Juventus have officially appointed Andrea Pirlo as their new senior coach after sacking Maurizio Sarri, just a week after hiring him for the Under-23 squad.
“Andrea Pirlo is the new Juventus coach,” read a statement.
“41-years-old and born in Flero in the province of Brescia, Pirlo has had a legendary career as a player that has led him to win everything, from the Champions League to the World Cup in 2006. In his four years at the centre of the Juventus midfield, Pirlo won as many league titles, a Coppa Italia and two Italian Super Cups.
“Today, begins a new chapter of his career in the world of football, as it was said almost a week ago: from Maestro to Mister. From today he will be THE coach for people of Juventus, as the club has decided to entrust him with the technical leadership of the First Team, after having already selected him for Juventus Under 23.
“Today's choice is based on the belief that Pirlo has what it takes to lead from his debut on the bench, an expert and talented squad to pursue new successes.
“Andrea Pirlo today signed a two-year contract until 30 June 2022.”
Pirlo had been presented in a press conference by President Andrea Agnelli and director Fabio Paratici only a week ago, but as the new coach of the Under-23 side, which plays in Serie C – Italy’s third division.
That was going to be his first management role, but without even having a single match, he is already promoted to the main Juventus bench.
Sarri was sacked this afternoon, just hours after the Champions League exit at the Round of 16 to Olympique Lyonnais.
He had won their ninth consecutive Serie A title, but lost the Coppa Italia Final and the Italian Supercup.
Agnelli sees Pirlo as following in the footsteps of Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid, a creative midfielder with great vision of the game who is young enough to immediately connect with the players and be automatically respected by them for his career.
Pirlo won the 2006 World Cup with Italy, numerous Champions League and Serie A titles between Milan and Juventus.
He retired in January 2018 after a spell in MLS with NYCFC, but had played four years for Juventus from 2011 to 2015.
The other candidates to follow Sarri were all very difficult to secure, as Mauricio Pochettino wanted €12m per season wages, while Simone Inzaghi and Zidane were already under contract with Lazio and Real Madrid respectively.