Pirlo inspired by Conte at Juve

Andrea Pirlo reveals Antonio Conte ‘made me want to become a coach’ during their time at Juventus and they’ll ‘battle to the end’ with Inter for the Scudetto.

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“I expect to see an aggressive Inter that wants to set the tempo for the game, but we are Juventus, so we want to go to San Siro with our style of football, free from pressure,” said Pirlo in his press conference.

“There must be no fear, no timidity, even in such an important match. We must free our minds. We are Juventus and must be accustomed to people putting pressure on us.

“The victory would give us a real boost that goes beyond the three points. We might have different philosophies at this moment, but both teams will fight to the end for the title.”

Conte was the coach who started the nine-year Scudetto winning streak, with Pirlo in his midfield, but they now face off as opposing tacticians.

“Conte and I have two very different personalities, which is probably why we have always got along really well. We did speak before the season began, there remains great respect and affection between us.

“He made Juventus history and I learned a lot from him, so will always be grateful. Conte is the first man who made me want to become a coach. He is a great person as well as a great coach, but tomorrow we will be opponents on the touchline.”

Pirlo was asked if he was planning any particular tactical alternatives to counter the threat of Ahcraf Hakimi’s pace.

“We have Aaron Ramsey, Weston McKennie and other options too. We’ve studied a few different alternatives and tomorrow we’ll see.

“McKennie is not at 100 per cent, but it’s good to have him at our disposal. Ramsey trained all week, so he has no issues. Giorgio Chiellini is also doing well and an added bonus for this squad.”

Matthijs de Ligt, Alex Sandro and Juan Cuadrado are still out with COVID-19.