Our “Till I die …” series of interviews are proving very popular as we reach out to many fans across Asia. We are pleasantly surprised by the responses we have managed to receive as passionate fans reply to our requests and readily share their experiences with us.
This week, we are honoured to have Michael Pedregosa with us, talking about his true love, Juventus.
Michael is known as Ped to everyone who knows him. Hailing from the Philippines, he is currently working and living in Singapore. He is an architect by day and the Vice-President of Juventus Club SG by all other hours. He shares with us his thoughts on his favourite football club in the world, Juventus, having supported them for the last 18 years.
FF Titan: Thanks for spending time with us today, Ped. Tell us how long you have supported Juventyus and why did you choose Juventus over i) other Serie A teams and ii) over other Premier Leagues which are ultra popular in this region?
PED: I’ve been supporting Juventus for around 18 years now. Pippo Inzaghi’s goal in 1998 against Galatasaray was one of the first highlights I ever saw and I became a Bianconero ever since.
I studied in a Catholic school ran by Italian priests who were based in Turin, so there was a certain familiarity with Juventus when I started playing football. I was a defender, and with the Italians being famous for their impeccable defence, my love for the club just grew. I had no reason to even consider looking at other teams or leagues.
Football back home in the Philippines at that time was not so popular so you’d only get a handful of news and it would be on big clubs such as Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United and of course, Juventus. When I decided to follow Juventus, they were the only team I really cared about.
In the past, I was more of an individual supporter and not part of any group. I remained an individual supporter even when moved to Singapore 8 years ago. In 2014, when Juventus came to town in 2014, I thought it would be fun to go with a group of fellow Juventus supporters. So I started looking around on Facebook and there they were – Juventus Club Singapore, one of the most passionate groups of supporters I have ever met. The club has always emphasized on how we are a family of 180 million people around the world (and we’re extremely proud of it!) and we at Juventus Club DOC Singapore hold true to that – even more so now that we’re an accredited club.
FF Titan: Let’s talk about Paul Pogba – from Juventus’ point of view is it a matter of a superb sale?
PED: Of course! €105 million in profit is a superb sale any way you look at it. People can say all they want but Juventus is always about the team and not the individual. We are always in a win-win situation whether we had sold Pogba or not.
FF Titan: Do you think he will succeed in England after his first spell there?
PED: Juventus has helped him develop by surrounding him with great midfielders like (Claudio) Marchisio, (Andrea) Pirlo and lately (Sami) Khedira – providing the experience he needed to see his potential. He will always have room to improve, and if he’s given the right environment to play his game, he will be successful.
FF Titan: (Gonzalo) Higuain – worth the cash?
PED: (Paulo) Dybala cost €40 million but he proved himself to be worth every penny…or euro. The question on Higuain can only be answered as the season progresses. He did score his first competitive goal within 10 minutes of his debut, so he’s off to a great start!
FF Titan: What is your hope for the club this season? We assume the title is the minimum to be expected – how about hopes for the Champions League?
PED: The management has made it clear that the main objective this year is the Champions league. We’ve stamped our claim in Serie A and Europe is the next target.
FF Titan: Tell us more about the fan club here in Singapore / Asia. What are your activities and how can people get in touch?
PED: We (in Singapore) are delighted that Juventus have acknowledged that Asia as a key target market. Their fan base in Australia, China, especially Indonesia is massive – and we have noted that in the past two years that the number of Juventus fans in Singapore is growing too. It’s refreshing to see our part of the world start to realise that there’s more to football than the Premier League and La Liga!
Juventus Club DOC Singapore became an accredited club (“Club DOC”, as they call it in Italy) in July 2015, coming off the club’s successful Southeast Asia tour here the year before. This season, we have a new clubhouse, Harry’s at Cuppage Terrace and we’ll come together there for all ‘early’ games (the ones kicking off at 10pm or midnight).
We have an exciting season lined up, and Juventini in Singapore can find us on Facebook – which is also where we’ll announce all our activities throughout the season. Plus, we’re on Twitter (@JuventusClubSG) and Instagram (juventusclubsg).
All pictures are reproduced with permission.
Editor’s Note: Fantasy Football Titan is looking for more fans out there who supports the smaller teams in the Premier League. If you are keen to be interviewed by us, do contact us via our social media platforms.
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