Juventus on Saturday sacked Maurizio Sarri as the bead of the men’s senior team and announced Italian legend Andrea Pirlo’s name for the role within hours. The decision to sac Sarri comes after Juventus were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League from Round of 16 by Lyon.
“Juventus Football Club announces that Maurizio Sarri has been relieved of his post as coach of the First Team,” a statement on the club’s official website said.
“The club would like to thank the coach for having written a new page in Juventus’ history with the victory of the ninth-consecutive championship, the culmination of a personal journey that led him to climb all the divisions of Italian football,” it added.
The former Chelsea and Napoli coach took charge of Juventus in June last year and had put pen to paper on a three-year contract at the time. He led Juventus to their ninth straight Serie A title this season but deteriorating form in the last few league matches had also put Sarri’s role under scanner.
Meanwhile, Pirlo was promoted just nine days after he was made the coach of Juventus’ under-23 squad. It will be his first professional managerial stint after retiring as a player in 2017.
“Andrea Pirlo today signed a two-year contract until 30 June 2022,” said Juventus in their statement.
“Today, begins a new chapter of his career in the world of football, as it was said almost a week ago: from Maestro to Mister. From today he will be THE coach for people of Juventus, as the club has decided to entrust him with the technical leadership of the First Team, after having already selected him for Juventus Under 23.
“Today’s choice is based on the belief that Pirlo has what it takes to lead from his debut on the bench, an expert and talented squad to pursue new successes,” the statement further read.
Pirlo, who is considered as one of the greatest midfielders of the modern generation, had played for Juventus from 2011 to 2015 before moving to New York. In his four-season stint with the Bianconeri, he won four Serie A titles, one Italian Cup and two Italian Super Cup, while scoring 16 goals in 119 appearances.
However, he had reached the pinnacle of his career during his 10 years stay at AC Milan where he had made 284 appearances. With the Rossoneri, Pirlo had won two UEFA Champions League, two Serie A titles, one Italian Cup and one Italian Super Cup.
Pirlo is also the fifth-most capped player for Italy with 116 appearances. He played an instrumental role in their victory at the 2006 FIFA World Cup.