Juventus' general manager Giuseppe Marotta has hit back at Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis, labelling him "a joker" after he suggested the Turin giants receive preferential treatment from Serie A bosses.
Marotta, who became CEO at the Allianz Stadium back in 2010, claims his side won't be affected by mind games, dismissing De Laurentiis' claims of bias by suggesting his theatrical background in film making is the reason for his inflammatory comments.
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"We're totally relaxed about it," Marotta told Mediaset. "We know that these are just traps we have to deal with every year. What others say about us doesn't get to us, in fact they give us even more motivation.
"If I have to be ironic about De Laurentiis, I would have to call him, as a great man of cinema, a joker. If I am to be serious, on the other hand, I would coin a phrase from the German philosopher Schopenhauer, who said that when they are talking about you, you need realise not what you are, but what others are. I think that says it all."
His staunch defence of Juventus' position comes after De Laurentiis claimed an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport that their bitter rivals have been looked favourably upon for decades.
"We have grown a lot since I took the company on a piece of paper in court, but today Napoli has a third of Juventus." De Laurentiis said. "Our accounts are better than theirs, but Juventus belongs to the family more It is not a question of money, but of relationships that can also silently create conditioning."
Napoli currently hold a slender one point advantage over Juventus in the Serie A title race, with third place Lazio a distant 13 points behind.