Andrea Pirlo insisted this season would not simply be a transition campaign for Juventus, saying he wanted to win.

After just two wins from their opening five Serie A games, Juve also suffered a 2-0 loss to Barcelona in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Pirlo, who took charge in August, said while the Italian giants were rebuilding, he still wanted to win.

"No, it's a year in which we're building, but we want to try and reach results. I'm not here to build without winning," the Juve coach told a news conference.

"Maybe we will need a bit more time, but we have to know that results must come through a certain type of play style that maybe we are struggling to assimilate."

Goals from Ousmane Dembele and Lionel Messi either side of Merih Demiral's red card saw Barca to their win in Turin.

Juve forward Alvaro Morata incredibly saw three strikes ruled out for offside.

The defeat was just Juventus' second home loss in their past 25 Champions League group-stage games.

Pirlo said the encounter showed just how much his team had to improve.

"We have to improve a lot in terms of attitude, in being good at playing this kind of game," he said.

"For many players it was one of those games they had never played, one of the first appearances in Champions League and therefore the difference in terms of personality and skill at playing this kind of game becomes visible.

"We will need this to improve in the future."

Juve visit Spezia in Serie A action on Sunday.

Andrea Pirlo says his Juventus side are a "work in progress" after they suffered a 2-0 defeat to Barcelona in their Champions League Group G clash on Wednesday.

The Serie A champions - who had Merih Demiral sent off late on after picking up two bookings - were second best to Barca throughout, with Ronald Koeman's side sealing all three points thanks to Ousmane Demeble's deflected strike and Lionel Messi's stoppage-time penalty. 

Juve failed to register a single shot on target, although Alvaro Morata did see three efforts ruled out for offside. 

Pirlo refused to criticise his players, though, and hopes they are able to take positives from the setback.

"We knew it'd be tough against a side that plays good football and is accustomed to playing at this level, whereas we are a work in progress," he told Sky Sport Italia.

"Ultimately, it's a match that will be useful for us to grow and improve in future.

"I hope to have more players back soon because I don't have many options and those I start end up having to play almost 90 minutes twice a week. That's not easy for them, especially when they are young and inexperienced."

Captain Leonardo Bonucci was more critical than his coach, warning his team-mates that they have a "long road ahead of them".

"It's the moment when we need to grit our teeth, work together and get the best out of ourselves," he said.

"The results have not been up to our standards lately. We knew it was tough, even if both teams were missing a lot of players, but we made too many technical mistakes and that made it easier for Barcelona.

"There's a long road ahead of us. We know that we could've done more this evening, including myself, even if I was struggling."

Two teams struggling to impress under respective club legends met in Turin on Wednesday, and without Juventus' star player on show, it was Ronald Koeman's Barcelona who came out on top.

A 34th meeting between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in club football was put on hold due to the latter's latest coronavirus test result, and Andrea Pirlo's side paid the price in a clash that was short of quality.

There were moments. Ousmane Dembele's opener, albeit fortuitous, came at the culmination of a fine run from the winger. On Barca's opposite flank, teenager Pedri shined and Messi showed flashes of brilliance.

At the other end, Alvaro Morata displayed neat finishing, only to see all three of his strikes disallowed, yet Merih Demiral's dreadful second-minute pass ultimately summed up a dismal Juve performance – his late red card compounding the hosts' misery.

Messi netted his 70th group-stage goal to wrap up the victory from the penalty spot, as Barca won in Turin for the first time.

JUVE MISS RONALDO'S EDGE AS MESSI LEADS BARCA

Ronaldo remains in isolation due to what he labelled as "bull****" coronavirus protocols, and without him, the Serie A champions have looked decidedly ordinary.

From the four games Ronaldo has missed since testing positive for COVID-19, Pirlo's team have managed just one win, against Dynamo Kyiv in their Group G opener.

In his 33 club meetings with Messi, Ronaldo has scored 18 goals and provided one assist, creating 19 chances and claiming nine wins.

