Thursday 18 January 2018

Time running out for Juve to take next step - Pirlo

Playmaker Andrea Pirlo is at the heart of Juventus' Champions League challenge
Playmaker Andrea Pirlo is at the heart of Juventus' Champions League challenge Newsdesk Newsdesk

Juventus playmaker Andrea Pirlo believes this could be the season the club re-establish themselves on the European stage as he dreams of winning the Champions League again before he retires.

The midfield maestro has been helping steer Juve towards a fourth successive Italian title, yet the gulf between a fading Serie A and the Champions League is so great that they are not seen as a major threat to Real Madrid, Barcelona or Bayern Munich.

Juve were outclassed by Bayern in the quarter-finals two seasons ago and failed to make it beyond the group stage last term.

With Paul Pogba and Carlos Tevez attracting interest from abroad, this campaign could be the last chance of European glory for the current team as they prepare to host Borussia Dortmund in the last-16 tonight.

At the heart of their challenge is Pirlo (pictured), who will be 36 when this year's final comes around but who continues to work wonders, as his breathtaking winner against Atalanta on Friday demonstrated.

"I came to Juve in order to win and we achieved that," said Pirlo, who won the Champions League twice with Milan. "But now we must make the next step. I'd like to win another Champions League before retiring."

Dortmund's European form has been excellent. They sailed through their group by winning their opening four matches and have won their last three league games after a disastrous start to their campaign.

"We were never more motivated for the Champions League than the Bundesliga, we just got a bit more room in the Champions League, which will not be the case here," admits Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp.

Juventus v Borussia Dortmund,

Live Sky Sports 1, 7.45

Irish Independent

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