Cristiano Ronaldo is no longer the focus when Juventus marches to Serie A today, because his coach, Andrea Pirlo, will have his first professional military match.
Pirlo leading Juventus is like a schoolboy and starts the new school year. When students in Italy returned to school on Monday, Pirlo also recently completed his UEFA Pro degree course. At Coverciano , he successfully defended his graduate thesis, titled “My Football”. It will soon be kept in the library of the Center , and is considered the birthplace of Pirlo’s professional military career.
The appointment of Pirlo as coach has remained a controversial decision for Juventus. Just nine days after announcing he was U23 manager, Juventus unexpectedly promoted Pirlo as first-team manager, after sacking Maurizio Sarri for his Champions League defeat.
Pirlo is compared to Zinedine Zidane, and Juventus is expecting the appearance of a “new Zidane” in Italy. But at least, the original Zidane spent two years leading Real Madrid B before taking over the first team. On the contrary, Pirlo never held a table before signing a two-year contract with Juventus, and the friendly match with Novara was his first time directing.
The beard, which was once a highlight of Pirlo on the 11-man football field, will now become a highlight on the piste road. Pirlo spoke from an active football perspective, based on a predictable ability to control the ball inspired by Pep Guardiola. But how the specific game is deployed is still curious, in a Juventus too many personality stars. Recently, Sarri up Corriere della Sera described Juventus as a “untrained” team.
Pirlo used two systems of three and four defenders alternately in a 5-0 win over Novara. It is an implication for flexible thinking of this military rulers. 11 names in the main lineup are still unknown, but surely Juve’s force is not weaker. The departures of Miralem Pjanic, Blaise Matuidi and Gonzalo Higuain were quickly filled by Arthur, Weston McKennie, and Dejan Kulusevski. Experts in Italy are waiting to see how Pirlo will exploit Kulusevski, after the player made a strong impression at Parma last season. Statistics show that the Swedish midfielder’s third-most active range in Serie A last season – a sign that he can provide much help playing behind Ronaldo.