The Champions League title has become an obsession for Juventus- Massimiliano Allegri
Written by: Atrayo Bhattacharya
The Bianconeri have not won the title since 1996.
Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri believes that the Champions League glory has become like an obsession for the Old Lady.
The Bianconeri has not won the title since 1996 and in that phase, Allegri's men have been close but not close enough hence the eagerness and the hunger is on next level.
However, Juventus's hopes of lifting the coveted title hang in the balance as the Bianconeri have an uphill task against Atletico Madrid in the second leg at Turin. The Rojiblancos were dominant on the Italian and as a result, Allegri's men will have to overturn a 0-2 deficit from the first leg to progress to the quarterfinals of the Champions League this season.
The prospect of elimination from this competition may also lead to Allegri's dismissal as the Italian has already failed to defend the Coppa Italia title this season, as Juventus bowed out in the quarterfinals after a 3-0 humiliation from Atalanta.
The Bianconeri are still top of the Serie A table with a comfortable 19-point lead over second-placed Napoli. Speaking of his team's current 4-1 win over Udinese in the league Allegri said, "Juventus were always in the running for the Champions League during my time here. When I arrived, there was a great deal of scepticism not just towards me, but the team and club."
"In my time, we always at least reached the last 16, got to the final twice and were eliminated only by the eventual winners."
It’s not that simple. Bayern Munich took 10 years to win the Champions League, while Chelsea only won it when they didn’t deserve to, as they were pinned back for most of that final.
"In my view, it’s wrong to see it negatively, because I think we’ve done a great job here. It’s true every story has to come to an end, but we’re heading for an eighth consecutive Scudetto and won the Italian Super Cup."
"I think expectations have been raised far too much and it’s become an obsession. Playing in the Champions League ought to be a pleasure and a joy."
"It's a different tournament to the others, as if a ball bounces badly, you don't have time to recover, you’re already out."
The Italian tactician is looking to keep his crucial players fresh for the Atletico tie and hence he preferred Moise Kean in place our Cristiano Ronaldo who was on the bench. The young forward marked his Serie A debut with an impressive brace against Udinese.
Despite being highly talented the 19-year old forward has struggled for game time at Turin. However, Allegri has been pleased with the young Italian but also marked the areas he needs to improve in future.
"Kean is very good when it comes to running at the goal and finishing, but needs to improve his movement and choices. But that's inevitable for a kid who was born in 2000," he added.
With rumours surrounding Pep Guardiola's agreement with Juventus next season, Allegri is under immense pressure this season and the upcoming Champions League tie against Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid can determine his fate at Turin.
Published: Sat Mar 09, 2019 01:41 PM IST