Separated by twelve points from the league leadership and out of the Champions League in the round of 16 for the second consecutive year, Juventus Turin lived an Easter in the storm this Sunday, with the maximum alert for the danger of not finishing in the first four and, incidentally, not qualify for the next European Cup.
The 2-2 derby draw against Torino, following a 0-1 loss at home to newly promoted Benevento, left Andrea Pirlo’s men against the wall as they dropped to fourth place, tied with the Naples, fifth, with Atalanta that took third place from him.
All this, with the classic against Naples scheduled for next Wednesday at the Allianz Stadium, a key turning point to understand what awaits the Turin team in the coming months. Those of Pirlo, chosen last summer to replace Maurizio Sarri and in his first absolute experience as a coach, add thirteen points less compared to last year and continue to pay serious deficiencies in concentration that cost him transcendental points.
Little by little, Juventus saw their options to retain the title vanish, already very close to the historic rival Inter Milan, trained by the former Antonio Conte, and they are forced to fight to avoid a debacle that would be historic. The Juventine sports management beat all kinds of expenses in 2018 to sign the Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo, considering him the missing piece to complete the all-powerful team armed by Massimiliano Allegri. The Turin team dominated in Italy with a solid, organized and authoritarian game, and had just played two Champions League finals, both lost, in 2015 against Barcelona and in 2017 against Real Madrid.
However, Allegri was accused of practicing football that was not attractive enough and the sports management decided in 2018 to hand over the bench to Sarri and, by not collecting the desired results (elimination in the Champions League round of 16, Italian Cup final and Super Cup lost). and hard-won league title), bet on Pirlo. The results in this campaign have not been at the level of the previous years. And while in Turin it is clear that the group that was able to win nine “Scudettos” in a row deserves to be celebrated and honored, it is also clear that it is essential to qualify at least for the next Champions League.
It is at a sports level and it is at an economic level, with the club’s funds that are in great trouble because of the coronavirus and high expenses in the players’ tokens, which touch 240 million euros. It is clear that playing the “Champions” is a fundamental condition for the eventual continuity of Cristiano, who has a contract until 2022, but according to the international media he is considering an early goodbye by not seeing himself in a sufficiently competitive team. There are ten games to go to the end of the championship and Juventus will start this cycle with a tremendous direct clash with Naples, against whom they already lost in the previous league match this year. All this, in a complex moment also at the extra-sports level, with the coach Andrea Pirlo who left the Argentine Paulo Dybala, the Brazilian Arthur Melo and the American Weston McKennie off the list for the crossing with Torino, punished for having violated the rules Italian anti-coronavirus and organize a dinner with friends on Wednesday night. In addition, speculation broke out in Italy about the future of some club legends, such as Giorgio Chiellini, 36, and Gianluigi Buffon, 43, whose contracts expire in June. “We will never be a problem for Juventus,” Chiellini stressed this Saturday when analyzing his future. For Juventus it is the most delicate moment in recent years. An immediate reaction is necessary to avoid turning a “transition” season into a historic debacle. EFE