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Andrea Pirlo: ‘Juventus deserve the Champions League’

June 1, 2017 - 3:29 pm

Former Juventus midfield Andrea Pirlo believes the Bianconeri deserve to win the Champions League after all these years.

The 38-year-old will be cheering for Juventus in the Champions League this Saturday and was quick to acknowledge the work it’s taken to get back to another final.

“It’s definitely not easy to get back to the final,” Pirlo told  Corriere della Sera.

“It’s also true though that the club made incredible efforts to strengthen the squad and get back to playing for the Champions League. This final is part of the plan.

“I was very disappointed to lose in Berlin after four fantastic years, but I want my former teammates and the club to win it, after all these years they deserve it.

“There’s been a path of growth where they’ve achieved everything they wanted, now all that’s missing is the icing on the cake.

“Are Juventus stronger now? Certainly they’re more aware of it. Two years ago we got to the final where at the start of the season we didn’t believe that much that we could do it.

“This is a Juve built to win, and that awareness is a consequence of that.

“The squad has changed completely and everyone has brought something different, from Alves to Dybala, from Pjanic to the work of  Mandzukic. Not to mention Higuain. Juve are a great team.

“I don’t think there are many differences between Real and Juve, the Bianconeri have a complete, solid, balanced team; and at the same time they have quality.

“Do they lack Milan’s European DNA? Only winning really changes things. If Juve don’t win on Saturday, people will continue to say that they always win in the League and not in Europe.

“Now they have to lift the trophy.”

“Juve’s defence v Real’s attack? That’s reductive, but Juve certainly defend better than Real because they do it with the whole team, not just the defenders.

“By contrast, Real leave their forwards free to express their great potential.

“Gigi Buffon? I’m really happy for him and for the fact that he once again has the chance to reach this objective that he’s always pursued.

“I’d be delighted if he won this trophy, because he’s proven he’s one of the best.”

Will Zidane’s time at Juve give him an advantage?

“Coaching is totally different from playing.

“On the bench he’s only faced Napoli. Of course he knows our football well, and he’ll know this Juve down to the smallest details, their strengths and weaknesses.

“As for Max Allegri, he’s done a great job. It wasn’t easy to follow Conte, but he’s fitted in to the team and the club really well.

“Will Madrid’s Champions League experience give them an advantage? No, it doesn’t matter. You could have 20 players who have already won it, but every game is completely different.

“Paulo Dybala? The Champions League, rather than a consecration would be the start of a brilliant career for him.”

“Ronaldo the main danger to Juve? Absolutely, yes. He’s shown over the past 10 years that he’s the best, along with Messi. He’s a complete athlete, he can attack from the wing or from the centre.

“He’s exemplary and always perfect in training sessions. He’s always at very high levels and that’s a huge compliment.”

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