New Juventus head coach Andrea Pirlo can match the achievements of Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid, according to Bianconeri legend Alessandro Del Piero.
Following Juve’s surprise Champions League exit at the hands of Lyon on Friday, Maurizio Sarri was sacked from the role, with Pirlo, who was only appointed as head coach of the Under-23 side last week, swiftly upgraded into the top post.
Pirlo’s move into management caught many by surprise, and while Del Piero admits that he was one of those, he believes that the former midfield playmaker has the ability to replicate the achievements of Zidane, who has won three Champions League titles and the Primera Division with Real Madrid, having been another unlikely figure in the dugout.
“It’s not a fair comparison, because Zizou had already worked with the Real Madrid youth team and then was Carlo Ancelotti’s assistant manager, but Pirlo has everything it takes to do even better than Zidane,” Del Piero told Sky Sport Italia.
“He already knows the club, the players, the directors, so I think they communicated in a very clear way.
“To be honest, I wouldn’t have bet on him becoming the coach. It’s a surprise for me too.
“I was already pleased for him taking the Under-23 role and thought that was the right move for him, but he’s skipped ahead, so I can only wish him luck.
“I think the general perception of former players who become coaches is changing in Italy. Before, there was this need to go through a long process in the lower leagues to learn the trade, but in recent years we’ve seen Filippo and Simone Inzaghi succeed, plus Gennaro Gattuso. They were great players and started straight away with great teams.”
Juventus finished the Serie A season just a single point ahead of Inter but did enough to secure their ninth Scudetto in succession. The gap, however, was uncomfortable, particularly with Atalanta and Lazio only three points further back from the Nerazzurri.
Meanwhile, the Turin side have been unsettled further by reports in France that star man Cristiano Ronaldo remains a potential target for Paris Saint-Germain in the summer transfer window.