Published On: Tue, Jul 2nd, 2013

Pozzo: Di Natale will end career at Udinese

Di Natale - UdineseUdinese owner Giampaolo Pozzo believes that Antonio Di Natale will remain with the club until he retires from playing, and hopefully even after that as a director.

Since the end of the last campaign, rumours have claimed that the 35-year-old’s contract with the Zebrette wasn’t going to be renewed, and more recently he’s been supposedly linked to a possible AC Milan move.

Pozzo spoke to Udinese Channel and insisted that the striker isn’t going anywhere for now.

“Toto will stay with us, because he is our captain and, as I always say, he will conclude his career here,” said the 72-year-old.

“He will do so certainly as a player and also I hope as a director too, once he has finished his splendid career as a player.”

Di Natale has been with the Udine squad since 2004, and has been named Serie A top scorer twice since then. He had the second most goals in the league for the 2012-13 term, scoring 23 times in his 33 appearances.

The owner then went on to reveal his plans for Udinese this upcoming season.

“We start the year with the usual enthusiasm, to keep to our project and our trajectory.

“We cannot perform miracles for next season, so we will start with humility – first we have to attain survival, we are a small club, we have to take this into account.

“We begin with a budget of €40 million, the great teams in Italy have €250m. And that is not to be thrown out of the window, but to be used by them to buy strong players.

“We are thinking towards survival, which is the most important thing.”

The team is also in the middle building a new Stadio Friuli, in hopes of reviving their popularity and adding to their income.

“It was not easy to design the new stadium, the problem is bureaucracy. Television income is important, but the stadium is critical to maintain the link with the fans.

“Our goal is to recreate an atmosphere from the time of Zico. I want to see 25,000-30,000 people at the stadium to support the team.”


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