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Sport

Pirlo not out to copy anyone after comfortable opening win

Soccer Football - Serie A - Juventus v Sampdoria - Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy - September 20, 2020. Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo celebrates after the match. REUTERS/Massimo Pinca

TURIN, Italy (Reuters) - Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo is not out to copy anyone, he said on Sunday after beginning his new career with a comfortable 3-0 win over Sampdoria in Serie A.

Pirlo, who only received his coaching badge last week, has cited Pep Guardiola, Carlo Ancelotti and Antonio Conte as his biggest influences but said that his style of football would be a mix of everything.

“I don’t want to copy anyone, I have my own ideas and I will take my cue from the teams that impressed me,” he said. “We haven’t had much time because the boys have only been back for a week from their national team commitments.”

“We saw a few things today and in the friendlies but it will take time to assimilate things. We are missing players but, with the ones we have, we will try to do the best we can.”

Juve dominated possession, something Pirlo said he wanted them to do, and also pressed Sampdoria aggressively and broke quickly when they had the ball. However, they still needed two late goals to ensure the three points.

“It’s about finding the right balance,” he said. “Quality players are always welcome, as long as they have the characteristics to bring balance to the team.”

His opposite number Claudio Ranieri was anything but happy as he slammed Sampdoria for a lack of courage.

“Today I didn’t see the Samp I wanted to see, I’m very disappointed,” he said. “We were too fearful. You can lose games but you have to try and play. Juventus played with hunger and my team didn’t.”

“We were lucky to get away with 3-0 because we could have conceded a lot more. We were timid, fearful and weak and I don’t know why this happened.”

Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Toby Davis

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