Andrea Pirlo wants Antonio Conte to stay and focus on the Champions League next season. The Juventus midfielder spoke with Tuttosport ahead of his teams final game of the season against Cagliari and talked about everything from his free kicks to the future of the Juventus manager and the potentially record-breaking 100 points tally this season:
“Winning three consecutive Scudetti is a memorable achievement, but perhaps not everyone realises that because people think the Champions League is the primary target and get distracted,” said Pirlo.
“However, they need to understand that winning in Italy is not easy, especially three titles in a row. This season is even more historic, as we can go into triple figures.”
“In Europe we did not achieve what we wanted to, but will try again next year, as the principle objective this term was to win the Scudetto again.
“It was painful to lose the Europa League like that, but you learn from defeats. The lesson we took away is that in Europe you must always be concentrated and on point. Never get distracted and do not underestimate any opponent.
“In Lisbon we should’ve scored a second goal, but lost concentration and conceded instead. In the second leg Benfica were smart in their approach to the game. We need to learn from them.”
“My dream is to win the Champions League, but it’s not easy when you look at the revenue of clubs like PSG and Manchester City who can’t reach the Final either,” continued Pirlo.
“You need luck as well as an important project, which we do have. Right now there is a little chaos around Conte, but I think it will all settle down soon.
“I don’t see any particular tension, so the two parties will make the best decision. I hope Conte stays, as he is a very talented Coach who demands a great deal and gives it back too. He reminds me of Diego Simeone, they both drag teams along with them.
“Juve simply cannot do any better in Serie A, but for Europe that’s down to the club.”
“My renewal will be announced in a few days. I reached an agreement on a two-year contract and we are just waiting for the right time to confirm it.
“The negotiations weren’t difficult, they were only tricky because we had so many games that we didn’t have time for meetings. I never had doubts and didn’t even look at other options.
“I didn’t think I would remain at Juventus for five years, but this will become my second longest club spell after 10 years at Milan.
“There are no ‘sated’ players at Juventus. We still want to win and the hunger is not lacking, not even for Gigi Buffon and I who have already won so much.
“Playing to win is the only gratifying factor. I still have fun and love this sport, I get to training in a good mood and like staying with my teammates. When I no longer have that joy, I think I’ll retire. Football has to be fun as well as work.”
“Staying here would give him the opportunity to continue growing in the right environment. He’d risk arriving at a new club with the huge expectations linked to the price-tag. If they pay the same as for a striker, they’d expect a goal per game.”
“I have four or five different ways of kicking the ball and decide which one to use while I am organising the wall. I study free kicks on the Internet or TV and train once a week in a specific style.
“I saw a player in Brazil who actually lay down behind the wall to make sure the ball couldn’t go underneath. Mad.”