Milan - Juventus great Alessandro Del Piero said he scored
"perhaps the best goal of my career" against Fiorentina, and he
expects the Old Lady to continue outplaying La Viola when the sides meet on
For Del Piero, Juventus v Fiorentina is a "derby"
and one in which he struck a superb volley with the outside of his boot to seal
a 3-2 win for Juve in December 1994.
It was "perhaps the best and most significant goal of
my career," the now retired Del Piero told media in Florence where he was
unveiling a new fashion line.
In a later fixture between the sides, Del Piero hit a
hat-trick to overtake Giampiero Boniperti's 178-goal tally for the club, set in
"And I also got that hat-trick that allowed me to
overtake Boniperti's record," he added.
"This fixture is always special. It can be very tough
and tense at times. For me, it's a derby."
Del Piero, 42, hit a career tally of 290 goals for Juventus
in a career that saw him win the World Cup (2006), six Serie A titles and the
Champions League as well as three runner-up medals from the competition.
He is fully behind the Turin giants' bid for a record sixth
consecutive league title, but urged caution.
"Juventus are a step ahead of the rest," said Del
Piero. "But the championship isn't over. Roma and Napoli are not far
behind and will be the ones worrying Juventus most."
Also read: Zidane keen to avoid Juventus reunion
Roma, four points adrift, face a tricky trip to Udinese on
Sunday while Napoli, seven points off the top in third, should have no problem
beating rock-bottom Pescara.
While Fiorentina have been busy playing down reports star
striker Nikola Kalinic could join a growing exodus of top players to China,
Juventus took another step towards a third consecutive league and Cup double.
They showed class during the first half of a 3-2 Italian Cup
last 16 win over Atalanta in midweek that saw Paulo Dybala hit a great opening
volley and set up strike partner Mario Mandzukic for Juve's second.
With Croatian starlet Marko Pjaca fully recovered following
a two-month injury lay-off, Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri was able to rest
Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain.
Fiorentina have lost their last four league games with the
Turin giants, scraping their last point from a scoreless home draw in December
2014, and are 18 points adrift in ninth.
But Venezuelan midfielder Tomas Rincon, who signed a
three-and-a-half-year deal when he arrived in Turin from Genoa last week, said
Paulo Sousa's men can't be taken for granted.
"They're a class side. We have to take them just as
seriously as the rest of the league take Juventus," said Rincon.
Roma defender Kostas Manolas has called for an end to
throwing away points against "smaller" teams as they look to avoid a
potential banana skin.
Udinese gave Inter Milan a scare before succumbing 2-1
defeat at the Friuli stadium last week, and Manolas warned against a repeat of
Roma's trip to Cagliari last August when they threw away a two-goal lead.
"When you're up two-nil away from home you don't finish
the match 2-2. We are a top side and shouldn't be drawing games like
these," said Manolas.
Napoli host struggling Pescara looking for a second home win
four days after a sealing their Italian Cup quarter-final spot with a 3-1
cruise over second division La Spezia.
Inter Milan, seventh at 12 points behind Juventus, can close
the gap with a home win over Chievo while on Monday city rivals AC Milan, nine
points off the pace in fifth, face Torino for the second time in four days.
Milan beat Torino 2-1 at the San Siro on Thursday to secure
their spot in the Italian Cup quarter-final.For
the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us
on Twitter and like our Facebook page.