Juventus will be without Leonardo Bonucci for the Coppa Italia final against Atalanta, Andrea Pirlo has confirmed.

The centre-back missed the weekend's 3-2 win over Serie A champions Inter with a knee injury that keeps him sidelined for Wednesday’s game.

Juve will have Paulo Dybala available, though, and Pirlo admits he is facing some difficult decisions when it comes to the composition of his forward line.

On Bonucci, the Juventus boss said: "[He] has a knee problem and won't be available tomorrow. We have several solutions for tomorrow."

Dybala also failed to appear in that game, remaining rooted to the bench as Juventus secured a much-needed victory despite losing Rodrigo Bentancur to a 55th-minute red card.

However, the Argentina international is fully fit and could come back into the starting XI in Reggio Emilia.

Pirlo added: "[He] is fine. He played a good game against Sassuolo, but there were no conditions for him to enter on Saturday. He is available and ready to play.

"All the attacking players are doing well, so we will then decide who to start from the beginning."

Juventus' two Serie A meetings with Atalanta this season brought them a home draw and an away defeat.

And Pirlo expects another big test from a team who have continued to grow under Gian Piero Gasperini this term.

He continued: "Atalanta forces you to pick up the pace, we know it and we are ready to face it. I don't think it will be a very different match from the other two. 

“We earned the final with two hard-fought matches against Inter. We really want to bring this trophy home.”

Andrea Pirlo claimed Cristiano Ronaldo was happy to be substituted with 20 minutes remaining of Juventus' pulsating 3-2 win over champions Inter in the Derby d'Italia on Saturday. 

The Portuguese superstar – who slotted home the opener after his penalty was saved – was withdrawn for Alvaro Morata with the Bianconeri leading 2-1 after Juan Cuadrado had restored the hosts' lead following Romelu Lukaku's leveller from the spot. 

Rodrigo Bentancur was dismissed for the hosts after just 55 minutes for picking up two yellow cards and intense Inter pressure finally told seven minutes from full-time when Giorgio Chiellini bundled into his own net. 

There was to be one final twist, though, as Cuadrado powered home from the spot in the 88th minute after he had been brought down inside the area by Ivan Perisic. 

The result moved Juve into the top four, although they could be usurped ahead of next weekend's final matchday if Napoli overcome Fiorentina on Sunday.

It was just the third time Ronaldo has been substituted this season, but Pirlo was adamant his talisman took the withdrawal well. 

"I think it was the first time he was happy to be subbed off," he told Sky Sport Italia. "We were one man down, and he'd have been chasing shadows. He was happy and smiling in the dressing room."

It has been a dismal first season in charge for Pirlo, with a Champions League last-16 exit followed by a tepid surrender of their nine-year stranglehold on the Serie A crown to Inter.

It remains to be seen whether he will still in charge for the 2021-22 campaign but, if he stays, Pirlo wants to see more of the spirit shown in the win over Antonio Conte's side next term. 

"We should have had the same determination and desire to fight on every ball also in the other games of the season," he added.

"If we had done so, we would not be fighting for a top-four finish at this point. We made too many mistakes in games that seemed easy on paper.

"We've asked ourselves many times what we've lacked this season. We didn't have the same fire burning inside. We had to turn the light on again to fight the title and a top-four finish. The lads have proved they are up to the task in big games.

"This group has a lot to give, we have many young players, but playing for Juventus means having more responsibility. It takes time to adapt.

"We shouldn't have dropped so many points, but this is a good team, we have room for improvement, there is a good base to work well."

Juve finish their campaign with a trip to Bologna next week.

Andrea Pirlo feels he and his Juventus players could have done much more in their meek Serie A title defence.

Juventus host Inter on Saturday in a game that looked set at one time to be a blockbuster Scudetto decider.

However, the Old Lady will welcome Antonio Conte's freshly crowned champions with their own form having fallen away, to the extent Champions League qualification is now out of Juve's hands.

"Inter have done better, have been more consistent and hungrier than us," Pirlo told a pre-match news conference.

