Allegri returns for second Juventus spell in place of Pirlo

According to reports, Massimiliano Allegri will return to the Turin club for a second spell two years on from his departure, after reaching an agreement with the Juve hierarchy.

Massimiliano Allegri won five Serie A titles in a row in his first spell in Turin between 2014 and 2019.   -  Getty Images

Massimiliano Allegri has been appointed as the new Juventus coach, succeeding Andrea Pirlo, returning to the club for a second spell in charge, the Serie A side announced on Friday.

Allegri, who won five successive Serie A titles during his first spell between 2014 and 2019, as well as lifting the Coppa Italia four times and finishing as Champions League runners-up twice, replaces Pirlo, who was sacked after a poor season.

READ | Juventus confirms Andrea Pirlo sacking after one season in charge

Pirlo started his first season in charge of a senior side looking to make it 10 successive Serie A titles for Juve, but the rookie coach struggled.

Juve even headed into the final day of the season facing the prospect of failing to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 2011-12, but victory over Bologna, and other results going their way, saw them scrape in.

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

The back story

Maurizio Sarri’s appointment as Allegri’s successor brought a mixed response. The Napoli side he coached from 2015 to 2018 played dazzling football and pushed Juve close for the title in 2017-18, finishing second with 91 points.

But he was not a popular character among many Juve fans having spent years stoking the Napoli-Juve rivalry, including flashing a middle finger at Bianconeri supporters during his time in the southern Italian city.

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He led the club to a ninth league title in a row but that was regarded as the minimum expectation, and his side were unimpressive champions; the first Serie A winners in 16 years not to score the most or concede the fewest goals in the division. Sarri struggled to revolutionise Allegri’s pragmatic team into a free-flowing force – no easy task – and when his side suffered a last-16 Champions League defeat by Olympique Lyonnais, he was gone.

Nobody saw Pirlo’s appointment coming. He had no prior coaching experience and had not even achieved all his qualifications when he got the job.

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