BREAKING NEWS: Juventus confirm Allegri return after Pirlo departure

By Sports Desk May 28, 2021

Massimiliano Allegri has returned to Juventus for a second spell as head coach after Andrea Pirlo's departure.

Pirlo on Friday left the Turin giants barely nine months after signing a two-year deal to take over from Maurizio Sarri.

The former playmaker failed to live up to expectations as a coach and Juventus brought an abrupt end to his reign. 

The Bianconeri wasted little time in revealing that Allegri has returned as boss of the Serie A giants, who were dethroned as Italian champions by Inter this month.

Allegri, who was linked with Inter and Real Madrid before agreeing to rejoin his former club, had been out of work since ending his hugely successful tenure with Juventus two years ago.

The 53-year-old masterminded five consecutive Scudetto triumphs in his first spell at the club, and his team lifted the Coppa Italia on four occasions.

Juve were beaten Champions League finalists with Allegri at the helm in 2014-15 and 2016-17.

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    The Nerazzurri coasted to their first Scudetto since the 2009-10 campaign as they clinched the title with four games to spare, courtesy of a 20-game unbeaten run at the end of the season.

    Despite Conte's title-winning campaign, the Italian head coach left by mutual consent in May before Inzaghi, who was previously at Lazio, was appointed at San Siro.

    And after returning to Italy following Belgium's Euro 2020 semi-final exit, Lukaku, who scored 24 times in 36 league outings while also providing 11 assists in 2020-21, revealed how hungry he is to work with Inzaghi towards further success.

    "We had a good chat on the day that the club announced that he was going to be the new coach and we also spoke when I was at the Euros," Lukaku told Inter's media on Monday.

    "My brother has also told me plenty about him. He's a good coach. I think he’ll help the team achieve so much.

    "We hope we can all work together to continue down the path that we've started."

    Only in 2016-17 at Everton did the forward (25 goals) score more times in one of Europe's top-five leagues than last season and the Belgian promised to chase more silverware in 2021-22.

    "We now have a few weeks to prepare as well as we can for the new campaign," the 28-year-old added. "We hope to do well and achieve even more than last year.

    "I’m thrilled to be back. We hope to continue down the path that we’ve started and to keep winning. All the players will work hard to make your dreams come true."

    Inter get their title defence underway at home to Genoa on August 21 after facing Atletico Madrid on August 7 in their final pre-season friendly.

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    Cristiano Ronaldo joined Juventus' pre-season training on Monday ahead of the 2021-22 Serie A campaign.

    The former Real Madrid forward had been on holiday after Portugal's Euro 2020 last-16 exit against Belgium but has now returned as Juventus prepare to attempt to regain their Serie A title, which Inter won last time out.

    Ronaldo, whose five goals and one assist powered him to the Golden Boot at Euro 2020, is set to become a free agent at the end of the following campaign and speculations persists surrounding his future.

    The Portugal captain is due to sit down with Massimiliano Allegri, who was in charge when he initially joined from Madrid in 2018, as the pair prepare for the upcoming season.

    Allegri, who won five straight Serie A titles and four league and cup doubles during his previous tenure, was reappointed following Andrea Pirlo's dismissal and will be grateful to be able to call upon the experience and quality of the 36-year-old.

    Last season, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner scored 29 times to win the Capocannoniere and added to his top-scorer awards from the Premier League and LaLiga with Manchester United and Madrid respectively.

     

    Since joining Allegri's men in 2018, only Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski (103) has outscored Ronaldo (73) in all competitions among players in Europe's top five leagues.

    Ronaldo's 83 goal involvements over that period rank fourth behind Lewandowski (121), Lionel Messi (106) and Kylian Mbappe (97).

    Yet, despite his Serie A dominance, Juventus could only muster a fourth-place finish in 2020-21 and questions have arisen as to how far Ronaldo's patience will stretch, given he is progressing towards the end of an illustrious career.

    Nevertheless, Ronaldo and Allegri prepare for their Serie A opener against Udinese on August 22 with a friendly against Monza on Saturday before a potential meeting with old foe Lionel Messi on August 8 at Camp Nou against Barcelona.

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