Deschamps defiant despite Juve's demotion

July 15, 2006

Didier Deschamps outlined his determination to return Juventus to their former glories after being presented as the club's new coach on Saturday just hours after they were relegated to Serie B.

The Turin giants were the hardest hit of the four clubs implicated in the match-fixing trial and will start next season in the second tier with a 30-point deficit.

They were also stripped of the two Scudetti they won in the past two years.

Deschamps knew there was a chance his tenure would start outside the top flight when he was appointed on Monday and the former Monaco boss insists his enthusiasm has not diminished following Friday night's ruling by the Federal Appeals Commission.

'I am very happy and proud to be here,' he said. 'I am very determined and positive that we will do something fantastic together.

'The penalty we have been given is a big one, but we can only do our best. It is going to be difficult to get back to Serie A in one year, and it might take two, but even so, we will give it our best shot.

'I have never had any doubts and I made my choice (to coach Juve) aware of the insecurity surrounding the club. Our project may change, but not my determination or conviction.'

Most of the side which won the league last season are now expected to leave, although Deschamps stressed he would love to 'keep them all'.

Only Alessandro Del Piero has committed himself to the cause while Pavel Nedved has told Deschamps he was 'quite convinced' of his future at the club.

The rest, however, are likely to demand a move to pastures new.

'Alessandro has made a professional decision and set an example for the other players to stay and take part in this adventure,' added Deschamps, who admitted keeping Fabio Cannavaro. who skippered Italy to World Cup glory last Sunday, would be another major fillip.

He said: 'Cannavaro is a leader and is obviously a very important player to the team and the coach.'

Deschamps has already called each member of the squad, but admits 'it would be impossible' to keep hold of everybody.

'I told them all that I count on every one of them as they are all important players, but I will respect their personal decisions.'