Monday August 4 2014
Buffon: Allegri one of the group

Gianluigi Buffon sees Massimiliano Allegri as ‘one of the group’ at Juventus, whilst he reflects again on heartache suffered with Italy.

The goalkeeper is working under new management this pre-season following Antonio Conte’s surprise summer exit and has considered the changes so far noticed.

“Everyone has their own character. There is no formula that guarantees victory, otherwise it would have been patented,” Buffon has considered in today’s edition of La Stampa.

“There is the sergeant like Louis van Gaal and then there’s those like Carlo Ancelotti, who look for direct contact, and they both know how to achieve success.

“Which style do I prefer? I was pleased with both approaches because I received an education that helped me to respect authority.

“It is up to the players to figure out how to interact with the Coach so as to give their best. Ancelotti said that the Coach must be one of the group, not above it. Allegri is like this and it is a quality that I like.

“If the player is able to give something more, then they do so in certain situations.

“There have been several changes, but after a fantastic journey with the same men in command, a change can also be physiological.

“Concerns over Allegri’s relationship with Andrea Pirlo? I have never understood these - even if there were problems, between men these are resolved in a few words, it’s just a joke.”

Discussion remains on Juve’s ambitions heading into the new season, particularly in the Champions League.

“Investments play their part, but in the last two years Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid have reached the final.

“Surprises do happen, although it is strange to define Juventus like this.”

Roma are seen as Juve’s key competitors for the Scudetto, alongside Napoli.

“Roma? After last year they begin with enthusiasm and awareness of being competitive and having strengthened. At the start they are our equals.”

Meanwhile, Conte has been linked with taking on the vacancy with the national team.

“He would have to change the way he works because he would not have time to be so manic, but it would be quite a challenge.”

Buffon also had his say on the controversy surrounding prospective FIGC President Carlo Tavecchio, who in the run-up to this month’s election has faced pressure over racist and sexist comments released.

“The ‘banana’ phrase was and remains unfortunate, then it has been manipulated, but it will not be decisive. The future of the game depends on radical change, on programmes that are much more precise.

“Just for the fact there is an atmosphere like this makes it a half-defeat, let’s see if before August 11 [when the presidential election is held] it becomes a full one.

“If nothing changes from here to the 11th then we all have to feel part of the blame - players, journalists and anyone who gravitates around football. To remove some from their positions and change certain relations of power that are now exhausted cannot be so complicated.

“In politics they are trying and in sport they can too. The new President of CONI has ideas and presents himself as a reformist. Whoever is elected should have the same effect in conveying a sense of responsibility to those who insist on fighting for its interest.”

Tavecchio and Demetrio Albertini are standing for President as part of the fallout from the World Cup campaign, which saw Giancarlo Abete and Cesare Prandelli resign their positions.

“I am not one to drench my shirt in tears, I drench it in my soul. In Brazil, we lost everything, we had the opportunity to make our country proud during a difficult moment and we were eliminated in a manner so unseemly.

“I do not know the reasons for a debacle like this but I agree with De Rossi - you win with men and not with figurines.

“My words were not referring to an individual. We do not need a scapegoat. What bothers me is the conditioning of certain media - they exalt the youngster before they have done something concrete in their career.

“Pirlo is the greatest in the world and he should have to stay at home? The fanfare around some names, perhaps it is to drive up their price tag.”

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