Sacchi: ‘Usual Juventus problems’

by | Mar 11, 2021 16:26 | Latest

Arrigo Sacchi identifies the problems that saw Juventus eliminated from the Champions League by Porto. ‘They don’t play as a team, lack intensity and even motivation.’

The Bianconeri crashed out of the Champions League at the Round of 16 yet again, but this time was even more damning than with Lyon last season, because Porto were down to 10 men for over an hour including extra time.

“I was surprised,” legendary coach Sacchi told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Arrigo Sacchi identifies the problems that saw Juventus eliminated from the Champions League by Porto. ‘They don’t play as a team, lack intensity and even motivation.’

The Bianconeri crashed out of the Champions League at the Round of 16 yet again, but this time was even more damning than with Lyon last season, because Porto were down to 10 men for over an hour including extra time.

“I was surprised,” legendary coach Sacchi told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Obviously, I hoped they would qualify and trusted they would after appreciating their second half performance against Lazio last week. I thought, if they play Porto with the same intensity, they will get through.

“Instead we saw precisely what happened with Juventus in every other game, except for that second half against Lazio. They lacked intensity, didn’t play as a team, couldn’t attack or defend as 11 men.

“I will even say, which seems absurd for such an important game, they looked like they lacked motivation. It’s difficult to explain how they could be so incapable of making the most of playing against 10 men for 70 minutes.

“I fear Porto were underestimated. They are not a top European club at the moment, but they are well-organised, move harmoniously as a unit, play out from the back and have players suited to the style of football they want to play.

“They also showed great courage and motivation. If you are not organised and don’t know what you’re doing, you don’t quality despite being a man down for two-thirds of the game.

“Even that is not enough, Porto needed Juventus to show their limitations. The behaviour of the wall on the free kick for 2-2 was in a nutshell the problem with their motivation, team spirit and lack of unity.”

Former Milan and Italy coach Sacchi has long been very critical of Serie A’s focus on individual talents rather than team units. Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus has therefore been one of his bugbears.

“Football is a team sport. Ronaldo does what Ronaldo does, but if you rely only on a single player and he has a bad day, you’re in trouble.

“Even Diego Maradona, who was the greatest of all time, couldn’t win the European Cup by himself. As a coach, I never wanted players who were already well-known, because I was afraid they wouldn’t contribute to the team.

“Remember the Galacticos at Real Madrid? Beckham, Raul, Ronaldo, Zidane and Figo, with Owen and Morientes on the bench. They didn’t win the Cup.”

Andrea Pirlo was criticised as a choice for his lack of experience, but did as well as Maurizio Sarri the year before.

“What I advise Juventus to do is choose a coach who has attacking ideas, then clarify what the objectives are and work with him to choose the players who are reliable, functional to those ideas and motivated.

“Juve have always won in Italy, but not in Europe, where it’s a different style of football. And until they change, they will carry on not winning.”

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