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Sarri hopeful of ‘one or two players’ as Chelsea fight transfer ban





The world soccer governing body on Wednesday, upheld Chelsea’s transfer ban, after they were found guilty of breaching rules on the transfer and registration of overseas players under the age of 18.

Chelsea refuted FIFA’s findings and said that they would appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Sarri said that the Premier League club needed to invest in the market to close the gap on league leaders, Manchester City and Liverpool.

“I don’t believe in when you buy 10 players. I think we have to buy only one or two players.

“It’s very difficult to cover the gap at the moment. We need to work; probably we need to do something from the market.

“It’s not easy, because the level of the top two is very, very high.

“Otherwise it’s very difficult to improve immediately. I think we are a very good team, so we need only one, two players, no more,” he told Reporters on Wednesday.

Sarri said that he had not discussed the situation with the club’s hierarchy as he prepared his squad for Eintracht Frankfurt’s visit for the second leg of their Europa League semi-final tie on Thursday.

The first leg ended 1-1.

“We didn’t speak about the market, also because, at the moment, we don’t know if we’ll be able to go into the market.

“If the club is banned from making any transfers, then we’d have to keep the squad we have and bring some of the loan players back in, and that would give them an opportunity to play more.

“But, for me, that’s not something that should be used to get an opportunity to play. It should be down to hard work and playing well,” the Italian added.


Sarri complains about VAR confusion




Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri complained about VAR confusion in his team’s match at SPAL on Saturday, saying it was a “great injustice” that a penalty was awarded against his side following a review even though the pitchside monitor was not working.

The Turin side were leading 2-0 when SPAL’s Simone Missiroli went down under a challenge from Daniele Rugani in the penalty area.

Andrea Pestagna converted although Juventus still won 2-1.

Referee Federico La Penna, who initially waved played on, was alerted to a possible infraction.

But he appeared to have problems with his ear-piece, instead talking to VAR officials via a walkie-talkie and when he tried to review the incident on a pitchside monitor, that was not working either.

He eventually awarded the penalty on the basis of information from the VAR officials — much to the anger of the Juventus bench.

“Today, we conceded a penalty on the basis of VAR even though VAR wasn’t working.

“It seems a big injustice to me.

“If the monitor doesn’t work, the (pitch) referee should decide. If it had happened the other way around, the world would have collapsed.

“I am the first coach to suffer a penalty on the basis of a VAR decision without the referee looking at it,” he added.

“I understand that the rules allow it and La Penna explained it to me but I do not agree with it,”said Sarri.

Serie A referees generally consult the pitchside monitor when reviewing an incident, unlike their counterparts in the English Premier League who rely on information from the video officials.

Edited By: Felix Ajide


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Football : Sarri says jeers would be a sign of affection for him



Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri will consider it a sign of affection if he is jeered when the Turin side face his former club Napoli on Sunday after his first return to the San Paolo stadium since his acrimonious departure in 2018.

“It’s a special match for me, but we mustn’t waste energy on something personal when we have a collective goal which is to bring home the three points,” the chain-smoking Sarri told reporters on Saturday.

“There are whistles for me, it will be a show of affection,” added Sarri, who was in charge for three seasons at Napoli during which time he built a memorable team although he was not able to lead them to the Serie A title.

He was eventually sacked to make way for Carlo Ancelotti, despite leading Napoli to second place with a club-record points tally, and said he found out about the dismissal on the television.

Juventus, chasing a ninth successive title, go into the game with a four-point lead at the top while Napoli have dropped to eleventh place.

They have lost four out of five Serie A matches under new coach Gennaro Gattuso but they enjoyed a morale-boosting win over Lazio in the Coppa Italia on Tuesday.

“We want to carry on where we left off on Tuesday. “It is not easy to prepare for it, Juventus are a team of champions and Sarri’s influence on the team is beginning to show. Facing Juventus gives you a headache.

“I want us to sniff out potential danger, work for each other and not let the opposition take control of the game. I saw many positives against Lazio and we need to follow that path,” said Gattuso.


Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Maharazu Ahmed

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Ronaldo will be motivated by goal slump, says Sarri



Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri believes that Cristiano Ronaldo will only be more motivated to reaffirm his greatness after his recent goal slump for the Italian champions.

The Portuguese returned from injury to start Juve’s 1-0 Champions League win over Atletico Madrid on Tuesday but the 34-year-old has hit a slump in form by his sky-high standards after failing to score in his last four games for the Turin giants.

Champions Juve, who host Sassuolo on Sunday as they look to maintain their one-point lead over Inter Milan at the top of Serie A, will have Ronaldo available — and Sarri would not be surprised to see a champion’s response from the Portuguese

“Players, who are used to scoring are always anxious to score goals. They are used to finding the net regularly, so they are amazed when they don’t manage to for a few games,” Sarri told reporters on Saturday.

“It’s the same for Ronaldo, like all the great players. I think it’s a healthy attitude because it gives him motivation.

“Clearly Ronaldo is not a player like all the others. It’s pointless to think that all the players are equal.

“If someone were to not accept that situation, it would be a problem for them and not for the team, but I see no such issues. Everyone is crystal clear.

“Cristiano is an immense resource. He has stamina, but perhaps lacks a little in sharpness right now, which is only to be expected.

“We have three forwards of enormous potential who are alternating, so we always expect a lot from them.”

Edited & Vetted By: Joseph Edeh/Ephraims Sheyin

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Sarri hoping to make Juventus debut after pneumonia



According to photographs published by Italian media on Wednesday, the 60-year-old is both back on the training ground and, possibly, smoking cigarettes again as he recovers from the illness which sidelined him earlier this month.

