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‘So now I have to call you Mister!?!?!’: Buffon congratulates new Juventus boss Pirlo

Legendary Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was among the first to congratulate former team-mate Andrea Pirlo on his shock appointment as the new manager of the Turin giants.

Juventus had been heavily linked with both Zinedine Zidane and Mauricio Pochettino, though have opted to turn to Pirlo just nine days after appointing him as coach of the Under 23 side.  

Pirlo played at Juve alongside Buffon, who at 42 is a year older than his new boss. 

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

The decision came hours after the Turin club sacked coach Maurizio Sarri following their Champions League last-16 exit to Olympique Lyonnais on away goals on Friday.

Former Chelsea manager Sarri had been in charge for one season and led Juve to a ninth successive Serie A title but still fell well short of the enormous expectations at the club, who have set their hearts on winning the Champions League.

The presence of five-times World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo in attack has increased expectations.

‘Today’s choice is based on the belief that Pirlo has what it takes to lead from his debut on the bench an expert and talented squad to pursue new successes,’ Juve said in a statement.

‘Today begins a new chapter of his career in the world of football, as it was said almost a week ago: from Maestro to Mister,’ it added.   

Juventus may be hoping Pirlo can replicate the achievements of Zinedine Zidane, another former world class player who has enjoyed success at Real Madrid despite having no previous coaching experience.

Ex-Juve player Zidane has won two La Liga and three Champions League titles in two stints with the Spanish side since he was first handed the reins.  

Pirlo will have to deal with huge expectations at Juve where winning Serie A is now seen almost as an obligation.

The Turin club have clearly set their hearts on winning the Champions League but it has proved elusive with Juve having lost in the 2015 and 2017 finals. 

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