Former Italian defender Andrea Barzagli sat down with Serie A ahead of Matchday 18 to speak about Juventus’ recent excellent form, Massimiliano Allegri, and the return of Federico Chiesa.
Juventus Form & Defensive Dominance
Eight consecutive wins since October. Juventus have powered into second place. They’re now genuine title contenders. Remarkably, they haven’t conceded in that run – but Barzagli, the former Bianconeri centre-back, says this watertight defence is a trademark of Max Allegri’s philosophy.
“Juve have a long tradition of great defenders and traditionally Serie A is won by the team with the best defence. The team’s very much built in Allegri’s image
and steeped in the club’s DNA. The aim is to win by being solid and through your star players… From the outside, you may not like watching a team just defend, but you have to be constantly on your toes and stay focused. That’s no mean feat…”
Change From Italian to Brazilian Identity In the Backline
Barzagli, together with Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini, were the defensive triumvirate nicknamed BBC that made Juventus invincible and impregnable for almost a decade. Today, the Bianconeri’s defensive wall has a Brazilian flair.
“They’ve switched to a back three with Bremer in the middle and Alex Sandro at centre-back, because I think he’s less suited to playing on the flank now. Danilo is a supremely intelligent player who can do both jobs. Those three Brazilians are highly reliable. That’s a key attribute common to Italian defenders but I must say they’re having an excellent season…”
The Return of Federico Chiesa
Allegri has made a habit of winning games by a minimal margin but with the long-awaited return from injury of creative forward Federico Chiesa, Barzagli thinks the team will get an offensive upgrade.
“Chiesa changes things because in the modern game the real match-winners are those who can beat their man. The ones who run at you and create things. There aren’t that many like that and Chiesa is one of them…”