SERIE A

Cristiano Ronaldo & Lionel Messi: "one is greater, the other better"

Massimiliano Allegri could return to Juventus, but the Italian manager is also tempted by the prospect of England and Spain.

Cristiano Ronaldo & Lionel Messi: "one is greater, the other better"
JOSEP LAGO AFP

Does your club need a top manager? Well, there is one currently out of work...and sniffing around for an opportunity. Massimiliano Allegri did not rule out a Juventus return as the Italian head coach revealed his interest in working in the Premier League and LaLiga.

Allegri flirts with new management role

Doubts have emerged regarding rookie head coach Andrea Pirlo following Juve's shock 1-0 loss at home to Benevento in Serie A on Sunday.

Having already crashed out of the Champions League in the last 16, Juve's season hit a new low after they were upstaged by the lowly visitors.

The latest defeat left nine-time reigning Serie A champions Juve fourth in the standings and 10 points adrift of leaders Inter.

Allegri departed Juve at the end of the triumphant 2018-19 season, which saw him secure a fifth successive Scudetto in Turin.

Asked if he could potentially return to Juve in the future, Allegri – who has been linked with Premier League side Leeds United – told Sky Sport Italia: "It's impossible to tell, besides, Andrea Pirlo is there now and in my view he's doing well.

"I don't know what Juve are missing. They are in the Coppa Italia Final, won the Supercoppa, are fighting for the top four. The Champions League is a bit of a lottery, it can turn on a sixpence."

Allegri, who revealed he turned down LaLiga giants Real Madrid three years ago, added: "Right now I don't really know anything. 

"The charm of England and Spain are there, but I would also be happy to stay in Italy."

Roma and Napoli have also emerged as possible destinations for Allegri amid pressure on Paulo Fonseca and Gennaro Gattuso.

"Naples or Rome? I don't know anything yet," the 53-year-old said. "I haven't talked in a while, when I'm not coaching I don't watch many games because I'm bored."

Cristiano Ronaldo "is programmed to win"

Allegri coached Cristiano Ronaldo during his time at Juventus and he was asked about the five-time Ballon d'Or.

Ronaldo – linked with former clubs Madrid and Manchester United – surpassed Pele's record after scoring 770 career goals courtesy of his hat-trick against Cagliari on 14 March.

The 36-year-old tops the Serie A's goalscoring charts with 23, ahead of Inter star Romelu Lukaku (19).

"Ronaldo too is human and can make mistakes, but there are few who can shake off a defender and run at the goal like him," Allegri added.

"Cristiano's strength is that he has this mind that is programmed to win. He won five Ballon d'Or trophies, the Champions League, so many titles, yet he is there giving himself new motivation every single day.

"It's also natural that those who play alongside him must understand the space that he leaves has to be filled by the other guy.

"Poor Mario Mandzukic, playing with Cristiano Ronaldo, he ran more in that year than his entire career… I love Mandzukic, he's a fantastic player."

Asked to compare Ronaldo and Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi, Allegri said: "They are two very different players. I'd say one is greater, the other is better."