Juventus and Italy forward Federico Chiesa has praised Napoli counterparts Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Victor Osimhen for their impressive understanding and their attacking play.
The Partenopei look on course to win their first Serie A title since the 1989/90 campaign, and the Georgian winger as well as the Nigerian centre-forward have been fundamental for coach Luciano Spalletti. Kvaratskhelia leads the league for the most assists with eight, the same as Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, while Osimhen is leading the goalscoring charts with 14 goals.
Chiesa intends to follow in their footsteps and develop a similar understanding with Dusan Vlahovic at Juventus. Unfortunately for them, injuries have limited the opportunities for both players to feature together for the Bianconeri, and due to a 15-point penalty from the capital gains case, they have a mammoth task to get into the fight for Europe.
Chiesa considers Osimhen and Kvaratskhelia to be amongst the best in Serie A
Chiesa spoke to La Gazzetta dello Sport about Napoli’s star forwards and he also reminisced about when Vlahovic and he played at Fiorentina before being purchased by the Bianconeri.
Although he was disappointed not to feature in Juve’s 2-0 defeat to Monza in Serie A on the weekend, he did start in their Coppa Italia quarter-final against Lazio.
“The Osi-Kvara pair is one of the strongest in Serie A,” he said.
“They are both in great shape and above all they have found harmony playing together since the beginning of the season.
“Dusan and I had some problems, but there was always a great combination between us at Fiorentina, which we hope to find again at Juve. I was sorry not to be there against Monza, especially because Vlahovic and [Paul] Pogba were back. I had a flexor problem, nothing to worry about.’
Chiesa to feature in new documentary about his time on the sidelines
Chiesa missed the majority of 2022 due to a knee injury and his recovery forms the basis of the documentary ‘Back On Track’, which will be on Amazon Prime Video from February 3.
The Juventus forward spoke of how it was tough for him mentally and physically to go through his rehabilitation, but the experience has made him stronger.
“There have been many difficult moments, the hardest when they confirmed my cruciate rupture,” Chiesa said.
“In these 10 months I had to overcome many obstacles. First the post-surgery pain, then the 6 weeks on crutches: the finish line seemed really far away. When I started running again, there were problems, which in such a long rehabilitation and after such operations can happen.
“I saw my goal receding, but I didn’t give up. I was always aware that I had to come back and play. I am used to overcoming difficulties, I have always done that in my career. At the beginning the pain was so intense that I had a hard time getting out of bed.
“Today I can say that it has helped me, because I have matured. Going to the camp every day, trying to do one more exercise to see the improvements: all this has also helped me a lot on a human level.”
Chiesa aims to be at EURO 2024 with Italy
Chiesa was out for 10 months, and when he mentioned the match he would have loved to have featured in the most in that period, it was no surprise that he said Italy’s 1-0 defeat to North Macedonia.
Just months after the Juve forward won Euro 2020 with the Azzurri, he was not able to help his country qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. However, the 25-year-old wants to help Italy defend its title at Euro 2024.
“The one against Macedonia because I would have liked to give my teammates a hand, but unfortunately it was not possible,” he said.
“Now we must aim for the 2024 European Championship.”