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Udinese dream of becoming Serie A’s next Cinderella story after stunning start to the season

Nobody would have bet a single pound on Udinese’s stunning start to Serie A, but this extraordinary start to the year has changed all dreams for a team destined to become the ‘Cinderella story’ of Italian football after Atalanta and Igor Tudor’s Hellas Verona .

Flying on the back of five wins in their first seven matches, Udinese have all the skills to surprise the top clubs and show that money is not synonymous with victory in Italy, as it is in other parts of Europe.

In Italy, there have been no triumphs for mid-level clubs for many years, but in England the phenomenon is much more recent, as remembered by the crazy story of Leicester with striker Jamie Vardy and Italian coach Claudio Ranieri leading the Foxes to the Premier League -honour. in 2016.

Udinese stunned Inter Milan by beating them 3-1 on Sunday to move into third place in Serie A
Udinese stunned Inter Milan by beating them 3-1 on Sunday to move into third place in Serie A

Udinese stunned Inter Milan by beating them 3-1 on Sunday to move into third place in Serie A

They dream of becoming the 'Leicester of Italy' after the Foxes won the Premier League in 2016
They dream of becoming the 'Leicester of Italy' after the Foxes won the Premier League in 2016

They dream of becoming the ‘Leicester of Italy’ after the Foxes won the Premier League in 2016

Udinese dreams of becoming the ‘Leicester of Italy’, but for now this is a simple wish for the end of the season and there will be several obstacles to overcome along the way.

Manager Andrea Sottil chose Udine because Udine needed a man like him: strong and silent, charismatic but not particularly noisy, in perfect Friulian style – despite having Sicilian blood in his veins and the blood of his son Riccardo , a young winger who plays for Fiorentina.

Udinese moves in harmony like the melodious sound of a country accordion, very often played in Friuli, covering the whole field with great mastery.

They approached their latest match with great enthusiasm and handled the most delicate moments of the match well. Taking on Inter Milan, the team had the strength to recover from the initial disadvantage of going a goal down as they came back to win 3-1 against a team that challenged for the Scudetto just a few months ago.

Udinese have now moved up to third in the table, just a single point behind leaders Napoli.

An unknown team brings Italy’s top clubs to their knees

A midfielder like Walace in the middle of the pitch reminds us of Allan, now at Everton and the last real top player sold by the club to a top team like Napoli, but there are many players who have matured in Sottil’s 3-5-2 formation.

Lazar Samardzic and Tolgay Arslan are two exceptional players who have proven their great technical and character qualities. Above all, Arslan is the perfect playmaker for the 3-5-2 system and has similar strengths to Miralem Pjanic, who was so effective at Juventus and Roma.

After his humble beginnings in Hamburg, Arslan played in Turkey until he arrived in Friuli at the age of 30: today he is the player most loved by the fans who hope that he can be the protagonist of a successful season for team in Serie A.

Tolgay Arslan has become a key player for Udinese and has similar qualities to Miralem Pjanic
Tolgay Arslan has become a key player for Udinese and has similar qualities to Miralem Pjanic

Tolgay Arslan has become a key player for Udinese and has similar qualities to Miralem Pjanic

Gerard Deulofeu has formed a formidable partnership with Beto this season
Gerard Deulofeu has formed a formidable partnership with Beto this season

Gerard Deulofeu has formed a formidable partnership with Beto this season

Roma and Inter were athletically and tactically overwhelmed by Udinese, who proved to have a lower technical frame than Sottil’s team.

Beto and Gerard Deulofeu together look like Karim Benzema and Vinicius Jr. and yet they cost 50 times less than any single player that makes up the Real Madrid attack.

Destiny Udogie, already sold to Tottenham but on loan for this season, and Jean-Victor Makengo run 10-12 kilometers per game and are absolutely vital to applying Sottil’s tactical teachings. They are two soldiers who run box-to-box to exhaust their opponents.

Sottil earns £5.2m less than Allegri but has seven more points than Juventus

Sottil’s Udinese compared to Massimiliano Allegri’s Juventus is a team with a precise identity and a precise philosophy that allows Sottil to gallop to the top of the standings and mentally refresh during the international break.

Compared to Allegri, he earns £5.2m-a-year less but has seven more points: this statistic alone would be enough to demonstrate the miracle of little Udinese and the catastrophic flop of giants Juventus.

Sottil speaks little and achieves exceptional results, while Allegri seems to have recently started a new career as a stand-up comedian, perhaps to divert from the disastrous results on the pitch.

Andrea Sottil cares a lot about his players and treats them as if they were his own children
Andrea Sottil cares a lot about his players and treats them as if they were his own children

Andrea Sottil cares a lot about his players and treats them as if they were his own children

Massimiliano Allegri has laughed and joked with Juventus, seemingly trying to take attention away from how badly his side are playing on the pitch
Massimiliano Allegri has laughed and joked with Juventus, seemingly trying to take attention away from how badly his side are playing on the pitch

Massimiliano Allegri has laughed and joked with Juventus, seemingly trying to take attention away from how badly his side are playing on the pitch

Their two ways of training are different, but at the moment Sottil’s method of sweat and effort is much more profitable both for the league position and for the club’s financial accounts.

Sottil is not an outspoken coach who craves media attention. A closed and reserved man, he gives little away to the public, joking and talking only to the players he treats as his children.

Gianluca Cristaldi, his trusted assistant, is his best friend off the training pitch and the pair are inseparable.

Sottil was a fearsome defender who now terrorizes opponents on the touchline

Looking him in the eye was terrifying when he was an Udinese defender, but even today Sottil terrifies his opponents as a coach.

As a young defender, he wrote wonderful pages in the club’s history and his appointment as coach ignited the flame of excitement in a city disheartened by the disappointing seasons of recent years.

Sottil likes to play with a back four, but due to his love for the club and the technical characteristics of the team, he has chosen to move to 3-5-2.

With this tactical system, the site has managed to operate 100% and demonstrates great strength and intelligence in the management of space.

Sottil has adapted to his team's strengths and his fearsome demeanor terrifies opponents
Sottil has adapted to his team's strengths and his fearsome demeanor terrifies opponents

Sottil has adapted to his team’s strengths and his fearsome demeanor terrifies opponents

Udinese is a small team but has a big club mentality thanks to their coach and the Pozzo family, who have always believed in the team and in the economic structure of the city by building the Dacia Arena.

87 appearances as a player and six goals between 1999 and 2003 shows the loyalty that Sottil has to Udinese, given that the club has rarely reached the heights of Italian football.

Sottil was a tough man who made physical strength and aggression his main attributes, and today he is a tactically sophisticated coach who wants to take the fight to the opposition – and that is exactly what Udinese have done so far this season.

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