, midfielder Mohamed Sissoko is confident the Bianconeri can improve on last season when they finished runners-up to FC Internazionale Milano. "Diego and Cannavaro are great signings," he said. "They have experience and have proved their worth with every team they played for. We are ready to fight for the title with Inter and AC Milan. We are strong and eager to prove it."