Allegri told young Barzagli to switch to defence

Andrea Barzagli, Juventus

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri was advising Andrea Barzagli as early as 2000 when they were teammates at Pistoiese.

Allegri was nearing the end of his 19-year playing career in Italy’s third tier, where he noticed that his young teammate was not playing in his ideal position.

"I was approaching the end of my career so I was practically a former player already while he was only starting and he was playing in midfield," Allegri told Sky Sport Italia.

"I told him that if he carried on playing that way, he would never have played higher than the third division.

"I said that if he wanted a different kind of career, he needed to change, he needed to drop back 15 metres."

The player and manager, now 36 and 49 respectively, have gone on to reach the pinnacle of Italian football with the reigning Serie A champions.

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