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Antonio Di Natale - The Slave of Football

Started on 12 November 2014 by TVDLC123
Latest Reply on 6 December 2014 by Verdinho
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Those naughty Napoli fans :P
Meh, thats Napoli all over :P
@P-Kiddy - Yep, the fans are very passionate :P
@Jason - Cheers mate, and who knows? :D
@Tallery - They have been very bad! :P
TVDLC123's avatar TVDLC123
9 yearsEdited

Udinese appoint legend Di Natale as player-manager

Di Natale has enjoyed a illustrious time at Udinese, featuring 339 times in his 10 year spell

Udinese have released a statement confirming the selection of club icon Antonio Di Natale as player-manager for the upcoming season. Speculation was rife regarding the replacement for the late Andrea Stramaccioni, with assistant manager, Dejan Stankovic the bookmaker’s favourite up to this point. Di Natale himself announced his retirement from his playing career last season, but rescinded that later, and announced that he would continue playing for this campaign.

Di Natale began him career at Serie B outfit Empoli, and soon attracted lots of attention, after scoring 16 times in their promotion push. This led to his moving to Udiense for a meagre 69K. At the age of 27, many doubted his ability in his prime, as he failed to net over 10 goals in his first two seasons despite being the club’s first choice striker. However, as soon as he hit the age of 30, when many would decline, Di Natale became extremely deadly. From 2009 to 2014 he remarkably scored 120 times, and won many accolades during this period, including Italian Player of the Year, Runner Up of the European Golden Shoe, and most astonishingly, his 17 goals last season saw him overtake the likes of Gabriel Batistuta and Allessandro Del Piero to rise to 7th in the all time Serie A top goal-scorers chart.

Udinese chairman, Franco Soldati has shown his public support for Di Natale, saying ‘I am very pleased for Antonio, he is one of the club’s greatest and most loyal players, and I am sure he can carry over his winning mentality into his new role.’ Many Udinese fans will be worried about whether they will continue to see Di Natale on the pitch as often, but assistant manager Dejan Stankovic is rumoured to be taking an increased role, allowing Di Natale to continue to play regularly.

The 37 year old has also spoken to the media this hour, releasing this statement.
'I am extremely grateful to be given a chance to manage the club I have loved for so long at the beginning of my managerial career. I promise to the fans I will take on this role with the same passion, enthusiasm and drive that has led me to this point in my career. I am extremely confident in the coaching staff and players already at the club, most of whom I have known for a very long time, and with their support I believe we can have an extremely successful season.’

I couldn't envisage Di Natale anywhere else! Many decent players and future stars at Udinese. Scuffet is special one. Only 18, tipped to be the next Italian legend in between the sticks. Also has two F's in his name like Buffon and Zoff ;)
Couldn't tell that was going to happen, not at all :P

Great update though :)
@P-Kiddy - Yep, Udinese is where Di Natale belongs! Also, Scuffet seems amazing, if he manages to reach Gigi level, I will be very happy :)
@Tallery - Thanks, and ikr, total shock :P
I couldn't have guessed it.. :P
Just kidding, really good update Tanay!
What?! No... Surely not! :O

(All jokes aside can't wait :P Let Antonio be the one that overpowers this mind control hocus pocus! :P)
Really interesting idea for a thread and the updates are great so far. Good luck!
@Pompey - :P Thanks mate!
@Walter - Haha, and yeah, I definitely have some...special plans for Di Natale :P
@Jonaldinho - Cheers, I really appreciate it!
TVDLC123's avatar TVDLC123
9 yearsEdited

Udinese make early swoop for young duo

Humam Tariq and Zak Jules have both signed for Udinese

New manager Antonio Di Natale has made his first deals in the transfer market by spending over half a million on two relatively unknown youth prospects. Humam Tariq, aged 18 has signed from Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya for a fee estimated to be around 275K, while former Reading centre back Zak Jules has moved for 300K to the Italian side. Jules will join the rest of the squad in their training camp in Bulgaria, however Tariq will be loaned out to Pescara for the rest of the season.

While he is relatively unknown for European fans, Tariq is very well known in his home nation of Iraq, and is widely considered as the best youth prospect the country has seen. Breaking the record for youngest ever player to feature for the Iraqi national side, Tariq has already reached 15 caps for his country, and helped them finish 4th in the 2013 U20 World Cup. At club level, he has played for Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya his whole career, and has netted 21 times in his 46 appearances for the side. An attack minded midfielder, he possess’ tremendous vision and flair, with many dubbing him the ‘Iraqi Messi’.

The second signing so far this window is of 17 year old Scottish defender Zak Jules. Jules began his footballing career at low league side Luton, before he was signed up by Reading. Reports suggest Head of Youth Development, Angelo Trevisan was responsible for bringing the youngster to the club, and prompting him to sign a 3 year deal with the club. Both strong and aggressive, Jules will remain at the club for his development.

Manager Antonio Di Natale has discussed his early dealings with the media quickly after the deals were confirmed.

‘I am extremely delighted to welcome Humam and Zak to the club today. Humam is extremely gifted and is someone who can add a lot of attacking flair to any side while Zak is exceptional physically, and will only get better with time. These signings epitomise the brand of player I want at this club, and with some hard work they both have a great future ahead of them.’

Nice two signings, Tariq especially!
Agree with Tallery, two nice signings, who will hopefully develop into top quality players while working under Di Natale! ;)
They will become stars for you!

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