Juventus fires Head Coach Andrea Pirlo

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Andrea Pirlo has been sacked as Juventus head coach one year after spending just one season in the Italian club.

The Turin club are close to announcing the return of Massimiliano Allegri as their head coach to replace Pirlo, according to Sky in Italy, with the 53-year-old expected to re-sign within the next 24 hours.

The 42-year-old was a surprise choice to replace Maurizio Sarri last summer and under his guidance Juventus failed to win the Serie A title for the first time since 2012.

Juventus finished fourth, only qualifying for the Champions League on the last day of the season.

Juve issued the following message to Pirlo upon his departure from the Allianz Stadium: “Thank you, Andrea.

“These are the first words that all of us need to say at the end of this special experience together. A few months ago, Andrea Pirlo, an icon of world football, began his new adventure, his first as a coach.

“To do this, first of all, it takes courage, as well as awareness of one’s own means, especially in a period marked by thousands of difficulties, with the world forced by the pandemic to reinvent its own rules day after day.

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“Pirlo has just begun the first steps of what will no doubt become a brilliant career as a coach. An adventure of transformation, seeking, and often managing, to bring his ideas and his experience as a champion on the pitch from the “other side” of the fence.

“And since in football, what counts are the victories, let’s remember them: in the space of a few short months Pirlo’s Juve has raised two trophies: The Italian Supercup and the Coppa Italia. And he, as coach, brought home brilliant victories on the most prestigious of fields, from San Siro to Camp Nou.

“For all this, for the courage, the dedication, the passion with which he demonstrated every day, our thanks go to the Maestro, the Coach and to Andrea, that really comes from the heart. As well as our good luck for the future that will surely be a wonderful one.”

Pirlo played 164 games for Juventus between 2011 and 2015 and won four Serie A titles in Turin after joining from AC Milan, with whom he spent most of his career and won two Champions League and two league titles.

He also earned 116 caps for Italy and helped them to win the 2006 World Cup, retiring in 2017 having spent two years in Major League Soccer at New York City FC after leaving Juventus.

Pirlo’s appointment as Juventus manager was a shock and although he did win the Italian Super Cup and Coppa Italia, it was not enough to keep his job.

It is the latest managerial move among Europe’s big clubs with Antonio Conte leaving Inter Milan to be replaced by former Lazio boss Simone Inzaghi and Zinedine Zidane departing Real Madrid.