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Maurizio Sarri sacked by Juventus after Champions League exit, with Andrea Pirlo to be named next manager

Italian leaves after one season with the Serie A champions

Maurizio Sarri was only in charge at Juventus for one season. Reuters
Maurizio Sarri was only in charge at Juventus for one season. Reuters

Maurizio Sarri was sacked by Juventus on Saturday, one day after the Italian club were eliminated from the Champions League last 16 by Lyon.

Despite Cristiano Ronaldo's double in a home 2-1 win on Friday, Juve fell 2-2 on aggregate to the French club, ending their quest for a title they last won in 1996.

It is the first time since 2015/16 that Juve have failed to at least reach the Champions League quarter-finals.

"Maurizio Sarri has been relieved of his post as coach of the first team," the nine-time reigning Serie A champions said in a statement.

Sarri, 61, replaced Massimiliano Allegri last season, after leading Chelsea to success in the Europa League.

"The club would like to thank the coach for having written a new page in Juventus' history with the victory of the ninth consecutive championship, the culmination of a personal journey that led him to climb all the divisions of Italian football," the statement said.

Andrea Pirlo, the former Juventus, AC Milan and Italy midfielder, is expected to be named the club's new manager, according to Italian media reports.

Pirlo was appointed the Juventus Under-23 manager on July 30, but the exit of Sarri looks set to elevate 41-year-old to the first team dugout. It will be Pirlo's first managerial position.

Despite leading Juve to a ninth straight Scudetto, his first as a manager, Sarri paid for the club's failure on the European stage.

Juve also lost in two finals this season, the Italian Cup – where they were beaten on penalties by Napoli – and the Italian Super Cup, courtesy of an emphatic 3-1 victory for Lazio in Riyadh.

Although victorious in Serie A, Juventus were at their least convincing under Sarri, accumulating their lowest points total of any of the nine successive titles.

Hired on the basis of his trademark "Sarriball" that made Napoli one of the most exciting teams in Europe during his three seasons in Naples, Sarri's Juve failed to fully convince.

For a team famed for its defence, Juventus conceded 43 league goals, while a manager with a reputation for attacking football saw his side end the season as only the fifth-most prolific team in Serie A, despite being able to call on the services of the world's best striker in Ronaldo.

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Juventus 2 Lyon 1 in pictures

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The writing was on the wall for Sarri on Friday after Juve president Andrea Agnelli expressed his disappointment at his club's underperformance in the Champions League.

"This season's balance is bittersweet, we had a great result winning the ninth championship, but the performance in the Champions League has been disappointing for everyone," he said.

"The Champions League is not a dream, it's an objective. We need to be disappointed to exit the competition like this, we will take a few days to evaluate how to restart with fresh enthusiasm.

"We have a few goals that need to be met, both domestically and internationally. We will need to make a few evaluations to understand how to start the next season with the will to work and win on any pitch."

Lazio manager Simone Inzaghi is the favourite to fill the vacancy, while Mauricio Pochettino, who has been out of work since being sacked by Tottenham Hotspur in November last year, has also been linked with the role.

Updated: August 8, 2020 09:51 PM

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