Champions League

Barcelona are not in crisis, says Pirlo

Juventus head coach Andrea Pirlo has said that Barcelona are still getting used to Ronald Koeman's methods and should not be underestimated.

11:06pm on Monday 7th December 2020
Robin Bairner

Ahead of his team’s fixture against Barcelona on Tuesday, Juventus boss Andrea Pirlo has claimed the Spanish outfit are “not in crisis”.

Ronald Koeman’s side find themselves ninth in La Liga, 12 points behind leaders Atletico Madrid, having suffered four defeats already this season.

The latest of those came on Saturday as they succumbed to a shock 2-1 reverse against Cadiz, which left the Dutchman’s position more vulnerable than ever.

European football, however, has provided some solace for Barca, who have won all five of their Champions League clashes this term, scoring 16 goals and conceding only two.

On Tuesday, they will try to complete the group phase with a perfect record at Camp Nou against Pirlo’s Juventus, who are also in a difficult moment domestically.

“They are not in crisis,” Pirlo stated ahead of the fixture. “Barcelona have ups and downs, but they have played very good matches and they have a coach who is putting ideas into motion.

“It will be a very difficult game because we will have to suffer, but we will have our chances and we have to take advantage of them.

“We have nothing to lose. We can play an open game. We are aware of the mistakes we made in the first leg.”

Meanwhile, Pirlo refused to weigh in on the debate as to the qualities of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who will face each other for the first time since the Portuguese left Real Madrid.

“It would be a mistake to say that one is better than the other,” Pirlo said. “They continue to show off their talents, they share Ballon d'Or and they are making millions of fans enjoy themselves. They have done a lot for football.”

Juventus can still finish top of Group G but will need to win by at least two goals and score three times to stand a chance.

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