Pirlo refuses claims that he will be judged on potential Champions League exit
Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo doesn’t believe his job will be in jeopardy if his side fail to reverse a 2-1 deficit in their Champions League 16 return leg with Porto on Tuesday.
Juve, chasing a 10th consecutive Serie A title, struggled to reach the heights of previous campaigns and take third place in the national table, seven points behind leaders Inter Milan.
After coming through their Champions League squad, Juventus were below par in their loss to Porto on February 17, putting pressure for Tuesday’s second leg. However, Pirlo is relaxed about the ramifications of any potential exit from Europe.
“I don’t think tomorrow’s game will change the judgment on my job,” Pirlo said at a press conference on Monday. “I continue to work day after day knowing what my project consists of and where the club is at.
“Tomorrow is a decisive game for our Champions League journey. For us, it’s like it’s a final but it will be for them too.
“There will be little room and a lot of time to think, so it will take a lot of technique, patience. You should not be in a hurry to drill in the center but make them turn quickly from side to side,” a he added. .
There is a lot of hope for Juve that they can reverse the deficit, given that Porto have failed to win in their last 13 away games in the Champions League round of 16.
Pirlo also received a pre-kick-off fitness, with center-backs Giorgio Chiellini and Matthijs de Ligt both vying to play against the Portuguese side.
“Chiellini is doing pretty well. He only trained with the rest of the squad today after three weeks off,” Pirlo said. “He’s not at his best but I think he can be available.
“Today they all trained in a squad. De Ligt has warmed up with the team and could have a chance to play.”