Frank Lampard's appointment as Chelsea head coach was widely heralded by the club's fanbase, who were desperate for a returning hero to succeed in the dugout.

Just 18 months later and Lampard – the club's record all-time leading goalscorer who won 11 major honours at Stamford Bridge – has been sacked.

The Blues have proven in the past there is little time for sentimentality or to dwell on past successes and not even a player with the stature Lampard holds at the club has been granted extra time.

Lampard's first season in charge brought a top-four finish and an FA Cup final but a run of just two wins in eight league matches saw Chelsea wield the axe with the team ninth and 11 points off top.

A huge close-season recruitment drive that saw the likes of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech and Ben Chilwell arrive perhaps gave the Blues hierarchy itchy feet and brought about the end for Lampard.

With that in mind, we have looked at some hits and misses when players have returned to a club as boss.

HITS

Pep Guardiola

After leaving Barcelona as a player in 2001, Guardiola returned as the Barca B boss in 2007 before being promoted to head coach of the first team a year later. Over four years in charge at Camp Nou he led the Blaugrana to 14 trophies, including three LaLiga titles and two Champions League crowns. Success has continued to come Guardiola's way with Bayern Munich and Manchester City.

Zinedine Zidane

World Cup winner Zidane was part of Real Madrid's 'Galacticos' in the early 2000s and he finished his playing career at the Santiago Bernabeu. Like Guardiola, he returned to oversee the second team before stepping up to the top job after the departure of Rafael Benitez in January 2016. Zidane went on to win an unprecedented three successive Champions League titles with Madrid before stepping down in May 2018, only to return 10 months later. He has already won LaLiga and the Supercopa de Espana in his second stint, though a slump this term has left his long-term future shrouded in doubt.

Antonio Conte

In 13 seasons as a player for Juventus, Conte won almost everything there is to win – five league titles, the Coppa Italia, the Champions League and the UEFA Cup. He moved into management two years after retiring and worked his way back to Juve after spells with Arezzo, Bari, Atalanta and Siena. Juve won three straight Scudetti under Conte – the start of their ongoing dominance – before he accepted the Italy job in 2014. Conte is now battling to end the Bianconeri's domestic dominance as head coach of Inter.

Roberto Di Matteo

Di Matteo accepted the top job at Chelsea in 2012, having previously been assistant to Andre Villas-Boas. Di Matteo – who won the FA Cup twice with the Blues as a player – went on to lift two trophies as Chelsea boss, including their first Champions League title with a penalty shoot-out win over Bayern, but he was discarded early in the following season.

MISSES

Alan Shearer

Record Premier League goalscorer, Newcastle United legend and lethal England striker – Shearer's playing career was full of success. When he retired in 2006, Shearer moved into television as a pundit, but when the Magpies came calling in 2009 he stepped in to try to save them from relegation. Sadly for Shearer he was unsuccessful, his eight-game reign ending in Newcastle slipping out of the top flight after a 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa on the final day.

Filippo Inzaghi

Employing former players as head coaches had previously worked well for Milan – Fabio Capello and Carlo Ancelotti proving particularly successful. When the Rossoneri turned to Inzaghi in 2014 after Clarence Seedorf's brief tenure, the move was therefore no surprise. However, the former striker – who won eight major trophies at the club in his playing days – flopped, winning just 14 of his 40 matches in charge as Milan finished 10th, their worst league position in 17 years.

Thierry Henry

Henry made his name at Monaco after breaking into the first team in 1994, the forward going on to become a world champion and a Premier League icon with Arsenal. After a period as youth coach with the Gunners, Henry was named as Belgium boss Roberto Martinez's assistant. Permanent roles with Bordeaux and Aston Villa were mooted, but in October 2018 Henry chose Monaco. He lasted just three months, losing 11 of his 20 matches in charge across all competitions before being replaced by Leonardo Jardim, the man he had succeeded.

Juan Jose Lopez

One of the most decorated players in River Plate history, having won seven league titles in an 11-year spell, Lopez was a popular appointment after making a strong impact in his second period as caretaker manager in 2010. However, he subsequently presided over a poor 2011 Clausura campaign, forcing River into a relegation play-off against Belgrano, who won 3-1 on aggregate. It was the first time River dropped out of the top tier, sparking riots which left many people injured.

