‘Maestro’ Pirlo faces mentor Lucescu in Champions League opener

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Andrea Pirlo takes his first managerial steps within the Champions League at Dynamo Kiev on Tuesday, a sport which pits the fledgling Juventus coach towards his vastly skilled former mentor Mircea Lucescu.

Lucescu, 75, and 41-year-old Pirlo have each taken over their respective golf equipment this season.

However whereas Italy footballing legend Pirlo by no means coached earlier than stepping up at his former membership, Lucescu has over 4 many years expertise all through Europe.

And it was the previous Romanian worldwide who gave a 16-year-old Pirlo his first Serie A begin within the Italian’s hometown membership Brescia 25 years in the past.

The much-travelled Lucescu additionally later coached Pirlo at Inter Milan in 1998.

For Lucescu, who received six league titles as a participant with Dinamo Bucharest within the Sixties and Nineteen Seventies, seeing Pirlo on the opposition bench comes as no shock.

“I used to be at all times satisfied he would grow to be a coach,” mentioned Lucescu.

“I assumed it about Andrea, and likewise Diego Simeone, who was one in every of my gamers at Pisa. 

“Pirlo had a special persona than ‘Cholo’ (Simeone) however he was simply as charismatic and with a variety of character.

“Above all, he by no means got here on the pitch to do nothing, he was decisive.

“In addition to being a inventive participant, he was somebody who organised the whole lot, which is one more talent.”

Whether or not he can comply with former gamers Pep Guardiola and Zinedine Zidane’s managerial success stays to be seen.

“It is attainable, I hope he does,” the Romanian instructed Turin each day Tuttosport. 

“However a coach wants no less than six months to stamp his mark on a group.”

Pirlo took over the reigning nine-time Serie A champions after Maurizo Sarri was sacked following Juventus’ Champions League final 16 exit to Lyon.

Juve hope Pirlo, who received a World Cup, two Champions Leagues and 6 Italian league titles as a participant, can transmit his imaginative and prescient of the sport.

The group are chasing a 3rd Champions League title after 1985 and 1996, with seven runners-up ending together with in 2015 and 2017.

– ‘No miracles’ –

However for Pirlo, his Juventus are “below building, a younger group who want to realize expertise”.

A season-opening 3-0 win over Sampdoria was adopted by attracts at AS Roma (2-2) and promoted Crotone (1-1), with two purple playing cards in as many video games.

To complicate the duty, Cristiano Ronaldo is quarantined due to coronavirus, and can miss the Kiev journey and probably the sport towards Barcelona in Turin.

As fashions Pirlo cites the Barcelona groups of Guardiola and Johan Cruyff, Louis van Gaal’s Ajax, Carlo Ancelotti’s AC Milan and Antonio Conte’s Juventus. 

However first up are Lucescu’s Ukrainian league runners-up.

“It is a competitors that I am accustomed to,” mentioned Lucescu whose appointment as Kiev boss had sparked an uproar after his profitable 12-year spell answerable for bitter rivals Shakhtar Donetsk, the place he received the 2009 UEFA Cup.

“It is a competitors that I am accustomed to. I have been concerned in additional than 130 video games. 

“The Champions League anthem is like your nationwide anthem.”

Lucescu’s Dynamo are additionally “a really younger squad”. 

“My purpose is to construct this group,” he mentioned.

“It isn’t attainable in soccer to begin and get outcomes immediately. There are not any miracles in soccer.”

Over his 40-year profession, Lucescu has coached the Romanian and Turkish nationwide groups in addition to golf equipment in Romania, Italy, Turkey, Ukraine and Russia.

“I discover motivation in my ardour for soccer,” he instructed UEFA.com. 

“I attempted to cease final 12 months, as a result of I’ve labored for 50 years with out a break, however it was unattainable. 

“I needed to come back again, there was a lot I might nonetheless give to soccer, particularly to younger gamers.

“So, I got here again and I really feel good being again at work.”

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