Wednesday December 9 2015
Saponara: ‘Allegri the best mentally’

Empoli’s Riccardo Saponara says Juventus Coach Massimiliano Allegri is ‘the best at mental management’ but praises ‘father figure’ Maurizio Sarri.

The 23-year-old played under Allegri at Milan and Sarri at Empoli, but is baffled by his lack of an Italy call-up from Antonio Conte.

“I believe in the mental management of games, Allegri is the best,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“When I got to Milan he took great care of that aspect. He reacts in the same way whether you lose or you win.

“Even though a defeat can lower self-esteem, he worked hard on this point of view.

“My relationship with him? We appreciated each other by tacit agreement.

"For Sarri is like a father. For a boy, more than a player, he can really grab you in the right way.

“At first I was annoyed by how he underlined any small moment of weakness. It’s surprising how he manages to get under your skin.

“For three years has was a father figure, generating an evolution that was frightening for everyone.

“Conte? I don’t know why he hasn’t called me up, it should be asked of him.

“The piano? I admit, I like to play to distract myself. I’m a bit of a novice, I wouldn’t advise anyone to listen to me.

“My idol? Kaka, I am inspired by him.”