On Sunday the 16th of June, Serie A giants Juventus officially announced the arrival of their new manager, Maurizio Sarri. Sarri, who had been the Chelsea manager until then, ended his stint with the Blues before returning to Italy.
Prior to joining Chelsea at the beginning of the 2018-19 season, Maurizio Sarri used to manage Napoli, one of Juventus’ biggest rivals in the Serie A. He also almost led Napoli to a Serie A title in 2017-18 but the team failed to do well in the final few weeks of the season. Sarri eventually had to give up on his race for the league trophy – to none other than Juventus who were then managed by Massimiliano Allegri.
Allegri left Juventus after leading them to yet another Serie A title last season and Sarri will henceforth take up his role as Allegri’s successor.
However, now that the signing of the Italian as the Bianconeris’ new manager has been made official, Napoli fans cannot but remind him of some comments made by the man himself during his tenure as their manager. Some of the comments were made in spite against Juventus and it is those statements that have managed to acquire the most attention.
For instance, during his first season at the helm of the Naples-based club, he accused the referees of being partial to Juventus when it came to decisions involving penalties.
During a Serie A game against Udinese in November 2015, Napoli barely escaped a defeat thanks to a solo goal by striker Gonzalo Higuain, while a sure-shot penalty that could have doubled their advantage was not awarded by the referee. After the game, Sarri was understandably asked about the penalty decision.
“To win penalties, you have to make striped shirts for the team,” the Italian was quoted as saying by Tuttonapoli.
The Italian publication established that the “striped shirt” reference was aimed directly at Juventus and that it was only one of the many instances where Sarri mocked the Bianconeris back then.
Keeping the above in mind, it will be interesting to see how the 60-year-old will team up with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala at his new club.