Wednesday January 27 2021
Pirlo: 'More clubs should have U23 team'

Andrea Pirlo saw the right Juventus attitude against SPAL, is ‘happy’ to face Inter in the Coppa Italia semi-final and praises the resources of an Under-23 team.

The Bianconeri made short work of Serie B side SPAL, with goals from Alvaro Morata, Gianluca Frabotta, Dejan Kulusevski and Federico Chiesa.

“Our objective was to get through and we did it against a team that has done well this season in both the Coppa Italia and their league,” Pirlo told RAI Sport.

“It was important that we take them on with conviction and we did that from the first minute.”

The coach has made very good use of the youth players, especially because Juventus are the only club in Italy who took advantage of the rule change allowing for an Under-23 team to play in Serie C.

“Juve were the first and only club to create a B-Team and I think it was a great move for the development of these players. It’s one thing to pluck players from the youth academy, quite another to get them from a team currently in Serie C. I believe other clubs ought to open their minds a bit more.”

Teenager Nicolò Fagioli was given his senior Juventus debut this evening.

“He’s an interesting lad, he’s been training with us for some time. He arrived with me as a trequartista, but I believe he can also work as a playmaker and has good vision.”

Kulusevski is again making his mark more as a striker than a winger or trequartista.

“He can cover many different roles. I asked him to play as a striker today to fill in the gaps, but he can play anywhere. It’s a pity he’ll be suspended against Sampdoria on Sunday, but he’ll have time to recover for the next.”

Juventus will now face Inter in the Coppa Italia semi-final, which will be played over two legs on February 2 and 9.

“We meet again. We’re happy, because our objective is to win the Coppa Italia, so we’ll prepare next week.”

For all the youth on the pitch today, there was also a goalkeeper who turns 43 tomorrow. Will Gigi Buffon continue at Juventus next season?

“We hope so,” replied Pirlo. “He’s in good shape, is proving every day that he can still play football and we’ll all be very happy if he continues to do so.”