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Pirlo: Juve’s early loss to Barcelona ‘a good thing’

Coach’s comments ahead of Ferencvaros test tomorrow in the Champions League

Juventus - Press Conference Photo by Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images

Juventus are in Hungary to take on champions Ferencvaros in their third Champions League Group G game tomorrow, and speaking ahead of the clash, coach Andrea Pirlo wants nothing less than three points.

“Budapest is a beautiful city, I’d been here before and have fond memories of it.

“We are here to play football and win the game. The defeat to Barcelona made us realise where we had to improve, that we need more determination and organisation to play at certain levels. Perhaps meeting Barca so early into the season was a good thing, as we’ll be in better shape when we visit them.”

Barcelona had previously beaten Ferencvaros 5-1, who had held Dynamo Kiev to a 2-2 draw in their last game.

“We studied Ferencvaros, they play good football and have a lot of character. They didn’t deserve to lose to heavily to Barcelona in the opener, while they did well against Dynamo Kiev.

“There are some quick and aggressive players, they pass it around well, and deserve respect. Every Champions League game is difficult and this is worth three points, just as much as against Barcelona.”

With no COVID lockdown in place in Budapest, the stadium will have home fans for the evening clash but Pirlo is looking forward to that.

“That is a positive for both the home and away team, as it gives the players a sense of the difficulty, the potential risk and can wake up some of the defenders who perhaps might let their minds wander.”

With Cristiano Ronaldo now back from his COVID episode, who would be in the starting lineup tomorrow?

“The system remains the same, it’s just the players and their characteristics change. Weston McKennie played the same role as Aaron Ramsey or Dejan Kulusevski did in other games. I felt it was the best option against Spezia to stretch out Juan Cuadrado’s flank and give him some support, but our ideas of football will not change.”