Juventus’ Italian head coach Massimiliano Allegri attends a press conference in the Qatari capital Doha on December 22, 2016, on the eve of the Final of the Italian Super Cup between AC Milan and Juventus. / AFP PHOTO / KARIM JAAFAR
Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri denied on Thursday that his side were at an advantage because their Italian Super Cup final opponents AC Milan touched down in Qatar 24 hours late.
Milan only arrived in Doha late Tuesday — a full day after Juve — after technical problems with their plane pushed back the team’s arrival.
An angry Milan CEO Adriano Galliani said the delay would work in the Italian champions’ favour for Friday’s match.
But Allegri said that was not true.
“No, we don’t have any advantage from being here early before them,” Allegri told a press conference.
“Whatever happens tomorrow we will be ready and we don’t care about the other details.”
Reports in the Italian media even suggested that Milan might forego the final because the delay had impacted on their preparation for the game.
However, Milan underwent their first training session in Doha on Thursday, at the Aspire Academy.
The Super Cup is an annual match in the Italian calendar, usually played between the Serie A champions and winners of the Coppa Italia.
Friday’s match will be Juve’s fifth consecutive Super Cup and Milan’s first since 2011.
Last season Juventus won both the league and the Coppa Italia, beating Milan 1-0 in the final.
Milan have enjoyed some measure of revenge this season, inflicting one of only three league defeats on table-topping Juventus, with a 1-0 victory in October.
It is the second time the Super Cup has been held in Doha.
In 2014, Juventus lost on penalties to Napoli.
Friday’s match is the sixth time in eight years, the final has been played outside Italy.