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Allegri: ‘It’s hard to see Pogba back in 2022’

Juventus boss Max Allegri believes Paul Pogba isn’t likely to return this year but it’s pointless to rue the wasted month. The French midfielder opted to undergo a less invasive course of therapy that has proved unsuccessful, and speaking ahead of Juve’s match against PSG, Allegri was philosophical about the entire situation:

It’s hard to see him back before January,  I like to be realistic and now we must think about the Champions League and then Salernitana. I don’t know if he’ll play in the World Cup, but it’s not my problem, I know he’ll be back in January for Juventus.

A wasted month? Looking backwards is useless, when you take a decision, it’s because it’s right at that moment, and then you see how it goes. Now we must focus on the match.

Di Maria was available on Saturday, so he played. I didn’t want to take any risk [for the match with PSG], there are many games and it would have been useless.

Tomorrow, we begin the group stage, we need 10 points to qualify. We face an extraordinary team, the No.1 favourite to win [the Champions League]. Our target is to be at their level, Juventus will play a great game technically, it will be an entertaining match.

We must take a step at a time, we must work and improve. You don’t win titles now, it’s time to work to improve.

Tomorrow, Bonucci, Rabiot and Vlahovic return. Perin will start. These four will surely be on the pitch. I must decide on the others. I have to assess Alex Sandro and Paredes.

I didn’t say I don’t want to win [against PSG]. Tomorrow we face a strong team and it will be crucial to handle the ball well. They have so much technique that we must work well.

Neymar, Mbappé and Messi are so strong that they find the position easily. We must be able to stop them when we don’t have the ball, but also when we have it and we’ll do it.”

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