JURY'S OUT

Mikel Arteta

Arteta served Arsenal with distinction as a player between 2011 and 2016, captaining the club and winning the FA Cup twice. Success in football's oldest cup competition followed last term, with Arteta having replaced Unai Emery in December 2019. After finishing eighth, Arsenal defeated Liverpool on penalties to win the Community Shield but eight defeats from 19 league games in this campaign have left Arsenal 11th and 13 points off top spot.

Andrea Pirlo

Lampard's opportunity at Chelsea arrived when Maurizio Sarri departed for Juventus, but his stint in charge at the Bianconeri lasted just one season despite winning the Serie A title. Pirlo won four Scudetti, the Supercoppa Italiana twice and the Coppa Italia during a four-year stint as a player in Turin and was appointed head coach just a week after being installed as Under-23 boss. So far it has been a mixed bag in Juve's hunt for a 10th straight title, with six draws and two defeats in 18 matches leaving them seven points back of league leaders Milan – albeit they do have a game in hand. Pirlo also collected a first trophy courtesy of victory over Napoli in the Supercoppa Italiana last week.

Barcelona are reportedly considering letting goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen leave to join Bayern Munich.

Ter Stegen, 28, only re-signed with the LaLiga giants last month, but the star shot-stopper's future appears far from certain.

Could he join Manuel Neuer at Bayern?

 

TOP STORY – BARCA CONSIDER SELLING TER STEGEN TO BAYERN

Barcelona are considering selling Ter Stegen to Bayern Munich to help their financial position, according to TodoFichajes.

The report says the European champions consider Ter Stegen a perfect replacement for Neuer, 34, and could make an €80million move at season's end.

Ter Stegen, who is contracted until 2025, and Neuer have been widely considered two of the world's best goalkeepers in recent seasons.

In last season's Champions League, Neuer had a save percentage of 77.1 – which was ranked behind only Andre Onana (80) and Alex Meret (79) of goalkeepers who played at least five games. Ter Stegen (67.5) ranked 16th.

Neuer made 28 saves and Ter Stegen 27, which ranked fifth and sixth respectively.

 

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Bayern and David Alaba looks set for an exit when his contract expires at the end of the season. CalcioMercato reports Juventus and Inter are monitoring the defender, who has reportedly been offered to Real Madrid.

- As expected, Barcelona appear ready to make another move for Manchester City defender Eric Garcia. Sport claims the LaLiga giants are prepared to offer €8m (£7.2m) for Garcia in January.

- Radja Nainggolan could leave Inter in January. The Serie A giants are prepared to sell the midfielder to Cagliari, where he was on loan last season, for around €10m, according to CalcioMercato.

- Fiorentina suffered another Serie A loss, beaten 2-0 by Roma on Sunday, and head coach Giuseppe Iachini remains under pressure. CalcioMercato says former Chelsea and Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri is the number one candidate for the job at Fiorentina, who are 11th in the table.

Miralem Pjanic has claimed Maurizio Sarri did not trust the Juventus players during his fractious time in charge last season. 

Former Napoli and Chelsea boss Sarri steered Juve to the Serie A title but was sacked in the aftermath of the shock Champions League last-16 exit at the hands of Lyon. 

That European disappointment, combined with defeats in the finals of the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana, meant Juve's ninth consecutive Scudetto was not enough for 2019-20 to be considered a success. 

It was Sarri's relationship with his stars that appeared to be the biggest concern at the club, with president Andrea Agnelli suggesting there was a lack of "alchemy" between players and coach. 

Pjanic, who made 30 Serie A appearances under Sarri last season, has now indicated the squad never felt they had the full backing of the man in charge. 

"Sarri had no trust in his men, and that disturbed me," Pjanic, who then joined Barcelona in a swap deal involving Arthur, told Tuttosport.

"Every player in that dressing room has always given their all for the club. You may not get on with one or two, but I'm sorry that sometimes people's evaluation was wrong. 

"However, this never affected our performance. All the players are professionals and want to win. But if a coach questions this, that's what triggers what the president spoke about. 

"Nobody doubts Sarri's qualities as a coach, but there was this problem. At the end of the day, we still brought home another Scudetto, which you can never take for granted." 

Juve won the title by just one point from Inter, winning just two of their final eight games of the league season, but many fans had long since become disillusioned by their style of play. 

They scored 76 goals, up six from 2018-19, but conceded 13 more than they did in Massimiliano Allegri's final campaign in charge. 

