Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri has hailed club legend Gianluigi Buffon as “the best goalkeeper ever” and claimed that defeat to Napoli and the subsequent resistance of their rivals in the title race was “the most beautiful week of the season.”
Allegri has guided his side to a fourth successive domestic double, sealing the Serie A crown ahead of rivals Napoli with a 0-0 draw away to Roma following on from their storming Coppa Italia success in the final over AC Milan in the last two weeks.
It has been another season of triumph for Allegri and Juve, and as reported by Football Italia, Allegri has been keen to shine a light on his legendary goalkeeper and the tougher phases of the campaign ahead of their final match of the season at home to Verona on Saturday.
It is set to be Buffon’s final match in a Juventus shirt after 17 years of great success which have secured him legendary status in Turin, following his announcement that he will depart the club in the summer.
“For Gigi, it’ll be a historic day and tomorrow we’ll think about celebrating”, Allegri said at his pre-match press conference.
“After that, he’ll decide what to do. We have to celebrate the Scudetto and Copa Italia first, as well as his 20 years at Juventus. He’s a champion, and I think he’s the best goalkeeper ever.
“Why we deserve to win so much? I’m proud of the fact that the team have come to win with me.
“The only credit lies with the players. As for myself, I sometimes helped them lose. I enjoy the difficult moments more.
“Monotony makes me lose my worst feature: cleaning up a mess. With a strong club like Juventus, it’s easier to win, which is always extraordinary.
“After Napoli, I was no longer considered good enough. Everyone gave [the title] to them. That was the most beautiful week of the season for us.
“We stayed grounded, with the belief that they’d drop points. Higuain? He was decisive with his goal at San Siro against Inter.
“Marchisio? It’s normal to be a substitute, he did his bit and it doesn’t mean a player should be put up for discussion.
“Next season more difficult? We say the same thing every year: new stimuli are always needed: a bit comes ‘from inside’ and a bit comes ‘from the outside’. Everyone’s ready to beat you every season.”
Allegri has been heavily linked with a summer switch to fill the managerial vacancy left by Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, but the Italian was equally defiant when questioned on his future in Turin.
“What can change my mind about staying?” Allegri responded. “I don’t see anything that could. The club would be the first to know anything.”
Allegri’s immediate future seems set at Juventus, and the 50-year-old is in no doubt about how his team should continue to achieve such high levels of success moving forward.
“Our style? One of passion, sacrifice and hard work. We’ve had this DNA for 100 years, and I think it’s very important.”