Tuesday January 14 2014
‘Allegri should have quit sooner’

Gianluigi Buffon believes Max Allegri was a scapegoat for Milan’s struggles and suggests he should have quit the Rossoneri when the chance was there.

The tactician was heavily linked with an exit from San Siro in the summer, but stayed on only to be fired on Monday after a miserable first half to the season concluded with a 4-3 defeat at Sassuolo.

“Sometimes they look for scapegoats to put in place and feed the fans,” Juventus man Buffon has reflected on Tiki Taka this week.

“It was not always so - if Allegri has a fault it is that he did not have the courage to walk away when for over a year he had suffered attacks from inside that were unjustified and too much for what he could do with the squad he had.”

Buffon was asked about Allegri’s second season with Milan, which saw them finish second to Juventus and was the season in which Sulley Muntari saw a goal infamously disallowed in a League match with the Bianconeri.

“When Inter won all those championships in a row, I never wondered what would happen if Juve had been there.

“With Milan, you have to take the story for what it was. The championship was still wide open and there were many games to go.

“If we won the Scudetto then it was because we deserved it.”

Buffon also considered in this interview a number of topics, including motivation for Juve’s club-record 11-game winning streak, and co-owned Bianconero Domenico Berardi’s chances of making the Italy squad this summer.

“Definitely he is a 19-year-old kid who has left an imprint so important in a game like that against Milan, but he has also left a mark with every goal that he has scored with Sassuolo.

“He has qualities out of the ordinary. And I do not think that Italy has enough talent to leave him in the shade.”

It was a similar impression, says the goalkeeper that Paul Pogba immediately left his Juve teammates upon arriving at the club in 2012 from Manchester United.

“Pogba is one of those players that leaves you speechless. But I must say that after three-four training sessions…when no-one had really spoken to him, we saw him from being unknown, introduce himself.

“After three or four workouts, we looked at each other as if to say: ‘in Manchester they are certain to have seen how good he is too, or perhaps someone has had vision problems?’

“We were immediately impressed.”