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Lioi (agent De Winter): “Juventus focuses strongly on Koni”

Fabrizio Lioi, agent of Koni De Winter, gave an exclusive interview to Juventusnews24. His statements

Minute 80 of Chelsea Juve. On the result of 3-0, Massimiliano Allegri allows a few minutes a Koni De Winter, pillar of the Juventus U23 his absolute debut in the first team and in the Champions League. Another step in the growth of the 2002 class defender, who had already shown himself among the big names in the pre-season, also marking the first network season in the friendly against Cesena. Exclusive to Juventusnews24 his attorney spoke Fabrizio Lioi, of the agency NGA Sport, which told Koni between present, past and future.

Did you hear from De Winter after the debut? What does it mean for him to have collected this first presence in the first team?
“Koni is very happy. He has worked three and a half years since 2018 to get to this point. He arrived at Juve as a player and a fan, because he is the team that has always cheered on since he was a child. Getting to the first team is the best for him. However, he is a very balanced person, so he knows he played this match but he is already thinking about the next one ».

Since the pre-season, Allegri has always spent important words towards him. What is Koni’s relationship with the coach?
«The staff and Allegri see him very well: he is one of the players that I like most, who has perspective and a lot of potential. Juventus sees him as one of those players who could become the team’s permanent owner in the future. He has a lot of work to do, but he is one of those that the club will want to focus on ».

Is there any player in particular who helped him get into the first team? Anyone who has given him particular advice?
“Koni gets along well with everyone. Talk to De Ligt, because they speak the same language and have the same role. He is calm with everyone, he has been with Juve for three years, he has integrated into Turin which has become his home ».

What have you seen him grow up the most in recent years? He went from midfielder to central defender, also being employed as a full-back …
«De Winter came as a central defender: he played this role in Belgium. In Italy, the Italian defense school does different things than in Belgium. Arriving in the Under 17s, he found himself in a strong team, with two national central players. As Koni is tactically smart, he played as a right-back that season. It is not his favorite role, but he does it well and in fact it is the role in which he also made his debut in the first team. He played an entire championship, also going on to win the Ajax Future Cup in Amsterdam. In the first year of the Primavera, also because he wanted to play and there were two national defenders, they moved him to midfield, and it was important because it made him understand some concepts. He has played a lot of bench, played good games and others less good, but he has grown a lot on a mental level. Last year Juve focused on him in the Primavera, and that helped him in the psychological leap he needed. I have known Koni since he was 15: he was a very cheerful, positive child, and right now he has all those qualities but he is no longer a child. The most delicate work for us was to give him support to become a man: to take that path, to make things wrong, to understand how he had to behave. We had no problems with Koni, but two years ago it was clear that if he had made a mental leap, he would have become super ».

How did you see his impact in Under 23 in his first year as a professional? Was there any offer for him last summer?
«The last percentage of mental growth he had to do came by playing Serie C. Before the championship, there were many teams interested in De Winter: in Belgium, in the Netherlands, also in other countries. We said together with Juve: ‘Ok, what do we do? Shall we send him out on loan or will he stay here to play Serie C? ‘ Tognozzi viewed it, then it was Cherubini who took it. What we all said to ourselves is: ‘This player can get really strong’. It was Juve that helped him: from Scaglia to Manna now. They made him feel part of the family immediately: Juventus is one of the four / five clubs in the world that can do these things. Koni needed this to develop as a person. The difficult thing was in the summer, as there were teams emblazoned on him such as Club Brugge. I have to applaud Cherubini, who in my opinion is one of the five best managers in the world, who said he had to stay here and then move up to the first team. He took concrete steps to keep him, letting him know he was a player they were betting on. Koni needed 3/4 Serie C matches to understand the impact, he felt the confidence of the club, and now he is where he deserves to be ».

From Under 17 to Under 23, passing through the Primavera. What is the next step for its growth? Is there already a path in mind for him next year?
“It depends on how the season ends. I would not be at all surprised if he makes the leap to the first team, without going through the loan. Koni is calm, sometimes too much, but he was never one who said: ‘Ah, I trained with Ronaldo’. He did his thing, then went home. Now, for example, he played against Chelsea, but if you go to see his personal social networks, he only made one post. He was inundated with messages, with phone calls, but he only wrote a message. This is Koni De Winter in my opinion. Then you see, I lose 4-0 and also goes to greet the fans under the curve: you do not expect it from someone who is on his debut. This is why I say that I would not be surprised if Koni were able to make the leap immediately, but in case there was a need to take a loan route, to gain experience, we would also be open to this hypothesis. It is a step that we will take together with Juve. One thing is certain: the club is aiming for it, they see in him a future in the first team. The boy has a duty to see how far he can go, for himself. I am sure, even if I don’t know how to read the future, that it will succeed ».

Thanks to NGA Sport and Fabrizio Lioi for the kind concession of the interview

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Kim Lee

Kim is a Chinese girl and has studied in England. Kim loves playing video games, she likes Fortnite games. Kim likes Hollywood movies. Kim's English is very good, so she became a writer. Email : kim@d1softballnews.com

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