Marcello Lippi believes “Juventus can win everything this year”, and sees Napoli as their only Scudetto rivals thanks to the “masterful” Carlo Ancelotti. The Bianconeri have won all but one of their Serie A games this season, and have a perfect record in the Champions League after the 1-0 win at Manchester United on Tuesday night.
“The feeling that this could be the right season arrived almost immediately,” Lippi told Corriere dello Sport.
“I said for years that the team, already Champions League finalists twice in recent years, had reached a level close to the three strongest clubs: Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
“Well, now it’s time to say that Juventus lead the group of favourites.
“The merit all goes to Juventus, and they have to watch that they don’t underestimate certain opponents. The motivation in the Champions League is very strong, there are always teams to beat – always!
“It’s wrong to speak about only one favourite, but the authority and the self belief achieved by the Bianconeri is the engine which drives them to the highest level, then they added Cristiano Ronaldo.
“They took someone who brings five Ballons d’Or, five Champions League, an average of over 50 goals a season and 159 in the Champions League.
“Other than [Lionel] Messi there’s no other player who can improve the performance of a team like Cristiano, the best player in the world.
“Zizou [Zinedine Zidane], a fabulous man and player, grew along with Juve, while CR7 is a phenomenal added value.
“He adds to champions who are increasingly complete like [Federico] Bernardeschi and [Paulo] Dybala, not to mention the signings of [Joao] Cancelo and [Leo] Bonucci.
“I saw a spectacular Juve at Old Trafford, I really liked them. I enjoyed the way they dominated in one of the most difficult and glorious stadiums in the world. In the most complicated game, they showed the personality that confirmed their growth.
“On the other hand, I was surprised by the non-play of Manchester United. United can’t stand and watch another team for an hour, even if it’s a super Juve.
“Jose Mourinho? I agree with his comments that Bonucci and Chiellini could teach defence at Harvard. But I repeat: a team with that technical quality remained closed, as they’d already done for a long time against Chelsea.”
Having offered his opinion on Mourinho, Lippi was asked about Massimiliano Allegri.
“He’s matured again, he’s one of the best Coaches in the world who leads one of the strongest teams in the world.
“The treble? Juventus always start every season trying to win everything, even in the past with me. It’s a psychological characteristic that is not a sign of presumption, but of awareness of one’s own strength.
“Experience tells you that if you want to win something, you have to aim to win everything.
“It’s a mistake to say ‘if you don’t win this year you’ve won nothing’, though I understand. Let’s just say that this time the feeling is Juve can win everything.”
The China Coach was then asked who could challenge his old side domestically.
“Compared to the beginning of the season I think we have to take note of the improvement of Inter, who have found a position more in line with their value.
“Then there’s Napoli, masterfully led by Carlo Ancelotti, and I think only they can challenge Juve for the Scudetto.”