BERLIN: Despite the final score the Champions League Final in Berlin was an “extraordinary” occasion for Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Allegri, a controversial choice originally to succeed Antonio Conte last year, had no complaints recriminations or regrets about the 3-1 defeat by Barcelona in the Olympic Stadium.
His post-match interview pointed to a man still surprised to progressed so far and with no reason to criticise a team which had delivered more than he had expected in winning the Italian league and cup. Reaching the Champions League Final had been a bonus.
Allegri said: “At the end of the game I thanked the team not only because of the extraordinary season but because of the way they played tonight – an extraordinary game. They showed great personality, technique and skill.
“It was a great final but, unfortunately, when you play against great players and you think you have things under control that greatness enabled them to get away from us just when I thought we were about to score again.
“So we do feel sorry for losing but, above all, we come out of this final with greater self-esteem, greater confidence and awareness of what we can do. We can consolidate and strengthen our way of playing and stay among the eight top teams in Europe consistently.
“But it doesn’t happen every year that you reach the final of the Champions League so I can’t criticise the performance of the team.”
Fans so fair
Juventus’ fans were magnificent throughout the match, even in the moment when their team appearing at imminent risk of being swept away on the brilliant Barcelona floodtide.
Allegri acknowledged the tifosi, saying: “Of course losing was a great blow for them – when you play football you always want to win. But there is no second leg in a final. Our fans showed great maturity. They applauded our boys at the end and I’m proud of what they did.”
One crucial mistake, however, proved costly.
Allegri said: “Tonight we had a chance of preventing Barcelona from winning their own treble but they were extraordinary and we could not contain them.
“From the bench I had good feelings. I thought we could win it but the moment we made a mistake Barcelona got away. They have three exceptional strikers who are great on the counter attack so we paid the price for that.
“From our equaliser to their second goal Juventus controlled the game but Messi made a wonderful play and though Buffon made a great save Suarez scored. In a final you have to be very careful because it’s little details which make the difference.
“Barcelona are extraordinary but I already knew this. Whatever the outcome of this match would not have changed my opinion. Also even if I’d had everybody available I can’t say the outcome would have been different.”
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