"Facing the newly crowned Italian champions gives us more motivation. Let's not forget that we have a chance to qualify for the Champions League. Inter will try to win the game.

“Congratulations to Inter for the Scudetto, but we could have done more."

Despite Juve sitting perilously in fifth, a point behind Napoli in the final Champions League qualifying spot with two games remaining, Pirlo explained next Wednesday's Coppa Italia final against Atalanta would come into his thinking with regards to selection.

"Alex Sandro plays tomorrow because he's suspended for the Coppa Italia final," Pirlo said.

"For the others, we will see. We must recover energy."

Defender Merih Demiral is fit to feature for the first time since March following thigh problems, bolstering a Juve squad who returned to winning ways by beating Sassuolo 3-1 away last time out, on Wednesday evening.

"The performance on Wednesday suggests that we are sorry, we could have had more points by always remaining as focused as we were in Reggio Emilia," Pirlo added.

"At the end of the year, we will review the whole season, analysing the mistakes to not commit them again."

Andrea Pirlo said his Juventus players showed they "can face any situation" after winning 3-1 at Sassuolo to keep their hopes of a top-four Serie A finish alive.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala both scored to take their respective Juventus goal tallies to 100 in all competitions, and Adrien Rabiot was also on the scoresheet as Pirlo's men recovered from a disastrous 3-0 defeat to Milan.

The result leaves the Bianconeri fifth in the table, one point behind Napoli in the final Champions League qualification spot with two games left to play, but their performance at Mapei Stadium gave Pirlo confidence.

"There have been so many games where we quickly let our guard down, which is not enough when wearing that jersey," Pirlo told DAZN.

"If you are focused and have the right mind, you can face any situation, like tonight.

"We are still there, we will believe in it until the end."

Juventus must prepare for the visit of newly crowned Serie A champions Inter to Allianz Stadium on Saturday, before they face Atalanta in the Coppa Italia final and then take on Bologna on the final day of the league season.

Pirlo acknowledged the pressure that has been building on his side across a season marked by inconsistency, in which their nine-year grip on the Scudetto has slipped.

"We struggled in the last few games," said Pirlo, reflecting on a run of two wins in five matches before the victory over Sassuolo.

"That's what annoys me the most, because the weight of the ball at Juve is different: when you miss, you pay.

"We now have to recover our energies for Saturday. Then we will see tactically how we handle this match."

Gianluigi Buffon has called time on his second spell at Juventus, concluding a defining playing association with the Serie A giants.

There may only be three clubs on the goalkeeping great's resume but sustained excellence over more than two decades has filled his trophy cabinet with individual and team honours. 

The former Parma prodigy has rubbed shoulders with the very best in world football throughout that time, forming part of Serie A, Ligue 1 and World Cup-winning sides.

In honour of Buffon's stellar career, we have compiled a star-studded group of former team-mates for a dream XI.

 

GOALKEEPER: GIANLUIGI BUFFON

Who else has the pedigree to don the gloves in such a side?

A five-time member of the UEFA Team of the Year, he boasts more Serie A clean sheets than any other player and, as captain of his country from 2010 until his retirement in 2018, would have no trouble bringing this team together.

RIGHT-BACK: LILIAN THURAM

Having been joined by Buffon at Parma after his switch from Monaco in 1996, Thuram followed his team-mate in making the move to Turin ahead of the 2001-02 campaign.

The 142-time France international, part of the side that tasted glory at the 1998 World Cup on home soil and won Euro 2000, spent five seasons at Juve before rounding out his career with a spell at Barcelona.

CENTRE-BACK: FABIO CANNAVARO

Buffon's inheritance of the Italy armband from Cannavaro in 2010 completed the striking symmetry of their careers.

They both made their Parma debuts in 1995, did the same for Italy in 1997 and were reunited at club level when Cannavaro, one of few defenders to win the Ballon d'Or, joined Juve in 2004. They also lifted the World Cup together in 2006.

