The under 23 team of Juventus currently plays it’s football in the third tier of Italian football, in Serie C Group A. Till now they were coached by Fabio Pecchia, a former Juventus player.
Pecchia has been an assistant manager in big clubs such as Real Madrid and Newcastle. His coaching stint with the under 23 team of Juventus has been pretty successful, as they bagged the Coppa Italia and the Serie C trophy before the COVID pandemic hit the sporting world.
However, last Monday, the junior Juve team failed to win and get promoted to Serie B. They tied 2-2 in their match against Carrarese. Due to lower league ranking than their opponents, Juve failed to make it to the playoffs and thus their season came to an end.
This is probably what prompted a change in the managerial position for the squad.
Enter Andrea Pirlo.
This Italian midfielder is a veritable legend of the sport. A deep-lying playmaker in the midfield, he is hailed by many as the greatest player to have ever graced that position.
Pirlo’s extraordinary career is adorned with trophies and awards galore. Called Il Maestro for his incredible passing skills, he went on to win the Serie A six times. Two of these came with AC Milan and four league titles came with Juventus. He also won the Champions League twice with the Rossoneri. But his crowning achievement remains to lift the World Cup for Italy in 2006.
In 2015, Pirlo left Juventus for a brief run with the New York City FC in MLS, before finally hanging up his playing shoes in 2017 and starting to study for his coaching badges.
After 5 years, he is returning to Juventus again and this time as a coach, replacing Fabio Pecchia for the under 23 team.
Great expectations from the maestro:
The rumors had been floating around for quite a while but Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano was the first one to break the news to the world. According to him, the Juventus chairman Andre Agnelli wants him to start coaching the junior team and work his way up to the first team, much like Pep Guardiola and Zinedine Zidane did with Barca and Real Madrid respectively.
The official site of Juventus soon put the seal of confirmation on the news and released statements that said things like,
“Today marks the start of a new adventure for Andrea Pirlo and Juventus, who return to work together five years later.”
They made things clearer by stating that, “Andrea is, in fact, the new coach of the Under 23 team.”
Although Maurizio Sarri, the current manager of the first team has been performing very well in his first season, having won the Scudetto, it seems the club is already making plans to replace him in the near future.
The ex-Italy international and Napoli youth boss Roberto Baronio is touted to join Pirlo as an assistant coach for the Old Lady of Turin.
The Italian World Cupper has had a remarkable run with Juventus after signing on as a free agent in 2011, having won the league title in all the years he played. Now he returns as a manager and no doubt the club and fans will be expecting great things.
Hopes are rising as he gears up to bring the U23 side up to the second tier in just their third year of playing senior football.