Though those statistics do not compare favourably to Messi – who has scored 21 times, created 10 goals and crafted 60 opportunities – Juve's reliance on Ronaldo has become clearer in his absence.

Juve have now lost five of the 17 games, across the Serie A and Champions League, Ronaldo has not featured in since the start of the 2018-19 season, winning nine, scoring 26 goals and conceding 17.

With Ronaldo missing, Juve needed Paulo Dybala to step up but, playing in the same central role in a 4-2-3-1 as his opposite number, he went into hiding, having only two shots and failing to create any chances.

The same could not be said of Messi, whose assist for Dembele was his 35th in the Champions League, while the 33-year-old boasted game-highs in key passes (five) – more than any Barca player in any game this season – and shots (four).

KOEMAN FINDS A SPARK AFTER BARTOMEU QUITS

Saturday's Clasico defeat to Real Madrid proved to be the final game of the Josep Maria Bartomeu era at Barca, with the club president – and the entire board of directors – resigning on Tuesday.

Though it was far from a vintage display, and one which might not be good enough against the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City or holders Bayern Munich, Barca did what they needed to in Turin.

Leaving the evergreen Messi to one side, Koeman can also look to impressive displays from Dembele, Pedri and Miralem Pjanic, who made his presence felt against his former club.

Pjanic made 82 passes, second only to Messi, who attempted 95, with the former Juve playmaker achieving an accuracy of 86.6 per cent.

Pedri played with the flare of youth, though he did not shirk off his defensive work – his three tackles the joint-highest in Barca's side, along with Ronald Araujo.

Dembele's display, meanwhile, was perhaps the most promising of all for Koeman. Injury limited the Frenchman to nine appearances last season, and his deflected long-range effort ended a 12-month wait for a goal.

PIRLO STRUGGLING TO FIND A BALANCE

Though it must be noted that Wednesday's clash was only Pirlo's eighth as coach, and his first defeat, Juve looked a shadow of their former selves. 

Dybala may have been anonymous, but he was not helped by Juve's tendency to channel their play down the right flank, with only 25.4 per cent of their attacks going through central areas.

With Pjanic pulling the strings for Barca, Adrien Rabiot and Rodrigo Bentancur failed to combine with any real effect. Ahead of them, Dybala, Federico Chiesa and Dejan Kulusevski combined for just three attempts, with Morata forced into playing both as a poacher and creator – his tally of three opportunities created the most of any Juve player.

In their 200th Champions League game, Juve failed to put any of their 10 efforts on target, albeit Morata had three goals rightly disallowed.

Juve have now failed to score in their last four meetings with Barca, and Pirlo's Bianconeri, with three wins, four draws and a defeat, are a team struggling to discover their identity.

Ronald Koeman says it is a major challenge to be head coach of Barcelona but insists he must be given time in the role.

The Catalans have endured a mixed start to the season under the former Netherlands boss, who took charge after Quique Setien was sacked in the wake of the 8-2 thrashing by Bayern Munich in August.

Barca started their 2020-21 Champions League campaign with a 5-1 win over Ferencvaros, but they have taken only seven points from five matches in LaLiga.

They lost the first Clasico of the season 3-1 at home on Saturday to Real Madrid, who were reeling from consecutive defeats to Cadiz and Shakhtar Donetsk, with Koeman's men failing to muster a single shot on target after a Lionel Messi effort in the 24th minute.

Koeman, however, has urged fans to be patient as he attempts to turn Barca back into a side capable of winning top honours, amid reports emerging on Tuesday that club president Josep Maria Bartomeu is set to resign.

"When I was speaking with Barca to be coach, I knew it wouldn't be an easy challenge because of the changes we want to make, because of the COVID-19 issue, the economic issue, but the challenge is very big," he told reporters on Tuesday.

"I just ask for calm, for time, because we're changing a lot of things. In the game with Madrid, in 60 minutes, the team was very good."

Koeman is preparing his side to face Juventus on Wednesday in what will be opposite number Andrea Pirlo's biggest game in his short coaching career.

Pirlo, who took on his first head coach job prior to the start of the season, may be without Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been in quarantine after testing positive for coronavirus while with Portugal.

