TURIN, Italy: Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has warned against the “deadly” ball-passing of Barcelona as the Italian champions turn their focus to the Champions League final following their final home game of the season.
The Turin giants welcomed Napoli to Juventus Stadium and after overwhelming Rafael Benitez’s visitors 3-1, offered fans a tickertape celebration three days after securing their first double since 1995 with a 2-1 Cup final victory over Lazio.
Juventus now turn their attention to preparing as best they can for the formidable challenge of beating Barcelona in the final of Europe’s premier club competition in Berlin on June 6.
The Spanish giants start as automatic favourites, and although Allegri has been cautious over Juve’s chances the 48-year-old said the Italians are mentally prepared for the challenge.
“We’ve won the league and Cup so we’ll be going to the (Champions League) final in the right frame of mind, although you only win games out on the pitch, never before,” said Allegri.
Allegri also led AC Milan to their last league title, in 2011, in his first season in charge of the club but saw the Rossoneri exit the Champions League in the last 16 at the hands of Barcelona, 4-2 on aggregate, in 2013.
Facing Luis Enrique’s men in the final in two weeks’ time will be a challenge made more difficult by the the “unpredictable” Lionel Messi and the team’s “deadly” ball-passing.
“When Messi takes the ball he’s always unpredicatable,” added Allegri. “Playing Barcelona is always difficult, we have to be really good because their ball-passing is deadly.
“Defensively, we need to play flawlessly.”
Juventus’s league triumph several weeks ago, however, has allowed the champions the perfect run-in to Berlin.