CATANIA - Maxi Lopez will see if a
bout of flattery can seal a January move to Juventus, having
told the Turin club they are worthy of the league title
following Sunday's 3-1 win over his Catania side.
Media reports are full of speculation that Juve want
out-of-favour Sampdoria forward Antonio Cassano or Argentine
The striker burst on to the scene at Barcelona in 2005
before disappearing from the limelight, and he is back on song
The 26-year-old has scored 14 Serie A goals since joining
Catania in January but could do nothing to stop third-placed
Juve inflicting his side's first home league defeat in almost a
year and moving six points behind leaders AC Milan.
"We met a tough team who were pumped up and have so much
quality and a great squad," Maxi told Reuters at Catania's
modest Stadio Massimino.
"We lost here for the first time in a year against a team
that can win the scudetto. They are strong because they have
great champions and a good tactical system."
Juve last won the title in 2006 but that scudetto and their
2005 triumph were stripped from them in a match-fixing scandal
and, after a season's demotion in Serie B, Italy's most
successful domestic club have struggled to regain their former
However, they remain Italy's best supported team despite the
success of Inter Milan and AC Milan, with a host of Sicilians
who turned up for Sunday's match secretly rooting for Juventus.
Having already played for Barca, Maxi is well aware of what
it would mean to be at twice European champions Juve.
"If another great squad showed interest, it would give me
great pleasure," said Maxi, who is eligible to play for Italy
having represented Argentina only at youth level.
"I'm calm, my attitude has always been just to keep
In case a dream move does not work out, Maxi would happily
stay in the laidback and friendly atmosphere of mid-table
Catania, where the all-year-round good weather trumps wintry
Turin and the views up nearby Mount Etna are breathtaking.
"I've still got two-three years left on my contract here so
I'm just trying to improve at Catania," he said with a smile.
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