The Andrea Pirlo era as coach of Juventus has officially begun, with press and fans alike waiting with bated breath for his first press conference to glean an idea of what his playing style will be and who he has in mind to execute that vision.
Speaking to the media today, Pirlo did not reveal too much but did say all the right things the fans wanted to hear.
“I want to bring back the enthusiasm, propose a proactive football with great mastery of the game.
“I told the lads two things: you always have to keep the ball and when you lose it, you must get it back quickly.”
The 41-year-old says he hasn’t decided what lineups and formations he wants to use quite yet.
“I’m convinced that I’m in the right place at the right time. Tactically we could play with four or three at the back, I have no set formations.
“Enthusiasm must be brought day by day. We need to talk to the players, make them participate in training and make the players understand what we want. Juve always have one goal: to win.
“I immediately felt at ease, I met many people with whom I had worked.”
Will Pirlo be a mentor for signing from Barcelona Arthur Melo? How about Paulo Dybala, will he be sold?
“Quality players can play together in any team, the important thing is that everyone are ready to sacrifice and willing to work for others.
“Arthur is a quality player who can fill multiple roles and will be very useful throughout the season.
“Dybala is an important player, he will be part of the project.”
Two players strongly linked with moves away from Juve have been Gonzalo Higuain and Sami Khedira, and Pirlo had words for both of them.
“I spoke to Higuain. He’s a person I admire very much, he had an important period here and was a great player.
“But we decided that our paths must be divided. He was a great champion, but the cycles end. He was put aside but as a serious person, we spoke to each other and made this decision.
“As for [Sami] Khedira, he’s injured. We’ll see when he gets better.”
The new coaching staff was also announced yesterday with former Juve defender Igor Tudor coming back as Pirlo’s new assistant.
“Tudor was my choice. I needed an assistant with experience and who had been a former footballer and former defender, and above all with a certain type of personality.
“Plus, he was a former Juve player, so the perfect person.”
Pirlo is excited for the future but stopped short of promising instant continued success for the club that has now won nine consecutive league titles in a row, the first four of which he was present for.
“We must be willing to make sacrifices, when there’s a goal, we must reach it all together.
“If I was destined for the job will depend on the results. I was told as a footballer and it came true, I hope it can also happen as a coach.”