Agnelli and Allegri address the coach’s exit


Andrea Agnelli and Massimiliano Allegri held a joint presser to explain the decision to part ways. The president had the floor first: “I will not answer about any question about the next coach. I am here personally to celebrate Max, who has written the history of Juventus. We had not won five titles in a row since 1930’s. I remember on May 2013, where we were in London for the Champions League final, Fabio Paratici and I were staying the same hotel as Max and I told Fabio that I believed Allegri would be the next Juventus coach. It happened 14 months later and he came here amid much criticism. On that day, we were informed that a crowd had gathered at the Vinovo training center, the driver wanted to use a back entrance, but I told him that we had nothing to hide, we firmly believed in our choice. At the end of that season, I tweeted that it took some guts to accept the job on July 16th and lead the squad to victory.”

“He is the third winningest coach in our history, the second longest tenure after Giovanni Trapattoni, the one with the highest winning percentage. Five Scudetti, four Coppe Italia, two Supercoppe, two Champions League finals: these are incredible numbers and these five years were amazing.”

“Andrea Barzagli was a key figure in connecting us to the players, we have had breakfast and dinners together for a year and a half. Besides the numbers, we did not expect the march that brought us to Berlin. We were in a tough sledding the following season and we rattled off 15 wins in a row when everybody had written us off, then we won the thrilling duel with Napoli last season. This year was fantastic too, we sealed the deal in 30 games. In this journey, I have found a friend with which I could talk about professional matters but also several other topics.”

“The first team will gather in July again with the goal of winning, the management will have to strengthen the roster. We have great projects in mind for the women and the U-23 team. We will evaluate some investments on technologies to see if they can translate in new methods of training. Pavel Nedved, Paratici, Marco Re and Giorgio Ricci have my full confidence, they have the control of the day-to-day operations.”

“After the loss against Ajax, I genuinely thought we would move forward with Max, then  new analyses made as a group that brought us to this decision. There is some sadness right now, it was hard to figure out all together that it was time to put a bow on one of the most successful cycles of Juventus. We wanted to end it on a high note rather than drag things out. I would like to thank Allegri for what he gave to Juventus and to me personally.”

Allegri then answered few questions: “I would like to thank the chairman for the kinds words, the players for their contributions, also the ones who are gone. We had several satisfactions, I leave a winning team that can repeat in Italy and do well in Champions League. Unfortunately few factors aligned against ourselves this year and we could not pull it off. We shared our thoughts and then the executives made the decision. This does not change my relationship with them. I found an extraordinary group, alongside Giuseppe Marotta, we grew a lot together and now we part ways in the best possible way. The club is solid and the group of player is superb technically and on a human level. You need men to win. The chairman is great and determined, others are becoming important executives. We will celebrate the title and Andrea Barzagli’s retirement tomorrow, he is a professor, without taking anything away from the others. It will be a very nice soirees to celebrate our run.”

“I am serene, this kind of things happen, it’s normal. Some of the stuff that was written was wrong, I never asked for an overhaul or for a certain numbers of years in my contract, we did not even get to that point. Among smart people you understand when it is time to end things. Andrea and I figured out at dinner that we could no longer continue. It is easier than it looks. I am happy and emotional. Juventus will have a strong restart.”

Agnelli was asked whether the opinion of the fans matter: “No, it was a gut decision. When you manage a company, some decisions have to be taken at the right time, then the future will tell whether they are correct. Everybody can comment nowadays, but you can not know every element from the outside. I do not like yes ean, I want strong opinions and then I have to make strong decisions. Who can not bear this weight can not run things.”

The coach responded about the last month: “It was not too hard, I debated with everybody and it is fair. In the end, you have to reach your objective. It was a fine season, playing well or ugly sometimes depends only on the result. I have to analyze the performance though. Football games are made of strategy, you need to understand the moments and it is impossible to play well all the time, but the ones where you squeak it out make you win the title. I collected zero points in my first five games with Allegri, but we were playing well. The competition matters. There were nice moments and some not-so-great ones. When we won 15 matches in a row we were not lighting it up, but we were solid and we were not conceding goals. It is not a shame to defend. Great defenses win great games, Real Madrid did better than us in Cardiff for instance. I have yet to understand what playing well means. There are some categories in life: the winners and the losers and there must be a reason for that. It is not all theory. Then the losers tend to speak out, but it is better for me to avoid giving an example.”

“I did not want to be a coach-manager, in my mind such figure is involved in the club’s problems, from planning to marketing to choosing the players. It is not like I have never participated there. I have been called a company man, but it is not the same as a yes man, I simply shared the problems with the management, here like at Milan. When the revenues are so high, the coach must know that is going on. I do not think that I will ever have a managerial position, but it something that intrigues me. I am naturally curious.”

“I have been a Juventus fan since I came here, I had the Michel Platini’s poster in my room. He was fascinating. Being a Juventino gives you a precise DNA, it teaches you a lot, like the work culture, the discipline, it enriched me even though I am a little bizarre.”

Agnelli: “It was what we considered the best decision for the future of Juventus. It was a process. It is not like Max would have extended the contract on his own, the management calls the shots. This club has a certain history where everybody is useful and nobody is indispensable, myself included. In the end, we remember the history of Juventus, not of just one person. It is bigger than everybody. The decisions have to be taken in its best interest.”

Allegri: “I have always felt the warmth, the affection and the esteem of the fans. I am emotional about this kind of stuff, I wear my heart of my sleeve. It was never a problem to me, I can not please everybody. There was some criticism on my first day, but I was just thinking that I was about to ride a horse that had won three races in a row and it was amazing. I was smiling because I believed we would have a great season.”

“I do not know my future, maybe a pause will help, then it is normal that the itch to get back to work will return on July 15th. It is not only up to me. I will evaluate the offers, otherwise I will take a sabbatical and take some time for myself.”

Agnelli: “It was my toughest decision since I have been here. Paratici will build the new roster, the roles and the responsibilities are clearly defined. He will give you some answers in due time.”

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