Andrea Pirlo believes his former club, Juventus, need to sign a player like Isco if they are to end a 23-year Champions League wait.
The 35-time Kings of Italy were dumped out of this season’s European Cup at the quarter-final stage by Ajax.
Juve and the Champions League: Five things to know…
- Juventus are the most decorated club in Italian football history.
- They have won the national championship on 35 occasions including in the last eight consecutive seasons.
- However, they have fallen short in European football’s premier club competition.
- Juve, to date, have lifted the European Cup twice in 1985 and 1996.
- No team in history has lost more finals than Juve (7).
Pirlo, a two-time winner at AC Milan, played an instrumental role in Juve reaching the 2015 final, only to lose to Barcelona.
The Old Lady has since made another final, though Real Madrid proved to be even stronger in 2017.
These subsequent defeats, coupled with plenty from the past, makes Il Bianconeri the club with the most runners-up titles, which currently stands at seven.
You have to go back to 1996 for their second and latest success; Pirlo, though, believes they’re not far off breaking their current duck, and feels the midfield is an area where they must address in the summer if they are to triumph in Istanbul next season.
“I think we need an Isco,” he told Sky Italia (via Goal). “We’re on another level, but you have to win the Champions League.
“Allegri has in mind the team of the future for several months and the midfield is the department to be improved.
“Maybe he lacked quality in the middle having bought Ronaldo and didn’t know how to get him the ball.
“Midfielders are needed to get to the bottom of the Champions League.”
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Could Isco be open to moving?
Isco, who Pirlo namechecked, sees his present deal at Real Madrid expire in June 2022 and for much of this season there were growing reports he could be on his way out this summer.
He featured sporadically under interim boss Santiago Solari, who succeeded Julen Lopetegui, before the returning Zinedine Zidane started to regularly deploy him.
It remains to be seen whether or not he’s a Real player next season, though Juve have been heavily associated with his name for some time now.
Since leaving Malaga for the Spanish capital he has scored 48 goals and provided 52 assists in 276 matches for Los Blancos whilst lifting four European Cups.