Koeman hopes to see Ronaldo available despite the formidable task of facing the Champions League's all-time leading goalscorer.

"It's a game between two great teams who want to go very far in this competition. It's important that we get a good result, with the football we want to play," he said.

"It's an important game for everyone and beautiful to watch. We always want the best on the pitch. Ronaldo is a great player. I don't know if he'll be able [to play]; it's not my problem, nor my decision. But hopefully, he can be there.

"It's easier to give an opinion on Pirlo as a player. He was a great player in midfield and he gave a lot of success to various teams in Italy. He's had little time as a coach and if he's already the coach of a team like Juventus, it's for a reason."

Koeman could reportedly face disciplinary action in Spain for his comments after the Clasico, in which he suggested VAR has been used to penalise his team this season.

"I don't regret my comments after the Clasico," he added. "I said I wouldn't speak further on the subject and the most important thing is the game tomorrow. It's important to play well and get a good result."

Andrea Pirlo insisted he was unworried about Barcelona after Juventus were held to another draw in Serie A.

Juve needed a 77th-minute equaliser from Dejan Kulusevski to earn a 1-1 draw at home to Hellas Verona, who went ahead through Andrea Favilli on Sunday.

The Serie A champions are winless in two consecutive league games against Verona for the first time since 1989 as Juve moved onto nine points through five games.

Juve host Barca in the Champions League on Wednesday, but Pirlo was unfazed, saying he expected a different type of game.

"No, I am not worried ahead of Barcelona, because they're two completely different games, with two different styles of play," the Juve head coach told a news conference.

"As I said earlier, Atalanta like Verona play in a completely different way compared to Barcelona, therefore when you play against this kind of team it's a kind of game of its own.

"You have to try and do certain things, which we tried to do during the game."

The result left Juve three points behind leaders Milan, who host Roma on Monday.

But Pirlo, who only took charge in August, is remaining upbeat about the direction his side are heading in.

"No, I am not worried [about the draws] because we are under construction," he said.

"Of course, we're sorry we're dropping points along the way, but we're on the right path and we are building a long-term project.

"It's only the fifth game we play together and for our future I can only see positive things."

Juventus head coach Andrea Pirlo was frustrated his Juventus side only started playing with intensity after they had fallen behind in their 1-1 draw with Hellas Verona on Sunday. 

Having had just one shot on target in an insipid first half, Serie A champions Juve fell behind on the hour-mark when Verona's Andrea Favilli slotted home from 15 yards. 

Juve – winless in two consecutive Serie A games against Verona for the first time since 1989 – stormed back through substitute Dejan Kulusevski's equaliser 13 minutes from time and created a number of excellent opportunities in the closing stages without converting.

Pirlo's Juve ended the game having had 22 shots but the Italian boss was not impressed that the hosts needed a "slap in the face" to start carving out chances.

"Our first half wasn't aggressive enough. We waited for them and yet we created the best chances," he told Sky Sport Italia.

"We reacted well after they took the lead, but we shouldn't need a slap in the face to wake up and play with intensity. When you play against Verona or Atalanta, it's difficult because they take you one-on-one all over the field and create many duels. 

"We worked to avoid their high press and that worked better in the second half. It's tough against them, but we could've done better."

The result moves Juve up to fifth – three points behind leaders Milan, who have played a game fewer – while Verona remain in eighth position.

Juve host LaLiga giants Barcelona in a mouth-watering Champions League clash on Wednesday before travelling to Spezia in Serie A on Sunday.

 

Andrea Pirlo is waiting to see if Cristiano Ronaldo has returned a negative test for coronavirus, as he confirmed Paulo Dybala will start in Juventus' clash with Hellas Verona. 

Ronaldo has been self-isolating since testing positive for COVID-19 while on international duty with Portugal and missed Juve's 1-1 draw with Crotone in Serie A last weekend and their 2-0 Champions League win over Dynamo Kiev on Tuesday. 

Pirlo revealed on Saturday that Ronaldo remains unavailable, though Juve were waiting on the result of the 35-year-old's most-recent test to see if he could return to training.

