‘Andrea Pirlo makes me proud by calling me Maestro,’ says Mircea Lucescu who adds: ‘Messi can do a lot of things on his own’ while Ronaldo 'needs everyone’s help.’
The Dynamo Kyiv's tactician was the first coach of Pirlo at a professional level at Brescia back in the '90s and on Tuesday he will face his Juventus side in the Champions League.
“[He was] mature like he is now”, the former Inter tactician told Uefa.com.
“I remember going to Viareggio to watch a match and I went home in the car with him. We had time to speak for two hours. I realised that he was a very level-headed guy. As well as being a creative player, he was someone who organised everything, which is yet another skill. That has helped him a lot to become what he is today, the coach of a wonderful team like Juventus.”
Pirlo is till referring at Lucescu calling him ‘Maestro’.
“It makes me proud. I must thank him! I hope he has a great career [as a coach],” Lucescu said.
The Ukrainians are set to face Juventus in their first Champions League game of the season on Tueday.
“What I expect from my players is to go out onto the pitch believing in their ability, to play without fear, without thinking of the great players in front of them.
“A lot of them are young: [Illia] Zabarnyi is 18, [Vitaliy] Mykolenko is 21, [Vladyslav] Supryaha is 20, [Viktor] Tsygankov, [Heorhii] Tsitaishvili, [Mykola] Shaparenko. They need to play at this level to grow. I'm here to help them.”
Cristiano Ronaldo will be out of action as he tested positive for Covid-19 but Lucescu may face him in the return leg in Turin. Things get even more complicated as the group G also includes Leo Messi’s Barcelona.
“I've come across them many times, but my players haven't. They'll come across them soon. I have to explain what they're like.
“Messi is a short player who is exceptional in tight spaces because of his acceleration, self-confidence, dribbling and all that. Ronaldo is a different kind of player because he loves to score so much that he needs bigger spaces. He needs everyone's help, his team-mates' help.
“Messi can do a lot of things on his own. Ronaldo can work by himself in the penalty area or 20 metres from the area, but he tries to take advantage of the space created by others and he strikes. That's it: they're different, but they're both really strong players.”
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