Buffon urges Juventus to keep up winning run in Serie A

Milan, Jan 26 (IANS) Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon has urged his teammates to keep up their impressive form that has seen them seal 11th straight win as they ramp up their challenge for a fifth successive Scudetto title.

The four-time defending champions beat Roma 1-0 on Sunday to register their 11th win on trot in the Italian football league. They are now second in the table, just two points behind Napoli.

“We’re clearly enjoying a purple patch at the moment because you don’t win 11 matches on the spin if you’re not right on top of your game,” Buffon told juventus.com on Tuesday.

“That said, we need to make sure that we extend this run for as long as possible, so that we have points in the bag, so to speak, as winning streaks are always destined to come to an end eventually,” the iconic goalkeeper, who was here at the “Gianni Brera, athlete of 2015” award ceremony, added.

One major factor in the Old Lady’s resurgence over the last three months has been the regular goal getting of a certain Paulo Dybala. Last night against Roma, the Argentine netted for a 14th time in all competitions this term — a tally, which Buffon explained not everyone may have expected from the 22-year-old during his first six months in Turin.

“Last season you could already tell that he was an extraordinarily talented player. But for him to have replicated his form with Palermo at a club of the size and stature of Juventus is something that has perhaps taken a few people by surprise,” Buffon said of Dybala.

Asked whether, following yesterday’s defeat of Luciano Spalletti’s Roma, he thought matters now boiled down to a two-horse title race between the Bianconeri and Napoli, Buffon stressed that it was still too early to confirm who held the upper hand this year.

“This season has been far from predictable and no team has dominated for a lengthy period. Therefore, even if Napoli and ourselves are deservedly ahead of the pack right now, it’s difficult to say that it’s between just the two of us,” the 37-year-old reckoned.

The 2006 World Cup winner reserved special praise for Napoli’s Spanish goalkeeper Pepe Reina.

“Reina boasts outstanding technical skills and his team owe a lot to his quality for their current league position. He also has a fantastic charisma that makes him a perfect fit for a dressing room such as that of Napoli,” Buffon said.

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