NEWS
Friday December 29 2017
Allegri: ‘Dybala likely to play’

Juventus Coach Max Allegri says it’s “likely” Paulo Dybala will play against Verona, but says comparisons “should never have been made” to Lionel Messi.

The Argentine forward has been benched for the past three Serie A games, but he could be brought back into the fold for tomorrow’s trip to the Bentegodi.

“No-one needs to rest because the lads have worked well in the last week,” Allegri assured in his pre-match Press conference.

“In fact we’ve been working with a different intensity for the last two weeks because we’ve had a bit more time.

“This week it’s been the same, among other things we’ve have three days - Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday - for important work.

“It could be that all three [strikers] play together, absolutely, because no-one needs to rest. Dybala could come back, so as a result it’s likely that all three will play together.

“Dybala is calm, he’s trained well in the last week and as I’ve has tomorrow he could play from the first minute again.

“The relationship with him absolutely hasn’t changed, also because Dybala came to Juventus three years ago and I think he’s grown a lot, Juventus put even more emphasis on his qualities and he’s given a lot to Juventus.

“In my opinion, he still has huge margins for improvement. The comparisons which were made at the start [of the season] were damaging for Paulo, but fortunately he’s a smart lad and he understands you can’t compare a lad of 24 to two sacred monsters of football [Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo], who have won 10 Ballons d’Or.

“Plus there’s Neymar who is another that is close. So Paulo has to make his own way and not be compared to any other player.

“He has his own qualities, he’s an extraordinary player. You just have to watch him to see he’s different from the others.

“But these comparisons which were made were a bit damaging, these are comparisons which can not and should not be made, you can’t compare a 24-year-old lad to two who have won 10 Ballons d’Or. But in Italy…

“It’s not just Dybala, Dybala is the least of that problem. There are lads who play half an hour and the next day they’re worth €40m.

“‘The future of Italian football is this lad’, ‘we’ve found the new Andrea Pirlo’… no. There was only one Pirlo, and it will be many years before another Pirlo is born.

“Lads have to be left to grow, for a player to be great he has to show it in at least 100 matches in Serie A. Not 100 appearances, 100 matches. Right now after two games we throw everything on these lads.

“I understand that the world has changed, but it’s too much, and it’s normal that they can get lost in it. How many of these lads have been lost in the arc of their careers?

“Before there was patience in Italian football, and a knowledge of how to wait because Italian football is different to the others.

“In Argentina you play in the first team at 17 or 18, that’s how they do it in the Netherlands, in Spain…

“In Italy though it’s always been that players peaked at the right age - between 25 and 26. So you have to let them grow normally, without trying to rush things.”

Moise Kean, who is on loan from Juve, could play tomorrow and has thanked Allegri for being hard on him and not allowing him to become big-headed.

“He’s doing well at Verona, he’s a lad who was born in 2000 and has important qualities. He has to improve technically, so he needs to work but he’s understood you need to make sacrifices to reach certain levels.

“That’s an important thing.”

The Coach was then asked what he’d say to Mario Mandzukic if he asked for advice about leaving, whether he should stay in Europe or go elsewhere.

“Mario definitely wouldn’t ask me for advice, for one simple reason,” Allegri responded.

“Mario is so competitive that at this point going to a league where there isn’t much competition would be difficult to accept.

“Mario will stay at Juventus.”

Read the betting preview for Verona vs Juventus here