Allegri lauds ‘extraordinary’ Juventus new boy Di Maria, warns Barcelona are ‘back’ after friendly


Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri hailed Angel Di Maria as “extraordinary” after the new arrival impressed in the Bianconeri’s 2-2 friendly draw with Barcelona.

Allegri also warned that the Blaugrana are “back” and ready to compete for silverware after rebuilding their side during a busy transfer window under Xavi.

A boost for Ousmane Dembele and Moise Keane meant Barca and Juve shared an entertaining draw in Dallas, with Di Maria impressing, particularly in the first half.

Allegri said after the match that the Argentine – who won five Ligue 1 titles in seven years with Paris Saint-Germain before heading to Turin on a free transfer earlier this month – was Juve’s best signing.

“Di Maria is an extraordinary player. He is a champion and it is a pleasure to see him play,” Allegri said.

“It was a great acquisition for us.”

Juventus were given a stern test against Barcelona, ​​who started new signings Robert Lewandowski, Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen, as Xavi’s side scored 20 tries and enjoyed 58 per cent possession in Texas.

And Allegri was delighted with how his side dealt with elite opposition, warning that Barcelona will once again challenge for major honors after a recent spending spree.

“Tonight we had a good game against an important team,” added Allegri.

“Without a doubt we could have done better with the two goals we conceded, but we had many chances to score, I’m happy with how it went. We’re working very well and tonight was a good test.”

“Watch out, Barcelona are back… they fielded an important team to come back and win. This draw is worth a lot.”

Juventus wrapped up their tour of the United States against Real Madrid in Los Angeles on Sunday before traveling to Israel to face Atlético Madrid in their final pre-season game.

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