Serie A news

Guidolin hopes Di Natale will play on

January 7, 2014
By Ben Gladwell, Italy Correspondent

Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin is hopeful Antonio Di Natale will reverse his decision to retire at the end of the season.

Antonio Di Natale
GettyImagesAntonio Di Natale has said he plans to retire at the end of the season.

Speaking after Udinese's 3-1 defeat at home to Hellas Verona -- a result that leaves the Friuli club just six points above the Serie A dropzone -- the 36-year-old announced his intention to hang up his boots in the summer.

The first that Guidolin heard of Di Natale's plan was during the postmatch news conference, and he said he could understand his striker's frustrations but hoped the comment was made on the spur of the moment.

"I think it's just a moment of bitterness after this defeat and what is a difficult time for him and the team right now," Guidolin said.

"We're going through a rough time and we need to roll up our sleeves. I see him every day and he's just not managing to score goals with the ease that reflects his excellent quality, but he is still a great player and our captain and we need him -- I'll try to make him change his mind."

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