Italy CT Roberto Mancini says Atalanta can ‘play with confidence’ against Paris Saint-Germain and wishes Andrea Pirlo good luck at Juventus. ‘He’s lucky starting at the top’.
Atalanta face the Ligue 1 champions in the quarter-finals of the Champions League this week and Mancini was asked if he thinks the Orobici can go all the way in Europe this term.
“Let’s calm down and think of PSG, who are a great team and have more experience,” Mancini told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“They are certainly not at the top. They have lost [Edinson] Cavani, will not have [Angel] di Maria, [Marco] Verratti, [Kylian] Mbappe and some others who are in doubt.
“Their championship was stopped in March, but regardless of this, Atalanta have every right to play the quarter-final with confidence.”
Juventus were eliminated by Olympique Lyonnais in the last 16 and the Bianconeri have since replaced coach Maurizio Sarri with former midfielder Andrea Pirlo.
“I did not except Juventus to go out. I was sure they would have advanced. But it was a terrible, unpredictable and difficult year. Especially for those who have made changes, like Juve.
“Sarri wasn’t able to bring through his football.
“[Pirlo] is lucky. He starts from the top and with the best team. Maybe I didn’t start from the bottom, but I started at Fiorentina, not with Juve…
“Jokes aside, because if I was searching, I would have been looking at Andrea. He has great knowledge of football. Like [Daniele] De Rossi. I would have liked to work with him.
“There’s always a first time. Andrea opens up a new path. Let’s follow him. Good luck to him.”
Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £9.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://www.premiersports.com/subscribenow