‘Pep Guardiola is one of the best’: Andrea Pirlo reveals he is modelling himself on Manchester City’s boss as he tries to bring Juventus their first European success in 25 years
- Andrea Pirlo believes Pep Guardiola inspires young coaches with his style of play
- Success in the Champions League will be a measure of Pirlo’s success at Juve
- Turin club have dominated Serie A for the last decade but Juventus last tasted victory in the Champions League in 1996, when they defeated Ajax in the final
- Pirlo’s team have won two, drawn two in the league this season and sit fifth
Juventus head coach Andrea Pirlo has revealed he is modelling himself on Pep Guardiola as he attempts to bring the Champions League trophy back to Turin for the first time in 25 years.
Pirlo, 41, who only took over the reins at the Allianz Stadium in August, just a week after he was appointed as the coach to the club’s Under 23s, describes the Manchester City boss as ‘one of the best’ in the business.
His appointment followed the departure of Maurizio Sarri, who had led Juve to another Serie A championship in his one season in charge but failed to deliver the progress in Europe the club craves.
Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo is modelling his approach on Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola
Alessandro Del Piero and Fabrizio Ravanelli of Juventus with the Champions League trophy, having beaten Ajax on penalties in the 1996 final – the last time Juve won the competition
Pirlo believes Guardiola has set the standard for young coaches to aspire to, following his two Champions League successes at Barcelona and positive style of play.
‘Guardiola is an example for all of us, he is one of the best,’ Pirlo told UEFA.com. ‘It gave a way forward for young coaches who wanted to promote a certain type of offensive football.
‘Each of us has his own ideas and wants to carry them forward, but he is certainly a model for the whole football movement.
Guardiola has won the Champions League twice as a coach with Barcelona in 2009 and 2011
‘I like his style of play: always attacking and influencing the game in order to always manage situations. This must be our goal for the future.’
However, Guardiola has often been criticised for failing to win the Champions League since he left Barcelona, managing Bayern Munich and Manchester City.
Pirlo himself also knows what it takes to win the competition, claiming the title twice as a player with AC Milan, first in 2003 when the Rossoneri beat Juventus on penalties in the first all-Italian final and then in 2007 with a 2-1 defeat of Liverpool.
And he has experienced defeat with Juventus.
Pirlo won the Champions League twice as a player with AC Milan but tasted defeat with Juventus in the 2015 final
The playmaker, who was nicknamed Il Professore, ‘The Professor’, by Juve fans during four seasons at the club from 2011 to 2015, was in the side that lost to Luis Enrique’s Barcelona 3-1 in the 2015 final.
Juventus have secured nine titles in a row, dating back to 2012, but their record in the Champions League has been mixed, including three defeats in the final since the turn of the century, most recently in 2017 when they lost 4-1 to Real Madrid in Cardiff.
Supported by his old team-mates Gianluigi Buffon, Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci, Pirlo’s project in Turin is to succeed at the European level.
And ‘the maestro’ believes these senior pros, who along with himself boast a joint total of well over 1,000 appearances for Juventus, can help him achieve his goals at the Allianz Stadium.
‘It’s nice, they help a lot,’ said Pirlo. ‘They can be of great help because they know what it means to play for Juve and win.
‘They know how to work with me because they have seen it all these years together. They also know what spirit I want to give to the team, so they will be very useful this season.’
Juventus have won two, drawn two in Serie A this season and sit fifth in the table, four points behind AC Milan. Pirlo branded his team ‘young’ and ‘naive’ after they were held to a shock 1-1 draw away to Serie A new boys, Crotone, on Saturday
Pirlo celebrated victory in the 2007 Champions League final with AC Milan, defeating Liverpool. He is pictured with Kaka (left) and Massimo Ambrosini (centre) folowing the 2-1 win
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