Marcello Lippi remains adamant that Juventus would have beaten AC Milan in the 2003 Champions League final if Pavel Nedved had played the match.
The Czech Republic midfielder was arguably Juve’s best player at the time, but he got a yellow card late in the semi-final against Real Madrid and that forced him to miss the final.
It was only his second yellow card of the competition and the first one had been from the group stage.
The laws have since been changed to make the group stage caution invalid in the knockout stages.
However, that rule denied Nedved the chance to play the final and perhaps it also denied Juve the chance to end their wait for another Champions League crown.
Milan would eventually beat the Bianconeri in the final on penalties after the game had ended 0-0.
However, Lippi remains convinced that Nedved’s presence in the game would have tipped the final in Juve’s favour.
“In 2003 we massacred Spanish football with Juve, we beat Real Madrid,” said Lippi at the Festival dello Sport event as quoted by Football Italia.
“I am convinced that if Nedved had been there for Milan-Juventus, then we would’ve won the Champions League.
“So if I had to pick a player to bring with me in the most important match of my life, it would be Nedved.”
If Ronaldo had not played all the matches when Juve were eliminated you would say Juve would have won those Champion League had Ronaldo played.
I did not know that the Great Lippi was a would have, could have, should have type of coach?
I thought he was more positive than a hopeful crystal ball type of coach.
What a ridiculous statement to make when Juve were well between by AC Milan
Lippi you can dream and stroke that crystal ball a little harder will you?
I remember that final.. and when Nedved received that yellow against Real in the semis after he had destroyed them. He was even in tears. Nedved is the reason I started supporting Juve (and Czech Republic) some 20 odd years ago.