Cristiano Ronaldo has shown his appreciation for ex-Juventus boss Andrea Pirlo, describing it as "an honour" to be coached by the former Italy international.

Pirlo's not-so-surprising departure from Juve was confirmed on Friday, just hours before the Serie A club announced the return of Massimiliano Allegri.

The rookie coach's solitary season in the job saw the Bianconeri fail to claim the league title for the first time since 2011, though they did win both the Supercoppa Italiana and Coppa Italia trophies.

They again suffered disappointment in the Champions League, edged out on away goals by Porto at the last-16 stage.

Ronaldo, who scored 29 goals to finish as the leading scorer in Serie A for the 2020-21 campaign, thanked Pirlo via social media.

"Thank you Maestro, it was an honour to be coached by you," he posted on his Instagram stories to accompany a picture of the duo shaking hands.

Pirlo enjoyed a strong finish to the season, a 2-1 final win over Atalanta in the Coppa Italia coming while also securing a top-four finish in Serie A, though an impressive run-in was not enough to keep him in the job.

He departed having won 23 of his 38 league games for a points-per-game average of 2.05, below both the coach he replaced in Maurizio Sarri (2.18) and also Allegri, who managed 2.39 during his first spell in charge.

Still, the only coaches to record more victories than Pirlo in their first season in the competition since 1994-95 are Rudi Garcia (26) and Jose Mourinho (25), with Roma and Inter respectively.

There has been speculation surrounding Ronaldo's future in Turin too, despite another outstanding year on a personal level.

The forward - now preparing for Euro 2020 as part of a Portugal squad looking to retain the trophy - was an unused substitute in the final game under Pirlo, watching on from the bench as his team-mates triumphed 4-1 against Bologna.

Juventus have confirmed Massimiliano Allegri has returned as their new head coach, taking over from Andrea Pirlo.

Rookie coach Pirlo could only manage a fourth-placed finish in Serie A in 2020-21, and a Coppa Italia triumph was not enough for the club legend to keep his job.

It is Allegri – who guided Juve to five straight Serie A titles and two Champions League finals between 2014 and 2019 – who Juve have turned to.

Using Opta data, Stats Perform analyses the key numbers and statistics from Allegri's first, trophy-laden spell in charge of the Old Lady.

RECORD SETTER

Juve's two highest-scoring seasons dating back as far as 1930 have both come under the stewardship of Allegri.

In fact, Allgeri is responsible three of the seven Juventus seasons during which they have netted 100 goals or more – alongside his predecessor Pirlo, Antonio Conte and Jesse Carver.

Allegri guided Juventus to 26 home wins in 2016-17 – the highest total produced by the club in a single campaign dating back to at least 1930 – while his 2017-18 season (which was also the campaign in which Juve netted 112 goals) saw the Bianconeri record 18 away wins, the most in any season since 1930.

 

TOP OF THE CHARTS

Only one coach in Juve's history, Giovanni Trapattoni, has overseen more league games than Allegri's 190.

Juve amassed 142 victories, giving Allegri a win percentage of 74.74, clear of second-placed Conte (72.81), who managed 83 triumphs from 114 matches.

During his five seasons with Juve, Allegri suffered just 20 league defeats, with his team scoring 380 goals and conceding 125 in return, averaging 2.39 points per game.

HEAD-TO-HEAD: ALLEGRI V CONTE

Allegri succeeded Conte at Juve in 2014, with the latter – who has just left Inter having guided the Nerazzurri to their first Serie A title in 11 years – taking over as Italy coach.

Conte spent three seasons with Juve, starting their title streak that Allegri and subsequently Maurizio Sarri would go on to continue.

In total, Allegri was in charge of Juve for 271 games in all competitions, overseeing 191 wins (a 70.48 success rate), 43 draws and 37 defeats.

Conte had 151 matches at the helm, recording 102 victories – 67.55 per cent – and 34 draws. However, his Juve team lost on just 15 occasions, at an average of five per season.

Massimiliano Allegri has returned to Juventus for a second spell as head coach after Andrea Pirlo's departure.

Pirlo on Friday left the Turin giants barely nine months after signing a two-year deal to take over from Maurizio Sarri.

The former playmaker failed to live up to expectations as a coach and Juventus brought an abrupt end to his reign. 

The Bianconeri wasted little time in revealing that Allegri has returned as boss of the Serie A giants, who were dethroned as Italian champions by Inter this month.

