Home Sport Juventus boss Andrea Pirlo set for reunion with coach who gave him...

Juventus boss Andrea Pirlo set for reunion with coach who gave him his debut at 16 with Brescia


Juventus boss Andrea Pirlo will make his Champions League bow against Dynamo Kiev boss Mircea Lucescu – the manager who gave him his debut as a 16-year-old at Brescia in 1995!

  • Andrea Pirlo’s Juventus face Dynamo Kiev in their Champions League opener
  • Pirlo was given his Brescia debut at 16 by Dynamo’s coach Mircea Lucescu
  • Italy legend Pirlo still grateful to ‘maestro’ Lucescu for giving him big chance
  • Lucescu says ‘mature’ Pirlo had what it takes to succeed even at an early age

Andrea Pirlo heads into his first Champions League match in charge of Juventus ready for an emotional reunion with the man who gave him his debut as a rookie teenager 25 years ago. 

Dynamo Kiev coach Mircea Lucescu handed Italian midfield legend Pirlo his first game as a fresh-faced 16-year-old for his hometown club Brescia back in May 1995.

And now the pair are poised to face each other as managers for the first time in Tuesday’s Group G opener in the Ukrainian capital as Europe’s elite competition kicks off for another campaign.

Italy legend Andrea Pirlo made his debut for home town club Brescia as a 16-year-old in 1995

Italy legend Andrea Pirlo made his debut for home town club Brescia as a 16-year-old in 1995

Dynamo Kiev coach Mircea Lucescu is proud he gave Pirlo his debut as a teenager at Brescia

Dynamo Kiev coach Mircea Lucescu is proud he gave Pirlo his debut as a teenager at Brescia

Pirlo described his former boss Lucescu as 'maestro' ahead of their Champions League clash

Pirlo described his former boss Lucescu as ‘maestro’ ahead of their Champions League clash

At 75, former Inter Milan, Galatasaray, Besiktas and Shakhtar Donetsk boss Lucescu is the oldest coach in the competition with four decades of experience under his belt, while new Juve gaffer Pirlo is embarking on his debut season as a coach.

Pirlo revealed he is still in contact with the Romanian, who he hails as a ‘maestro’ and one of the most important coaches of his career, and says he is eternally thankful to Lucescu for giving him his break at such a young age.

‘Lucescu was my first coach, he brought me to the first team when I was 15 and I made my debut at 16,’ Pirlo said.

‘We still talk to each other, I will always be grateful to him but it is a good opportunity to challenge him. 

Pirlo made 47 appearances as a teenager for Brescia before he joined Inter Milan in 1998

Pirlo made 47 appearances as a teenager for Brescia before he joined Inter Milan in 1998

‘I had the luck of working with some great coaches. From Lucescu, who was one of my first, at Brescia – he was a maestro – to (Marcello) Lippi, (Carlo) Ancelotti, (Antonio) Conte and (Massimiliano) Allegri. 

‘I had the luck of working with some of the top coaches in the world, and I’m happy I had the chance to work with them. I’ll try to take something from each of them.’ 

Brescia had planned to unleash Pirlo when still a 15-year-old but were told they had to wait until he turned 16 before he could make his top-flight debut. 

It came against Reggiana in May of that year, making him the youngest player in the club’s history to play in the first division.

The brilliant midfielder went on to have a stellar career with Inter Milan, AC Milan and Juventus, as well as earning 116 caps for Italy and a World Cup winner’s medal in 2006.

Pirlo (left) prepares Juventus ahead of his Champions League coaching bow against Kiev

Pirlo (left) prepares Juventus ahead of his Champions League coaching bow against Kiev

Pirlo’s lack of dug-out experience – having only been appointed as Maurizio Sarri’s successor at Juve in August – made him a shock choice to take on one of the most high-profile jobs in world football, but Lucescu said he felt Pirlo had it in him to succeed from an early age.

‘What was he like as a teenager at Brescia? Incredible, mature,’ Lucescu said in his press conference ahead of facing the Serie A champions.

‘Mature like he is now. I remember going to Viareggio to watch a match and I went home in the car with him. We had time to speak for two hours. 

‘I realised that he was a very level-headed guy. As well as being a creative player, he was someone who organised everything, which is yet another skill. 

‘That has helped him a lot to become what he is today, the coach of a wonderful team like Juventus. 

‘He called me a maestro? That makes me proud. I must thank him and I hope he has a great career as a coach.’

The match sees Dynamo, who were Ukrainian Premier League runners-up behind Shakhtar Donetsk last season, enter the group stage of the Champions League for the first time since 2016-17, having been bundled in the qualifying phase for the three previous seasons.

Juve, who have not won the Champions League since 1996, crashed out of last season’s competition in the group of 16 to Lyon, which prompted the club to sack Sarri and opt to bring in the untested Pirlo. 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Best supermarket Christmas pudding – is it Aldi, Tesco, Asda or Sainsbury’s?

Christmas is just around the corner which means many will start shopping for the big day. As well as a main meal, many...

Lung cancer: A small pupil in one of your eyes could be a sign of the deadly disease

Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is a type of primary lung cancer, meaning cells began multiplying uncontrollably in the organ. Making up about...

PSG and Stoke flop Jese Rodriguez flouts social distancing rules as he jets to the Canary Islands

PSG and Stoke flop Jese Rodriguez flouts social distancing rules as...

Meghan Markle 'using opportunity for women to talk about miscarriage in such an open way'

Tommy’s midwife Sophie King told Express.co.uk: “Baby loss at any stage in pregnancy is one of the most heart-breaking things a family can...

Recent Comments