Sarri's commitment to possession-based play meant Juve played nearly 1,700 more passes in their 38 league games than they had managed in 2018-19, yet their number of passes played into the box dropped from 1,257 to just 1,090.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be ready to extend his contract at Milan after a fine start to the season. 

Ibrahimovic returned to the Serie A club in January, extending his deal in August through until the end of the 2020-21 season. 

However, the veteran striker could be set to remain at the club for longer, per speculation in Italy.

 

TOP STORY – IBRAHIMOVIC COULD RENEW AT MILAN UNTIL 2022

Ibrahimovic's agent Mino Raiola is already studying a plan to extend the striker's deal at Milan until 2022, according to Corriere della Sera.

The 39-year-old has scored four goals in two Serie A games for league leaders Milan this season, including a brace in the derby win over rivals Inter at the weekend.

Ibrahimovic netted 10 goals and provided five assists in 18 league appearances in 2019-20.

ROUND-UP

- Unhappy about being left on the bench against Crotone, Paulo Dybala's future at Juventus is again a subject of interest. However, Tuttosport reports the aim is still for the playmaker – who is contracted until 2022 – to renew his deal before January.

- Barcelona could be set for good news. Goal reports Barcelona are working on new deals for Frenkie de Jong and Clement Lenglet after agreeing to a contract with goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Meanwhile, AS says Gerard Pique is ready to accept a pay cut.

- Phil Jones is yet to play for Manchester United this season and could leave in January. The Sun reports United could demand £20million for the defender, who is contracted until 2023.

- Maurizio Sarri could be set for a return to coaching. CalcioMercato reports the former Juventus and Chelsea boss is a target for Fiorentina amid pressure on Giuseppe Iachini after the club collected just four points from their opening four Serie A games of the season.

- Out of contract at Marseille at season's end, Florian Thauvin could be set for a move. Le 10 Sport says Milan are interested in the forward.

- With Virgil van Dijk out due to a serious knee injury, Liverpool could be looking for a defender in January. Football Insider says Brighton and Hove Albion defender Ben White remains on the Premier League champions' radar.

Eduardo Camavinga is one of Europe's hottest talents.

The 17-year-old's stock continues to rise following his exploits for Rennes and France.

Will Real Madrid be able to land him?

 

TOP STORY – MADRID CHASING CAMAVINGA

Rennes star Eduardo Camavinga remains Real Madrid's transfer objective, according to AS.

Madrid were desperate to sign Camavinga during the off-season but the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic prevented the LaLiga champions from doing so.

As Camavinga continues to star following his France debut and first international goal, Madrid remain determined to prise the teenager from Rennes before someone else does in 2021, when in which they plan to target Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe.

 

ROUND-UP

Milan have opened contract negotiations with star goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and in-form midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu, reports Calciomercato. Donnarumma has previously been linked to the likes of PSG, Chelsea and Juventus.

- Radio Radio claims former Juve head coach Massimiliano Allegri has met with Roma's owners amid doubts over Paulo Fonseca's future in the Italian capital. Ralf Rangnick also been linked to Roma. Ex-Juve boss Maurizio Sarri has also reportedly emerged as a target for Roma and Fiorentina.

Manchester City have made progress with Kevin De Bruyne regarding contract talks, says The Times. City want to offer the Belgian star a new five-year deal.

Tottenham are confident of signing Swansea City centre-back Joe Rodon before the October 16 domestic deadline, reports the Evening Standard. Spurs were heavily linked with Inter star Milan Skriniar. Wales international Rodon has also caught the attention of Manchester United.

- Sky Sports says West Ham are interested in signing Bournemouth forward Joshua King. The Norway international was close to joining United in January.

- El Chiringuito TV claims Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has no intention of bringing in Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund

Juventus are having "more fun" under new boss Andrea Pirlo compared to last season when Maurizio Sarri was in charge, according to midfielder Aaron Ramsey.

Pirlo was named as Sarri's successor last month and marked his first competitive game in charge with an impressive 3-0 win over Sampdoria last weekend.

Ramsey, who was in and out of the side last season, enjoyed arguably his best game for Juve as he created an unrivalled six chances – including an assist for Cristiano Ronaldo.

And the Wales international revealed the mood has now changed in the dressing room on the back of iconic former midfielder Pirlo's appointment.

"We have a new coach, a new staff, new ideas and the players are very involved in this," he told Sky Sport Italia.

"I think we are having more fun than last year. The training sessions are hard but there is also a little bit of joy."

