Juventus have confirmed that Andrea Pirlo has been sacked as head coach.
The Turin giants are close to re-appointing Massimiliano Allegri as their head coach to replace Pirlo, with the 53-year-old expected to re-sign within the next 24 hours.
Pirlo took over the reins from Maurizo Sarri last August and led Juve to the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana but they ended the Serie A season in fourth place, meaning that I Bianconeri missed out on the Italian top-flight title for the first time in a decade to Inter Milan, and they rescued a spot in next season’s Champions League on the final day of the 2020/21 campaign.
“Thank you, Andrea.”
“These are the first words that all of us need to say at the end of this special experience together. A few months ago, Andrea Pirlo, an icon on world football, began his new adventure, his first as a coach.
“To do this, first of all, it takes courage, as well as awareness of one’s own means, especially in a period marked by thousands of difficulties, with the world forced by the pandemic to reinvent its own rules day after day.
“Pirlo has just begun the first steps of what will no doubt become a brilliant career as a coach. An adventure of transformation, seeking, and often managing, to bring his ideas and his experience as a champion on the pitch from the “other side” of the fence.
“And since in football, what counts are the victories, let’s remember them: in the space of a few short months Pirlo’s Juve has raised two trophies: The Italian Supercup and the Coppa Italia. And he, as coach, brought home brilliant victories on the most prestigious of fields, from San Siro to Camp Nou.
“For all this, 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. As well as our good luck for the future that will surely be a wonderful one.”
The 42-year-old, who won seven major titles for Juventus as a player from 2011 to 2015, was originally named the club’s U23 manager on 31 July 2020, before taking over the role as first-team head coach in early August.
The 2006 World Cup winner’s Juventus side headed into the final day of the campaign facing the prospect of failing to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since the 2011/12 season, but victory over Bologna and Napoli’s failure to beat Hellas Verona, saw Pirlo’s side scrape into fourth place.
Juventus were knocked out of the Champions League at the last-16 phase by Porto, meaning that for the second time in successive seasons Juve were eliminated early from European competition and this did not help the former Italy international’s cause.
In the meantime, Allegri is expected to return to the Turin giants on a €9m (£7.7m)-a-year deal, just two years after he left the club.
Allegri led Le Zebre to two Champions League finals, he also defended the Serie A title for five years in a row during his time at the club and Juve also went onto win four Coppa Italia titles from 2014 to 2019.
Pirlo’s departure from Juventus comes with managerial changes going on at some of Europe’s leading clubs following the end of their seasons.