Andrea Barzagli Discusses Inter vs. Juventus: A Crucial Battle


As Inter and Juventus gear up for a highly anticipated clash, former Juventus defender Andrea Barzagli shares his insights and reflections on the approaching showdown. In an extensive interview with Tuttosport (via IlBianconero), Barzagli delved into various aspects of the upcoming match and offers his perspective on the current state of both teams.

The Significance of Inter vs. Juventus

“It’s a charged week, perhaps calm on the training front, but the atmosphere… Well, it’s fiery! It’s a highly felt match for the clubs, the fans, and especially at this moment, for the standings,” Barzagli comments. Acknowledging the strong impact the match can have on the championship, Barzagli anticipates a unique and intense week. “A player cannot help but think about it. Any detail brings you back to the importance of the match, even if it’s just a friend asking for a ticket.”

Managing the San Siro Effect

Barzagli underlines the challenge of managing the San Siro atmosphere, particularly for Juventus. “Handling the San Siro effect. And it applies especially to Juventus. The impact of the stadium on this match is lethal because, in a game like this, the push from the crowd, especially in the beginning, is strong. So, right from the start, the impact of the eighty thousand could be a factor,” he states.

Dialogues with Allegri

Barzagli sheds light on the formal nature of televised interactions with Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri. “In TV interviews, things are very formal. When we are together without microphones, we talk more freely. Sometimes on TV, he doesn’t even answer my question but starts with his concepts. Coaches today use all public appearances to send messages: to opponents, the club, or the team itself, to reaffirm direction or strategy. In this regard, Max is very good, perhaps the best. And this year he is really sharp, with a taste for sarcasm always deliberate and calculated.”

Autogol in Inter-Juve

Reflecting on a challenging moment in his career, Barzagli recalls the own goal in 2018 that put Inter ahead 2-1 before Juventus made a comeback. “It was one of the most difficult moments of my career, which was approaching its end. I felt tired and a bit lacking in lucidity. At that moment, I felt the world collapsing on me, the thought that tortured me was: we are losing the title because of my mistake. Then that match ended insanely. And we don’t talk about that mistake anymore, except now that you’ve reminded me, thank you.”

Impact of the Result

“No, the championship is not over, but it gives Inter a significant boost, a turbo to confidence. They would feel really strong. Then, of course, the championship doesn’t end there because you can’t think of managing it until the last day, especially with the Champions League in between. But if Inter wins, the impact on the standings and the psychological condition of both teams would be strong. Just as if Juventus wins, it would give a powerful boost to Inter’s morale. It’s not a match that ‘decides’ the championship, but it can change the balances and affect the psycho-emotional state of the two teams. A draw, in my opinion, is more favorable to Juventus because it would mean staying there and denying Inter the opportunity to distance themselves, especially in a match with the entire crowd on your side. Even going to -4 with the game in hand for Inter, Juventus would remain close and able to prepare for a game per week. Inter has the Champions League.”

Juventus’ Strength This Season

Barzagli recognizes the strength of Juventus this season, attributing it to the successful integration of young players. “The strength of Juventus this year is having managed to incorporate young players who have had a tremendous impact on performance. If Juventus is second, it’s because they found these young players. These are guys with personality, always essential to play for Juventus, and they are not afraid to make mistakes, creating genuine competition during the week. Especially with a coach like Allegri, who has shown he can trust them, so everyone starts knowing that their place is not guaranteed. And this always raises the level.”

Thoughts on Yildiz

Barzagli shares his impressions of Yildiz, emphasizing his unique qualities. “He has something different from others because dribbling is now a rare thing in football. There are few who practice it well, and usually, they are in top teams. Juventus also has Chiesa, who dribbles, but he has different characteristics because he tears, while Yildiz less so because he tends more to invent potentially brilliant plays. In short, he seems very strong. We’ll wait because he is young, but from what we have seen, Juventus has a nice gem. Patience and caution are needed.”

Thoughts on Huijsen

Commenting on Huijsen, Barzagli admits to seeing him relatively little but acknowledges his potential. “I’ve seen him a little with Juventus and now with Roma. Great personality and great passing lines, in addition to having a good physique. He has a future, but he needs to build it with performances and mistakes given his young age.”

Bremer’s Improvements

Discussing Bremer’s improvements, Barzagli notes his one-on-one ability, speed, lack of fear in duels, and defensive skills. “Until last year, he had moments of emptiness that now seem to be gone, so he has found the fundamental quality for a defender: continuity, because he is practically not making any mistakes. Now he must not lose it because it is fundamental: it is what makes the difference between a good defender and a great defender.”

Eight Years at Juventus

Reflecting on his eight years at Juventus, Barzagli recalls an intense and beautiful period. “It remains an intense, beautiful period in which various teams alternated with the same ability to have a well-aligned group to win. I remain a great nostalgic for the first title from where everything started, unlike President Agnelli, who always looked at the next one. I have in my heart that first title. From the inauguration of the Stadium onwards, it was a crazy season, in which that acceleration was impressed that led to the subsequent eight scudetti. That year we were not the strongest, but we were the smartest. But of that cycle, what remains with me is the incredible ability to win again because, trust me, winning again is very difficult because when you win, there is always something that leads you to give up, contracts, someone who wants to be a star… And instead, in those years at Juventus, nothing was ever wrong. We had our problems, of course, but then the goal of winning always prevails over everything and everyone.”


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