Dejan Kulusevski and Leonardo Bonucci were also on target for Juventus in their opening match, but Ramsey believes there is still more to come from his side ahead of Sunday's trip to Roma.

"We started well but we still need to improve," he said. "In this team there are many great players, who can all play and help the team reach their goals.

"I'm happy to be able to play together with these top-quality attackers."

Inter finished just a point behind Juve last season and are expected to push the champions all the way this campaign after spending big during the close season.

Ramsey is predicting a tight battle at the top this term, adding: "Inter are a great team and have signed a lot of players. They are are one of the contenders for the Scudetto.

"Like Napoli, who are very strong. Milan finished last season well and started the same way. Serie A is a very tough league."

Andrea Pirlo has unleashed the shackles and given Juventus' players a lot more freedom to attack opponents, according to veteran defender Leonardo Bonucci.

Juve replaced Maurizio Sarri with first-time coach Pirlo last month and the legendary midfielder kicked off his tenure with a 3-0 win over Sampdoria in Juve's 2020-21 Serie A opener on Sunday.

Reigning champions Juve registered 20 shots at Allianz Stadium and scored from three of them, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Bonucci and debutant Dejan Kulusevski finding the back of the net.

And after a largely disappointing campaign last time out under Sarri, Bonucci believes that Pirlo has already made big changes during his short time in the dugout.

"We saw some new ideas proposed by the coach and his staff, a new way of interpreting the game, a lot of enthusiasm both in possession and off the ball," he told Sky Sport Italia.

"The big difference is the way we are attacking the game and taking the initiative, trying to bring home the result. Seeing the work of the last few weeks and this game, I think it is better.

"There are different movements, as with Sarri we moved far more as a group in defence, whereas with Pirlo we are more one-on-one, giving us more freedom to be aggressive and win back the ball more often.

"We have four central midfielders with the right characteristics to play like this. They are aggressive and also good at passing the ball. That way, we have more quality in possession, which I see as a difference from last season."

Sarri was reportedly sacked by Juventus after failing to win over the dressing room with his style of play, which won him plenty of admirers at Serie A rivals Napoli.

However, Bonucci insisted rumours that the club's old guard forced Sarri out of the door are wide of the mark.

"We accepted any changes made by the club," he said. "This season, the new coach is Pirlo, who changed the way of understanding football that we had last year. 

"It's early to say if it is right or not, but it is different, with a very precise mentality of being aggressive and not wanting to concede goals.

"We had that same attitude last year, because you don't win nine Scudetti in a row without it.

"We're old enough to behave like real professionals. Pirlo is now our coach and we have the utmost respect for all our coaches, just as we try to help all our coaches from within the locker room.

"Fortunately, this is a squad full of great men who are accustomed to working with great champions. That makes it easier for everyone concerned."

Asked if Pirlo reminded him more of Sarri or Massimiliano Allegri – another of his former bosses in Turin – Bonucci said: "Much more similar to Allegri, that is obvious. 

"Pirlo has much the same impact he had as a player - you knew that you could give him the ball and trust he wouldn't lose it. Now it's the same as a coach. There is that same trust."

Gonzalo Higuain has hinted Major League Soccer could be his next destination if he is not in the plans of new Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo.

Higuain, 32, has been with Juve since 2016 when he moved from rivals Napoli and, although he enjoyed a fine first season in Turin with 32 goals across all competitions, he was less impressive the following year.

With Cristiano Ronaldo then arriving at Juve in 2018, Higuain was deemed surplus to requirements and spent the season on disappointing loan spells with Milan and then Chelsea.

Higuain was given another shot at Juve following the arrival of his former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri last year, despite him failing to impress under the Italian with Chelsea.

But a rather meagre goals tally of 11 in 43 matches does not bode well for his future, particularly given Sarri was sacked after Juve's Champions League last-16 elimination by Lyon.

Higuain insists no decision has been made yet as he still needs to talk with Pirlo, though a return to Argentina appears unlikely as he seems to prefer the idea of following his older brother Federico to MLS.

"I don't miss Argentine football, I like watching it, but no, I don't miss it," he told Fox Sports.

"I started young there and today Argentina should open its eyes because so many players hesitate to return, especially for the future of their families.

"Many now go to the United States, to China, or Saudi Arabia at the age of 25. I only left because it was Real Madrid.

"I'll rest and think. On the 24th [of August], I'll return to Italy. I have to introduce myself [to Pirlo] and see what happens with the new manager. I'm sure there will be a different dynamic.