The Bianconeri have only played 13 Serie A matches without the Portugal captain since his arrival prior to the 2018-19 season and their win percentage in those games stands at 54 per cent, while they have been victorious in 73 per cent of league fixtures when he does play.

One forward who will feature on Sunday, however, is Dybala, who made his first appearance of the season against Dynamo and is set to start against Verona. 

Dybala played 33 times in Serie A last season, scoring 11 goals and providing six assists, but a thigh injury limited his game time this term. 

"We had time to rest after the trip to Dynamo Kiev, so apart from Giorgio Chiellini, everyone else is available," Pirlo told a news conference.  

"As of last night [Friday], I had no news on Ronaldo's COVID status. We all had swabs this morning, including Ronaldo at home. He is definitely out of the match against Hellas. 

"I can confirm Dybala will start tomorrow. He had the right progress in training and it's only fair now that he starts the match. 

"I always said it was an issue of time, as he had the injury, then a virus on international duty. The two times he was on the bench without coming on, it was because we'd gone down to 10 men. He played in Kiev as a substitute, it's only right that he starts tomorrow." 

While Dybala and Ronaldo have been absent, Alvaro Morata has performed well, scoring three goals in the past two matches. 

"This is why we signed him," said Pirlo. "We knew he was a great player who provided us with different tactical options, he knows Dybala well and I think they can happily coexist in the same line-up. 

"With Atletico Madrid, he had recently been accustomed to playing largely on the back foot, so there were 80 metres in front of him to go on the counter-attack. 

"We try to keep the ball, work on the position of the body when receiving a pass, pressing to free up a man. We work for each other to ensure we can move the ball quickly." 

Manchester United, Barcelona and Juventus all made winning starts to their Champions League campaigns as the group stage got up and running.

Tuesday's headline fixture saw two heavyweights in a head-to-head Group H clash, as United saw off Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 thanks to Marcus Rashford's late strike. The England forward's last three goals in the competition have all come on the road, with the last two netted at Parc des Princes.

The victory means United, who have also now scored a record nine Champions League own goals thanks to Anthony Martial's mistake, have won 10 consecutive away matches in all competitions for the first time.

Bruno Fernandes opened the scoring with his 11th spot-kick for United. Since 2012-13, PSG have conceded more penalties (18) and more penalty goals (13) in the Champions League than any other side.

Meanwhile, Ronald Koeman became the fifth manager to take charge of at least six teams in the Champions League – after Carlo Ancelotti (eight), Claudio Ranieri, Jose Mourinho and Rafael Benitez (all six) – as his Barca side took on Ferencvaros.

It finished 5-1 to the five-time European champions, with Lionel Messi converting a 27th-minute penalty to become the first player to score in 16 successive Champions League campaigns in the process.

Ansu Fati doubled Barca's advantage before the break, making him the first player to have scored two Champions League goals before turning 18. Philippe Coutinho, Pedri and Ousmane Dembele completed the rout.

Elsewhere in Group G, Juve overcame Dynamo Kiev thanks to Alvaro Morata's maiden Champions League double, while Andrea Pirlo became the third Bianconeri coach to win his first away game in charge in the competition.

Frank Lampard experienced his first 0-0 draw as Chelsea manager in a stalemate with Sevilla.

From players in the top five European leagues, only Tottenham star Harry Kane (eight) has provided more assists this season than Borussia Dortmund's Giovanni Reyna (four), though Erling Haaland's latest effort that came with a little help from his team-mate arrived in a 3-1 defeat to Group F rivals Lazio.

Andrea Pirlo claimed his first Champions League win as Juventus coach as Alvaro Morata's second-half double secured a 2-0 victory at Dynamo Kiev.

Juve have made an unconvincing start to life under the legendary former midfielder and are four points behind Serie A leaders Milan after four games. 

They were held to a 1-1 draw Crotone last time out but there was rarely any sign of a slip-up in their Group G opener, in which the Bianconeri, still without Cristiano Ronaldo, found little resistance from their hosts. 

