Juventus director Fabio Paratici confirms the decision to sack Maurizio Sarri was made before the Champions League exit and they believe Andrea Pirlo is ‘destined for greatness’ as their coach.
It has been a chaotic few hours for the Bianconeri, who fired Sarri this afternoon and then announced Pirlo was promoted from the Under-23 role – which he was only appointed to last week – to the main job on a two-year contract.
“We had already made our evaluations before the Lyon result. We had already said, one game does not decide the future of a coach. Our evaluations were based on the whole season and not just a single match,” Paratici told Sky Sport Italia.
“The decision for Pirlo was very natural, in the Juventus style, because he is someone who as we said just over a week ago played with us, has always been in contact with everyone here and it felt natural.
“We also believe he is destined for greatness. He was as a player and we think with confidence he can do the same as a coach.
“Andrea has in his mind the same approach to coaching as he does when he played. That’s football of great quality and hard work. He wants to propose a certain type of football, the kind European teams are generally trying to follow, and he was very convincing in his explanation to us.
“The person is often more important than the professional, so we had no doubts on Pirlo as a person.”
Paratici was asked at what point Juventus directors realised it wasn’t going to work with Sarri?
“A season is long, there are many moments and situations that then add up, there wasn’t any one spark. We simply came to this consideration at the end of a very long season, even after winning the Scudetto.”
Sky presenter Ilaria D'Amico - who is Gigi Buffon's partner - asked Paratici if a certain alchemy had not worked with Sarri, so fatigue was not cancelled out by enthusiasm?
"You've hit the nail on the head. Absolutely."
This is the second year in a row that Juve have fired their coach despite taking the Serie A title.
“It’s not just Europe that decides on success or failure. Max Allegri’s situation was very different, as he was coming out of an era of five years that had reached its conclusion.
“We are in unexplored territory, because nobody has won nine consecutive Serie A titles before. We achieved it with several eras, really, because they tend to last three to four years. We are at our third era in a row of success, it’s almost inexplicable.
“We played two Champions League Finals in three years with seven or eight different players to the previous one. That’s practically unheard of and shows the work we’ve done here. Real Madrid won three Finals in a row with practically an identical squad.
“Bayern Munich won the Bundesliga last term, went out in the Champions League quarter-finals and people said that was a failure. Manchester City won repeated Premier League titles, but because they didn’t get the Champions League title, people criticised them too.
“Nowadays, these giant clubs are evaluated too hastily. In the Champions League, we played against Ajax without some key players. In this tournament, the details, one moment, can change the whole competition.”
There were also reports this afternoon following Sarri’s dismissal that Paratici would also be fired.
“As the President had defended me at midnight last night, it seemed a bit odd that he’d completely change his mind by 2pm. It seemed a bit laughable.
“I’ve been here for 10 years, my rapport with everyone here goes beyond the professional, starting from Andrea Agnelli down to the last employee. Directors are getting more and more like coaches, we get judged harshly and quickly too.”