Patrick Kluivert claims son Justin did the right thing by joining Roma this summer, saying a move to Premier League giants Manchester United would have been “too big a jump” for the talented teenager.
Kluivert Jr, 19, had looked set to head for England but instead the forward opted to move to Italy after two years at his father’s former side Ajax.
And Dutch legend Kluivert hopes his son can follow in his illustrious footsteps one day.
“He must travel miles to get to where I did, but he’s shown talent, plus he has the character and time to have a great career,” Kluivert Snr told Gazzetta dello Sport on Wednesday.
“I think United would have been too big a jump. Roma are an important club but the pressures are less.
“Roma don’t have to win at any cost and it is a club that is used to good football. It is the ideal place for Justin right now.”
The former Ajax, AC Milan and Barcelona striker, 42, will have been pleased with his son’s impact in Serie A, Justin making an immediate impact with his cross setting up Edin Dzeko for the match winner in the opening league game against Torino last weekend.
“I want to see him win with Roma and I want to see him happy,” added Kluivert of Justin, who has signed until 2023 with the side from the Eternal City, who finished third in Serie A last season.
“I’m very satisfied with what he’s doing. He doesn’t talk much, but he’s someone who knows how to listen and is motivated. I wanted him to stay at Ajax for another year, but he made his choice.
“Then, who doesn’t dream of Barcelona? But Italian football is catching up and Justin can take advantage of it.”
Kluivert Snr earned 79 caps for the Netherlands before retiring in 2004, and is now the assistant Cameroon coach, under former Ajax and Netherlands colleague Clarence Seedorf.
Kluivert Jr made 30 league appearances for Ajax last season, scoring 10 goals, and earned his first call-up to the Dutch national team in March.
Great anticipation greeted Sunday’s Serie A debut for Internazionale’s latest import from South America, Lautaro Martinez.
Martinez, 20, was snatched up from Racing Club in July for €22.7 million (Dh95.4m). A plethora of European sides had coveted his signature, including Madrid rivals Real and Atletico.
This sense of excitement was only added to by a promising pre-season that contained four goals in seven run-outs for the Argentina forward. But he never looked like adding to this tally when the Nerazzurri’s top-flight commitments got under way with a disappointing 1-0 reversal at Sassuolo.
Here, we analyse the performance of Inter’s marquee summer buy:
Goals – 0
Assists – 0
Shots – 0
Shots on target – 0
Touches – 33
Passes – 15
Key passes – 0
Dribbles – 0
Dispossessed – 3
Inter head coach Luciano Spalletti’s tactical rejig continued, with the Italian moving away from last term’s 4-2-3-1 formation and placing Martinez behind lone striker Icardi in a 4-4-1-1.
Nascent signs of a budding partnership had been witnessed in pre-season between the Argentines. But a step-up in intensity saw this relationship break down.
Martinez was dispossessed more than any team-mate (three), plus produced zero key passes and shots. Sassuolo also gave him no room to manoeuvre, inflicting five fouls on the attacker – the joint-highest for Inter.
7 - Sassuolo have won more matches versus Inter in Serie A than against any other side – winning 7 of the 11 fixtures. Torment. #SassuoloInter— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) August 19, 2018
Kept on trying – Martinez left Mapei Stadium-Citta del Tricolore with both body and ego bruised. The hosts inflicted heavy handed treatment throughout, meaning this was a harsh introduction to elite European football after 22 goals in 48 league matches for Racing.
Only Ghana wide man Kwadwo Asamoah suffered more fouls than Martinez (six to five) – and he stayed on for all 90 minutes.
To his credit, Martinez attempted to play with bravery despite his 33 touches being the lowest of any outfield starter for Inter. They must back his talent over time.
Leaving his mark – Success on the pitch has come quick for the sublimely talented Martinez.
But space, time and protection granted to him in Argentina was not present in Serie A. The key to long-term success is doing more with less.
An efficiency must be introduced to his game during the months ahead if Inter’s impressive refit is to reach its potential.
1st min FOUL: Welcome to European football. Martinez is upended near the halfway line, just moments after kick-off.
39th min WASTED CHANCE: Martinez finally finds the space he craves, picking up the ball in a promising counter-attacking position. He looks up and dreadfully overhits his pass to strike partner and countryman Mauro Icardi.
69th min SUBSTITUTED: A tough bow is brought to a premature end by Spalletti. Fellow summer addition Keita Balde comes on.
Martinez has wasted no time making the move across the Atlantic Ocean.
He only turns 21-years old later on Wednesday. This is why alarmist reactions should not greet a debut that was fitful at best.
The awful pitch at Mapei Stadium didn’t help. Neither teething problems, as Spalletti attempts to tweak the way 2017/18’s fourth-placed finishers set-up in order to fit Martinez in.
Judging by the exquisite goals and performances in pre-season, much better is to come. From player and club.
All statistics are compiled using whoscored.com
Portugal forward Ronaldo took centre stage at the Bentegodi on his competitive debut following his summer transfer from Real Madrid.
However, it needed a huge team effort from the defending champions to secure three points in Verona.
Following a minute’s silence in memory of the victims of Tuesday’s bridge collapse in Genoa, Sami Khedira fired Juve into an early lead.
Chievo, however, equalised through a header from Mariusz Stepinski and then took the lead at the start of the second half through a penalty from former Juve winger Emanuele Giaccherini.
An own goal by defender Mattia Bani level things up again on 77 minutes before the most dramatic of finales.
Substitute Mario Mandzukic thought he had won it with a late header, given by goalline technology.
However, the effort was to be ruled out following a referral by the Video Assistant Referee after Chievo goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino had taken a heavy blow from Ronaldo in the build-up.
Juve, aiming to deliver a record eighth successive serie a crown, did score a legitimate winner deep into five minutes of stoppage time when substitute Federico Bernardeschi turned in a low cross from Alex Sandro.
In Saturday’s evening kick-off, Napoli came from behind to win 2-1 at Lazio.
Last season’s runners-up, now with Carlo Ancelotti at the helm, found themselves behind on 25 minutes following a fine individual goal from Ciro Immobile.
The Italy forward collected a long pass from Francesco Acerbi, before turning clear and curling the ball into the top corner.
After Napoli had a goal from Arkadiusz Milik ruled out by the VAR for a foul in the build-up, the Pole then did get on the scoresheet in added time at the end of the first half.
Lorenzo Insigne’s ball to the back post was knocked down and Milik put it into the net.
On the hour, Insigne scored what proved to be the winner with another fine curling effort.
Lazio defender Francesco Acerbi then saw a late effort hit the post.