"Many players go to MLS, it would be nice, yes, but now I'm here, let's see what happens."

Whatever happens in the short term, Higuain's future after his playing days are over will not involve management – instead, he wants to work with the "next generation".

"I will not become a coach due to the mental and physical stress that this implies," he said.

"All the coaches arrive with black hair and three years later they turn grey. I want the next generation to learn and know what it means to be a footballer, which is not playing in the square with your friends.

"I want to show them what I have experienced. Children today are very aware of what they will say and are influenced by what their parents have told them about me. Thus, the child will learn differently.

"I think that growth in Europe has been different, they respect me more abroad than there [Argentina]."

Gianfranco Zola said he is "surprised" by Juventus' decision to appoint first-time head coach Andrea Pirlo following Maurizio Sarri's dismissal.

Pirlo, 41, was sensationally appointed Juve coach on Saturday after the Serie A winners sacked Sarri following their Champions League last-16 exit at the hands of Lyon.

Former Juve midfielder Pirlo, who was only recently named the Under-23s boss in Turin, will surprisingly have his first taste of senior coaching with the Bianconeri.

Zola worked as an assistant to Sarri at Chelsea in 2018-19 and he told Sky Sport Italia: "I'd be lying if I said I wasn't surprised by this.

"It's fascinating and if the project works, it'll go down as a huge success story for the club. It's not an easy job, though, as Juventus are asking to win in a certain way.

"This is a courageous move from the club and based on the quality of the man, but Pirlo will need their support going forward. It's not simple, but I do think he can have real success."

Pirlo left Juve in 2015 after the Bianconeri, who had been chasing the treble, were beaten 3-1 in the Champions League final by Barcelona.

He spent two years in MLS with New York City before calling time on his playing career.

The 2006 World Cup winner is a six-time Serie A champion, having won two Scudetti with Milan and four with Juve. He twice triumphed in the Champions League as a Rossoneri player, in 2003 and 2007.

Paulo Dybala tweeted out his appreciation for Maurizio Sarri the day after the Italian coach was sacked by Juventus.

The Serie A champions decided to take swift action following Friday's Champions League exit to Lyon, announcing the end of Sarri's reign less than 24 hours after the second leg of the last-16 tie.

Juve did not wait long to name his replacement either, giving the job to Andrea Pirlo just over a week after appointing the former Italy international as their new under-23 team coach.

The internal promotion came as a surprise too, considering links to former Juve player and current Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane, ex-Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino and Simone Inzaghi, who is in charge of domestic rivals Lazio.

Reacting to the departure of Sarri, Dybala published a picture on Twitter of the pair together with the comment: "Thank you so much for everything Mister!"

Argentina international Dybala enjoyed an excellent 2019-20 season under the former Napoli and Chelsea boss, scoring 11 goals and providing six assists in the league as the Bianconeri finished top of the table for a ninth successive year.

Dybala - who was linked with a move away from Turin last year, including to Manchester United - was named Serie A MVP for his performances in domestic games, including Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana games.

Juventus have appointed Andrea Pirlo as their new head coach on a two-year deal.

The former Italy midfielder took charge as the Under-23s boss at his old club just nine days ago but has now been named as Maurizio Sarri's successor.

Sarri was sacked on Saturday after Juve were knocked out of the Champions League on away goals at the last-16 stage following a 2-2 aggregate draw with Lyon.

Ex-Juve player and current Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane emerged as one of the initial favourites for the role, along with ex-Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino and Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi.

There was also speculation Italy boss Roberto Mancini could be offered the post, but the club has promoted Pirlo instead.

"From today he will be the coach for Juventus, as the club has decided to entrust him with the technical leadership of the first team, after having already selected him for Juventus Under-23s," a statement read.

"Today's choice is based on the belief that Pirlo has what it takes to lead from his debut on the bench, an expert and talented squad to pursue new successes."

Pirlo left Juve in 2015 after the Bianconeri, who had been chasing the treble, were beaten 3-1 in the Champions League final by Barcelona.

He spent two years in MLS with New York City before calling time on his playing career.

The 2006 World Cup winner is a six-time Serie A champion, having won two with Milan and four with Juve. He won two Champions Leagues as a Rossoneri player, in 2003 and 2007.

Juventus are confident Andrea Pirlo is "destined for greatness" and a natural fit for the club, says chief football officer Fabio Paratici.