CENTRE-BACK: ALESSANDRO NESTA

A long-time rival at club level, Nesta was part of the famous Milan defence that beat Juve in the 2002-03 Champions League final – he scored his penalty against Buffon in a 3-2 shoot-out victory – and triumphed again four seasons later.

He was named in the Team of the Tournament at Euro 2000, which Buffon missed through injury, but the 2006 World Cup success will undoubtedly be the highlight of his career.

LEFT-BACK: PAOLO MALDINI

With admirable longevity, loyalty and leadership, classy defender Maldini set the path that Buffon has so impressively followed.

The long-time Rossoneri skipper, a seven-time Scudetto winner who also lifted the European Cup on five occasions, Maldini was the only player to have managed more Serie A appearances than the veteran keeper until his Juve return.

CENTRAL MIDFIELD: ANDREA PIRLO

Has there been a more iconic duo of the modern era?

Pirlo was already at the top by the time he swapped Milan for Juve, but he saved plenty of his play-making brilliance for Buffon and friends as the Bianconeri re-asserted themselves as Italy's top club with a run of successive Scudetti that stretched to nine before being ended by Inter this season as their reunion as player and head coach did not yield similar results.

CENTRAL MIDFIELD: PAVEL NEDVED

Nedved's blend of athleticism, tenacity and well-rounded technical ability made him close to the complete midfielder.

He helped Czech Republic to the final of Euro 1996 and his value to Juve was summed up by a Ballon d'Or victory in 2003.

ATTACKING MIDFIELD: ROBERTO BAGGIO

Less than two years after a 17-year-old Buffon held Baggio and Milan scoreless on his senior debut for Parma, the pair were sharing the same shirt for Italy.

Two of the Azzurri's greatest were in the same squad at the 1998 World Cup, although Buffon would ultimately go one better than the 1993 Ballon d'Or winner, who suffered final heartache against Brazil at USA 94.

ATTACKING MIDFIELD: ALESSANDRO DEL PIERO

He stands as an equal in the pantheon of Juve luminaries.

Buffon and the majestic Del Piero combined to help the Bianconeri finish top of Serie A on five occasions, while they lined up for Italy together for over a decade and experienced World Cup glory together

FORWARD: CRISTIANO RONALDO

Ronaldo joined Juve as Buffon embarked upon his hiatus with Paris Saint-Germain. The five-time Ballon d'Or winner was supposed to add Champions League glory to domestic dominance and now Juventus have neither.

Nevertheless, Ronaldo's individual form has remained imperious. In 127 appearances for the Bianconceri, he has 97 goals at a rate of a goal every 113 minutes.

FORWARD: KYLIAN MBAPPE

They were only together for a year but the France phenomenon is a performer to compare with many of the greats to have shared a dressing room with Buffon.

Fresh from 2018 World Cup success with France, Mbappe scored 39 goals in 43 appearances for PSG in 2018-19, averaging 90.25 minutes per goal and boasting a shot conversion rate of 22 per cent.

Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo has urged his players to not feel sorry for themselves after a humbling and potentially decisive 3-0 defeat to Milan, adamant they still have a chance of finishing in the top four.

Milan left Turin with a comprehensive victory on Sunday that propelled them back into the Champions League spaces at the expense of Juve.

It was Milan's first away win at Juventus since March 2011, with the Bianconeri conceding for the 11th league game in succession, their worst such run in just over 11 years.

Milan, who are third, now have a three-point cushion to Juve in fifth, though Pirlo's men are only one adrift of bitter rivals Napoli.

All three and Atalanta – ahead of Milan on goal difference – have three matches left this term, and Pirlo was keen to remind his players that their Champions League hopes are far from over.

Speaking ahead of Wednesday's trip to Sassuolo, the under-pressure Pirlo said: "Juve will have to play a great game, I don't want to see resignation in the boys.

"We still have three games and we are one point from the Champions League [places]. In football I have seen all kinds of things, there must be no resignation but great positivity.

"We have even the chance to get into the Champions League, this must be the most important thing.

"There was great disappointment because we lost 3-0 to Milan. In football anything can happen, our goal doesn't change. I go ahead with my work. We have a duty to believe in it until the end.