Allegri, who was linked with Inter and Real Madrid before agreeing to rejoin his former club, had been out of work since ending his hugely successful tenure with Juventus two years ago.

The 53-year-old masterminded five consecutive Scudetto triumphs in his first spell at the club, and his team lifted the Coppa Italia on four occasions.

Juve were beaten Champions League finalists with Allegri at the helm in 2014-15 and 2016-17.

"Massimiliano Allegri is the Juventus manager once more," the club said in a statement.

"Allegri finds a bench that he knows very well, a club that he loves and that loves him back, as today a new journey begins together, towards new goals.

"What he achieved in his first adventure at Juventus are engraved in the club’s history: five Scudetti, to the four-consecutive doubles, coupled with the Coppa Italia and to the two Super Cups, reaching two Champions League finals in just three seasons, in what were epic feats both in Italy and in Europe."

The statement on the Juventus website added: "Now we are ready to begin again with Allegri, to build our future together; with his enormous professionalism, his moral strength, with the brilliant ideas of a coach capable of shuffling the cards, both on and off the pitch.

"With his smile, a sort of 'signature'. With his way of understanding football and life with simplicity, with his desire to play things down and with the commitment to enjoy every beautiful moment that being at Juventus can give and will give."

Massimiliano Allegri has returned to Juventus for a second spell as head coach after Andrea Pirlo's departure.

Pirlo on Friday left the Turin giants barely nine months after signing a two-year deal to take over from Maurizio Sarri.

The former playmaker failed to live up to expectations as a coach and Juventus brought an abrupt end to his reign. 

The Bianconeri wasted little time in revealing that Allegri has returned as boss of the Serie A giants, who were dethroned as Italian champions by Inter this month.

Allegri, who was linked with Inter and Real Madrid before agreeing to rejoin his former club, had been out of work since ending his hugely successful tenure with Juventus two years ago.

The 53-year-old masterminded five consecutive Scudetto triumphs in his first spell at the club, and his team lifted the Coppa Italia on four occasions.

Juve were beaten Champions League finalists with Allegri at the helm in 2014-15 and 2016-17.

Juventus have announced the departure of head coach Andrea Pirlo as Massimiliano Allegri looks set to return to the club as his successor.

Pirlo signed a two-year deal to take over from Maurizio Sarri as Bianconeri boss last August, but the 42-year-old rookie boss failed to live up to expectations.

The former Italy playmaker failed to guide Juve to what would have been a 10th consecutive Serie A title and has paid the price after just one season in charge.

Juventus edged into the Champions League for 2021-22 by finishing fourth as Inter won the Scudetto.

The Turin giants tumbled out of this season's Champions League in March at the hands of Porto, losing on away goals at the round-of-16 stage.

Juventus announced Pirlo's departure in a manner that spoke of the esteem in which he is held at the club, and in a way that highlighted achievements over shortcomings.

"Thank you, Andrea," the club statement began. "These are the first words that all of us need to say at the end of this special experience together.

"A few months ago, Andrea Pirlo, an icon of world football, began his new adventure, his first as a coach.

"To do this, first of all, it takes courage, as well as awareness of one's own means, especially in a period marked by thousands of difficulties, with the world forced by the pandemic to reinvent its own rules day after day."

The statement, posted on the club's website, added: "Pirlo has just begun the first steps of what will no doubt become a brilliant career as a coach. An adventure of transformation, seeking, and often managing, to bring his ideas and his experience as a champion on the pitch from the 'other side' of the fence.

"And since in football, what counts are the victories, let's remember them: in the space of a few short months Pirlo's Juve has raised two trophies: The Italian Supercup and the Coppa Italia. And he, as coach, brought home brilliant victories on the most prestigious of fields, from San Siro to Camp Nou.

"For all this, for the courage, the dedication, the passion with which he demonstrated every day, our thanks go to the maestro, the coach and to Andrea, that really comes from the heart. As well as our good luck for the future that will surely be a wonderful one."

Allegri has been out of work since leaving the Turin giants two years ago. He had been linked with Real Madrid before news emerged on Thursday of a likely change at Juventus.

Juventus were champions of Italy in five consecutive seasons under the experienced Allegri, who has the highest Serie A win percentage at the club with 74.74 per cent.