Juve dismissed Maurizio Sarri on Saturday in the wake of their Champions League exit at the hands of Lyon on Friday.

Sarri spent just one season at the club, winning the Serie A title but failing in the Coppa Italia and Champions League and his replacement was surprisingly announced just hours later.

Pirlo, who rejoined Juve as the Under-23s coach last week, has signed a two-year deal.

However, despite the job being Pirlo's first in senior coaching, Paratici – whose future is also reportedly in doubt – has full faith in the former midfielder.

"The decision for Pirlo was very natural, in the Juventus style, because he is someone who played with us, has always been in contact with everyone here and it felt natural," Paratici told Sky Sport Italia.

"We also believe he is destined for greatness. He was as a player and we think with confidence he can do the same as a coach."

Paratici reiterated Juve's decision to relieve Sarri of his duties was based on the entire 2019-20 campaign, not just the Champions League exit.

"We had already said, one game does not decide the future of a coach. Our evaluations were based on the whole season and not just a single match," Paratici added.

"A season is long, there are many moments and situations that then add up. There wasn't any spark.

"We simply came to this consideration at the end of a very long season, even after winning the Scudetto. It's not just Europe that decides on success or failure. 

"We are in unexplored territory, because nobody has won nine consecutive Serie A titles before. We achieved it with several eras, really, because they tend to last three to four years. We are at our third era in a row of success, it's almost inexplicable."

Juventus' elimination from the Champions League spelled the end for Maurizio Sarri and the start of a new era under Andrea Pirlo.

Despite leading the Bianconeri to a ninth straight Scudetto in 2019-20, Sarri was fired after Juve crashed out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage to Lyon on Friday.

Pirlo was at the heart of Juve's brilliant midfield during the start of their Serie A dominance, winning four Scudetti, the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa Italiana twice during a four-year stint that ended when he moved to New York City in 2015.

A week after returning to Juve as their Under-23 boss, Pirlo was handed the reins of the first team ahead of the 2020-21 campaign.

He is not the first club legend to go back and manage a team they played for, though, and we have taken a look at the biggest successes and failures.

HITS

Pep Guardiola

After leaving Barcelona as a player in 2001, Guardiola returned as the Barca B boss in 2007 before being promoted to head coach of the first team a year later. Over four years in charge at Camp Nou he led the Blaugrana to 14 trophies, including three LaLiga titles and two Champions League crowns. Success has continued to come Guardiola's way with Bayern Munich and Manchester City.

Zinedine Zidane

World Cup winner Zidane was part of Real Madrid's 'Galacticos' in the early 2000s and he finished his playing career at the Santiago Bernabeu. Like Guardiola, he returned to oversee the second team before stepping up to the top job after the departure of Rafael Benitez in January 2016. Zidane went on to win an unprecedented three successive Champions League titles with Madrid before stepping away in May 2018, only to return 10 months later. He has already won LaLiga and the Supercopa de Espana in his second stint.

Antonio Conte

In 13 seasons as a player for Juventus, Conte won almost everything there is to win – five league titles, the Coppa Italia, the Champions League and the UEFA Cup. He moved into management two years after retiring and worked his way back to Juve after spells with Arezzo, Bari, Atalanta and Siena. Juve won three straight Scudetti under Conte – the start of their ongoing dominance – before he accepted the Italy job in 2014. Pirlo will have to get the better of his former coach Conte, now at Inter, if he is to maintain the Bianconeri's run of titles.

Roberto Di Matteo

Di Matteo accepted the top job at Chelsea in 2012, having previously been assistant to Andre Villas-Boas. Di Matteo – who won the FA Cup twice with the Blues as a player – went on to lift two trophies as Chelsea boss, including their first Champions League title with a penalty shoot-out win over Bayern Munich, but he was discarded early in the following season.

MISSES

Alan Shearer

Record Premier League goalscorer, Newcastle United legend and lethal England striker – Shearer's playing career was full of success. When he retired in 2006, Shearer moved into television as a pundit, but when the Magpies came calling in 2009 he stepped in to try and save them from relegation. Sadly for Shearer he was unsuccessful, his eight-game reign ending in Newcastle slipping out of the top flight after a 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa on the final day.