Morata, on target at the weekend, earned the three points with a simple finish in the first minute of the second half and a header six minutes from time, with the only blot on Juve's performance an injury to captain Giorgio Chiellini.

Federico Chiesa was Juve's most dangerous player throughout the first half and his arrowing strike drew Georgi Bushchan into an impressive diving save in the 12th minute.

Bushchan misjudged a corner soon after but Chiellini was unable to take advantage, drifting his header wide of the unguarded net.

Chiellini's evening was brought to a premature end when he limped off to be replaced by Merih Demiral, though Juve's rhythm was unaffected by that setback.

Indeed, Dynamo were grateful to Bushchan for maintaining parity 11 minutes before the interval as he kept out Dejan Kulusevski's flicked close-range finish after good work from Aaron Ramsey.

Ramsey and Kulusevski combined as Morata gave Juve the lead they deserved 49 seconds into the second half.

The former Real Madrid forward tapped in from point-blank range after Bushchan failed to handle Kulusevski's effort following neat build-up play from Ramsey.

Dynamo did attack with more energy in the closing stages but a scarcely deserved equaliser was not forthcoming and Morata made the game safe with a fine header from Juan Cuadrado's right-wing cross.

 

What does it mean? Pirlo defeats former boss Lucescu

In facing Dynamo, Pirlo was going up against the coach who gave him his professional debut as a player at Brescia, Mircea Lucescu.

Lucescu became the oldest coach to take charge of a match in this competition, aged 75 years and 83 days, but despite all that experience his side never looked like causing an upset, with Barcelona sure to provide sterner European opposition next week.

Ramsey helps ensure Ronaldo is not missed

Ronaldo is still self-isolating after returning a positive test for COVID-19 but his influence was not required as Ramsey played a significant role in helping Juve dictate matters.

The former Arsenal midfielder provided three key passes, including a critical one for Kulusevski in the lead-up to the opening goal.

Dynamo anything but dynamic

A long trip east to face a team enjoying what is nowadays a rare benefit of having home fans in the stands promised to make it a tough evening for Juve.

That never materialised as Dynamo offered precious little as an attacking force and, after producing two shots on target in the first half, did not have another until the 75th minute.

The fact forward Vladyslav Supriaha managed just 19 touches, having played the whole match, underlines the struggles the hosts had up top.

What's next?

Juve return to Serie A action with a home game against Hellas Verona. Dynamo host Oleksandriya in the Ukrainian Premier League.

The Champions League returns this week after a short hiatus, with beaten finalists Paris Saint-Germain looking to get back up and running – and exact a measure of revenge – against Manchester United.

Juventus begin European competition under new head coach Andrea Pirlo, who faces one of the most experienced coaches in the game in Mircea Lucescu.

Barcelona will endeavour to banish memories of August's 8-2 obliteration by Bayern Munich when they face Ferencvaros for the first time, while Chelsea will hope to improve the poor record Premier League teams have had of late against Sevilla.

Here's the key data from Tuesday's matches in Europe's elite competition...

Dynamo Kiev v Juventus: Pirlo feeling the weight of history

Twice a Champions League winner with Milan in 2003 and 2007, Pirlo's first game in the competition comes away to Dynamo Kiev. None of the previous eight Juve head coaches have lost their first match in charge.

In fact, Juve have only been beaten on matchday one in the competition once in 20 previous seasons, winning 11 of those games and drawing eight. That one defeat was a 3-0 loss at Barcelona three years ago.

Dynamo boss Lucescu will be 75 years and 83 days old on Tuesday, making him the oldest coach in Champions League history, overtaking Jupp Heynckes (who was 72 and 357 days old in May 2018). If he wants to celebrate in style, he will need to inflect just a fifth group-stage defeat on Juve in 34 games.

 

Paris Saint-Germain v Manchester United: Mbappe chasing Messi record

PSG's last home defeat in the competition was that famous loss to United in the 2018-19 round of 16, when Marcus Rashford's late penalty secured a 3-1 win for an understrength Red Devils and sent them through on away goals.

