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AFP
June 17, 2019

Sarri takes charge at Juventus after leaving Chelsea

Sports

AFP
June 17, 2019

MILAN: Maurizio Sarri was named as new coach of Juventus after his exit from Chelsea was confirmed by both clubs on Sunday, following a troubled single season in London.

Sarri returns to Italy on a three-year deal just a season after leaving Napoli for Stamford Bridge, where he failed to garner fan support despite winning the Europa League and returning the Blues to the Champions League thanks to a third-placed finish in the Premier League.

“Maurizio Sarri has returned to Italy, where he has coached for the majority of his career. And from today, he will take over the reins at Juventus with a contract until June 30, 2022,” Juventus said in a statement.

The Europa League win last month was Sarri’s first major trophy as a coach, but he will be expected to deliver far more in Turin. Juventus have won Serie A for the past eight seasons, denying Sarri during his time at Napoli despite posting a club record points tally in each of his three years in charge.

However, Massimiliano Allegri left the Bianconeri at the end of the campaign after failing to guide the Italian giants to Champions League glory. With Ronaldo now 34, Juventus’ first Champions League title since 1996 will be Sarri’s top priority. The Italian champions are keen on the brand of football Sarri imposed during three years at Napoli.

However, questions will be asked of Sarri’s ability to handle a dressing room of big egos at Juventus given his struggles to impose the same style and deal with player relations at Chelsea over the past year.

Sarri routinely questioned the mental strength of his squad at Stamford Bridge, claiming they were “difficult to motivate.” He looked set to leave in February when his authority was questioned after goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga refused to be substituted towards the end of the League Cup final to stay on the field for a penalty shootout, which Chelsea lost to Manchester City.

Yet, Sarri did manage to end on a high as Chelsea lost just one of their last eight Premier League games while the other contenders for a top-four finish stumbled towards the end of the season.

Eden Hazard then bade farewell in fitting fashion by scoring twice in a 4-1 rout of Arsenal in the Europa League final to ensure Chelsea again ended the season with a trophy despite the turmoil.

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