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Agnelli: Champions League has to be an objective for Juventus

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The Club President speaks after Juve’s elimination at the hands of Lyon

Juventus FC President Andrea Agnelli during the Serie A... Photo by Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images

Juventus lost on away goals against Lyon to exit the Champions League, just a year after a similar disappointment saw them knocked out by Ajax Amsterdam.

Club President Andrea Agnelli spoke to the media after the game, insisting that no rash decisions would be made in the wake of the campaign ending like it did.

“This season has been evidently bittersweet. It has been a very difficult campaign, we achieved a great result winning our ninth consecutive campaign and wrote a fantastic chapter in the history books.

“Maurizio deserves his own extraordinary page for himself, going from the amateur leagues to winning the Scudetto.

“In the Champions League, obviously, it’s disappointing for us, for the players and the fans. As I said several times in recent years, the Champions league was a dream, now it has to be an objective.

“Going out like this is going to be a huge disappointment. We will take the next few days to consider, evaluate and decide how to go forward next season.

“Juventus have these objectives, they have to be honoured, both domestically and in Europe. We have the best player in the history of the Champions League, which he proved again tonight, and we must start again with renewed enthusiasm.”

Would Agnelli be looking to replace Maurizio Sarri then?

“I do want to make it clear, we cannot take Serie A for granted either, as every season we start from scratch and on zero points. You don’t win titles with momentum from previous seasons, it’s a victory every single time.

“A complete analysis of a season has to be done with everyone in the staff. We must evaluate how to rediscover the enthusiasm we need to start the next season with hunger to play and win in every arena.

“That is a 360-degree analysis. I keep hearing we have the oldest squad in Europe, so that’s something that we need to look at. It has been a very difficult campaign with a lot of changes in the staff, so these are dynamics and ways of understanding each other that need to be created.

“When you make that many changes, you are well aware that some difficulties can emerge. Despite all of that, we won nine consecutive Serie A titles, something that had never happened in the 99 years before our achievement and I doubt will be done again in the next 100 years.”

There were murmurs in French media that Cristiano Ronaldo would leave Juve after two seasons for Paris St Germain.

“I am entirely convinced he will stay. I think the report was down to an interview from several months ago, which just happened to be published just before we played against a French team. It’s an old media trick.

“No, I can assure you that Ronaldo remains a pillar of Juventus.”

More often than not the mismatch between Sarri’s playing philosophy and the personnel he had on the pitch was quite evident, would he look to bring in new faces?

“These are questions the technical directors should be asked and that is not my role. All I can say is they will be Juventus-level players.

“I complimented (Pavel) Nedved and (Fabio) Paratici only a few days ago for the way they handled this difficult season. This group of directors will continue to work together in order to pursue a target that Juventus ought to be targeting. I will hold on to them very tight.

“There are other clubs who want to achieve this target too, but that makes the elimination to a team that frankly nobody was disappointed to get in the draw, even more disappointing.

“As we’ve said, one match cannot decide how a season is evaluated. It has to be analysed in its totality, in general and keeping all elements into consideration.”

Club leadership seem to be reading off the same sheet of music here with first Pavel Nedved and then Fabio Paratici saying the same thing regarding Sarri’s future ahead of the game against Lyon.

Nedved:

“It’s difficult to call it a day of judgment, as coaches, players and directors are judged over the course of a season.”

Paratici:

“Sarri just repeated what I said three or four times before, which is that judgment for a coach, directors and players, are never based on one single game. They are based on the whole season, the good and the bad.”

Now if only Juve’s summer transfer strategy can show the same harmony do we have a chance of repeating domestic success while progressing further in the Champions League next season.