Uefa Magazine: Adrian Mutu - Primed for Parma (1 Viewer)

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Jul 30, 2002
"There is no secret to be honest, you can only do your best" - Adrian Mutu

Mutu's Parma karma
Friday, 31 January 2003
By Marcus Christenson

Under sporting director Arrigo Sacchi and coach Cesare Prandelli, Parma AC are building an exciting young team. When striker Marco Di Vaio left the club for Juventus FC in the summer, they found a replacement in Adrian Mutu who could yet be the jewel in their crown.

Lucky 13
Since arriving from Hellas-Verona FC, where he was on loan from Internazionale FC, the young Romanian has formed a potent partnership with Brazilian Adriano. Mutu has already scored 13 goals this season and continues to improve his all-round game as Parma produce some breathtaking football.

'No secret'
"There is no secret to be honest, you can only do your best," the 24-year-old told uefa.com at Parma's Collechio training ground. "I depend on the team and my team-mates have been playing really well. Without them I couldn't have scored these goals. I can only try and convert their crosses and their passes, which thankfully they keep presenting me with."

Limited chances
Mutu arrived in Italy in 2000, signing for Internazionale from FC Dinamo Bucuresti with his advisor Giovanni Becali announcing that he was ready to win the Golden Ball within two years. However, competition was fierce in Milan and Mutu played only ten games in the 1999/00 season before joining Verona on loan.

Gathering pace
Four Serie A goals in his first season and 12 more in 2001/02 followed as he warmed to his task at Verona, and Mutu believes that as he settles into life in Italy, things can only improve.

'A great little city'
"I have been here a few years now and am enjoying life," he said. "Not only as a footballer but as a person as well and that is important in order to be at the top of your game. I have got used to life here in Italy and that obviously helps. Parma is a great little city and the team is well organised."

UEFA Cup dream
The city has been good to him, and now he is hoping that his side can repay supporters faith with a run in Serie A. "Our aim is definitely to qualify for the UEFA Cup and I hope that we can achieve it," he said. "Italian teams have showed this year that they can compete in Europe with all four teams reaching the second round of the [UEFA] Champions League. I think that there has been a change of attitude - Italian teams are playing more attacking football this season and it has paid off."

Romanian hope
Attacking football obviously suits the striker well, but he would dearly love to display his skills at UEFA EURO 2004™ with Romania. Unfortunately, his side has not made the brightest of starts with a 1-0 home defeat against Norway making qualification from Group 2, which also features Denmark, Bosnia Herzegovina and Luxembourg, more difficult.

Portugal beckons
However, Mutu remains confident. "It is true that we lost to Norway but that doesn't mean that we can't qualify," he said. "There are still a lot of games to play. We believe that we can reach the finals and are desperate to do so. The EURO 2004™ finals are our main objective and we want to get there for all our wonderful fans back home who also missed out on the [FIFA] World Cup."

Ongoing challenge
Romania face Denmark at the end of March, but in the meantime, the battle to bring Parma back into Europe's footballing elite continues. With his eye for goal becoming keener by the day, Mutu could yet be the man who makes that dream a reality.


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