Adrien Rabiot reveals ‘some of us DIDN’T understand’ Andrea Pirlo’s ideas in disastrous season which saw Juventus lose their dominant hold on Italian football… as midfielder accepts ‘no time’ is given to rookie coaches

  • Juventus lost their nine-season strangehold on the Serie A title in 2020-21 
  • They also suffered a shock defeat by Porto in the Champions League last 16 
  • Andrea Pirlo was sacked after they qualified for the competition on the final day 
  • But Adrien Rabiot believes some clubs stars struggled to grasp Pirlo’s ideas 

Adrien Rabiot has claimed some of the Juventus squad did not understand Andrea Pirlo’s ideas in what proved to be a poor season for the Serie A side.

Juventus lost their nine-season stranglehold on the Scudetto, with Inter Milan claiming their first league title since the treble-winning season of 2009-10 under Jose Mourinho.

They also suffered a shock defeat in the Champions League round of 16 by Porto and needed a win at Bologna on the final day of the league season to make sure of their qualification for next season’s competition at the expense of Napoli.

Adrien Rabiot (left) claimed some of the Juventus squad didn’t understand Andrea Pirlo’s ideas

Juventus surrendered the title to Inter Milan

Pirlo was axed earlier this month

Pirlo was sacked following Juventus’ shocking defence of their Serie A title in 2020-21

That fixture proved to be Pirlo’s final game in charge before he was sacked earlier this month, with former boss Massimiliano Allegri’s return to the club following a two-year absence confirmed just hours later.

And in an interview with Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport, France midfielder Rabiot – who added he ‘really appreciated’ Pirlo’s style of coaching – revealed some players had struggled to grasp the Italy legend’s way of thinking.   

Asked why Juventus struggled to perform consistently, Rabiot said: ‘Maybe because some of us didn’t understand his ideas as well as we could have, like defending with a 4-4-2 and then changing formations in the other phases, maybe going out of your preferred role. 

‘However, I sent him a message to say that he deserved a little more time to demonstrate the quality of his ideas. Unfortunately in today’s football, at certain levels, there is no time. 

Cristiano Ronaldo and Co also suffered a shock Champions League exit at the hands of Porto

Cristiano Ronaldo and Co also suffered a shock Champions League exit at the hands of Porto

‘I’m sorry because I appreciate him as a person, as well as a coach who has allowed us to return to the Champions League and win two trophies, which is a great reward for a young coach.’

Rabiot, who has been called up by France for Euro 2020, however insisted his own game had improved under Pirlo, claiming his passion and determination helped get the best out of him. 

‘We had a good relationship with him. I used his advice to improve, for example on positioning, on the movements to receive the ball, always with one or two touches,’ he added.

Massimiliano Allegri's return to Juventus as boss was confirmed just hours after Pirlo was axed

Massimiliano Allegri’s return to Juventus as boss was confirmed just hours after Pirlo was axed

‘These are the main indications of what he wanted to see on the pitch: receiving the ball and immediately directing the game, putting speed into it. I really appreciated his way of coaching, the freshness he brought as a coach, with clear ideas even if we didn’t always manage to put them into practice. 

‘And then I like the passion and determination he brings to training and games, the pre-match speeches, at the break. 

‘He’s passionate about his job, he’s very attached to Juventus, he puts his heart into it. And when you put your heart into it there’s not much to reproach yourself for.’