"Tomorrow we need a show of collective pride, regardless of who will play. We must honour this shirt, we cannot afford performances like Sunday."

Juve's on-pitch struggles are not being helped by off-field matters and controversy, with the club currently having to deal with reports of in-house tension between sporting director Fabio Paratici and vice-president Pavel Nedved, while Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Gabriele Gravina has threatened to kick them out of Serie A if they do not renounce the European Super League.

But Pirlo insists he is paying such matters no mind.

"I don't even want to talk about gossip and invented things," he said. "I don't even want to go into it.

"These are external things, our goal is to show on the pitch that we deserve the Champions League, and we can only do it with the results."

Fabio Capello labelled Juventus' display in their 3-0 loss to Milan "embarrassing" as the pressure continues to grow on head coach Andrea Pirlo.

Juve's first home league defeat at the hands of Milan since March 2011 leaves them fifth in Serie A and a point off the Champions League spots with three games to go.

Brahim Diaz opened the scoring for the visitors on the brink of half-time and Ante Rebic added a second 12 minutes from time after Franck Kessie had a penalty saved.

Fikayo Tomori rounded off the scoring late on at the Allianz Stadium in a game in which Juve managed only one shot on target across the 90 minutes.

It is the third time in five games they have failed to test the opposition keeper before half-time, with Alvaro Morata and Cristiano Ronaldo touching the ball once in the penalty area between them during the first 45 minutes.

At the opposite end of the field, the Bianconeri have conceded goals in each of their past 11 Serie A games, which is their worst streak since April 2010.

While Capello does not believe Milan deserve any special praise for their performance in Turin, he has questioned whether Juve can currently be classed as an elite club.

"What we saw from Juventus was embarrassing," he told Sky Sport Italia. "In the first half they did not exist. It was the same against Udinese last week. 

"They were without ideas and Milan did their part, without having to do difficult things. Juventus tried to press but without aggression and never managed to recover the ball. 

"In the first half there was a huge amount of wrong passes. Watching the game, I had to ask, 'are these Super League teams?'. 

"The second half was a bit better. Milan's goals unlocked the game and Juve woke up after the missed penalty, but not enough. Gianluigi Donnarumma made only one save."

Having missed out on the Scudetto for the first time in a decade, Juve now risk failing to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 2010-11.

Pirlo insisted after his side's sixth league loss of the season that he has no intention of stepping down, with club officials reportedly discussing his future on Monday.

Capello, who both played for and managed Juventus, believes Pirlo has to take responsibility for confusing his players with a change of system.

"Juventus' problems are in midfield. Ronaldo did not have the service and [Giorgio] Chiellini is the only player who played some throughballs," he said.

"It should not possible that Chiellini is the key man in midfield. There has been confusion from the beginning – they started with a three-man defence then changed.

"The players feel the coach does not have clear ideas. They smell the situation and find it difficult to follow him. Juventus need a clear direction to improve."

Juve are back in action on Wednesday with a trip to Sassuolo.

Andrea Pirlo has no intention of resigning as Juventus head coach after the Bianconeri's hopes of qualifying for next season's Champions League suffered a significant blow on Sunday. 

Juve slumped to a resounding 3-0 home defeat to Italian rivals Milan as they slipped to fifth in Serie A with just three league games remaining in the race for the top four.

It was the first time Juve had been beaten at home by the Rossoneri since March 2011, while it marked the first time they had conceded three goals at home to Milan since January 2010. 

Pirlo has endured a dismal first season in charge of Juve after replacing Maurizio Sarri. Not only did they relinquish their nine-season stranglehold on the Serie A title to Inter, but they were dumped out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage by Porto. 

While the decision could yet be taken out of his hands, first-year boss Pirlo insisted he has no plans to step down from his role.

"No, I won't step aside," he told Sky Sport Italia. "I took this role with a great deal of enthusiasm amid certain difficulties. 

"I am at the disposal of the club. There are still three games to go, so I will continue doing my work as long as I am allowed to."

