Andrea Pirlo was ‘laughing like crazy’ upon being appointed as Juventus manager, says ex-AC Milan CEO Adriano Galliani.
Just a week after being appointed in charge of the Under-23 side, Pirlo got an unexpected early promotion by replacing Maurizio Sarri as the head coach of the senior Juventus team.
This shocking turn of events in Turin came following the club’s Champions League last-16 exit against Lyon, who progressed on away goals upon finishing 2-2 on aggregate.
Despite proven candidates in Mauricio Pochettino and Simone Inzaghi on their shortlist, Juventus boldly chose the inexperienced Pirlo as Sarri’s replacement.
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The decision was so shocking, in fact, that Galliani claims that even Pirlo himself was in a state of disbelief.
He told Corriere dello Sport: “As soon as I heard Andrea on the phone, he was laughing like crazy.
“We met in Monzello on August 5 for Monza’s friendly with Juve’s Under-19 team and I told him: ‘You’ll see, Andrea, that you will have a great career. You’re destined to be a successful coach.’
“But I didn’t think it would only take him three days to get on the Juventus bench! I told him I imagined it would be in a few months. He laughed!”
The World Cup winner became a legend during his four-year spell in Turin. He pulled the strings from midfield, helping establish Juventus as the dominant force of Italian football.
He also enjoyed a fabulous spell at AC Milan between 2001 and 2011, winning two Champions League and Serie A titles.
Now Galliani has revealed that Pirlo showed signs of promise as a skilled manager even when he was still a player himself.
“Believe me, I already understood it then,” continued Galliani.
“He was a coach when he played and the field does not tell any lies.
“If I had to define Andrea with a single word, I would say intelligent. And besides, he was a student. Andrea studied. Whether it was the opponent, the context of matches, or situations within them. He’ll do very well at Juventus. I congratulated him.”
Now the big question is who will Pirlo make as his first signing during his managerial career? Former teammate Luca Toni thinks Paul Pogba would be perfect.