As we look to begin the new season of Italian football league, Serie A, all eyes are on the reigning defending 9-time champions Juventus.
This dominant club in the Italian football league asserted it’s authority when they signed one of the best players who ever lived; Cristiano Ronaldo in 2018. This signing however was not meant to reinstate them in a position they were already fully in control of, but the move was made to propel the team to a title (the UEFA champions league) that has been elusive to the team since 1995.
Unfortunately, they fell short of expectation and seeing as the blame couldn’t be pointed at the players who on average did an exceptional job all year round, all eyes quickly turned to the coaching staff. Maurizio Sarri who described Juventus as uncoachable, because the team was full of veterans who already knew it all, was relived from his duty after his one year tenure with the club failed to produce a UEFA finals appearance.
With his exit came the entry of a new head coach, who although has an impressive player resume, has zero experience running an entire team. This move may perhaps have been inspired by a similar scenario that played out in their Spanish league counterpart; Real Madrid.
Like Pirlo, Zinedine Zidane, was also once a rookie coach who had no experience running an entire team, even though he had served some time in the capacity of assistant head coach. Mid-way into 2016 La-Liga series, he was promoted to head coach, and this rookie manager since then managed to bag not one but three UEFA trophies, among other title wins, including a personal Best FIFA Men’s coach. And to top it all, the man who played a key role in facilitating this win, happens to be the same person who is the star of Pirlo’s squad, Cristiano Ronaldo.
So the question here remains; is this formula of a new coach with player experience one for success, or will mimicking Zidane’s success with coaching a Ronaldo-present team prove too difficulty for the rookie manager Pirlo to handle?