Friday August 11 2017
Happy birthday, Max Allegri

Today marks the 50th birthday of Juventus Coach and former Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri.

Born in Livorno, Tuscany, Allegri began his playing career as a midfielder with Cuoio Pelli Juventus and his hometown club, as well as Pisa and Pavia.

In 1991 he made the move to Pescara, with the Delfini winning promotion to Serie A in 1992.

Despite the fact Pescara finished bottom of Serie A in that season, Allegri scored 12 league goals and earned himself a move to Cagliari.

The Coach readily admits that he had “an average career”, and after bouncing between Serie B and the lower reaches of Serie A, he retired with Aglianese in Serie C2 in 2003.

It was the Tuscan club who have Allegri his first senior bench role, and he later had spells with SPAL and Grosseto.

Allegri was sacked by the latter, but he enjoyed his first real success when he took Sassuolo to the Serie C1 title in 2007-08.

That attracted the attention of Cagliari, who took a chance in giving the Coach his first Serie A job.

He rewarded that faith by taking the Isolani to ninth, but he was surprisingly sacked the following season with the Sardinians sitting in 12th.

Despite that setback, Milan appointed Allegri to replace Leonardo and he won the Scudetto in his debut season, inspired by the goals of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

However, a second-place finish the following season saw Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva sold to Paris Saint-Germain, while the likes of Filippo Inzaghi, Alessandro Nesta and Gennaro Gattuso retired.

A disastrous start to the following campaign brought rumours Allegri would be fired, but the January arrival of Mario Balotelli helped the Rossoneri recover to qualify for the Champions League.

Their fortunes didn’t improve in the subsequent campaign, and Allegri was sacked in January 2014.

He wasn’t out of the game for long though, as that summer the call came to replace Antonio Conte at Juventus.

Allegri wasn’t given the warmest of welcomes in Turin, with general manager Giuseppe Marotta recalling that fans kicked and spat at the car as the new Coach arrived to sign his contract.

Allegri soon won them over though, retaining the Scudetto, winning the Coppa Italia and reaching the Champions League final.

In each of the subsequent two seasons, the Old Lady have won the domestic double, though another Champions League final last season brought a 4-1 defeat to Real Madrid.

Allegri has admitted that he thought of retiring after that defeat, but he has since committed his future to the Bianconeri, with the aim of finally lifting the big-eared cup.

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