Nedved: ‘Juve difficulties predictable’

Pavel Nedved assures Juventus early season difficulties were ‘easy to predict’ and they were rather forced to push younger players through rapidly.

Juventus-Barcelona kicks off at 20.00 GMT, click here for the line-ups and LIVEBLOG.

“It was easy to predict difficulties, as we changed a great deal within the squad and on the bench, so not having much of a pre-season to perform tests, we’re experimenting during the season,” Nedved told Sky Sport Italia.

“We also missed some important players. These are not alibis or excuses, they are statements of fact. We started very well in the Champions League and now we’ll see how we are doing tonight.”

Ronaldo caused controversy by criticising the COVID-19 test after he again came up positive, later deleting the offensive social media post.

“I spoke to him, so I know he is frustrated because he feels really good and therefore would want to play. I understand the difficulties he is going through.”

It is a very young line-up this evening, including Federico Chiesa, Dejan Kulusevski, Rodrigo Bentancur and Merih Demiral.

“We wanted to gradually introduce the younger players, as we always have done, but there were some more experienced figures who no longer wanted to stay here and help the youngsters come through. We had to change tack, but it is something we are going to try and it is interesting,” continued Nedved.

“I like the line-up, there are many talented and quite young players. We know the difficulties of being a club that has it in its DNA to always win.

“We also know that we changed a great deal and it won’t be at all easy to win. We admit that, but we are here to face the problems with a new coach, new players, and we want to build something important. Difficulties will be natural.”

The Vice-President was asked about his role within Juventus after some reshuffling of the hierarchy and management structure.

“I have always been close to the club and feel close to the sporting sector of the club too. We exchange ideas, I feel responsible and a reference point for many young players, some of them might not even remember when I played! Some were born after 2000, so they are kids.

“They know I am a reference point, that they can come to me to exchange ideas, to get advice and I can help.”

Finally, in his press conference announcing the resignation of the entire Barcelona board of directors, Josep Maria Bartomeu said the club had pledged to join a European Super League. Have Juventus done the same?

“I think it is more opportune that our President answers that question, because I really don’t know what it’s about.”

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