Andrea Pirlo and Ronaldo in a past match. [Photo: Courtesy]

Juventus have sacked coach Andrea Pirlo after one season in charge, the Italian Serie A club confirmed on Friday.

Pirlo was appointed last summer with no prior coaching experience and could only lead reigning Serie A champions Juventus to fourth place this season, with Massimiliano Allegri expected to return for a second spell as manager. 

Pirlo was dismissed despite winning two trophies (Coppa Italia & Supercopa Italiana) in the 2020/21 season.

Pirlo with the Coppa Italia trophy after beating Atalanta 2-1 in the final. [Photo: Courtesy]

“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,” Juventus said in a statement seen by The Standard Sports.

The former midfield maestro started his first season (2020/21) in charge of a senior side looking to make it 10 successive Scudetti for Juventus, but the rookie coach struggled and Inter Milan won it comfortably.

Juve even headed into the final day of the season facing the prospect of failing to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 2011-12, but victory over Bologna, and the draw (Napoli 1-1 Verona) going their way, saw them scrape in.

While Pirlo did manage to win the Coppa Italia by beating Atalanta earlier this month, Juve’s league position, coupled with a second-successive Champions League last-16 exit, put the coach’s job on the line.

Allegri won five Serie A titles in a row in his first spell in Turin between 2014 and 2019, as well as lifting the Coppa Italia four times and finishing as Champions League runners-up twice, but he has not coached since. 

Juventus message to Pirlo as posted by the Italian giants:

 

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