Juventus President Andrea Agnelli backed his directors, coach Maurizio Sarri and Cristiano Ronaldo, but ‘the Champions League has to be an objective and we’ll take a few days to evaluate everything.’
The Bianconeri crashed out of the Champions League in the Round of 16, losing on away goals after a 2-2 aggregate draw with Olympique Lyonnais, a side that finished seventh in Ligue 1 this term.
“This season has been evidently bittersweet. It has been a very difficult campaign, we achieved a great result winning our ninth consecutive campaign and wrote a fantastic chapter in the history books.
“Maurizio deserves his own extraordinary page for himself, going from the amateur leagues to winning the Scudetto,” Agnelli told Sky Sport Italia.
“In the Champions League, obviously, it’s disappointing for us, for the players and the fans. As I said several times in recent years, the Champions league was a dream, now it has to be an objective.
“Going out like this is going to be a huge disappointment. We will take the next few days to consider, evaluate and decide how to go forward next season.
“Juventus have these objectives, they have to be honoured, both domestically and in Europe. We have the best player in the history of the Champions League, which he proved again tonight, and we must start again with renewed enthusiasm.”
Does that mean Agnelli is considering a change of management for Sarri after just one season?
“I do want to make it clear, we cannot take Serie A for granted either, as every season we start from scratch and on zero points. You don’t win titles with momentum from previous seasons, it’s a victory every single time.
“A complete analysis of a season has to be done with everyone in the staff. We must evaluate how to rediscover the enthusiasm we need to start the next season with hunger to play and win in every arena.
“That is a 360-degree analysis. I keep hearing we have the oldest squad in Europe, so that’s something that we need to look at. It has been a very difficult campaign with a lot of changes in the staff, so these are dynamics and ways of understanding each other that need to be created.
“When you make that many changes, you are well aware that some difficulties can emerge. Despite all of that, we won nine consecutive Serie A titles, something that had never happened in the 99 years before our achievement and I doubt will be done again in the next 100 years.”
France Football wrote this week that Cristiano Ronaldo is not entirely happy at Juventus and ready to walk away towards PSG.
“I am entirely convinced he will stay. I think the report was down to an interview from several months ago, which just happened to be published just before we played against a French team. It’s an old media trick.
“No, I can assure you that Ronaldo remains a pillar of Juventus.”
Agnelli was asked if he will sign players who are more suited to Sarri’s style of football and his reply was not reassuring.
“These are questions the technical directors should be asked and that is not my role. All I can say is they will be Juventus-level players.
“I complimented (Pavel) Nedved and (Fabio) Paratici only a few days ago for the way they handled this difficult season. This group of directors will continue to work together in order to pursue a target that Juventus ought to be targeting. I will hold on to them very tight.
“There are other clubs who want to achieve this target too, but that makes the elimination to a team that frankly nobody was disappointed to get in the draw, even more disappointing.
“As we’ve said, one match cannot decide how a season is evaluated. It has to be analysed in its totality, in general and keeping all elements into consideration.”
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