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“Great Respect And Admiration, And I Wish Him Great Luck, But I Hope He Doesn’t Have Luck Against Us On Sunday.”

Written By Onyeka Daniel

This weekend, two in form teams will lock horns in the Serie A round 16 games as Bologna will welcome Roma to the Stadio Dall’Ara and it will also see the reunion of two of Inter Milan protagonists in the 2010 treble winning season as Thiago Motta will be up against Jose Mourinho.

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Motta has been doing well with Bologna and ahead of the clash, he underlined his ‘great respect and admiration’ for his Roma counterpart and noted that his side are ready for a tough clash. The Rossoblu have been one of the most quietly in-form teams of the season, rising to fifth in the Serie A table after 15 league outings, picking up six wins and seven draws.

They are tied on points with the Giallorossi and can move into fourth with a win. Roma haven’t lost in their last five league games, recovering after their wobbly start to the season. Mourinho’s side have progressed in the Europa League, moving onto the knockout play-off against a third-placed Champions League club.

Speaking in a press conference, Motta first discussed how it feels to see Bologna so high in the league table. “I said it from the beginning, the fans have the right to dream, and we have the duty to prepare as always for the next match as we are doing.” He discussed his admiration for his Roma counterpart Mourinho.


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“Mourinho was and continues to be a great coach. I don’t believe in luck, he deserved everything he has achieved up to now. “He worked a lot, if you look at his story as a child he loved football, even though he didn’t play at high levels, which is why his career is even more important.

“Great respect and admiration, I love him forever and wish him great luck… he knows it, but I hope he doesn’t have luck against us on Sunday.” The Bologna coach discussed his tactical plan against the Giallorossi. “They have great players, we will still have to be good in the defensive phase, they defend very well, they have no problems defending with a low block, but they also know how to be aggressive.

“In any case we will have to be patient, exploit the spaces, avoid counterattacks, and persist in this game because it’s convenient for us. “In the last 15 minutes they score a lot, they know what they want, and we will have to be at our best to do what we know.” Motta spoke about the growing interest in Italy and abroad in his Bologna side.

“Also in Brazil and Spain, maybe there are more requests for interviews… but the important thing is how we are doing, humility and feet on the ground, this is the way. “We want to continue doing things in the right way, knowing that we face a team that have played two European cup finals without Lukaku and Dybala too, so we will have to be careful and awake, ready to face even the less beautiful moments.”

Finally, Motta spoke about his predecessor Sinisa Mihajlovic, who sadly passed away 12 months ago. “In times of difficulty he never gave up, he is a great man in sport and in life. He passed this on to me but also to the boys and to many people throughout the club. Obviously, a thought for his family.

“The important thing is that in difficulties he showed us to never give up, this will remain not only for me but also for many people, for the people and for our fans who had the fortune and privilege of sharing beautiful moments with him. “It is an extra push and one extra source of motivation for this squad for Sunday, that he can be with us and lend a hand to this squad to continue to grow.” He further added.

Meanwhile…

Dusan Vlahovic may be playing for Juventus for the last season, as the Bianconeri are expected to shop him around in the summer. Juve has one of the strongest squads in the league, but they have to offload some players to raise funds and replace them with newer stars.

Vlahovic falls into that category, and the Bianconeri wanted to sell him in the summer when they had an agreement with Romelu Lukaku to replace him. Surprisingly, no one showed serious interest in his signature, and he remained at the Allianz Stadium.

Read Also: AC Milan Receive Timely Boost In Defense, Eyeing Unwanted Barcelona Man For January Transfer

The Bianconeri have enjoyed his talents so far, and he made a good start to the season with some important goals. The goals have still not come regularly, and Juve is willing to sacrifice him in the next summer. Calciomercato reveals they will replace him with Victor Boniface of Bayer Leverkusen, who has been terrific in Germany.

The Nigerian youngster has won every Rookie of the Month award since he moved to Germany, which highlights how good he is. But he’s not expected to come cheap either with around €50m floating around, but that will be well over the €80m that the Bianconeri is expected to get for Vlahovic.

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