Andrea Pirlo: The perfect fit for Juventus? Can the maestro player be a maestro manager? – Video

On Saturday, Juventus broke the internet, in Italy at least, when they announced the sacking of Maurizio Sarri as head coach and the hiring of Andrea Pirlo – the man without an ounce of coaching experience on his CV.

Pirlo, accustomed to making headlines as a legendary player for, among others, Inter Milan, AC Milan and Juventus, is now making headlines as a manager when he hasn’t even submitted his final thesis to be called a qualified coach.

Pirlo? Really? The man who started chapter nine of his autobiography with the words: “I wouldn’t bet a single cent on me becoming a manager though. It’s not a job I’m attracted to. There are too many worries…”

It’s one thing to have taken on the role of Juve’s under-23 coach 10 days ago – a job without pressure – and quite another to take charge of Cristiano Ronaldo and company, while satisfying the obsessions of a side desperate for European success before the veterans retire.

Yet Pirlo is used to surprising us. Can the man nicknamed Maestro continue to impress us as a coach like he managed as a player?

Why Pirlo?

Since Juventus lost the Champions League final to Real Madrid in 2017, things have become a little stale.

They introduced Cristiano Ronaldo to excite the world and promote the Juve brand, and yet Max Allegri’s 2018-19 team looked more boring than ever.

They brought in Sarri and Juve did not only continue to be boring, but they were now without the warrior spirit.

Chairman Andrea Agnelli realised he needs to gamble. He felt Antonio Conte was a gamble that worked, while Allegri was the hated Milan coach and yet his arrival bought even more joy.

So perhaps Pirlo, the former Milan maestro and Juventus legend, could bring back the Juve soul that made the team so fun to watch in the earlier seasons of this dynasty.

Juventus have made it clear they want to continue promoting the Juventus brand – the Juve lifestyle if you wish – to bring in a steady revenue and they want sporting brilliance that won’t require a revolution. The bearded hipster, who played football like a god, satisfies both requirements.

Everyone will tune into to watch the masterful Ronaldo under the guidance of the cool Pirlo, spending their hard earned cash on the merchandise this will surely produce and perhaps Pirlo’s suggested pragmatism will finally get this collection of individuals to play as a team.

Could it all end terribly?

Absolutely. We know so little about Pirlo as a coach that it’s difficult to even predict.

As Giorgio Chiellini alluded to in his own book, great players who were ‘aliens’ on the pitch such as Pirlo, have to accept they need to deal with mere mortals when they become the coach.

Pirlo won’t be coaching either himself, or many players who possess his greatness – can he work with that or will it leave him frustrated?

Video: Veniamin Shows

But is this any more of a gamble than the decision to hire Sarri 14 months ago?

Sarri coached a beautiful Napoli side and had lifted the Europa League with Chelsea, but he was still a man with a specific style of play who valued the aesthetic.

As it transpired, the gamble won them one trophy, barely, and resulted in lots of Ronaldo eye rolls, a frustrated Leonardo Bonucci often calming Sarri down from the sidelines and endless criticism of the style of play. Sarri was truly a gamble and probably no more than Pirlo is.

What does Pirlo bring?

Pirlo may not have the coaching experience, and that will be a problem at some stage, but he has other qualities that Agnelli hopes will speed up the development of the team.

Pirlo understands Serie A like few others.

He played for Italy’s top three teams, understands the strengths and weaknesses of them all and the culture of the various clubs that will challenge him.

BBC / Balkantimes.press

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