President Andrea Agnelli acknowledged Ajax “fully deserved to qualify” for the Champions League semi-finals, but the Juventus project continues.
“My job is to be there in certain moments and make general evaluations,” the President told Sky Sport Italia, as he was the first Juve representative to speak with the media.
“Ajax fully deserved to qualify, but at the same time we are aware that for the last five or six years we’ve been a stable presence in the Champions League quarter-finals and so want to keep that progress going, year after year, year after year.
“Ajax are a club who work on cycles and this is one that started a couple of years ago. They deserved it, not just over the one match, but throughout the two legs. Of course, this is a competition where a good half-hour can make the difference between a trophy and elimination.
“We’re about to win the eighth consecutive Scudetto and that is extraordinary. Juventus were 43rd in the UEFA rankings and are now fifth, so we have to evaluate the whole situation.”
The tie was in the balance, but Juve seemed to crumble in the second half in Turin.
“Ajax caused huge problems for Bayern Munich, eliminated Real Madrid and Juventus. We must tip our hats to them.
“As a fan, of course there is disappointment in defeat, but sometimes you have to accept the opposition have been extraordinary all season and we should all have the culture to compliment the opposition.
“They are reminiscent of Monaco a couple of years ago. This is the nature of Ajax, we’ll have to see what happens in a couple of years, if these lads will remain with the club or go elsewhere.
“These are young players who are honouring the jersey of a club that has a huge weight on the continental stage and in the history of European football.
“We’ll see how the second leg goes between Manchester City and Tottenham, so either way we’ll have a fantastic semi-final. Ajax did not start out as favourites, but they are now one of the genuine contenders to take the trophy.
“It’s true, Juve started the tie with the odds in their favour and more experience, but this is football.”
It had been suggested this season would be a failure if Juventus didn’t win the Champions League, but Agnelli always pushed back against that narrative.
“We’ve said since the summer that the Champions League is an objective and will be every year. This was a relatively young starting XI tonight, so it can grow with Allegri on the bench – we’ll sit down at the end of the season to discuss the contract, as we said six weeks ago – and we have a club that guarantees the future and continuity of a prosperous future for Juventus.”
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