Friday May 11 2012
Pirlo: Allegri didn’t want me

Andrea Pirlo has revealed that he left Milan because he was no longer in the first team plans of boss Massimiliano Allegri.

The playmaker quit the Rossoneri on a Bosman last summer to join Juventus and he subsequently inspired their Scudetto success.

“Milan offered me a one-year extension, but I wanted three years because I was younger than the other players whose contracts were expiring,” he told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“But the real reason behind why I left Milan was because Allegri wanted to use Massimo Ambrosini or Mark Van Bommel in front of the defence instead of me.

“That meant that I had to change position on the pitch. So I said ‘no thanks’ to Milan and chose Juventus.

“Milan decided that I was no longer useful to them. I understood that immediately during our meeting.”

Some were surprised by Pirlo’s decision to leave champions Milan for a team who had finished the previous two seasons in seventh place.

“When I was at Gigi Buffon’s wedding in June last year, people asked me if I was crazy because I had left,” he added.

“I then replied that when I decide to join another club, I do it because I want to win. And I also said that we would win the Italian championship.

“And now those same people thank me because they went and put money on us winning the Scudetto…”

While Juventus enjoyed the assists of Pirlo, Milan did struggle at times without his calmness and vision.

“A lot of my former teammates told me that they missed me during the campaign,” he added. “But I’m happy as I won.

“Almost all of my former teammates at Milan sent me text messages congratulating me on winning the Scudetto.”

The 32-year-old has fond memories of his time with the Diavolo, but he admits that their attempt to get him suspended for a Cup game after an alleged elbow on Van Bommel was uncalled for.

“That annoyed me,” he continued. “I played there for 10 years and they know that I don’t do certain things…”

The experienced Italian international also took advantage of the interview to praise ‘rookie’ Coach Antonio Conte.

“Conte is a great. I’ve had a lot of Coaches in my career, but never one who has been so prepared, so meticulous in his work and who explains things so well.

“We watch videos of our opponents three or four times a week and it's difficult for them to surprise us as a result.

“In terms of tactics and the way he teaches, he’s better than Carlo Ancelotti and Marcello Lippi.”

With the Scudetto won, Pirlo now believes that his side can be a force in next season’s Champions League.

“This Juve is one of the strongest ever in terms of mentality and pride,” he commented. “We can make a bid for the Champions League as we are now by playing in the same way.

“But we’ll need a few signings to complete the squad, even if we would have done well in the competition this season.”