Milan: Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has rejected suggestions that his work is done at the club as they close in on a fourth double in as many seasons under his leadership.
Allegri was in belligerent mood after his side beat AC Milan 4-0 in the Coppa Italia final on Wednesday to complete the first half of what looks certain to be another double, given that the Serie A title race has been reduced to a formality.
Juve’s dominance of Italian football has left observers wondering what else there is left for the 50-year-old to achieve, especially with other jobs opening up around Europe.
“I don’t feel that I’m close to the end ... We still have to win the championship and the next season we will have to fight again,” said Allegri after Wednesday’s match.
“I have a contract with Juventus and, as we do every year, we will meet at the end of the season to plan the future. We need a clear understanding of how to improve again.
“We haven’t reached our maximum because we have lost two Champions League finals [in the last three seasons]. There are so many unpredictable elements in football.”
Juventus, who also won three Serie A titles in a row under Allegri’s predecessor Antonio Conte, have a six-point lead over Napoli in Serie A with two games each to play.
They are 16 goals ahead on goal difference, which would settle the title race if the two sides, who are equal on their head-to-head record, finish level on points.
A draw on Sunday away to AS Roma, or failure by Napoli to win at Sampdoria, would mathematically clinch a seventh successive Serie A title.
Allegri has emphasised that winning should never be considered routine and complained that outsiders underestimate the challenges. His patience is often tested in the round table programmes, which Serie A coaches are required to take part in following matches.
Instead of answering questions from an interviewer on site, the coach is hooked up to a panel of studio experts to face a grilling over tactics and substitutions.
Often, the analysts confront coaches with their own opinions rather than asking questions.
Allegri was especially wound up by veteran commentator Mario Sconcerti on state broadcaster Rai. “I always look on things positively. Football is simple but sometimes we get into a muddle with complicated conversations,” he said in heated exchange.
“You just need to handle the different moments in a season. Football is not just about tactics. We need to let young coaches know that football is also about practice, not just theory.
“A team that wins seven titles in a row does not have issues. Football is like monopoly, it is an unexpected pack of cards.”
The final straw came when Allegri was asked if he was tired.
“Unlike you, I have [a] clear head. I have plenty of patience in store, I will wait for you all at the finish line,” he said, before unhooking his microphone and walking off.