They were beaten Champions League finalists with the 53-year-old at the helm in 2014-15 and 2016-17, while Allegri's side also lifted the Coppa Italia on four occasions during his first stint with Juve.

Pirlo was promoted from a briefly-held role as Juventus under-23 coach, and although he won the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana, the former midfield maestro is now on the lookout for a new challenge.

Juventus have announced the departure of head coach Andrea Pirlo as Massimiliano Allegri looks set to return to the club as his successor.

Pirlo signed a two-year deal to take over from Maurizio Sarri as Bianconeri boss last August, but the 42-year-old rookie boss failed to live up to expectations.

The former Italy playmaker failed to guide Juve to what would have been a 10th consecutive Serie A title and has paid the price after just one season in charge.

Juventus edged into the Champions League for 2021-22 by finishing fourth as Inter won the Scudetto.

The Turin giants tumbled out of this season's Champions League in March at the hands of Porto, losing on away goals at the round-of-16 stage.

Juventus will part company with head coach Andrea Pirlo and replace him with Massimiliano Allegri, reports in Italy said on Thursday.

Rookie boss Pirlo signed a two-year deal to take over from Maurizio Sarri as Bianconeri boss last August, but the 42-year-old failed to live up to expectations.

The former Italy playmaker failed to guide Juve to what would have been a 10th consecutive Serie A title and appears to have paid the price.

Italian sport dailies La Gazzetta dello Sport and Corriere dello Sport both reported an agreement had been reached with Allegri.

Juventus edged into the Champions League for 2021-22 by finishing fourth as Inter won the Scudetto,

They tumbled out of this season's Champions League in March at the hands of Porto, losing on away goals at the round-of-16 stage.

Allegri has been out of work since leaving the Turin giants two years ago, but he had been linked with Real Madrid before news emerged of the likely change at Juventus.

Juventus were champions of Italy in five consecutive seasons under the experienced Allegri.

Juventus have announced that managing director Fabio Paratici is to leave next month after 11 years at the club.

Paratici arrived at the Italian giants from Sampdoria in May 2010 and has taken up a number of boardroom positions, during which time he has helped oversee transfer activity.

However, his contract expires at the end of June and, following talks with president Andrea Agnelli on Wednesday, it has been confirmed the 48-year-old's deal will not be renewed.

Agnelli said in a statement on Juve's official website: "Fabio has written the history of Juventus over the past few years. 

"A growth path characterised by professionalism, perseverance and many successes. 

"Today is the time to thank him for being able to create a strong professional bond, accompanied by a daily passion."

Juve have won 19 domestic trophies during Paratici's time in Turin and pulled off a major transfer coup by signing Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid in 2018.

"They were wonderful years of professional growth and strong emotions," Paratici said of his spell with Juve. 

"Juventus gave me the opportunity to carry out my work with full freedom and without interference in full respect of my role. 

"For this I would like to thank the whole club, my staff, the employees, co-workers, the players, the coaches, the shareholders, and in particular the president, Andrea Agnelli. 

"An important chapter of my career closes, as I await new challenges."

The decision to part ways with Paratici comes on the back of a disappointing 2020-21 campaign for Juventus, head coach Andrea Pirlo's first in charge.

Juve relinquished their grip on the Scudetto for the first time in 10 seasons, with Inter finishing top, though they did salvage their campaign somewhat in the run-in.

They won their final three Serie A games to finish above Napoli in fourth place, as well as beating Atalanta 2-1 in the Coppa Italia final to add to their Supercoppa Italiana triumph back in January.

While Paratici is certainly moving on, the future for Pirlo still remains unclear. Former head coach Massimiliano Allegri has been linked with a return to the Allianz Arena.

Is the Gianluigi Donnarumma-Milan relationship coming to an end?

Donnarumma made his debut as a 16-year-old for Milan in 2015, however, the Italy international is reportedly close to making the move to Serie A rivals Juventus.

Step forward Mike Maignan…

 

TOP STORY – DONNARUMMA OUT, MAIGNAN IN?

Lille goalkeeper Mike Maignan is poised to undergo a medical with Milan as Gianluigi Donnarumma edges closer to a blockbuster Juventus switch, according to widespread reports.

Donnarumma is set to become a free agent and the Milan star is yet to re-sign with the Rossoneri, who qualified for the Champions League.

Gianluca Di Marzio reports Milan are no longer waiting on Donnarumma as they step up their pursuit of Maignan, who will arrive in Italy on Tuesday after helping Lille to Ligue 1 glory.

