Star Fiorentina midfielder Riccardo Montolivo is finding it hard to celebrate his appointment as the new full-time Viola captain after club veterans Dario Dainelli and Martin Jorgensen left the Franchi during the January transfer window.
“Yes, unfortunately I’m the skipper now,” the Italian international said to Il Corriere dello Sport newspaper.
“Dario and Martin were both friends of mine and two important players in our dressing room. Their departures have been important, just like those of [Luca] Toni, [Tomas] Ujfalusi and [Fabio] Liverani.
“But we have always managed to get by. It’s up to us in the old guard, [Sebastien] Frey, [Marco] Donadel, [Alessandro] Gamberini and myself, to convey the strength and the self-confidence to the new recruits.”
Fiorentina are set to take on Inter tonight in the first leg of the their Coppa Italia semi-final tie and Bayern Munich later this month in the last 16 of the Champions League, and the World Cup finals in South Africa beckon.
“I would settle for winning the Coppa Italia, but I also want the fourth place in Serie A,” admitted Montolivo.
“We can overcome Bayern, but must be at 100 per cent. As for the national side, I think [Marcello] Lippi values me, my last Azzurri appearance was positive and I am staying confident. I want to go to the World Cup and remain in the Nazionale for many more years.”