Pirlo: ‘Juve have nothing to lose’

Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo said Gianluigi Buffon could play against Barcelona and believes the Old Lady can win on Tuesday. ‘We have nothing to lose’.

The Bianconeri are already through to the last-16 of the Champions League when they travel to Barcelona and Pirlo revealed Buffon could be in goal tomorrow.

The Blaugrana have struggled in La Liga but have picked up five wins in five in Europe and Pirlo said he doesn’t believe they’re in a crisis.

“Gigi is better, he has recovered from the injury,” Pirlo said at a press conference. “He could be in the game tomorrow because he deserves such an important stage and could play.

“I don’t believe in the Barcelona crisis; they have a new coach who is putting together his ideas. We know that they’re a great team.”

Juventus need to win against the Blaugrana to fight for the top spot in Group G, having lost 2-0 at the Allianz Stadium against Barca, and Pirlo believes they can pick up three points.

“Yes, we have to believe it. It will be a difficult match and in part, we must suffer,” he added. “We know we will get opportunities and must exploit them.

“We should just play openly; we have nothing to lose. Knowing the mistakes in the first leg, but also the good things we have done.

“We are calm and convinced that anything can happen.”

Pirlo admitted Aaron Ramsey could be useful against Barcelona tomorrow.

“Yes, he can be very useful. He feels a bit better and can put a few minutes in his legs. He has strength.

“I’ve said I didn’t think he was that smart on the pitch, he knows how to find the right move. He can come in handy in the spaces tomorrow.”

Pirlo admitted the match against the La Liga giants can be helpful for his Juventus to get the needed experience in top games.

“These are games to play to grow and see what we must improve,” Pirlo said. “Apart from the ranking, finishing first gives you something different in the draw.

“But it’s more important what we put on the pitch tomorrow and what we will find at the end of the match, if we have an excellent game.”

Pirlo said he has reviewed the first leg against Barcelona but doesn’t believe the triumph in stoppages against Torino was a turning point for the team.

“We watched and reviewed the first leg. Defeats improve the games you have to play and can help you for the future,” Pirlo added.

“We definitely need to improve the non-possession phase compared to the first leg. They bring many players up the pitch.

“We must be tight and try to make them play sideways, where we will have more space to attack them.

“I don’t think we can talk about a turning point [against Torino]. To change the attitude. We had a completely different attitude in the first and the second half, where we won all the duels. The DNA must never be missing.”

The Old Lady coach revealed he has not been happy when some of the players aren’t 100 per cent focused on matchday.

“I don’t especially like it when some players approach the match and aren’t at 100 per cent. But it’s also given by the number of games they play and the mental fatigue.

“Maybe a spark is needed to make them perform at their best. It shouldn’t happen but it’s normal because we are in a particular period.

“It’s difficult with many trips and this can happen. For matches like the one tomorrow night, however, it will certainly not happen.”

Pirlo admitted he has been ‘very satisfied’ by French midfielder Adrien Rabiot.

“I’m very satisfied with Adrien. He’s having a good season. I didn’t know him that well. He’s a hard worker.

“You have to think that he’s at 70 per cent of his potential and can do more. He can become a great midfielder at world level.”

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman said ‘it’s not right’ to say who’s best between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi and Pirlo agreed.

“Koeman is right to say that it’s not fair to say who is better,” Pirlo said. “They have put on a show and have been doing it for 15 years.

“They have shared the Ballon d’Or for the last 15 years. It’s a shame to say if one is better than the other. They are phenomena that make millions of fans rejoice every time they take to the pitch.

“It’s not fair to say who’s better. We must thank them because they are good for football.”


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