Sarri holds his introductory presser


Maurizio Sarri was officially unveiled this morning. Fabio Paratici took the floor first: “The negotiation lasted less than a month, we had clear ideas from the beginning, we had to respect everybody. There were two great clubs involved, us and Chelsea, and I would like to thank them for the collaboration and Marina personally, who proved once again she is one of the best executive in the world. The playing style was not central in our decision, we appointed him because we believe he was the best coach possible right now, like we did for Antonio Conte and Massimiliano Allegri at those times. He showed great qualities in Premier League, in Italy and internationally, he is the best suited to lead us. He was our first choice. Winning always comes first, but there is not an exact recipe. We believed the chemistry between coach, team, club and fans had gotten weaker.

Then the new coach started answering questions: “I am very happy to be here. I do not think this is my most revolutionary choice, you need to take a look at the path I have taken. I gave my whole in Naples, because I was born there and I am a fan. I started having some doubts in the last few months, both professionally and logically, then they erased them by appointing Carlo Ancelotti, but the problem was mine. I decided to move abroad despite some offers from Italy. It was wonderful, but then I felt the need of returning and Juventus gave me this opportunity. This is the most important club in Serie A. I think I respected everybody and ultimately I have to respect myself too. Juventus were very determined to get me, they left a strong impression.”

On Italian football: “We have a long road ahead, when you see the English stadia you realize the inadequacy of our infrastructures. The climate is very different there. Here we have a little advantage in terms of managerial, technical and tactical expertise. The result is important there too, but not as much as here because they risk less in case of a loss. It will be a very interesting year seeing the other Serie A coaches, I like Antonio Conte, Marco Giampaolo, Ancelotti, Daniel Fonseca and Roberto De Zerbi a lot. There is a very fizzy atmosphere.”

On Champions League: “Juventus have the burden of being the favorite in Italy, while in Europe we are forced to start with the goal of winning, but there are eight/nine teams that do the same. We have more pressure domestically, Champions League has a monstrous coefficient of difficulty.”

On his scheme: “We have to evaluate what players can make the difference and put them in condition to deliver. I have used 4-3-3 recently, but I have played with a trequartista for years and the scheme was different at Chelsea. The tactic is the result of the skillset of the players.”

On his career: “I have not gone from being an amateur coach to joining Juventus in a day, it was a long journey. It gives me great emotion. Juventus have a hundred year plus of history, while Chelsea elevated themselves in the last 20 ones. So this is another step forward. I have managed very strong players, but we will take it up a notch with Cristiano Ronaldo because he is the best in the world. He already holds most of the records, I would like to help him break some more.”

On his remarks against the Old Lady while he was at Napoli: “I lived three years where beating Juventus was my first thought in the morning since we were the most credible rival. It was my moral duty, I gave 110% but we did not succeed. I would do it again, but it is clear that it was only a sporting rivalry and therefore it ended there. My professionalism will push me to give everything to Juventus now. I might have done what I did with some erroneous means and methods, but I think it can be intellectually admirable that I can even hate an opponent but in the end I have to appreciate it. I was not playing a character, I was representing a fan base that had not triumphed in a while and we were in the running right until the end. We wanted to seize power and Scudetto. It did not go our way, but the journey was fantastic.”

On being considered a traitor: “I have some messages that could put everything in question. At times the public statements are used to help you coexist with an environment, but then private talks are different. My path was clear, I went abroad after Napoli and Juventus pursued me very vehemently. I do not think I have disrespected anybody.”

On his first impression: “I needed just a pair of dinners to understand that they are a very strong and tight group and I like this mentality.”

On the skepticism by the fans: “It is something that has always accompanied me, at Empoli, Napoli and Chelsea. It is a fair sentiment considering my past, but as always the only way to win them over is to take home some victories.”

On the club’s motto: “I can not argue much about that because I won very little. I do not think having fun on the pitch clashes with it, because it can fuel good results. A team that enjoys itself is not necessarily frivolous. At Empoli I was accused I was trying to avoid relegation through proactive football and they told me I should have been more defensive. We reached our target with six rounds to go. History says that squads with opposite traits can be successful so it is fair for somebody to stay true to his ideas and convey them.”