If they are to start their quest for a return to the final with a win, Mbappe might be the man to do it. He has scored 19 goals in the tournament and, at 21 years and 305 days old, he needs just one against United to become the youngest player to reach 20. That would surpass Messi's record, set back in 2010 when he was 22 years and 267 days old.

Of course, if United's unsteady defence focuses on Mbappe, they risk leaving Neymar unchecked. Only Messi (45) had more carries with a take-on in last season's Champions League than Neymar (36), and nobody progressed further with the ball than the Brazil star (1,279 metres).

Barcelona v Ferencvaros: Koeman's worrying numbers

Barca have not lost any of their previous 31 home group games since Rubin Kazan stunned Pep Guardiola's men 2-1 back in October 2009. When you consider Ferencvaros have not been in the competition since 1995-96, when they conceded 19 goals in six matches, you would not expect that Barca run to be stopped.

However, coach Ronald Koeman heads into his first European game in charge with a pretty poor record. The fifth coach to take charge of at least six teams in the competition, after Carlo Ancelotti (eight), Claudio Ranieri (six), Jose Mourinho (six) and Rafael Benitez (six), he has the worst win ratio (26.3 per cent) of anybody to manage at least 50 games in the tournament.

Still, he has Messi. The Barca captain has been involved in at least one goal in 38 of his previous 43 group-stage starts, scoring 56 times and assisting 16.

 

Chelsea v Sevilla: Can Werner lift English spirits?

Sevilla, who knocked United out of last season's Europa League semi-finals, have won all three major European matches against teams from England. Chelsea, meanwhile, have taken one victory from their previous nine Champions League meetings with teams from Spain, drawing five and losing three.

Frank Lampard will hope Timo Werner can make the difference. The forward was involved in nine goals in his last 11 Champions League games for RB Leipzig (seven scored, two assisted) and could become the third German to score for Chelsea in the competition, after Michael Ballack (four goals) and Andre Schurrle (two). He has, however, never scored at home.

Other fixtures:

Lazio v Borussia Dortmund:

3 – Dortmund's last Champions League win in Italy was a 1-0 victory over Milan in March 2003, courtesy of a Jan Koller goal. They have lost all three such visits since.

8 – Only Robert Lewandowski (10) scored more group-stage goals last season than Erling Haaland (eight). Haaland averages a goal or assist every 50 minutes in the competition.

 

RB Leipzig v Istanbul Basaksehir:

6 – Istanbul Basaksehir are the sixth Turkish team to play in the Champions League. Only one of the previous five won their first match – that was Trabzonspor, who beat Inter 1-0 away in September 2011.

14 – RB Leipzig's Hwang Hee-chan created the most chances in open play in the Champions League group stage in 2019-20 (14) when he played for RB Salzburg. He was directly involved in six goals in his six group-stage appearances (three goals, three assists) and was one of two players to both score and assist three goals in the group stage, along with Kylian Mbappe.

 

Rennes v Krasnodar:

2 – Rennes have lost just twice at home in major European games, winning five and drawing seven of those 14 matches, all of which were in the UEFA Cup/Europa League between November 2007 and December last year.

36 – Krasnodar boss Murad Musayev is 36 years and 345 days old, the second-youngest coach in this season's competition (behind Leipzig's Julian Nagelsmann, 33). He could become the fifth-youngest to win his first game and the youngest since Andre Villas-Boas in September 2011.

 

Zenit v Club Brugge:

11 – Artem Dzyuba has been directly involved in 11 goals in his 12 Champions League group-stage matches with Zenit (eight goals, three assists). That run includes goals in both games against Belgian side Gent in 2015-16.

19 – Of the 51 teams to have featured in at least 40 Champions League matches, only Steaua Bucharest (9.5 per cent), Dinamo Zagreb (11.9 per cent) and Anderlecht (16.7 per cent) have a lower win percentage than Club Brugge (19 per cent). They have won just eight of 42 matches.

