Friday February 21 2020
Buffon: 'I hope Sarri stays'

Gianluigi Buffon felt Juventus needed a “change” and “hopes” Maurizio Sarri will stay at the Allianz Stadium, “because that will mean we’ll have won something”.

Juventus are currently top of the League, fighting for a place in the Final of the Coppa Italia and prepare to face Olympique Lyonnais in the last 16 of the Champions League.

But Maurizio Sarri has still been criticised during his first year in charge of the team and lately the Old Lady have been linked with Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola.

Buffon has defended his coach and calls for patience at the Bianconeri.

“It was necessary to change our skin to face another process,” Buffon told Le Iene. “It takes time. It was right to try something different to achieve the targets.

“I hope Sarri remains, because that will mean that we’ll have won something.”

Juventus are in a three-way battle for the Scudetto this season and he highlights that Lazio’s sole focus on the League could give them an advantage.

“If Inter go through in the Europa League, I would probably say Lazio [are the most dangerous],” the veteran added. “They’re only playing on Sundays, that makes them scarier.”

The 42-year-old caused controversy when greeting a Chinese fan after the Coppa Italia semi-final with Milan, when he joked about the coronavirus.

But the former Italy international has claimed it was meant to be a “nice gesture” and said he would repeat the joke.

“I would do the joke again,” he added. “It was a nice question, to create empathy. There are always many Chinese fans, that night he was alone and to make him feel at ease, I tried to interact with him by talking to each other.

“I sent a signal at a time when, especially in Italy, there’s a lot of intolerance. I apologise if anyone was offended.”

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