Juventus have appointed Andrea Pirlo as coach just hours after sacking Maurizio Sarri following the club’s Champions League elimination against Lyon, club announced on Saturday.
Pirlo, 41, was a legendary player for the club — as well as AC Milan and Italy -over his storied career, winning numerous league titles, the Champions League and a World Cup in 2006. He was appointed manager of Juventus’ Under-23 side just last month but has now signed a two-year contract to coach the first team.
“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,” Juventus said in a statement.
“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,” it added.
Juventus may be hoping Pirlo can replicate the achievements of Zinedine Zidane, another former world class player who has enjoyed success at Real Madrid despite having no previous coaching experience.
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Ex-Juve player Zidane has won two La Liga and three Champions League titles in two stints with the Spanish side since he was first handed the reins.
“The decision for Pirlo was very natural, in the Juventus style, because he is someone who played for us, has always been in contact with everyone here and it felt natural,” said the club’s chief football officer Fabio Paratici.
“We also believe he is pre-destined for greatness. He was as a player and we are confident he can do the same as a coach.”
Under Sarri, Juventus suffered a round-of-16 exit to the French club despite a 2-1 win on Friday night, losing on the away goals rule as the tie ended 2-2 on aggregate.