Grifo on Freiburg, Juve Clash, Role Models and Inter Fandom

Freiburg forward Vincenzo Grifo will face his fellow Italian teammates at Juventus as his side prepare to take on the Bianconeri in the Europa League Round of 16 tie. The Black Forest outfit is upsetting the odds this season by fighting for a place in the Champions League, presently sitting fifth, just one point off RB Leipzig.

Grifo spoke to La Gazzetta dello Sport in an exclusive interview and backed his side to be consistent going into the latter half of the season.

“We are not Bayern or Borussia Dortmund, even if year after year we are doing well with a certain consistency in the Bundesliga. We were also first and second for a few weeks, now we fight for Europe.”

He revealed the club’s secret.

“On the pitch, the collective. We don’t have the best players, but everyone knows they have to lend a hand to their teammate and work for the team. We are very united. Off the pitch, the environment: Freiburg is not a very big city, the fans are always close by and our coach Christian Streich, who is from the area, knows everyone too because he’s been here since 1991.”

Grifo considers two main Italian icons as his role models when it comes to striking the ball with finesse.

“The important thing is to go on the ball without thinking too much. Then you also need to study: I’ve watched many videos of past specialists, Del Piero and Pirlo above all.”

Grifo was then quizzed regarding claims of him being an Interista.

“I was as a child, it’s true. Today I’m much less ‘fanatic’, even if I like Serie A and I often see it on TV”.

Grifo has been in stunning form for Freiburg this season, scoring 14 goals and registering 6 assists in 30 appearances. Despite being Italian, the 29-year-old has never faced or played for an Italian team during his career – Juventus will be the first.

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