Brahim Diaz, Ante Rebic and Fikayo Tomori were on target for a dominant Milan, who could even afford the luxury of a missed Franck Kessie penalty with the score at 1-0. 

Juve have now conceded in each of their last 11 league games – their worst streak since April 2010. 

While Pirlo accepted responsibility for his side's failings this season, he suggested he was not given what he was promised by the club.  

"I had a different project in my mind and thought I would have a different group at my disposal," Pirlo added. 

"I had been working on some concepts, but then I had to make changes in order to suit their characteristics and had to adapt."

Asked if his side are resistant to change, he said: "It's not that this team is resistant to change, but if you have some things in your mind and they become more difficult with certain players.

"If I cannot get the best out of these players, that is my fault and I certainly need to do better.

"If something didn't go right, I take responsibility. This squad is made up of great players, clearly something did not work."

Juve have the chance to return to winning ways when they travel to Sassuolo on Wednesday.

Andrea Pirlo acknowledged his Juventus players are mentally drained but urged them to secure Champions League football next season "at all costs".

A late double from Cristiano Ronaldo helped Juve fight back from a goal down to beat Udinese 2-1 on Sunday as they climbed up to third place in Serie A.

The Bianconeri are level on 69 points with Atalanta in second and Milan in fourth, and two points above fifth-placed Napoli, with four games remaining.

Juve's performance against Udinese lacked intensity but the win eased some of the pressure on Pirlo's position as head coach as he explained the reason behind their struggles.

Pirlo told Sky Italia: "When you are not used to fighting for the Champions League, but you have always been used to the Scudetto, something changes in everyone's mind.

"There is a bit of everything. Tiredness, mental fatigue. But now the goal has changed for a few weeks now and we have to reach Champions League qualification at all costs. 

"It will be tiring, but we must get there. The team knows what it wants, it's united to reach the Champions League goal. That's the most important thing."

No team has won more points from behind than Juventus in Serie A this term (17, alongside Sassuolo) and Pirlo praised his players for their capacity to fight back on the day Inter secured the Serie A title.

"This victory came with difficulty, with pride," he added. "It was also important in view of the results of the afternoon to win. We had complicated our lives for the umpteenth time by giving away a goal with big carelessness.

"But there was a great desire to bring home the result, right up to the end, so this is the most important thing.

"My congratulations to Inter and Antonio Conte – they had a great season and they deserved it.

"For us, a cycle of nine straight league titles comes to an end and another one begins. We want to fight for the Scudetto again."

Ronaldo has scored 16 of his 27 goals so far this season on the road, and no player has scored more away goals in the top-five European leagues.

He has also scored seven goals against Udinese in his Serie A career, and only against Cagliari (eight) has he done better in the competition.

"Ronaldo is a champion, he always wants to improve," Pirlo said of the Portugal forward.

"He gave the team positivity and made good plays. Today we clung to him, but the whole team did well reacting in the best way to get to three big points."

A late Cristiano Ronaldo double gave Juventus a 2-1 win over Udinese in Serie A on Sunday which boosted their hopes of qualifying for next season's Champions League.

Udinese went into the break ahead when Juve's defence switched off after a free-kick was awarded and Nahuel Molina's low shot found its way beyond Wojciech Szczesny.

Juventus fleetingly showed moments of quality but equalised with an 83rd-minute spot-kick from Ronaldo, awarded after the Portugal forward's free-kick moments earlier struck the arm of Rodrigo de Paul.

Ronaldo added a second with one minute left when he headed in Adrien Rabiot's cross at the back post to secure a dramatic late win for Andrea Pirlo, who raced down the touchline to celebrate with Juve's players.

Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo maintains he is not worried about his future amid reports he could be sacked and replaced by Massimiliano Allegri.

Allegri, who stepped down in 2019 after winning five Serie A titles in a row with the Bianconeri, is reportedly the leading contender to take over should Pirlo be dismissed.

Juve are fourth in the table after 33 games and almost certain not to win a 10th consecutive Scudetto. Indeed, Inter will be crowned champions should they defeat Crotone and Atalanta fail to beat Sassuolo.

