Ronald Koeman and Andrea Pirlo: 40 years of football
The Juventus coach and Barça boss have more in common than you would think - we take a look ahead of Wednesday's game in Turin
Ronald Koeman and Andrea Pirlo come face to face as coaches on Wednesday as Barça take on Juventus in Turin in the Champions League. However, both are probably better known as players and curiously enough, both won a gran total of 19 trophies during their playing careers.
Ronald Koeman made his debut as a player for FC Groningen back in 1980 before going on to make his name at Ajax, PSV Eindhoven, Feyenoord and, of course, FC Barcelona as a goalscoring defender. After hanging up his boots the Dutchman made the move into coaching. Andrea Pirlo stood out as a midfielder from a very young age and turned professional with Brescia at the age of just 15. The Juventus coach played the majority of his career in his native country, having a spell with New York City FC in the MLS at the end of his playing days.
What history tells us
Ronald Koeman faced Juventus as a player back in the 1990/91 season in the semi finals of the European Cup Winners' Cup. In the first leg Barça ran out 3-1 and despite a 1-0 defeat in the second leg, the blaugranes and Koeman made it through to the final.
As coach, the Dutchman faced 'la Vecchia Signora' in the 2004/05 Champions League group stages when his Ajax side lost 1-0 both home and away to the Serie A giants.
Andrea Pirlo faced Barça five times as a player, four of which were as an AC Milan player recording one win, two defeats and a draw. The final time the midfielder came up against the blaugranes was as a Juventus player in the 2015 Champions League final with FC Barcelona claiming the trophy thanks to a 3-1 win.