Former Juventus attacker Alessandro Del Piero believes Chelsea are favourites to win the Champions League, spoke about Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure from the Allianz Stadium and Paulo Dybala’s ‘enormous potential’.
The Bianconeri have struggled initially this term and are still searching for their first win since Massimiliano Allegri returned to the club.
Ronaldo returned to Manchester United this summer but Del Piero said the farewell was not a big surprise.
“I don’t think we should talk about being unprepared, but about dealing with reality,” Del Piero told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“Obviously, CR7 didn’t want to stay, just as obvious as it could have been useful not paying such a heavy salary.
“If the question refers to how he has been replaced, I say that we must measure ourselves with economic resources.
“I still think that Juventus’ attack can be very competitive.”
But Del Piero doesn’t believe Juventus made a mistake signing Ronaldo three years ago.
“Ronaldo is a champion and he had to be signed. Rather, the problem was the team’s failure to grow around the superstar,” Del Piero continued.
“We have often judged Cristiano’s performances almost unrelated to that of Juventus and it’s symptomatic of something that didn’t work.
“The result in Europe has not been up to par, but if we think that [Manchester] City have not won a Champions League yet, we understand how investments are not always synonymous with victories.”
Del Piero said Paulo Dybala has already shown he can be a protagonist at the Allianz Stadium and believes freedom will help the Argentine ‘exploit his enormous potential’.
“In my opinion, he has already given them a lot in the past. He should go back to this level,” he said. “You don’t play with the pressure of having to win alone.
“The freer he is, the more he will make a difference by exploiting his enormous potential.”
The former captain thinks Max Allegri’s return to the club is positive, but stressed the coach has a big job ahead.
“I like Allegri, I think he has clear ideas,” Del Piero added. “He cannot work miracles, because he is the first to know that Juve’s problem couldn’t be traced back to technical guidance alone.
“The work to be done is great, both in the dressing room and on the pitch.”
Juventus return to the Champions League against Malmö FF tomorrow and are drawn with Zenit St Petersburg and Chelsea too.
Del Piero believes the Blues, who won the competition last term, are still one of two favourites to win in 2021-22.
“Chelsea have extraordinary quality and have strengthened the squad,” Del Piero said. “They are in first row with Paris Saint-Germain.
“Manchester City and Bayern Munich are immediately behind, then the other English and Spanish sides.
“Right now, the Italians are behind: we have to get used to starting from better ideas and lower costs. But the values of the beginning of the season doesn’t always correspond to the final outcome.”