 

ROUND-UP

- Fabrizio Romano says Massimiliano Allegri's priority is to take charge of Real Madrid, despite interest from former club Juve and Napoli in Serie A. Allegri is the favourite to replace Zinedine Zidane should he leave the Spanish capital. Despite securing a top-four finish, Andrea Pirlo is being tipped to leave Juve.

- There is set to be a coaching merry-go-round in Serie A this off-season. The front page of Tuesday's Corriere dello Sport says Porto boss Sergio Conceicao is favourite to succeed Gennaro Gattuso at Napoli, with the latter tipped to replace Simone Inzaghi at Lazio. Ex-Roma head coach Paulo Fonseca is the new first choice to join Fiorentina.

Inter must sell one star – Lautaro Martinez or Alessandro Bastoni – due to their financial situation, according to Corriere dello Sport. Martinez has been linked with Barcelona and Real Madrid, while Bastoni has attracted interest from Liverpool and Manchester City. There is also speculation regarding the future of coach Antonio Conte and star Romelu Lukaku, who is reportedly wanted by Chelsea, Barca and Madrid.

- The Telegraph claims Manchester United are prioritising the signing of Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, who has long been tipped to join the Red Devils. Dortmund team-mate Erling Haaland is also wanted at Old Trafford, while Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has been linked with a sensational return.

Tottenham are interested in re-hiring Mauricio Pochettino, reports the Independent. Pochettino is in charge of Paris Saint-Germain after replacing Thomas Tuchel in January but he was unable to oversee a successful title defence this season.

Bayern Munich and Barcelona are targeting Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum on a free transfer, says Sky Sports.

Andrea Pirlo expects to stay on as Juventus coach next season after guiding them to a top-four finish.

Juve beat Bologna 4-1 on Sunday, a victory that confirmed they will finish fourth in Serie A, a point ahead of Napoli after they could only draw 1-1 at home to Hellas Verona.

A win for Napoli would have left Juve out of the top four regardless of the Bianconeri's result, though Gennaro Gattuso's men were only ahead for a short while.

It was plain sailing throughout for Juve at Bologna, with Federico Chiesa opening the scoring early on to ensure he finished the season as the second youngest player after Marcus Rashford to record at least nine goals and assists across the top five European leagues this term.

Adrien Rabiot and Alvaro Morata, who got a brace, did the rest of the damage, with the Spaniard reaching the 20-goals mark across all competitions for the first time since 2016-17 as he deputised effectively for Cristiano Ronaldo.

It was Juve's 342nd and final game as reigning Serie A champions, a record, and although Pirlo was unable to continue their domination of Italy's top flight, he expects to be in charge again next term.

"I've always put in the maximum commitment, and this is the end result. Those who must decide [about my future] will do so," he told DAZN.

"I see myself in the Juve dugout next season. I would confirm it myself, but now we have to just enjoy what we have achieved.

"For me, it was important to finish the job: winning the Coppa Italia and qualifying for the Champions League. It was a very important goal."

There were conflicting rumours about the reasoning behind Ronaldo's absence, which was seen as curious given the importance of the game for Juve.

While some reports suggested Ronaldo made himself unavailable due to fatigue following the Coppa Italia final, others said it was Pirlo's decision, but the coach insisted they had agreed he would start on the bench.

"It was a joint decision," Pirlo said. "Ronaldo was tired after the match on Wednesday, so I opted to start Morata, who is another great player.

"Ronaldo was available. I've got a strong squad and I can pick many different players."

Nevertheless, Ronaldo finished the season as Serie A's most-prolific player with 29 goals, becoming the first player to achieve that feat in Italy's top flight, LaLiga and the Premier League.

Andrea Pirlo still hopes to stay on as Juventus coach and keep Cristiano Ronaldo at the club as he prepares for Sunday's decisive Serie A clash with Bologna.

Juve sit fifth in the table after 37 matches, a point behind Napoli in fourth and Milan in third, and they know they must win to have any chance of finishing in a Champions League spot.

Pirlo's first season in charge has been difficult. The Bianconeri lost their title to Inter and crashed out of the Champions League to Porto at the last-16 stage.

However, they have still claimed two trophies in 2021, winning the Supercoppa Italiana match against Napoli in January before lifting the Coppa Italia this week after defeating Atalanta 2-1 in the final.