With the league title slipping away and their Champions League campaign ended by a last-16 defeat to Porto, there are serious doubts over whether Pirlo will be given a second season in charge of the club.

John Elkann, the CEO of Exor – the holding company of Juve's owners – visited the team's training ground this week to add further fuel to the rumours, but Pirlo insists he is not distracted.

"I'm fine," said the 2006 World Cup winner. "I talked to the owners the other day. It's not the first time they've come. We had a little chat about everything, as we always do. I'm calm about my work.

"I read the names of possible successors from you. I don't allow myself to be influenced and I'm focused on what I have to do.

"We are aware that this is a very important moment: we have 15 points to win plus the Coppa Italia final. All matches are fundamental and we are focused on the next one.

"My goal is to win the remaining matches that will lead the team to the Champions League and win the Coppa Italia. I am not thinking about anything else: I'm calm and concentrated. These final days will be a fight to the end, with difficult matches for everyone... starting tomorrow."

Juve face Udinese on Sunday, a team against whom they have won six times and lost just once in their most recent seven league meetings.

Erling Haaland is hot property right now with a long list of suitors keen on the Norwegian forward.

Financially powerful clubs Real Madrid, Manchester City and Chelsea are among those jostling for the Borussia Dortmund man but Barcelona are in contention too.

Haaland and his agent Mino Raiola visited Barcelona along with Madrid in April as talks commenced.

 

TOP STORY - MESSI PAY CUT TO FUND HAALAND DEAL

Six-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi is willing to take a pay cut in order to help Barcelona land Erling Haaland according to Eurosport.

Messi wants to renew with Barca under the assumption the club is ambitious and contending for top honours.

Contract talks have commenced between Messi and the Catalans, with reports that they will offer Messi a new 10-year contract.

 

ROUND-UP

- Marca reports that Real Madrid are looking to extend Lucas Vazquez's contract with a new and improved offer.

- Raheem Sterling could be offloaded by Manchester City this off-season, in order to fund moves for Erling Haaland and Jack Grealish, claims Football Insider.

- Chelsea are in the race for Juventus' French midfielder Adrien Rabiot, along with Barcelona, reports Calciomercato.

- Gazzetta dello Sport claims that Napoli have made a €10 million offer to Club Brugge for 20-year-old Belgium international Charles De Ketelaere.

- Gazzetta dello Sport also reports that Juventus wants to lure Massimiliano Allegri back to the club to replace head coach Andrea Pirlo.

Antonio Pirlo does not believe his bosses are happy with his efforts after Juventus were held to a 1-1 Serie A draw at Fiorentina.

Dusan Vlahovic gave the relegation-threatened Viola a deserved first-half lead from the penalty spot at Stadio Artemio Franchi on Sunday after Adrien Rabiot handled in the area.

Bianconeri head coach Pirlo reacted to a lacklustre display in the opening 45 minutes by replacing Leonardo Bonucci and Paulo Dybala with Alvaro Morata and Dejan Kulusevski, changing the formation after starting with three at the back.

Morata made an instant impact, equalising with a sublime left-foot finish just 31 seconds after coming on, but the champions failed to go on and secure three precious points.

Juve sporting director Fabio Paratici stated ahead of the game that Pirlo's job would be safe if they finished in the top four, but fifth-placed Napoli can join them on 66 points with five games to play by beating Torino on Monday.

Pirlo says he is learning on the job but knows he has fallen short of expectations in his first season at the helm.

He told Sky Italia: "The initial expectations [when he took charge] were different and I don't think I did the job as intended.

"Every game that passes you learn something but I'm not happy and I don't think the club is either."

Morata's sublime strike was Juve's only shot on target and Pirlo says their first-half performance was not good enough.

"There was a very bad first half that had to be faced in a different way. It was fundamental for the Champions League race. In the second half we were better." said the former Italy playmaker.

"We decided to put Morata on to change pace and that happened. We had to deal with it in another way. The three-man defence didn't go well, we had tried one thing and another happened. We changed it and it was better."

