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Pirlo sacked by Juventus after one season in charge as Allegri returns

Erik G

JUVENTUS HAVE ANNOUNCED the departure of head coach Andrea Pirlo after just one season in charge with Massimiliano Allegri returning to replace him.

“Welcome back home, Max!” Juventus said in a tweet to announce the re-appointment of the coach who won five Serie A titles with the Turin-based club between 2014 and 2019.

Pirlo, who previously played for the Turin side, was appointed as Maurizio Sarri’s replacement in September but could only guide the club to a fourth-placed finish in Serie A, ending a run of nine successive titles.

Pirlo did win the Italian Super Cup and Coppa Italia, but it was not enough to keep his job.

A statement on the Juventus website said: “Massimiliano Allegri is the Juventus manager once more.

“Allegri finds a bench that he knows very well, a club that he loves and that loves him back, as today a new journey begins together, towards new goals.

“What he achieved in his first adventure at Juventus are engraved in the club’s history: five Scudetti, to the four-consecutive doubles, coupled with the Coppa Italia and to the two Super Cups, reaching two Champions League finals in just three seasons, in what were epic feats both in Italy and in Europe.

“We said goodbye two years ago with the message, ‘History Alone’, the message on the back of the shirt given to Massimiliano Allegri by President Andrea Agnelli with an embrace and a shirt, on which in just two words encapsulated Allegri’s experience at Juve.

“The beauty of the story, however, is that it never stops. And in football, this means a concept that we have ingrained in our DNA: the best victory is the next one. Always.

“And now we are ready to begin again with Allegri, to build our future together; with his enormous professionalism, his moral strength, with the brilliant ideas of a coach capable of shuffling the cards, both on and off the pitch. With his smile, a sort of ‘signature’.

“With his way of understanding football and life with simplicity, with his desire to play things down and with the commitment to enjoy every beautiful moment that being at Juventus can give and will give.”

The departing Pirlo received a heartfelt goodbye from the club he represented 164 times over a four-year period.

“Thanks Andrea. These are the first words that all of us must pronounce at the end of this special experience lived together,” a Juve statement said.

“A few months ago Andrea Pirlo, an icon of world football, began a new adventure on the Juventus bench, his first as a coach.

“To do this, first of all it takes courage, as well as awareness of one’s own means, especially in a period marked by many difficulties, with the world forced by the pandemic to reinvent its own rules day after day.

“Andrea did it too: he started (and we are sure of this: his will be a brilliant career as a coach) a journey of transformation, seeking, and often managing, to bring his ideas and his experience as a champion on the pitch from the ‘Other side’ of the barricade.

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“For the courage, the dedication, the passion with which he demonstrated every day, our thanks go to the ‘Maestro’, the coach and to Andrea, that really comes from the heart, as well as our good luck for the future that will surely be a wonderful one.”

Good luck, @Pirlo_official and thank you for these emotions! 🏆🏆⚪⚫

— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) May 28, 2021

Juve are another one of the top clubs in Europe having a managerial change this summer, with Antonio Conte leaving Inter Milan and Zinedine Zidane exiting Real Madrid.

Additional reporting by AFP

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