Juventus have announced that Andrea Pirlo has been sacked as manager.
A statement on the club’s website read: “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 of 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.”
Pirlo, a three-time Serie A winner as a player for Juve, was hired in his first senior management role at the beginning of the 2020-21 season after Maurizio Sarri left following the Bianconeri’s elimination in the Champions League round of 16 to Lyon.
The decision comes after a disappointing campaign in which Juve again exited in the Champions League at the same stage — this time against FC Porto — and are only in next season’s competition as Napoli’s home draw with Hellas Verona allowed them to finish in fourth place on the final day of the Serie A season.
Juventus’ statement continued: “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.”
Massimiliano Allegri, who has also been linked with the vacant Real Madrid job following Zinedine Zidane’s departure, is the favourite to succeed Pirlo.
He was Juve manager from 2014 to 2019 and won the Serie A title in each of those five campaigns as well as the Coppa Italia on four occasions. Under Allegri, Juve also reached the Champions League final twice.
Prior to joining Juve, Allegri had led AC Milan to their last Serie A title in 2010-11.