Speculation persists that Juve will look to replace Pirlo before next season, while it has also been rumoured they could sanction the sale of Ronaldo, who has scored 36 goals in all competitions this term.

Pirlo, however, appears eager to keep working with Ronaldo at the Allianz Stadium and improve on his first campaign in the dugout.

"We do this job for the adrenaline that it brings," he said on Saturday. "I want to continue working with this team and this club, but I think that's normal.

"The greatest satisfaction of this season has been the relationship with the boys, who have given me a lot, whilst I haven't liked the results and we didn't reach the set goals.

"I was a winner as a player, I want to be a manager, so I think of this year as an opportunity to improve. I don't think that the club will decide my future on the basis of tomorrow. We'll see what happens.  

"After the Milan game [a 3-0 defeat on May 9], we were 'dead'; now, we are still alive. Let's think about ourselves first, and then see what happens elsewhere. We mustn't have any regrets. There is always pressure, but we are calm and there is enthusiasm."

He added on Ronaldo: "I see Cristiano at Juventus and extremely focused, just as I saw him in the Coppa Italia final on Wednesday."

One figure who is set to leave Juve after this season is Gianluigi Buffon, with the 43-year-old having announced he will not commit to the club for 2021-22.

Pirlo said of his old team-mate: "With Buffon, Juve is losing a monument of football, both on and off the pitch. It's a sad feeling as we have come a long way together. I admire him very much."

Andrea Pirlo wants to remain as Juventus head coach next season, but accepts the decision could be taken out of his hands. 

Pirlo has endured a challenging first season in charge of the Bianconeri, but he steered them to a record-extending 14th Coppa Italia title with a 2-1 win over Atalanta on Wednesday.

Federico Chiesa scored the decisive goal 17 minutes from full-time after Ruslan Malinovskiy had earlier cancelled out Dejan Kulusevski's fine strike. 

The triumph meant Pirlo became the fourth Juve boss to win the Coppa Italia as both a player and a coach, after Luis Monti, Carlo Parola and Dino Zoff.

Juve need to beat Bologna on the final day of the season on Sunday and hope one of Napoli or Milan slip up in their respective games against Hellas Verona and Atalanta to qualify for next season's Champions League. 

While Pirlo accepts it has been a difficult season, he insists he has no intention of stepping down from his role at the end of the campaign. 

"We wouldn't be here talking about fifth place and a premature Champions League exit if it had been a totally positive season," he told RAI Sport. "There were ups and downs, these two trophies [Juve also won the Supercoppa Italiana] cannot cancel that out.

"For my first season, I have learned a great deal and then found these satisfactions that are very gratifying.

"Of course I would confirm myself in this role. I've loved football since I was a child and will continue to love it. The club will decide, but I love coaching. I love this club, and we'll see what is decided. I would like to continue."

Pirlo also revealed Chiesa was almost denied his moment of glory, with Paulo Dybala poised to replace him. 

"We were about to take him off when he scored; that's football for you," he said. "Not everyone has scored a decisive goal in a cup final, so it's great for him."

While Juve largely struggled in the first half at the Mapei Stadium, they were a team reborn in the second period. 

They limited Atalanta – who had Rafael Toloi sent off late on after he had already been substituted – to just a single shot on target after the break, with Pirlo attributing their improved display to a few half-time tweaks. 

"It was a wonderful game with two great teams who fought from start to finish," he added. 

"[Juan] Cuadrado was a little too deep in the first half, but I told him to be more ferocious on [Robin] Gosens and [Weston] McKennie to attack their centre-back. We did it in the second half and it all went much better."

Federico Chiesa scored the decisive goal as Juventus sealed a record-extending 14th Coppa Italia title with a 2-1 win over Atalanta on Wednesday. 

It has been a disappointing first season in charge for Andrea Pirlo, with the Bianconeri knocked out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage by Porto and their hopes of qualifying for next season's competition hanging by a thread ahead of the final round of Serie A fixtures this weekend. 

And they looked set for more despair when Ruslan Malinovskiy cancelled out Dejan Kulusevski's fine strike before half-time. 

Juve stormed back in the second half, though, and sealed victory in their 20th Coppa Italia final thanks to Chiesa's composed finish with 17 minutes remaining.

Atalanta did most of the pressing in the early stages, with Duvan Zapata and Remo Freuler both flashing efforts narrowly wide of Gianluigi Buffon's goal. 

