Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo said his project in Turin is still in its early days and will continue despite his side crashing out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage to Porto on Tuesday.
Juventus’ failure to reach the quarterfinals was remarkably similar to last season’s away goals exit to Olympique Lyonnais, with manager Maurizio Sarri sacked at the end of the campaign despite winning a ninth-straight Serie A title for Juve.
For all its domestic dominance, Juve has won just two European Cups compared to Italian rival AC Milan’s seven. Champions League glory is what the club craves, but Pirlo is adamant his journey as coach is just beginning.
“I don’t know if Sarri was sacked for being eliminated from the Champions League,” Pirlo told Sky Sport Italia. “I am the Juventus manager at the moment and I will work for a larger project, which goes beyond this season.
“This season is only the beginning of this project. We have young players who are growing game after game. The young players have played with desire and self-denial. We cannot say anything to them, they have given their all.”
The blow leaves Juve just Serie A glory to play for — and it trails leader Inter Milan by 10 points.