Toronto FC attacker Federico Bernardeschi was exclusively interviewed by TLN TV to discuss the new MLS season, Napoli’s dominance in Serie A, Juventus’ 15-point deduction, the differences between playing in North America and Italy, and much more.
New Season, Same Objectives
After a first season of ups and downs in North America, Bernardeschi and TFC are back – this time, right from the start. The Italian has been instrumental to their attack – especially in the absence of the injured Lorenzo Insigne – scoring two goals and providing one assist as of Matchday 4.
“I COMPLETED THE PRE-SEASON WITH MY TEAMMATES AND THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR BOTH THE GROUP AND FOR THE CONNECTION BETWEEN US. OUR OBJECTIVE IS TO DEFINITELY WIN AT LEAST ONE TROPHY THIS YEAR AND THEN THERE ARE PERSONAL GOALS WHICH COME AFTER THE OBJECTIVES OF THE TEAM.”
The Partenopei have taken Serie A by storm this year, currently sitting in first place (as of Matchday 27) with a resounding 19-point lead over second-place Lazio. However, Bernardeschi is not surprised and gives them full credit for their accomplishments so far.
“NAPOLI IS DOING EXTRAORDINARY THINGS AND YOU HAVE TO GIVE THEM CREDIT FOR THIS. THEY ARE A GREAT TEAM WITH TOP PLAYERS AND THEY HAVE DONE VERY WELL IN THE LAST FEW YEARS. I HAVE TO SAY THEY DESERVE ALL THE SUCCESS THEY ARE HAVING – I THINK NAPOLI’S #77, KVARATSKHELIA, IS A PLAYER IN A LEAGUE OF HIS OWN.”
Juventus 2022-23 Season
Despite holding a better record than everyone else in the Italian top flight apart from Napoli, Juventus finds themselves in seventh place due to a 15-point penalty that was inflicted in January 2023 due to false accounting.
“IT’S BEEN A STRANGE SEASON FOR JUVE BECAUSE THEY HAVE HAD TO ENDURE SO MANY OBSTACLES SO THIS WAS A BIG BLOW FOR THEM. I DON’T THINK THEY DESERVED IT ESPECIALLY THE PLAYERS AND THE MEN WHO ARE INSIDE THE LOCKER ROOM AND OBVIOUSLY THE CLUB AND THE FANS. YOU DON’T LIKE TO SEE THESE THINGS, BUT THEY HAVE PICKED IT UP VERY VERY WELL. I THINK JUVE IS JUVE AND THEY HAVE A DNA AND A PARTICULAR CHARACTER – IT IS NOT EASY TO BRING THEM DOWN. AS YOU SEE, THEY ARE RESPONDING WELL AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO FROM HERE UNTIL THE END. WHAT IS CERTAIN IS THAT JUVE WILL GIVE EVERYONE A RUN FOR THEIR MONEY.”
MLS vs Serie A
A big believer in the potential of the league, the attacker was quick to mention that while MLS has, and continues to take, massive strides forward, there are still key aspects of the game that need to change to increase the competitiveness and bring it to level with the top European leagues, such as Serie A.
“I THINK MLS STILL NEEDS TO GROW MUCH MORE FROM THE TACTICAL POINT OF VIEW AND FROM THE POINT OF VIEW SOMEWHAT OF THE ORGANIZATION ON THE FIELD – ON THIS THERE IS NO DOUBT. PHYSICALLY AND ATHLETICALLY, IT’S A TRULY OUTSTANDING LEAGUE; CERTAINLY, SERIE A IS MUCH MORE READY IN SO MANY WAYS, BUT IT IS ALSO TRUE THAT SOCCER IN EUROPE BEGAN MUCH EARLIER THAN HERE. HOWEVER, I THINK MLS HAS MADE RESOUNDING PROGRESS IN RECENT YEARS AND IT WILL CONTINUE TO HAPPEN OVER THE YEARS TO COME.”