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Andrea Pirlo is the man who freed Juventus fans from Sarri’s nightmare

Andrea Pirlo was announced as Juventus’ new manager over the weekend in what was a shock move by the Italian giants.

Within hours of bidding farewell to Maurizio Sarri, the Bianconeri appointed their former midfield maestro to take charge.

But how has the decision been welcomed in Turin? Alvise Cagnazzo is an Italian journalist who has his say on Pirlo being the man in the Juventus hotseat…

Juventus fans are in love with the man who made 164 appearances in four years at the club. 

Pirlo orchestrated games from the heart of the midfield in a side that won seven trophies between 2011 and 2015.

Juventus supporters and chairman Andrea Agnelli are desperate to reach 40 Scudettos before Inter Milan acquire 20. Juventus are on 36 while Inter have 18 to their name. Is Pirlo the man to deliver?

Pirlo will be the second youngest coach in more than 100 years at Juventus at 41 years and 123 days. The record is still held today by current Everton manger Carlo Ancelotti, who in February 1999 became Juventus coach at 39 years and 249 days. 

Considered the savior of Juventus, Pirlo is seen as the one who freed the fans from Sarri’s nightmare and his stubbornness to play 4-3-3. His task will be to rediscover Juventus’ identity.  

Instantly, Pirlo transforms the profile of Juve. For fans, his arrival brings elegance and class to the Juventus bench. The Juve faithful were less than impressed by his predecessor’s clothes and the half-cigarette always on his lips. Sarri did not seem to fit the mould of one of Europe’s top clubs.

Even though the decision to appoint Pirlo has got the seal of approval, his appointment comes with its risks. 

Gianluigi Buffon was among the first to congratulate former team-mate Pirlo, but how will he be viewed in the dressing room?

Posting on Instagram after the announcement, Buffon wrote: ‘So now I have to call you Mister? Good luck #CoachPirlo.’ 

The biggest risk is that Pirlo will be considered a friend and not a coach, part of the group of players and not the man leading the Italian champions.

Many players played with him in the early years with Antonio Conte in the dugout and he has best friends Buffon, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini who shared with him the years of his rebirth within the club. 

The relations with sporting director Fabio Paratici and vice-president Pavel Nedved are excellent as well as the friendship with Agnelli with whom he has always had excellent relations even during the period of his life he spent in New York. 

Pirlo is an exception in that his first coaching position was for the club’s Under 23 side and he was only given that role nine days prior to the top job. 

There are fears over his lack of experience and Inter, who finished one point behind Juventus this season, could take advantage.

The Juve faithful are keen for Pirlo to succeed but know all too well how putting faith in a young, inexperienced manager can end.

Former Juventus defender Ciro Ferrara took charge of the club in 2009 but failed to deliver and left before the end of that season.  

‘Coaching friends can be a problem,’ Ferrara told Mediaset.

‘Buffon, for example, has a supporting role on the pitch but very important in the dressing room and he can help. 

‘I had some difficulties when I had to make decisions as manager and then leave someone out. 

‘For me it was an unforgettable experience. It is a risk but perhaps this is the right time. As happened with Sarri it will be judged by results, this is the fate of the coaches.’

Yes, Pirlo will be measured on results, but those associated with Juventus are willing him on to become the conductor of a highly successful side.

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