Andrea Pirlo appointed Juventus head coach
NEWS DIGEST – Juventus have appointed Andrea Pirlo as their new head coach on a two-year deal.
The Italian club acted swiftly as Sarri, 61, paid the price for their Champions League exit at the hands of Lyon on Friday night, with Pirlo replacing him on a two-year contract.
The 41-year-old, who made 164 appearances for the club between 2011 and 2015, was only named as Juventus Under-23s manager 10 days ago but gets an immediate promotion.
A Juventus statement read: “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.”
Sarri, who delivered another Serie A title, was sacked on Saturday following the club’s last-16 exit in the Champions League, going out on away goals to Lyon.
A club statement read: “Juventus announce that Maurizio Sarri has been relieved of his post as coach of the first team.
“The club would like to thank the coach for writing a new page in Juventus history by winning a ninth consecutive Scudetto, the culmination of a personal journey that saw him move through every level of Italian football.”
Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice against Lyon but Memphis Depay’s penalty was crucial to lead the French side to a surprise victory. Juve lost four of the 12 matches since the restart before their exit from Europe.
Following his sacking by Chelsea at the end of the 2018-19 season, former banker Sarri succeeded Massimiliano Allegri in Turin and opened his reign with a 14-game unbeaten run in Serie A, a campaign which featured strong challenges from Inter Milan and Lazio.
It was to the latter club that Juve first lost in the league last December, allowing the Roman club and Inter into the title race. When domestic football resumed in June after the coronavirus shutdown, Juve’s poor form saw them struggle to beat Antonio Conte’s Inter to the Scudetto by a single point.