Unlike Messi, Pirlo has no magic wand for resolving all of Juventus’ problems
by SportsDiction – 29, october, 2020
The Bianconeri may have been without their “GOAT”, Cristiano Ronaldo, for Wednesday’s loss to Barcelona, but their issues run deeper than absentees. Barcelona could not resist poking fun at Juventus after Wednesday night’s 2-0 win in Turin.
“We’re glad you able to see the GOAT (greatest of all time) on your pitch,” the Blaugrana wrote on their Twitter feed.
Juve’s social media team replied, “You probably looked it up wrong in the dictionary. We’ll bring the right one at Camp Nou.”
It would make for an easy narrative to say that Barca won because they had their “GOAT” while Juve were without theirs, Cristiano Ronaldo.
And, certainly, in the era of knee-jerk reactions, a Champions League clash between two heavyweights of the European game was always going to provide plenty of hot takes.
Christian Vieri, for example, was so bewitched by what he saw from Messi that he predicted that a side coming off a chastening Clasico defeat at Camp Nou could now go the rest of the season unbeaten.
“I don’t know how they lost against Real Madrid, but if you saw them [against Juventus], you’re going to say they can’t lose against anyone this year,” the former Italy forward told CBS Sports.
“It’s impossible the way they played. Every game is different but the Barcelona I and everyone else saw was just incredible.
“When you’ve got a No.10 like that, it’s just crazy. Messi is a magician, he’s the Harry Potter of soccer and when he stops playing, I’m throwing my TVs away.
“I’m not going to work no more on TV, I’m going to watch Netflix, that’s it, because when he stops, there’ll be nothing else to watch.”
While Vieri was worried about football’s Messi-less future, Fabio Capello was more concerned about the current state of the Italian game.
Barca may have been good but Juve were horrid. How could the nine-time champions of Italy have submitted so meekly to a team routed 8-2 by Bayern Munich just over two months ago?
“Juve suffered a lot,” a visibly concerned Capello said on Sky Sport Italia. “They played against a Barcelona in crisis and yet I was struck by the difference in quality, their superiority to a top Italian team.
“What impressed me most was how quick Barcelona were. They could have scored eight goals tonight and this is what makes me doubt what we have here at home in Italy.”
It is certainly a little bit too early for such general pessimism on the strength of Serie A – all four of its Champions League participants remain well placed to qualify for the last 16 – but there are understandable concerns over Juve’s condition.
Even accounting for the absence for several key players, the Bianconeri were abysmal against Barca, failing to register a single shot on target.
Alvaro Morata had three ‘goals’ disallowed for offside – correctly – but there was nothing unfortunate about Juve’s defeat. As both Vieri and Capello pointed out, the final scoreline flattered the home side.
This was undeniably Barca’s best performance of the season so far, and Messi’s too.
It would be too convenient to argue that Josep Maria Bartomeu’s resignation on the eve of the game had played a pivotal role in the Argentine’s excellence.
After all, he had shown his quality – and no shortage of effort in Saturday’s Clasico defeat. Messi’s wildly contrasting fortunes in Turin were merely based on the quality of the opposition.