It was Juve who went ahead, though, Kulusevski superbly whipping past Pierluigi Gollini after being picked out on the right-hand side of the penalty area by Weston McKennie. 

Gian Piero Gasperini's side deservedly pulled level four minutes before the interval when Malinovskiy collected Hans Hateboer's pass and lashed a powerful strike past Buffon from just inside the area.

Gollini got down well shortly before the hour mark to paw away Kulusevski's near-post flick, while Chiesa curled against the post after a slick with involving Cristiano Ronaldo.

Chiesa was not to be denied in the 73rd minute, collecting Kulusevski's pass and then sliding home his 13th goal in all competitions this season. 

Atalanta battled in the closing stages, but they never really came close to finding a goal that would have forced extra time, with Juve holding on to consign last season’s final defeat to Napoli to history.

Juventus will be without Leonardo Bonucci for the Coppa Italia final against Atalanta, Andrea Pirlo has confirmed.

The centre-back missed the weekend's 3-2 win over Serie A champions Inter with a knee injury that keeps him sidelined for Wednesday’s game.

Juve will have Paulo Dybala available, though, and Pirlo admits he is facing some difficult decisions when it comes to the composition of his forward line.

On Bonucci, the Juventus boss said: "[He] has a knee problem and won't be available tomorrow. We have several solutions for tomorrow."

Dybala also failed to appear in that game, remaining rooted to the bench as Juventus secured a much-needed victory despite losing Rodrigo Bentancur to a 55th-minute red card.

However, the Argentina international is fully fit and could come back into the starting XI in Reggio Emilia.

Pirlo added: "[He] is fine. He played a good game against Sassuolo, but there were no conditions for him to enter on Saturday. He is available and ready to play.

"All the attacking players are doing well, so we will then decide who to start from the beginning."

Juventus' two Serie A meetings with Atalanta this season brought them a home draw and an away defeat.

And Pirlo expects another big test from a team who have continued to grow under Gian Piero Gasperini this term.

He continued: "Atalanta forces you to pick up the pace, we know it and we are ready to face it. I don't think it will be a very different match from the other two. 

“We earned the final with two hard-fought matches against Inter. We really want to bring this trophy home.”

Andrea Pirlo claimed Cristiano Ronaldo was happy to be substituted with 20 minutes remaining of Juventus' pulsating 3-2 win over champions Inter in the Derby d'Italia on Saturday. 

The Portuguese superstar – who slotted home the opener after his penalty was saved – was withdrawn for Alvaro Morata with the Bianconeri leading 2-1 after Juan Cuadrado had restored the hosts' lead following Romelu Lukaku's leveller from the spot. 

Rodrigo Bentancur was dismissed for the hosts after just 55 minutes for picking up two yellow cards and intense Inter pressure finally told seven minutes from full-time when Giorgio Chiellini bundled into his own net. 

There was to be one final twist, though, as Cuadrado powered home from the spot in the 88th minute after he had been brought down inside the area by Ivan Perisic. 

The result moved Juve into the top four, although they could be usurped ahead of next weekend's final matchday if Napoli overcome Fiorentina on Sunday.

It was just the third time Ronaldo has been substituted this season, but Pirlo was adamant his talisman took the withdrawal well. 

"I think it was the first time he was happy to be subbed off," he told Sky Sport Italia. "We were one man down, and he'd have been chasing shadows. He was happy and smiling in the dressing room."

It has been a dismal first season in charge for Pirlo, with a Champions League last-16 exit followed by a tepid surrender of their nine-year stranglehold on the Serie A crown to Inter.

It remains to be seen whether he will still in charge for the 2021-22 campaign but, if he stays, Pirlo wants to see more of the spirit shown in the win over Antonio Conte's side next term. 

"We should have had the same determination and desire to fight on every ball also in the other games of the season," he added.

"If we had done so, we would not be fighting for a top-four finish at this point. We made too many mistakes in games that seemed easy on paper.

"We've asked ourselves many times what we've lacked this season. We didn't have the same fire burning inside. We had to turn the light on again to fight the title and a top-four finish. The lads have proved they are up to the task in big games.

"This group has a lot to give, we have many young players, but playing for Juventus means having more responsibility. It takes time to adapt.

"We shouldn't have dropped so many points, but this is a good team, we have room for improvement, there is a good base to work well."

Juve finish their campaign with a trip to Bologna next week.

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