Pirlo: ‘Juve considered dead and buried’

by | May 22, 2021 11:55

Andrea Pirlo maintains Juventus can still surprise in the final round after ‘everyone considered us dead and buried,’ but hints at more tactical and personnel changes against Bologna.

It kicks off on Sunday at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT), click here for a match preview.

The Bianconeri were revitalised by Wednesday’s 2-1 Coppa Italia Final victory over Atalanta, one of their best performances of the season.

Andrea Pirlo maintains Juventus can still surprise in the final round after ‘everyone considered us dead and buried,’ but hints at more tactical and personnel changes against Bologna.

It kicks off on Sunday at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT), click here for a match preview.

The Bianconeri were revitalised by Wednesday’s 2-1 Coppa Italia Final victory over Atalanta, one of their best performances of the season.

Now they have the chance to capture a top four finish, but they need to beat Bologna and hope either Milan or Napoli fail to get victories.

“The players have recuperated, as victories help get the adrenaline pumping,” said the coach in his press conference.

“People considered us dead and buried after the defeat to Milan, but we got back on our feet. We must first and foremost focus on ourselves, trying to put in a great performance and get the win we need, then we can look at what the others are doing. The most important thing is for us to play our game and have no regrets.

“Bologna play good football, create a lot of scoring opportunities and have some very good young players. It’s going to be just as difficult as the last time we played them. They go on the attack and we must be wary.”

Pirlo seems to have finally found the right tactical approach for his Juventus side after numerous failed experiments, constantly chopping and changing, but hints he’s not going to suddenly lock this line-up down.

“I made choices based on the teams that we were facing and I considered Dejan Kulusevski the right pick in those circumstances. He’s played more than most, just in different roles.

“Tomorrow is a different game, so I could opt for different solutions. I have no regrets, even if I might’ve made some mistakes along the way.”

The coach said after the Coppa Italia win that he would confirm himself on the bench next season if he were in charge of Juventus.

“Naturally I love the adrenaline and the pressure. If you do this job, you have to feel the blood pumping through your veins in order to do great things. I said I would confirm myself because I want to continue working with this club.

“I don’t think the club will make a decision based solely on what happens tomorrow. I believe they’ll look over the whole season and then make a decision. It’s up to them, we’ll see what happens.

“I have always held my head up high and feel that I’ve done my job 100 per cent. I’ve always been clear with everyone and can have no complaints on that score.

“I didn’t like our results, as we didn’t achieve the targets we had set, but the rapport with the lads was the most satisfying part of the campaign. They worked with a real spirit of sacrifice.

“I was a winner as a player and I want to be a winner as a coach, so I see this season as an opportunity to improve and grow for the future.”

Gianluigi Buffon will leave Juventus at the end of the season and probably continue his playing career elsewhere at the age of 43.

“Juve are losing a football monument, both on the field and off. It’s sad, as we had a long journey together over the years. I admire him very much, as every day he arrives for training with the enthusiasm of a kid.”

The future for Cristiano Ronaldo is a little more vague, with reports he could walk away if they fail to secure the top four.

“I see him still in the Bianconeri jersey and concentrated. He absolutely wanted to win the Coppa Italia. There’s time for us to discuss the rest.”

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