Filippo Inzaghi

Employing former players as head coaches had previously worked well for Milan – Fabio Capello and Carlo Ancelotti proving particularly successful. When the Rossoneri turned to Inzaghi in 2014 after Clarence Seedorf's brief tenure, the move was therefore no surprise. However, the former striker – who won eight major trophies at the club in his playing days – flopped, winning just 14 of his 40 matches in charge as Milan finished 10th, their worst league position in 17 years.

Thierry Henry

Henry made his name at Monaco after breaking into the first team in 1994, the forward going on to become a world champion and a Premier League icon with Arsenal. After a period as youth coach with the Gunners, Henry was named as Belgium boss Roberto Martinez's assistant. Permanent roles with Bordeaux and Aston Villa were mooted, but in October 2018 Henry chose Monaco. He lasted just three months, losing 11 of his 20 matches in charge across all competitions before being replaced by Leonardo Jardim, the man he had succeeded.

Juan Jose Lopez

One of the most decorated players in River Plate history, having won seven league titles in an 11-year spell, Lopez was a popular appointment after making a strong impact in his second period as caretaker manager in 2010. However, he subsequently presided over a poor 2011 Clausura campaign, forcing River into a play-off against Belgrano, who won 3-1 on aggregate. It was the first time River dropped out of the top tier, sparking riots which left many people injured.

Juventus have appointed Andrea Pirlo as their new head coach on a two-year deal.

The former Italy midfielder took charge as the Under-23s boss at his old club just nine days ago but has now been named as Maurizio Sarri's successor.

Sarri was sacked on Saturday after Juve were knocked out of the Champions League on away goals at the last-16 stage following a 2-2 aggregate draw with Lyon.

Ex-Juve player and current Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane emerged as one of the initial favourites for the role, along with ex-Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino and Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi.

There was also speculation Italy boss Roberto Mancini could be offered the post, but the club has promoted Pirlo instead.

"From today he will be the coach for Juventus, as the club has decided to entrust him with the technical leadership of the first team, after having already selected him for Juventus Under-23s," a statement read.

"Today's choice is based on the belief that Pirlo has what it takes to lead from his debut on the bench, an expert and talented squad to pursue new successes."

Pirlo left Juve in 2015 after the Bianconeri, who had been chasing the treble, were beaten 3-1 in the Champions League final by Barcelona.

He spent two years in MLS with New York City before calling time on his playing career.

The 2006 World Cup winner is a six-time Serie A champion, having won two with Milan and four with Juve. He won two Champions Leagues as a Rossoneri player, in 2003 and 2007.

Cristiano Ronaldo spoke of the importance of making "the best decisions for the future" in the wake of Juventus' Champions League exit and the sacking of Maurizio Sarri.

Ronaldo scored twice on Friday to give Juve a 2-1 win over Lyon in Turin, but it was not enough to prevent them going out at the last-16 stage on away goals after a 2-2 aggregate draw.

On Saturday, the Bianconeri announced they had sacked head coach Sarri barely a year after he was appointed following his departure from Chelsea.

Sarri guided Juve to a ninth Serie A title in a row, but defeat to Napoli in the Coppa Italia final and a failure to instil his playing style on the squad had led to doubts about his suitability to the job.

Andrea Pirlo, who was only appointed coach of the Juventus under-23 team last month, soon emerged as favourite to take charge at the Allianz Stadium.

Ronaldo urged everyone at Juve to use the short off-season for "critical thinking" so that they can return to satisfy fans' expectations.

While he did not mention Sarri or the speculation around the coach's possible replacement, the Portugal star made it clear the club now need to get things right.

"The 2019-20 season is over for us, much later than usual but yet sooner than we expected," Ronaldo wrote on Instagram.

"Now it's time for reflection, time to analyse the ups and downs because critical thinking is the only way to improve.

"A huge club such as Juventus must always think like the best in the world, work like the best in the world, so that we can call ourselves one of the best and biggest clubs in the world.

"Winning the Serie A once again in such a difficult year is something that we are very proud of. Personally, scoring 37 goals for Juventus and 11 for the Portuguese national team is something that makes me face the future with renewed ambition and desire to keep doing better and better each year.

"But the fans demand more from us. They expect more from us. And we have to deliver, we must live up to the highest expectations.

"May this short vacation break allow us all to make the best decisions for the future and come back stronger and more committed than ever. See you soon!"

Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo's former coach at Real Madrid, was fancied by some as a potential candidate to succeed Sarri.

Italy boss Roberto Mancini, ex-Tottenham man Mauricio Pochettino and Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi were linked with the job in the immediate aftermath of Sarri's departure.

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