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Andrea Pirlo: Juventus lacked motivation against Atletico Madrid

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Former Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo has expressed disappointment over their Champions League defeat to Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano, blaming it on lack of motivation.

Image shows Juventus’ midfielder Andrea Pirlo celebrating after scoring during the UEFA Europa League quarter-final match between Juventus and Olympique Lyonnais on 10 April, 2014

Talking about the unimpressive performance on Wednesday, Pirlo, who wore the captain’s armband before retirement, said the Serie A champions failed for “lack of will to play.”

Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez scored against Cristiano Ronaldo’s team to secure a 2-0 win for Diego Simeone’s team.

‘It was obvious that Juventus had nothing to play for…The team was without personality and courage to fight,’ Pirlo told Sky Italia.

‘Such a great team should respond to pressure with the right spirit and throw out everything—if they want to win the Champions League.

‘Juventus lacked character. Watching them was a pain…They happily relaxed with the mentality that goals would eventually come but it ended on a sad note,’ the 59-year-old added.

Another Juventus great Alexandro Del Piero, who won the CL in 1996, took a jab at Massimiliano Allegri’s team, sarcastically explaining that the game was played at “two different tempos”.

‘While Atletico Madrid played with the Champions League-winning mentality, their opponents were a step behind,’ Del Piero said.

Fabio Cappello, who formerly coached Juventus and Real Madrid, avoided criticisms against the match officials but said Giorgio Chiellini was lucky.

Alvaro Morata should have earned a goal,’ Capello said. ‘It was unfortunate that he had his header disallowed after the referee reached a decision by VAR.

Further, the World Cup winner explained that players and coaches are used to “cheating in games” before VAR was introduced.

‘Players would always fall at the slightest contact—sometimes faking a foul—and they get free-kicks…In Chiellini’s case, he felt the touch and went down. It was obviously not a foul.

‘There’s a lot of differences between the Italian league and Champions League…The latter seems like a totally different kind of game because the characteristic speed and aggressiveness in Italy isn’t there.

‘Juventus should have known better…They didn’t prepare for this.’

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