Andrea Pirlo took the first major blow of his young coaching career when Juventus were eliminated from the Champions League round of 16.
The Bianconeri’s double header against Porto ended 4-4 on aggregate after extra-time, and the Portuguese champions went through on away goals.
Thus, the 41-year-old is trying to pick his men back up on their feet ahead of the away contest against Cagliari in Serie A round 27.
Although the manager’s press conference on Saturday was supposed to be dedicated for the upcoming domestic encounter, most of the discussion circulated around what happened at the Allianz stadium last Tuesday.
The Italian coach insisted that his side still has a lot to play for despite the European disappointment, and assured that Cristiano Ronaldo is doing fine despite all the negative talk surrounding him.
“The team obviously suffered a heavy blow, but we resumed training and have the path forward clear in our minds,” said Pirlo in his press conference as translated by Football Italia.
“Cagliari are a team who recently changed their coach and immediately picked up some important results, so we need pride and team spirit to put in a great performance against Cagliari.”
“Ronaldo is fine. It’s natural he is disappointed by what happened the other night, as is everyone. He trained well and has recovered to play tomorrow night.
“It’s natural there are rumors after the elimination, as he is the most important player in the world along with Lionel Messi. He has always done well for us, scoring 90-odd goals and more than proved his worth.
“The project started in recent years planned the enrichment of the squad with players of a certain pedigree. It’s impossible to create a team just of young players. This was the initial project and it will be for the future as well.”
The former Milan midfielder also said that he had already learned how to deal with setbacks since his time as a player.
“I had many of these situations in my career, as I won a great deal and also lost. I always tried to get back on track despite disappointment and we’ll do the same here.
“Our season didn’t end on Tuesday, we still have Serie A games to play and the Coppa Italia Final. We resume with the urge to show we are Juventus and we can react to negative moments by getting the best out of ourselves. It depends on us and the targets we’ve set ourselves.
“When you start, you hope to win every game, but that is not possible. This isn’t like in your dreams, you have to work hard and know that there will also be defeats.
“Our path will not change, we must have faith and believe in ourselves. We are convinced that we still have a great future ahead of us.” added the young tactician.
“We made some mistakes and when you make those in this competition, you can go out. We have to accept this elimination and learn from those errors. Now our objective is the league.
“We have to take it one game at a time, making the most of the fact we have more time now to prepare for matches and rest players. We also need to be more clinical.”
Pirlo announced that everyone will be available for the trip to Sardinia except for the injured Paulo Dybala, Aaron Ramsey, and Merih Demiral, as well as Rodrigo Bentancur who tested positive for Covid-19 last week.