With the international break on, Juventus leadership decided to embark on some damage control following the club’s disappointing exit once again at the Round of 16 stage of the Champions League, and the Scudetto seemingly gone too following an embarrassing loss to Benevento last weekend.
Club Vice-President and former player Pavel Nedved spoke to DAZN (via Football Italia) about the future of coach Andrea Pirlo whose first season in charge hasn’t brought much cheer to Bianconeri around the world.
“Pirlo is and will be the Juventus coach, that’s 100 per cent sure. We have begun a new project with him, knowing we would face difficulties. We wanted to do something more, but we could not manage to do so.
“We are calm, Pirlo has everything to become a great coach.”
Cristiano Ronaldo is also expected to leave with Juve no closer to winning the Champions League than when they signed him.
“As far as I am concerned, Ronaldo won’t leave. He has a contract until June 2022, and he will stay. We’ll see what will happen afterwards.
“Cristiano Ronaldo pushed us towards the Olympus of football, both on technically and in terms of image. He scored more than 100 goals in 120 matches, and, besides, he dragged us into the Champions League.
“He’s a simple guy, although he may not look like that from the outside. He is the prototype of a modern player who has achieved incredible targets with immense talent and a lot of work.”
Paulo Dybala has barely played this season, and seems to have had one calamity after another. With his current deal ending at the end of the next campaign, his future at Juve remains uncertain.
“We missed Dybala. I think he hasn’t played more than 800 minutes with us this season.
“His presence would give us more options upfront. He has one year left in his contract and I have nothing to add to what Paratici and Agnelli already said. Juventus will evaluate every opportunity in the market.”
Questions have to be asked about why Maurizio Sarri got the sack after just one season, especially when he delivered a Scudetto and exited the Champions League at the very same stage.
“Sarri is a great professional and an extraordinary coach. We were on good terms, but there were not the right conditions to continue together. It was a shared decision.”
How about Massimiliano Allegri, why did he leave the club?
“We spent some fantastic years with Allegri. He made history at Juventus and we naturally parted company. We have no regrets.”
Former player and manager Antonio Conte will likely lift the Scudetto soon, though this will come with his defection to hated rivals Inter Milan, where has has been joined by Beppe Marotta.
“I have no message for Conte. He was brought to Inter to win and he knows how to do it. There is and there will always be a rivalry but in amity.
“He is now ten points above Juventus, and he has an obligation to win. He is aware of that.
“We know how he and Marotta work. I am happy he [Marotta] recovered [from COVID]. I am happy for him. He’s been a master for all of us. We are happy for them.”