(Reuters) - Andrea Pirlo is “inimitable” and will be back in the Juventus team for the Champions League tie against Galatasaray on Wednesday, coach Antonio Conte said after Sunday’s 1-0 win over Torino.
Conte took the rare decision to leave the 34-year-old playmaker out of the side for Sunday’s match but said it was all according to plan and part of his rotation for the season.
“We need to have rotation because there are so many matches and there are players who need to train,” Conte told reporters.
“With his characteristics, Pirlo is inimitable,” Conte added. “We want to move forward on various fronts. During the week, Andrea had his own training programme and today it was his turn to sit out. But I repeat that I have great faith in my squad.”
Pirlo grabbed the headlines when he was substituted halfway through the second half of the 2-1 win over Hellas Verona a week ago and walked straight to the dressing-room instead of sitting on the substitutes’ bench.
Conte did not take any action but warned that any player who did the same in future would face a heavy fine and a one-match suspension.
Juventus missed Pirlo’s vision, his raking passes and his ability to dictate the rhythm of the match although Paul Pogba, seen as his eventual replacement, capped an impressive performance by scoring the only goal early in the second half.
Conte said that Torino’s Ciro Immobile should have been sent off for a tackle from behind on Carlos Tevez, which has left the Argentine doubtful to face Galatasaray on Wednesday.
”There’s a deep cut and I don’t know if it will need stitches. I hope he can play on Wednesday.
“Sometimes, decisions go your way and sometimes they go against you. I don’t know how the match would have ended if Torino had played for a whole half with 10 men,” Conte added.
“We were very alert and exact in the defence, without giving space to Torino.”
Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne; Editing by Tony Goodson