Pirlo: ‘Juve learn from Barca defeat’

Andrea Pirlo maintains defeat to Barcelona can be ‘a good thing’ for Juventus and their development, as the trip to Ferencvaros ‘is also worth three points.’

It kicks off in Budapest on Wednesday at 20.00 GMT.

“Budapest is a beautiful city, I’d been here before and have fond memories of it,” said Pirlo in his press conference.

“We are here to play football and win the game. The defeat to Barcelona made us realise where we had to improve, that we need more determination and organisation to play at certain levels. Perhaps meeting Barca so early into the season was a good thing, as we’ll be in better shape when we visit them.”

Barca are top of the group now with six points, having beaten Ferencvaros 5-1, while the Hungarians also drew 2-2 at home with Dynamo Kiev.

“We studied Ferencvaros, they play good football and have a lot of character. They didn’t deserve to lose to heavily to Barcelona in the opener, while they did well against Dynamo Kiev.

“There are some quick and aggressive players, they pass it around well, and deserve respect. Every Champions League game is difficult and this is worth three points, just as much as against Barcelona.”

Because the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown measures aren’t as strict in Hungary, there will be fans in the stadium tomorrow evening.

“That is a positive for both the home and away team, as it gives the players a sense of the difficulty, the potential risk and can wake up some of the defenders who perhaps might let their minds wander.”

Pirlo was asked about the line-up he will choose now that Cristiano Ronaldo is back and available to start.

“The system remains the same, it’s just the players and their characteristics change. Weston McKennie played the same role as Aaron Ramsey or Dejan Kulusevski did in other games. I felt it was the best option against Spezia to stretch out Juan Cuadrado’s flank and give him some support, but our ideas of football will not change.”

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