Thursday June 20 2019
Sarri: Juve my 'crowning moment'

Maurizio Sarri has vowed to ‘put on a show’ as Juventus Coach after describing his appointment as ‘the crowning moment’ of his career.

Sarri was officially unveiled as Max Allegri’s Juve successor on Thursday, and he thanked the Bianconeri for their ‘determination’ in bringing him to the club.

“You need clear ideas on your journey. I supported Napoli because I was born in Naples and I got the idea we could be competitive at a national level, so I gave my all.

“In the last few months at Napoli, I had doubts between my affection for the club and fans, and my professional feeling the journey there had concluded.

“During my doubts, Carlo Ancelotti was introduced and that was probably my fault, as it was my doubt.

“I received offers, but preferred to go abroad, as I did not want to move directly to another Italian club.

“The Premier League was a great experience, but in the latter half, I felt professional and personal needs to return to Italy.

“Juventus gave me that opportunity and it’s the crowning moment of a career that for 80 per cent of it was extremely tough. I feel that I have respected everyone and I gave my all.

“When Juventus contacted me, the sensation was strong. I’ve never seen a club so determined to get a Coach in my 30 years here and that is what convinced me.

“I’ve never seen so many directors all so very determined to get a single Coach. They were determined, convinced and united in their choice.

“I am excited by Serie A this season, because there is the return of Antonio Conte, Marco Giampaolo at Milan, the arrival of an exciting talent like Paulo Fonseca at Roma and at Sassuolo a man I admire a great deal, Roberto De Zerbi. I see a sparkling situation.

“If I had over the years all the emotions that you seem to think I had, then I’d have had a heart attack ages ago.

“I am not going from the amateur leagues straight to Juventus, I went through Serie C, B, A, Premier League and Juve.

“I come from Chelsea, another big club, clearly with less history than Juventus, because their level only raised over the last 10-15 years.

“These are all steps forward in my career, but very, very gradual ones. So yes, it is emotional to be here, but it’s not as if I was just dropped into the Juventus job.

“Clubs are at the end of the day made up of people. I liked the unity I saw in the first approach from Juventus, as that is important for me.

“At the end of the day, you work for a club and what allows you to give another one per cent is the emotional bond with the people.

“I needed only a couple of meetings with them to realise how determined, strong and with a solid mentality they were. I like that.

“I had 30 years of negotiations with clubs, so I think I know how to read people by now. I can read when someone really believes in what he’s saying and is totally convinced.

“It’s not about a phrase, it’s their attitude, their approach, the effort they make to come out and meet you. It shows their conviction that they want you specifically as their Coach.

“That was the most important thing, for me.”

There has been some scepticism about his arrival in Turin, given his past allegiance to Napoli and that he only won his first major trophy - the Europa League with Chelsea - last season...

“I expect to get up in the morning and study how to win games. If a club tries to drill the idea that victory is owed to them, then there’s a mistake. You have to go out to win.

“As for the Champions League, Juventus will go there to win, but also aware there are eight or nine other teams who are in the same situation.

“I feel there is more responsibility to win in Italy. In Europe, there is the dream, the passion to win something that has an extraordinary difficult coefficient.

“I arrive surrounded by sceptics, but then I always am. I had the same at Empoli, Napoli and Chelsea.

“I arrive at Juventus from Chelsea and the step might spark less scepticism, but I do come from a history and so I expect some rancour. 

“In football, I know only one way of removing scepticism from the minds of people: win and do so convincingly. So all I can do is put on a show.”

Finally, the 60-year-old was asked about the differences between Serie A and the Premier League.

“I think we have a long path ahead of us. I was talking to the President about structures and organisation. Going around English stadiums, you realise how inadequate our arenas are.

“There needs to be a cultural shift, as you turn behind you on the bench and are surrounded by children.

“I think in terms of club organisation and tactically on the field, we still have the upper hand compared to England.

“The English media is made up of big newspapers and then the tabloids on an inferior level.

“It fortifies you, but what disappointed me was that in Italy people only reported the attacks of the tabloids and not the more prestigious and reliable newspapers like The Times.

“Attacks do make you stronger.”

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