Hellas Verona surprised everyone


After thirteen days of the championship and the victory against Fiorentina on Sunday afternoon, the men's soccer team of Hellas Verona can be considered one of the biggest surprises of the Serie A. With five wins, three draws and the second best defense of the league after that of Juventus, Hellas is unexpectedly eighth in the standings on a par with Parma and only two points behind Napoli. Few would have expected it at the start of the season, for example after the bad defeat against the Cremonese – Serie B low team – in the first Italian Cup summer rounds.

By the same admission of his coach, the Croatian Ivan Juric, hired last June, Hellas Verona is a team that – a few months after a promotion reached with difficulty through the playoffs – was built with second-rate players, reserves or discards of the other teams in the championship. Even Juric himself can be defined as a coach in search of revenge, after the troubled experiences at Genoa where he had never been able to work in the best possible conditions.

And yet, since the first days of the championship, Verona has managed to propose excellent performances, even in the defeats of measure against Juventus and Milan. His three-man defense impressed with solidity and organization, noting everyone that Kosovo's Amir Rrahmani, 25, bought by Dinamo Zagreb, and the talent of the young Italian-Albanian Marash Kumbulla. A large midfield is also managing to provide balance, defense coverage and above all goals: the team's top four scorers all play in midfield, from the Portuguese expert Miguel Veloso to the former Atalanta central Matteo Pessina. In this department, however, the surprise was the quality of Sofyan Amrabat, Moroccan, brother of the most famous Nordin, whose purchase was an intuition of sports director Tony D’Amico.

Ivan Juric (Paola Garbuio / LaPresse)

Juric's decision to rely on players previously trained at Genoa awarded Hellas, given that in addition to Veloso, the Serbian Darko Lazovic is re-launching his career in Verona, while in defense the Turkish Koray Gunter offers a valid alternative as third choice. The offensive department has so far been the least incisive. The impression is that among the six role players – and with captain Giampaolo Pazzini still injured – Juric is still trying to figure out who the best are. If the team continues like this, it is not certain that in the winter market the company cannot intervene to add goals to a team that can reach safety in advance.

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