Andrea Pirlo has been assured by sporting director Fabio Paratici that his job as Juventus head coach is safe should the Italian giants qualify for next season's Champions League.

The rookie boss succeeded Maurizio Sarri as Juve boss last August - his first managerial position - but his future has been called into question numerous times in recent weeks.

Juve have endured a difficult first campaign under the iconic former midfielder, with their nine-year grip on the Scudetto soon to be officially ended by runaway leaders Inter.

The Bianconeri entered Sunday's clash with Fiorentina fourth in the Serie A standings, just two points above fifth-placed Napoli and with games against Milan and Inter still to come.

Despite being on the verge of missing out on the title for the first time since 2011, though, Paratici vowed to stand by Pirlo if Juve finish in the top four and earn a place in UEFA's elite club competition.

Asked if qualifying for the Champions League would be enough to keep Pirlo in the job, Paratici told Sky Sport Italia: "Yes, definitely.

"But we are not even thinking about the possibility of not qualifying for the Champions League."

Juventus beat Parma 3-1 last time out in a match dominated pre-match by talk of the club's involvement in the controversial Super League.

The Italian giants were one of 12 leading European clubs to announce last Sunday they intended to form a breakaway, closed-shop competition.

The majority of the teams involved withdrew their support 48 hours later amid widespread condemnation and protests, but Juve - whose chairman Andrea Agnelli was one of the major players in the proposals - have not yet done so.

Despite the threat of sanctions by UEFA and Lega Serie A officials, Paratici insisted the club have done nothing wrong.

"We are very calm because we know that we acted with the utmost clarity, so none of this concerns us," he said. 

"I see [Agnelli] every day. He is working and planning for the future. I know how much he cares about the good of football and of Juventus.

"The rather violent reactions after the announcement of the Super League distracted attention from the causes and the reasons why these proposals were made.

"Some things said are simply not true, such as that it was a closed league, or that anyone considered leaving their domestic leagues."

Andrea Pirlo came out bullish when asked about the European Super League, insisting that Juventus are not scared of possible UEFA sanctions.

Juve were one of 12 leading European clubs to announce their intention to form a breakaway, closed-shop competition.

The news caused anger and furore across the continent, with all six English clubs involved electing to withdraw on Tuesday amid mounting pressure from fans, the media, politicians and governing bodies.

Despite the majority of the 12 clubs having pulled out, Juve – whose chairman Andrea Agnelli was one of the major players in the proposals – have not yet done so, while Barcelona and Real Madrid have also stayed in.

Madrid president Florentino Perez has been on the defensive all week, and as recently as Saturday told AS that the Super League teams were giving themselves time to reflect on the proposal.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has again reiterated that if Juve, Barca and Madrid fail to withdraw, then they could face suspension from the Champions League.

However, when asked if Juve were afraid of UEFA's threats, Pirlo – who was previewing Sunday's Serie A meeting with Fiorentina – replied: "We are not scared, we are comfortable that we can end the season pursuing our own objectives. We are okay regardless of the decisions UEFA will make."

Of Agnelli, Pirlo added: "I saw him as being serene. I believe it is normal many people talk about him, but he knows what he has to do and always encourages the team when he visits us during the training sessions. 

"The environment now is positive. We want to finish the season in the best way. After losing the title and the Champions League, our main target is to get a spot in Champions League.

"This is a must. We must be calm, but we must be fully focused for our ultimate objective."

One player certain to be crucial to Juve securing Champions League football is Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 36-year-old has scored 25 times in Serie A this term, while he has netted three goals against Fiorentina during his time with Juve – all of them coming from the spot.

"For me this is the first year [managing Ronaldo], I have a great relationship with him," Pirlo said when asked if it was difficult to handle Ronaldo's ego.

"He is a player who always wants to do well, he gets angry even when he loses minor games.

"When someone always wants to be at his best, I believe it is normal to have these kinds of attitudes. He always wants to win and is keen to help the team at all the time. This is a very positive side of him."

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