Juventus are important to me – Zidane

The former Bianconeri midfielder refused to rule out going back to Italy after watching his Real Madrid side beat Liverpool in Europe. Zidane Zidane has opened the door to a potential return to Juventus as pressure continues to build on current manager Andrea Pirlo.

Juve are being tipped to make a change in the dugout after a poor 2020-21 campaign which has seen them exit the Champions League early and fall well behind Inter in the Serie A standings. Zidane, who played for the Bianconeri between 1996 and 2001, has been touted as one of the main candidates to replace Pirlo, and he has hinted that he would be open to the opportunity after his latest game in charge of Real Madrid.

Zidane was asked by Sky Italia whether coaching in Italy appeals to him following the Blancos’ 3-1 victory against Liverpool in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie on Tuesday.

“Italy is always in my heart,” he responded. “Juve has always been important to me.

“I don’t know. For now I’m here. Let’s see.”

Zidane is widely regarded as one of the finest players of his generation, and he initially started building that reputation after joining Juve from Bordeaux.

The Frenchman went on to make over 200 appearances for the club, helping them win two Serie A titles and reach two Champions League finals while recording 31 goals and 38 assists.

Juve took a risk in appointing the inexperienced Pirlo to replace Maurizio Sarri back in August, with the Italian accepting the role after initially being brought in to coach the club’s Under-23 side.

The gamble has largely backfired as the Bianconeri have fallen 12 points behind Serie A leaders Inter with ten matches left to play, meaning a 10th successive Scudetto is now all but out of reach.

Juve’s last-16 Champions League exit at the hands of Portuguese outfit Porto also served as a damning indictment of how far the team has fallen, but they could still win a trophy in the form of the Coppa Italia if they beat Atalanta in the final next month.