Alessio Tacchinardi believes Juventus can target a Champions League semi-final this season, as long as they escape the group stages.
The former Bianconeri midfielder was part of the Juve squad which lifted the trophy in 1996, and while he admits that vintage was a stronger side, he believes the current version of the Old Lady should make it to at least the quarter final stage.
“The Juventus teams I played in were the strongest,” Tacchinardi admitted to Calciomercato.
“But when you consider that last year Atletico [Madrid] reached the final…
“The Bianconeri can look toward getting to at least the quarter finals, and, why not, maybe the semi-finals.”
The Serie A champions have been inconsistent in the Champions League, and lie third in their group with two wins and two defeats from their opening four games.
Tacchinardi has called on the Bianconeri to qualify from the group, insisting not doing so could only be classed as a failure.
“I hope [they can get out of the group], because if not it would be a real failure.
“The Old Lady is a lot better than Malmo and Olympiacos and Atletico Madrid are not superior to Juventus.
“I think against the Olympiacos the Juventus players were juggling with fire, if they hadn’t won they’d have been practically out of the competition, and this will have made them understand that you can’t mess around in Europe.”
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Allegri impressed Tacchinardi
By Football Italia staff
Former Juventus midfielder Alessio Tacchinardi admits he has been surprised by the start his former club has made to life under Massimiliano Allegri.
Allegri replaced Antonio Conte in the summer after the latter had guided the Bianconeri to three successive titles.
The Old Lady currently sit at the top of Serie A after a 7-0 crushing of Parma at the weekend, in a start to the season not expected by one former Juve man.
“I honestly didn’t expect a start like this one, an even better start than last year,” Tacchinardi admitted to Calciomercato.it.
“It was not easy to withstand the tsunami which hit Juventus on the second day of their training camp in the form of Conte’s departure.
“I must congratulate the club - Agnelli, Marotta, Paratici and Nedved - who chose Massimiliano Allegri, as he’s proving to be the right man for the job.
“I was sceptical, not about the abilities of Allegri, but about whether they’d be able to do well after three years with Conte and then his unexpected departure.
“It was good that Allegri came in with the right attitude, and made the team his own bit-by-bit.
“I don’t know if it was right or wrong [for Conte to leave], but in life we all need a change sooner or later, and if he realised he no longer had the same desire to win then he did the right thing by leaving Juventus.
“It was certainly a painful divorce, but now Juventus have found a new leader and Antonio has undertaken a great experience with the national team.
“The situation could have been handled better, and in a different way but we don’t know what happened.
“Put it this way - the shock in July has been good for the team.
“It hasn’t had a negative impact, in fact they’ve scored more goals and conceded less.”
Having played in the Juventus midfield for over a decade, Tacchinardi is more qualified than most to assess the current crop of Bianconeri midfielders, and the 39-year-old took the time to discuss Paul Pogba and Arturo Vidal.
“For me, Pogba will be the best midfielder for the next 10 years. It will be hard for them to keep hold of him, he’s grown and matured a lot at Juve.
“This boy can do everything - goals, assists, fantastic technical qualities and he has this in spades.
“It’s well-known that there are a lot of wealthy European teams who would love a player like Pogba. His value is increasing exponentially, and I don’t think it’ll be easy to ignore the lure of oil money.
“As for Vidal, Juventus have done well to hold on to him, because if you want to compete you have to keep your best players.
“Juve is built around Vidal, and he hasn’t been at his best so far this season. But he’s an important player for the team, and I repeat what I said, they’ve done well to keep him.”