Former Juventus and Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic defends his former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo after his move to Al-Nassr and praises his ex-coaches Massimiliano Allegri and Luciano Spalletti, who will meet in Napoli-Juve on Friday.

Pjanic joined UAE side Sharjah on a free transfer last summer and believes Cristiano Ronaldo made the right choice by joining Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr.

“It’s a very ambitious club, I am convinced that the middle east will be the future of football,” Pjanic told Tuttosport.

“There are countries with a lot to offer, but their potential hasn’t been fulfilled yet. Surely, football will develop here. This is why I was not surprised by Ronaldo’s decision. Football in Arabia is not as easy as people think. I think he will contribute to the development of the sport in the country.”

Pjanic and Ronaldo spent two years together in Turin. The first one under Massimiliano Allegri. The former Barcelona midfielder scored 22 goals in 178 appearances in Turin and is still a huge fan of Allegri.

“I’ve watched almost all Juventus games. They didn’t surprise me. The lads had a bad start and at that moment, playing against PSG or the last in the table makes no difference, all opponents look strong,” he said.

Juventus had a terrible start in Serie A and the Champions League and were eliminated from Europe’s elite competition in the group phase for the first time since 2013.

They have managed to climb the table to the second place, with eight wins in a row without conceding.

“Allegri has been able to turn the situation around, I don’t hear certain people talk these days. Allegri is on the right path, but now the difficult part starts,” continued Pjanic.

“Allegri is on another level, he is so serene that he is able to transmit the same to his players. This season, even more. He has given a chance to young players. If I owned a club one day, I’d always want Allegri as a coach.”

The Bianconeri face Napoli away tomorrow in the last match of the Andrea Agnelli. The Old Lady’s President resigned in November and the new board of directors, chaired by Gianluca Ferrero, will take place on January 18.

“I’ve always had a great rapport with Agnelli. He is an amazing person,” claimed Pjanic.

“He always helped us and was available for everything. He is one of the most winning coaches in the club’s history and has done extraordinary things. He is a humble person and a great worker. Nobody will ever cancel what he’s done for this club. He will always be part of Juventus.”

The Bosnia international also worked with Spalletti at Roma. What’s the best quality of the current Napoli coach?

“Competence, the way he works offensively and defensively,” said the midfielder.

“He is always able to line up a great team. He has his tactics and plans every movement. Players know exactly what to do on the pitch. He is demanding, but he gives a lot. He cares about performances, not names.

“I played more under Allegri, but when you play under Spalletti, you can feel his teams are well-prepared and coached.”

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