Hours after Juventus relieved Maurizio Sarri of his duties, former midfielder Andrea Pirlo was roped in as the club's new manager, sending the entire footballing world into a frenzy.
Pirlo, who had an impressive four-year spell with the Old Lady between 2011 to 2015, was recently named the coach of Juventus' U-23 side, but took over the senior team after Sarri was sacked following the club's exit from the Champions League at hands of Lyon.
"The 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," Juventus said.
"Today, begins a new chapter of his career in the world of football: from Maestro to Mister."
Sarri joined Juventus on a three-year contract last summer after guiding Chelsea to the Europa League triumph, and although he did win the Scudetto in his first season, his style of play failed to impress the faithful. Under his management, Juventus also failed to win the Italian Cup and Italian Super Cup.
Thanks for everything, Mister Sarri. pic.twitter.com/Qt9O98bNkt— JuventusFC (#Stron9er 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆) (@juventusfcen) August 8, 2020
Pirlo, on the other hand, hung boots in 2017 and has since been known for being a wine connoisseur. He, in fact, own vineyard in Italy, which reportedly produces around 15–20,000 bottles a year. Reacting to the news, Napoli manager Gennaro Gattuso warned Pirlo that his playing career will count for little.
"Well he's screwed now… That's the job," Gattuso told Sky Italia following Napoli's defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League on Saturday.
"He's lucky to be starting at Juventus, but this profession is one where a great playing career is not enough.
"You have to study, to work hard, and you don't get much sleep."
Meanwhile, at Juventus, Pirlo will coach his former teammate Gianluigi Buffon, who is actually a year older than him.
"So now I have to call you Mister!?!?! Good luck for this new challenge Andrea!," wrote Buffon on Twitter.
Fans, on the other hand, were ecstatic with the news and here's how they are reacting:
Before taking the Madrid job, Zinedine Zidane had:— Zach Lowy (@ZachLowy) August 8, 2020
-Worked as Florentino’s advisor and learned under Mourinho
-Worked as sporting director and discovered Varane
-Worked as Ancelotti’s assistant
-Coached RM Castilla
Pirlo took a few UEFA classes before taking the Juve job.
Pirlo next season when Bentancur and Rabiot can't do simple diagonal passes. pic.twitter.com/qeXze55sVP— Idris (@kingidris11111) August 8, 2020
Pirlo (sound up) pic.twitter.com/g6cSKXAy3E— ♫ Adriano&Paulina ♫ (@keet0007) August 8, 2020
🔴 Solskjaer at Man Utd— Fergie's Fledglings (@RedDevilTimes) August 8, 2020
⚪️ Zidane at Real Madrid
🔴 Arteta at Arsenal
🔵 Lampard at Chelsea
⚫️ Pirlo at Juventus
Can't wait for Man City to replace Guardiola with Stephen Ireland.
Pirlo after watching us play one game in Europe pic.twitter.com/MkbjeGA9Cr— MickFlairDrip (@m1897) August 8, 2020
Credit to Sarri for winning one of the most difficult Serie A but he never managed to create empathy with the Juventus world. Pirlo brings that enthusiasm mentioned by Agnelli after Juve-Lyon Agnelli. It’s a choice more than a gamble. The scent of the future. @tuttosport pic.twitter.com/FCBuj7wMkf— Around Turin (@AroundTurin) August 9, 2020
#Pirlo appointment as @juventusfcen Coach isn’t just about a club trying to stay close to its long held footballing philosophy but also an indictment of the lack of top quality coaches/managers available in the market today— Jaideep Bhandarkar (@jbhandarkar75) August 9, 2020
Swapping Sarri for Pirlo is the greatest managerial glow up of all time— Matthew Stanger (@MatthewStanger) August 8, 2020
Need Pirlo to show up on the touch line with a glass of vino next season. pic.twitter.com/HsMYkiGjDm— dan colosimo (@dancolosimoo) August 8, 2020
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Marco Bertorello