Andrea Barzagli explains his new role in the Juventus coaching staff, although not all his former teammates can take him entirely seriously.
The now-retired defender is part of Maurizio Sarri’s staff, focusing on work with players in the back four, such as Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, Daniele Rugani and Matthijs de Ligt.
“I spent the first month watching, listening and learning, as it’s all so new to me,” Barzagli told Fabio Cannavaro during an Instagram Live chat.
“It’s quite fun being a technical collaborator, but must be pretty stressful to be a head coach. For now, I haven’t decided yet what I’ll do in future. I liked the idea of remaining in the Juventus environment for at least a year so I could get to know the other side of the game.”
Have Barzagli’s former teammates started treating him differently now he is part of the coaching staff?
“Chiellini is the only one who still calls me Barzaglione, but I allow him that. Leo Bonucci calls me Mister, albeit while barely disguising a smile. It’s a little strange working with those I played with, but if I give advice, they gladly accept it. If I were to do some individual training, I couldn’t do it with Giorgio and Leo!
“I am trying to get Gigi Buffon to quit and join us, but to be honest, he’s still in great shape. So is Giorgio, which gave him the strength to get back on his feet so quickly after the injury.”