Paulo Dybala was "angry" at being left on the bench for Juventus' draw at Crotone but is again available for the Bianconeri's Champions League opener against Dynamo Kiev, says head coach Andrea Pirlo.

Argentina forward Dybala has yet to feature in Serie A this season, although he was named in the XI for the side to face Napoli in a match that never took place when their opponents were unable to fulfil the fixture due to travel issues caused by coronavirus restrictions.

Dybala has been contending with a muscular injury and Pirlo had planned to give him some game time in the 1-1 draw against Crotone only for a sending off for Federico Chiesa on debut to complicate his plans.

Reports said Dybala had an angry confrontation with Juve's chief football officer Fabio Paratici in the tunnel and Pirlo explained his side of events.

"I talked to him [Dybala] yesterday as I do to everyone else. He was a bit angry for not having played in Crotone but we have to remember that he hasn't played for three months," Pirlo said. 

"He spent 10 days in his room in Argentina taking medicines because he couldn't train. 

"I took him to Crotone to let him do a few minutes but unfortunately there were 10 of us left and I couldn't add him. He is available and we will see what to do."

On Tuesday, rookie coach Pirlo will pit his wits against a man set to become the oldest to lead a team in the Champions League in the form of 75-year-old old Mircea Lucescu.

Lucescu is the man who gave a 16-year-old Pirlo his debut at Brescia and later signed him for Inter.

Pirlo spoke fondly of his former boss and revealed he is still in contact with him.

"Lucescu was my first coach, he put me in the first team at the age of 15 and I made my debut at 16," he added. 

"I have a wonderful memory of him as a coach and as a person, sometimes we still talk. I will forever be thankful to him. It will be a good challenge between us."

Asked how he was feeling ahead of his Champions League debut as a coach, Pirlo replied: "I am calm and serene. I'm looking forward to my first match as a coach in the Champions League. 

"In this competition it is essential to start with a win, and we know what we have to do."

Andrea Pirlo described Pep Guardiola as a "model for the whole football movement" and admits he never dreamed he would one day be coaching Cristiano Ronaldo. 

Italy great Pirlo has taken his first steps into coaching with Juventus this season and his side have eight points from his four Serie A games in charge. 

There are some parallels to be drawn with Guardiola, who cut his managerial teeth at Barcelona – initially with Los Cules' B team before going on to oversee one of the greatest sides of any generation with a star-studded cast including Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta. 

He consequently went on to coach Bayern Munich before joining Manchester City in 2016 and Pirlo sees Guardiola as an example for any rookie coach. 

"Guardiola is an example for all of us, he is one of the best. He gave a way forward for young coaches who wanted to promote a certain type of offensive football," Pirlo told UEFA.com. 

"Each of us has his own ideas and wants to carry them forward, but he is certainly a model for the whole football movement.  

"I like his style of play: always attacking and influencing the game in order to always manage situations. This must be our goal for the future." 

At Juve, Pirlo has Portugal superstar Ronaldo among his ranks – a player considered one of the greatest of all time. 

During his career, Ronaldo has lifted the Champions League five times, claimed domestic titles in England, Spain and Italy and is a five-time Ballon d'Or winner. 

Pirlo spoke of the pride he feels at working with a player of his calibre. 

"No, I never would have imagined it, but I am happy to have a great football player available and to see him train and play. For me and for the whole team it is a great pleasure," he added.  

"At 35 he works like a young boy, with the same passion and the desire to commit himself every day. He is an example for everyone." 

Andrea Pirlo described Federico Chiesa as "naive" after he was sent off on his debut in Saturday's 1-1 Serie A draw against Crotone. 

Chiesa, who joined the champions on loan from Fiorentina on transfer deadline day, saw red on the hour mark for a late challenge on Luca Cigarini. 

He had earlier set up Alvaro Morata for Juve's leveller after Simy had given Crotone the lead from the penalty spot. 

Adrien Rabiot was dismissed in the 2-2 draw with Roma on September 27, Juve's last competitive game after they were handed a 3-0 win for Napoli's no-show last time out, and Pirlo accepts his fledgling side's over-enthusiasm might come back to haunt them on occasion. 

