June 23, 2021

‘I had offers from Premier League’ – Pirlo claims he turned down big moves to become Juventus U23 manager

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The Italian legend has explained his decision to begin his coaching career with the Bianconeri reserve side

Andrea Pirlo has claimed he turned down offers from the Premier League and Serie A to become Juventus‘ new U23s manager.

Pirlo was officially unveiled in his new role at the Allianz Stadium on Thursday, as he took charge of the club’s reserves following Fabio Pecchia’s departure.

The former Italy international racked up 164 appearances for Juve between 2011 and 2015, winning seven major trophies in total including four Serie A titles.

Pirlo went on to spend two years in MLS with New York City FC before hanging up his boots in 2017, and has since taken the necessary steps to move into coaching.

The 41-year-old has opted to begin his management career in familiar surroundings, with ex-Juve goalkeeper Marco Storari also returning to the club in a sporting director role to help him in his first year in the dugout.

Pirlo is now ready to put into practice everything he learned from his former managers, and has already made it his goal to emulate the achievements of modern-day managerial greats Pep Guardiola and Zinedine Zidane.

The World Cup winner says that although he received plenty of interest from other clubs, he always felt that Juve was the best place for him to gain experience.

“I have had many coaches, everyone has taught me a lot: [Carlo] Ancelotti, [Marcelo] Lippi, [Antonio] Conte and [Massimiliano] Allegri – but I think everyone has to go their own way,” Pirlo told a press conference at his presentation ceremony.

“My team will have to play well, it will always have to play to win. I hated many things as a footballer, and I don’t want to see them as a coach.

“Guardiola and Zidane? Everyone would like to imitate their paths, but you must deserve it.

“I also had proposals from other Serie A and Premier League teams, but I felt this was the right path to start my coaching career.”

Pirlo went on to discuss his managerial philosophy, promising to draw on his experiences as a player to create an environment for success. He added: “My team will have to play well, it will always have to play to win. I hated many things as a footballer, and I don’t want to see them as a coach.”