It was perhaps destiny that Andrea Pirlo would emulate the set-piece exploits of his inspiration Juninho Pernambucano against the Brazilian’s former club Lyon tonight, and the Bianconeri midfielder has expressed his satisfaction with the way fate panned out at Juventus Stadium.
The 34-year-old attempted to sneak a free-kick under the wall in the away leg without success, but showed this evening that allowing him a second chance can be fatal when he put Juve in front with just four minutes gone in the 2-1 Europa League second leg win.
Speaking after the final whistle, the midfielder began: “Regardless of how you strike them, the important thing is that they go in. I was unlucky in Lyon because one of their men stayed with his foot on the ground, but this time I lifted it over.
“That kind of free-kick over the wall is the one I like best, the classic set-piece that I’ve been doing ever since I was a boy.”
He then took a typically pragmatic approach when questioned on whether Steed Malbranque’s constant presence whenever he received the ball restricted his opportunities.
“I’m used to it, the important thing is playing your game as you usually would.”
And Pirlo concluded with a word on Juventus’ potential opponents in the semi-final of the competition that is to culminate at Juventus Stadium on 14 May.
“Seville, Valencia and Benfica are three strong teams who have always taken part in the Champions League. You could describe it as a mini Champions League. But it’s all the same to us however the draw turns out tomorrow.”