On Paulo Dybala and Ronaldo as centre-forward: “I think that somebody with those skills can play anywhere, the interpretation of the role can change accordingly. Douglas Costa is a potential top player that maybe has not fully blossomed yet.”

On wearing a tracksuit: “I will talk with the management about it, I like to use it on the pitch, but we will discuss it. The important thing is that they do not send him out there naked.”

On the difference between the Partenopei and the Blues: “Napoli was made of players fully at disposal of the team that moved the ball at a superior speed. Chelsea had footballers with higher technique but with different characteristics and therefore our play was less fluid but equally dangerous due the quality of two-three guys. We had to enhance them, it would be crazy to change the skills of some players. We need to accommodate them.”

On the competition with Napoli: “I do not change my mind on the racist chants, Italy should stop because it transmits a distinct sense of inferiority compared to the rest of Europe. It is right to stop the games when they happen. We can not stay 30/40 years behind. I believe that when I will visit San Paolo, whether they will cheer or boo me, it will be a manifestation of love. I did what I had to do there, I was fully invested. I left Italy out of respect, but then if the best club comes calling, I have to respect myself and my profession.”

“I would like to talk with two or three players, Paratici will set it up. My experience taught me that it is better to share and I want to understand how they see themselves, especially the best ones. The offensive players can change a team, then we need great ones everywhere. We need to start from the most talented ones.”

“I have been part of a lot of negotiations over the last 30 years and I have believe I have some nose for them. I saw great determination sacrifice and attention in Juventus. We hit it off right away.”

On Gonzalo Higuain: “I am very fond of him, you know that and it is up to him. There are few executives here that have followed players for years so I will have to hear their evaluations.”

On the transfer market: “We will see, I will decide after I will have a better idea of the scheme and on how we will play. I do not request names, but skills. Paratici surely knows more players than I do. The path to install a philosophy and a playing style is very long, I do not think I can stay for 24 years like Alex Ferguson. I am not an integralist, the tweaks in Napoli and Empoli prove that.”

On the legacy of Allegri: “It is a heavy one, it is not easy to win as much as he has done. I would like to continue seeing a team that is able to turn around a game where it has struggled for a while. His one was very hard to deal with mentally.”

On Sarrismo: “I do not what it is, I read that it is a football philosophy in the Treccani encyclopedia. I hope I stayed true to my concepts, a direct person needs to say what he thinks and be able to take it too. This might lead to some clashes, but they are fixable. You can not do the same with untold stuff because it generates resentment.”

“I have not talked with Aurelio De Laurentiis, everybody thinks we have a bad relationship but that is not the case, I will be forever thankful to him. We might have had some differences, but coaching Napoli was a dream of mine. I will not reveal what Napoli players have reached out to me. I hope to speak with Allegri, but we usually discuss silly stuff. I have not chatted with Higuain since the Europa League final. He can play with anybody, but I feel like he was negatively affected by leaving Juventus, this last season was post-traumatic for him. He can still have two or three years at a high level.”

On adapting to the new scenario: “I do not know about that, I felt like I was among friends yesterday. I do not know what Stile Juve fully is. Some of my previous words were abused. Certainly the middle finger to the fans was an exaggerate reaction on my part but I explained it post-game and it was directed to a small group of fans. I do not consider those who insult Juventus supporters.

On coaching in England: “You know the media there more than I do. That makes you stronger, the coverage only partly arrived here. The Times and The Guardian also wrote positive things.”

On Federico Bernardeschi: “I like him a lot, he is technical and ordinate. He needs to be more consistent, now it is time for him to achieve that by playing in just one role. He has to become a specialist.”

On improving the squad: “My method is different, we have to be productive. My philosophy stays the same but I want to see how far it can go and how much I have to leave to the players. I would like Miralem Pjanic to touch 150 balls per game, but that has to help everybody. Every team is like a child, it is not automatic that they turn out in the same even though you raise them in a similar manner.”

Paratici was asked about Paul Pogba and Adrien Rabiot: “They are two top players, one belongs to Manchester United though, we love and groomed him. We are after Rabiot, like few other teams, but we are also pursuing other players.”

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