(Reuters) - Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo and striker Cristiano Ronaldo will not leave Turin despite a disappointing season, the Serie A champions’ vice-president Pavel Nedved said on Wednesday.
Pirlo was surprisingly named as Maurizio Sarri’s successor last August despite having no previous management experience.
The 41-year-old, who won the World Cup, two Champions Leagues and six Serie A titles before retiring as a player in 2017, has come in for fierce criticism recently as Juve's hopes of landing a 10th consecutive league title dwindle.
Juventus suffered a Champions League last-16 elimination against Porto on March 9, before falling to a shock defeat to lowly Benevento on Sunday that left them 10 points behind Serie A leaders Inter Milan.
“Pirlo is and will be the coach of Juventus, that’s 100% certain,” Nedved told DAZN.
“We committed to a project with Andrea, knowing that there would be difficulties. We wanted to do better than this and haven't managed to, but difficulties were predicted.
“We are very calm. We’re on the path that we wanted, which we will stay on. He has everything to become a great coach.”
Ronaldo was also criticised following Juve’s European exit and has been the subject of speculation that he could depart at the end of the season.
“For me, Cristiano can’t be touched. He has a contract until June 30 2022 and he will stay. We’ll see what happens after that,” Nedved said.
(Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie, editing by Pritha Sarkar)