Juventus have announced the departure of head coach Andrea Pirlo after just one season in charge.
The Italian, who previously played for the Turin side, was appointed as Maurizio Sarri’s replacement in September but could only guide the club to a fourth-placed finish in Serie A, ending a run of nine successive titles.
Pirlo did win the Italian Super Cup and Coppa Italia, but it was not enough to keep his job.
He received a heartfelt goodbye from the club he represented 164 times over a four-year period.
A statement on the Juventus website said: ‘Thanks Andrea. These are the first words that all of us must pronounce at the end of this special experience lived together.
‘A few months ago Andrea Pirlo, an icon of world football, began a new adventure on the Juventus bench, his first as a coach.
‘To do this, first of all it takes courage, as well as awareness of one’s own means, especially in a period marked by many difficulties, with the world forced by the pandemic to reinvent its own rules day after day.
‘Andrea did it too: he started (and we are sure of this: his will be a brilliant career as a coach) a journey of transformation, seeking, and often managing, to bring his ideas and his experience as a champion on the pitch from the ‘Other side’ of the barricade.
‘For the courage, the dedication, the passion with which he demonstrated every day, our thanks go to the ‘Maestro’, the coach and to Andrea, that really comes from the heart, as well as our good luck for the future that will surely be a wonderful one.’
Juve are another one of the top clubs in Europe who will be having a managerial change this summer, with Antonio Conte leaving Inter Milan and Zinedine Zidane exiting Real Madrid.
Former boss Massimiliano Allegri has been heavily linked with a return to the club he left in 2019.
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