"Unfortunately, we went down to 10 men in the last two games because of our errors, but we are a young team that needs to work and there hasn't been much time for that with so many internationals," he told DAZN.

"Young players need to gain experience by playing in matches and it can happen that they make naive errors as part of the learning process.

"We built a team with quality, but it is still a work in progress and needs time. The lads will learn through mistakes, unfortunately that also means taking a few risks in the early matches of the season.

"We made a few mistakes in the timing of the press, but as I said, these things happen when we're still getting the machine oiled. We only really spent half-an-hour on this tactical movement in training yesterday, so it will improve."

Crotone were good value for their first point since returning to Serie A, limiting Juve to just two shots on target, and their boss Giovanni Stroppa says his side can take pride in their performance. 

"Serie A is another sport compared to Serie B," he said. "We've conceded a few goals with naive errors, but I still believe we are on the right track.

"We could've made more of the extra man and been sharper in the final third, taking them on one-on-one, but we still did well with 11 against 11 and 11 against 10.

"This is not the best Juve team, but we saw they still had remarkable talents to come off the bench and bring new elements to the side, so we can be proud of this result."

Andrea Pirlo praised Cristiano Ronaldo's start to the season and hopes the Juventus forward's form can continue.

Ronaldo has scored three goals and provided an assist in two Serie A games to begin the 2020-21 campaign, helping Juve collect four points.

Ahead of Sunday's scheduled clash against Napoli, Juve head coach Pirlo hailed the star – and hopes more goals are to come.

"Ronaldo works very hard. He is the first to come to training and the last to go home," he told a news conference.

"He brings enthusiasm, you can notice it on the pitch as well. He started the season really well, I hope he will keep doing like this until the end of the season.

"I wish he'll score one or two goals every game. He is really important for us.

"In Rome we were a man down and he helped a lot until the end of the game. He is an example for everyone."

Ronaldo and Juventus were drawn to face Lionel Messi's Barcelona, Dynamo Kiev and Ferencvaros in Group G of the Champions League.

Pirlo is ready for the challenge, but pointed to getting a trip to Kiev on October 20 as an important aspect for Juve as they target a first Champions League title since 1996.

"We are in a very good group. It's always great to face Barcelona because it brings more responsibilities and attention to our players," he said.

"We know we'll play lot of games, but I think it is good that we'll play the first game in Kiev. In October it's less cold than December there, maybe we'll not play in the snow then."

Andrea Pirlo says Juventus have "clear ideas" over the transfer business they would like to do before the window closes. 

The Serie A champions are reportedly closing in on a deal for Fiorentina winger Federico Chiesa, while several players have been linked with moves away from Turin. 

Sami Khedira, Mattia De Sciglio and Douglas Costa could be on their way out, according to media speculation. 

Juve head coach Pirlo says only time will tell whether there will be any new arrivals or departures before Monday's deadline. 

"If anyone arrives, we will only see him on Monday evening. Fabio Paratici [Juve's sporting director] is working on it, we have clear ideas within the club," Pirlo told the media.

He added: "Khedira, De Sciglio and Douglas Costa are training like all their team-mates. At the moment, they are available to play." 

Pirlo revealed big-money signing Arthur could make his first start when the Bianconeri host Napoli on Sunday after Adrien Rabiot was sent off in the 2-2 draw at Roma last weekend. 

"There is a possibility that Arthur will play from the start and [Juan] Cuadrado and [Gianluca] Frabotta are potential starters,” he said. 

Paulo Dybala could also be promoted to the starting line-up, having been an unused substitute at Stadio Olimpico after recovering from a muscular injury. 

Pirlo said: "Paulo was recovering from an injury and needed a recovery period. We will understand in the next few hours if he can start from the beginning." 

Napoli have won their opening two matches in Serie A and Pirlo expects a big test against Gennaro Gattuso's side. 

"I believe that Napoli, with the arrival of Gattuso, has shown a change of mentality," the former Italy international said. "They are a strong and cohesive team. But we are no different and we know what we have to do."

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