Massimiliano Allegri returns for second spell as Juventus manager after Andrea Pirlo gets sacked

Decision came just hours after Pirlo's one-year stint came to an end

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Serie A - Sampdoria v Juventus - Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris, Genoa, Italy - May 26, 2019   Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri before the match   REUTERS/Massimo Pinca/File Photo
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Juventus handed Massimiliano Allegri a second spell as manager just hours after sacking Andrea Pirlo following just one season on Friday.

Pirlo was appointed last year with no previous coaching experience and could only lead reigning Serie A champions Juventus to fourth place this season.

Allegri, who won five Serie A titles in a row in his first spell in Turin between 2014 and 2019 as well as lifting the Coppa Italia four times and finishing as Champions League runners-up twice, returns to Juve having not coached since.

"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," Juventus said in a statement.

"Allegri finds a bench that he knows very well, a club that he loves and that loves him back, as today a new journey begins together, towards new goals.

"What he achieved in his first adventure at Juventus is engraved in the club's history. And now we are ready to begin again with Allegri, to build our future together."

Pirlo, a former Juventus and Italy midfielder, started his first season in charge of a senior side looking to make it 10 successive Serie A titles for Juve, but he struggled from the start.

Juve headed into the final day of the season facing the possibility of failing to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 2011-12, but victory over Bologna saw them scrape in.

"It's been an intense, complicated year but still wonderful. When I got the call from Juventus, I never thought about the risk I was taking," Pirlo said.

"If I had to go back I would make the exact same choice again, although aware of all the obstacles I encountered in such a difficult time for everyone, which prevented me from better planning my intentions and my style of play.

"This adventure, despite an unexpected ending, made it even clearer what I would like my future to be, which I hope will be just as complete and fulfilling as the one I experienced as a player."

While Pirlo did manage to win the Coppa Italia by beating Atalanta this month, Juve's league position, coupled with a second successive Champions League last-16 exit, put the coach's job in danger.