In what seems like the craziest managerial announcement of the year, Serie A club S.S. Lazio took to Twitter hours before the club confirmed Maurizio Sarri’s appointment to hint at who their next manager will be in a cryptic way. 

The club’s twitter account posted a cigarette emoji and that was enough for everyone to catch on. The cigarette emoji tweet doubled down on Italian reports linking the chain-smoking manager to Lazio on a two-year deal.

He was sacked by Juventus in August 2020 after winning the Serie A title. Sarri also won the Europa League with Chelsea in the 2018-19 campaign before making a move to Juventus the following year. 

The Italian manager also served Napoli from 2015-2018 and played a key role in the club having two second-place finishes. His time with Napoli saw his popularity grow as his free-flowing and expansive brand of football stood out, leading to it being christened Sarri-ball.

Lazio finished sixth in Serie A in 2020-21 and have been looking out for a replacement for Simone Inzaghi who signed for Inter Milan last week. Sarri taking charge could result in an upturn in fortunes for Lazio and if his signing announcement is anything to go by then we can expect an entertaining tenure from the 62-year-old.

A former bank manager, Sarri’s well known for his notorious love for nicotine. While he was in the Serie A, the Italian was frequently seen smoking on the sidelines.

Chelsea even gave him a personalised smoking area at Stamford Bridge for him to puff away. He is known to exhaust around 80 cigarettes a day.

With every stadium in England having a no-smoking policy, Sarri is also known to have chewed tobacco on numerous occasions. His dugouts have often been pictured with cigarette butts.

Bundesliga’s RB Leipzig even built a temporary wall once to allow him space to smoke before and after a game. Back in football, the 62-year is certain to add to his list of tobacco-centric antics from the sidelines as manager of Lazio.

Featured image : Carlo Hermann / AFP