Champions League Admitted his team need players to return
Juventus boss Andrea Pirlo has accepted that Barcelona are further along in terms of growth, following the Blaugrana’s 2-0 win over the Bianconeri at the Allianz Stadium on Wednesday night.
The Bianconeri were without the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Giorgio Chiellini and Matthijs de Ligt due to a mixture of COVID-19 and injury, and the Italian coach admitted that his team showed inexperience at times.
“We knew it’d be tough against a side that plays good football, that is accustomed to playing at this level, whereas we are a work in progress,” Pirlo told Sky Sport Italia after the match.
“Ultimately, it’s a match that will be useful for us to grow and improve in future.
“I hope to have more players back soon, because I don’t have many options, and those I start end up having to play almost 90 minutes twice a week. That’s not easy for them, especially when they are young and inexperienced.
“It’s frustrating when you are down to 10 men, as you can’t go to press them, otherwise it just ends up running on empty. That’s what the lads didn’t realise when we went down to 10.”
The Juventus team that Pirlo played in went all the way to the Champions League final while this one looked miles behind Barcelona, albeit with a somewhat depleted side, but the former midfielder pointed to the fact that there are a series of young players currently at the club, such as Dejan Kulusevski, Federico Chiesa and Merih Demiral.
“Football clubs have eras, we had huge players with a lot of international experience,” Pirlo noted.
“Now they are largely younger, so it’ll take a while to get them up to that level.
“They tried to create something there, but we need to work and improve until we can play Barcelona on level terms.”