Juventus

Sarri sacked after Juventus’ Champions League exit

Agence France-Presse, Agence France-Presse
Sarri sacked after Juventus’ Champions League exit

Juventus' Italian coach Maurizio Sarri (R) gives instructions to Juventus' Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo during the Italian Serie A football match Juventus vs Verona on September 21, 2019 at the Juventus stadium in Turin. (Photo by Isabella BONOTTO / AFP)

Juventus fires coach Maurizio Sarri after failing to steer the Ronaldo-powered squad deep into the Champions League

Juventus sacked coach Maurizio Sarri on Saturday. August 8, after the Italian club’s Champions League last 16 exit to Lyon.

Despite Cristiano Ronaldo’s double in a 2-1 home win on Friday, Juve fell 2-2 on aggregate to the French club, ending their quest for a title they last won in 1996. (READ: Ronaldo not enough for ‘cursed’ Juventus)

“Maurizio Sarri has been relieved of his post as coach of the first team,” the nine-time reigning Serie A champions said in a statement.

Sarri, 61, replaced Massimiliano Allegri last season, after leading Chelsea to success in the Europa League.

“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,” the team.

Despite leading Juve to a ninth straight Scudetto, his first as a coach, Sarri paid for the club’s failure on the European stage.

Juve also lost in two finals this season, the Italian Cup and the Italian Super Cup.

“Sarri Out!” headlined Turin sports daily Tuttosport, with Corriere Dello Sport saying: “Adieu Maurizio.”

Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi, Real Madrid’s Zinedine Zidane and former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino have been touted as possible successors.

Club president Andrea Agnelli’s words were not reassuring after Juve fell in the last 16 for the first time since 2016.

“We need a cold and lucid analysis,” said Agnelli, “knowing that in a few weeks we will start from scratch and we will have to do it with the same enthusiasm and desire to win.

“The Champions League, it was a dream before, now it’s a goal and going out like this is disappointing for us, for the players and for the fans.”

Sarri failed to produce the style revolution hoped for in a season overshadowed by a three-month coronavirus lockdown.

Juve were rarely brilliant and often disappointing, losing in two finals, the Italian Cup and the Italian Super Cup.

They won just two of their final eight league games.

“Sarrism” or “Sarriball”, that fast-paced, eye-catching style of football with which he made his name at Napoli, and which Juve bosses craved in Turin, was only seen in flashes this season.

Although Sarri gave the team orders, he adapted to Juve and five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo, who scored 37 goals for in total in the 2019-2020 season, breaking the club’s record for most goals in a single season.

“I have to adapt to the characteristics of the players, you can’t ask for 25 purchases. Otherwise I might as well just train myself,” said Sarri.

During 3 seasons with Napoli he turned them into title contenders but they finished second twice and third once behind Juve, before he left for England in 2018.

Chelsea was the only time Sarri has coached outside of Italy but although he won the 2019 Europa League he failed to win over the club’s fans during his single season in charge.

But his campaign in Turin was judged by the outfit’s quest for a third European crown, having finished runners-up no fewer than 5 times since last winning in 1996. – Rappler.com