Monday 15 July 2019

Maurizio Sarri reveals why he joined Juventus as he hits out at people questioning his appointment

Maurizio Sarri had an impressive record during his one season in charge at Chelsea (Nigel French/PA)
Maurizio Sarri had an impressive record during his one season in charge at Chelsea (Nigel French/PA)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Maurizio Sarri has revealed the passion of Juventus officials to bring him to Turin was vital in his decision to walk away from Chelsea, despite reports that the Italian champions had also approached Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino.

Sarri was unveiled as Juve's new mananger at a press conference on Thursday morning, with club officials also keen to stress Sarri was the only name on their list of candidates after he made it clear he was keen to quit Chelsea.

"When Juventus contacted me, the sensation was strong," stated the former Napoli boss, who was dressed in a suit and tie for his presentation as Juventus boss. "I've never seen a club so determined to get a coach in my 30 years here and that is what convinced me.

"I've never seen so many directors all so very determined to get a single coach. They were determined, convinced and united in their choice.

"Clubs are at the end of the day made up of people. I liked the unity I saw in the first approach from Juventus, as that is important for me. At the end of the day, you work for a club and what allows you to give another one per cent is the emotional bond with the people.

"I needed only a couple of meetings with them to realise how determined, strong and with a solid mentality they were. I like that.

"The Premier League was a great experience, but in the latter half, I felt professional and personal needs to return to Italy."

There has been some negativity towards Sarri's appointment at Juventus in the Italian media and fans of his former club Napoli have labelled him a traitor for his switch to their big rivals, but he fended off both of those points as he met the media.

"I arrive surrounded by sceptics, but then I always am. I had the same at Empoli, Napoli and Chelsea," he continued.

"I arrive at Juventus from Chelsea and the step might spark less scepticism, but I do come from a history and so I expect some rancor. In football, I know only one way of removing scepticism from the minds of people: win and do so convincingly. So all I can do is put on a show.

"I had three years at Napoli, I made a choice out of respect to them to go abroad. With the need to come to Italy, I received an offer from Juventus and that's it.

"In my life, I have respected everyone and given 110 per cent to every jersey I worked with. I'll do the same with these colours, I cannot do more than 110 per cent. My choices were very logical, there's no need to write a novel around it."

Sarri will now get a chance to work with Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo and he is relishing the challenge to coach a player who he felt compelled to proclaim as the best in the game.

"I've trained great players over the years, but with Ronaldo I move on to the next level, a player who is at the top of the world," he added. "This is someone with every record in world football and I'd like to help him set another, knowing I contributed to it.

"I trained a player with the all-time Serie A record for goals in a single season (Gonzalo Higuain at Napoli). I'd like to make that two. It would be an enormous satisfaction."

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