Sarri, who missed last week’s opening match at Parma but has been in constant touch with his players throughout, was widely reported to have watched a practice on the touchline on Wednesday.

The Corriere della Sera also published a selfie taken by a young fan standing next to Sarri who was holding a packet of cigarettes in his hand.

According to the Italian news agency ANSA, this left the club’s leadership “disappointed”.

Juventus announced on Aug. 21 that Sarri was suffering from a bout of pneumonia and would miss the first two games of the season including the Napoli match.

However, Italy’s main sports dailies have all reported that the chain-smoking coach will be examined by doctors on Friday and could be passed fit to take charge for the game.

It would be an emotional start for Sarri who, during three seasons at Napoli, turned them into Italy’s most eye-catching side and the one most likely to end Juve’s dominance of Serie A which now stretches to eight successive titles.

Napoli have finished as runners-up to Juventus in three of the last four seasons and the fixture has become a top-of-the-table clash, adding to the north-south rivalry which has always surrounded it.

On Sarri’s last visit to Juventus in April last year, Napoli pulled off a surprise 1-0 win which re-opened the title race although Juventus still went on to win.

His appointment in June, after one year at Chelsea, was something of a surprise as he does not fit the usual profile of a Juventus coach, the club usually preferring someone with a more conservative tactical approach.

Both teams won their opening matches of the season last week with Juventus beating Parma 1-0 away and Napoli, now in their second season under Carlo Ancelotti, coming from behind to down Fiorentina 4-3.

Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny said the players were already noticing the difference.

“Sarri’s Napoli was very strong and now that he is here with us, I see how intensely he works with his teams,” said the Pole.

“I’ve been amazed by the impact he has had on the team. We are working hard, we are working well, obviously changing greatly our style of play.

“I see a great future for Sarri’s Juventus,” he added.


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Juventus coach Sarri has pneumonia, club says




Turin (Italy), Aug. 20, 2019   Juventus Coach Maurizio Sarri is suffering from pneumonia, the Italian champions said on Monday, five days before their opening Serie A match of the season.

Sarri, a chain-smoking 60-year-old, who was appointed in June to replace Massimiliano Allegri, went down with flu last week, Juve said, and missed the friendly against third-tier Triestina on Saturday.

Juventus said that Sarri, who left Chelsea after one season to return to Serie A, had been present at the club’s training centre on Monday “where he coordinated the work of his staff” but did not conduct training on the pitch.

“In the late afternoon, he underwent further tests that confirmed he has pneumonia, for which specific therapy has been prescribed,

“Juve said in a statement. “The coach has authorised the club to communicate his state of health.”

Juventus did not say whether Sarri would be able to take charge of the team at Parma on Saturday.

The Turin side have won the last eight Serie A titles, including three under Antonio Conte and five under Allegri.




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Zola says Chelsea got rid of Sarri too soon



 Former Chelsea striker Gianfranco Zola believes the London club got rid of Maurizio Sarri too soon, saying they would have benefited if the Italian coach had been given more time.

Sarri departed for Juventus after one season at Stamford Bridge, having guided Chelsea to the Europa League title and third place in the Premier League.

He was replaced last week by former Chelsea midfielder and record goalscorer, Frank Lampard.

“I think the best of Maurizio’s work comes not in the first year, but more from the second year onward,” Zola, who was Sarri’s assistant, told Britain’s Talksport radio.

“Looking at the way he works, it takes a little bit of time to put in place what he wants to do, and also he is very demanding on the players.

“But, after the players get used to it, they get better and better and the work becomes more effective.

“It’s a pity, because I think it would have been good for the club if Maurizio stayed and it would have been good for Maurizio as well.”

Zola also left the club he played for with distinction around the turn of the century, following Sarri’s departure with former Chelsea midfielder, Jody Morris and Chris Jones, who both worked alongside Lampard at Derby, coming on board.

“Obviously it’s painful because you’re in a place where you like to be, and it means a lot to you,” Zola said.

“Of course, it’s always painful, but we have to be professional and I think Chelsea are looking forward; they made other choices and I respect them, I have no problem with that.”

Zola said he would be looking for another job in English football and was grateful to both Chelsea and Sarri for an “amazing learning experience”.

Prior to his stint as assistant manager at Chelsea, Zola’s coaching career had seen him manage West Ham United, Watford and Italian side, Cagliari.


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Sarri says his Juventus appointment “the crowning achievement’’



Maurizio Sarri on Thursday said his being appointed Juventus’ new head coach was the “crowning achievement” of his long career.

He said it was a good development for him to return to Italy following a year in the English Premier League (EPL) with Chelsea.

The Serie A champions appointed Sarri on a three-year contract earlier this week after agreeing a compensation fee with Chelsea.

The 60-year-old replaces Massimiliano Allegri, who stepped down at the end of the season.

“It’s the crowning achievement of a long career,” Sarri told reporters. “At Napoli I gave my all, then I decided to have a great experience in the Premier League.

“Juventus are the best Italian club right now and offered me a chance to return to Italy.

“It’s been a long journey for me, made up of gradual steps. I’m happy to be at the most important team in Italy and this is a further step forward after the experience at Chelsea.”

Sarri coached Juventus’ rivals Napoli between 2015 and 2018 and nearly broke their stranglehold on the league in his final season.

The Naples side ran Juventus close in the title race before falling four points short.

“For three years I would wake up and think about how to defeat Juventus, because they were a winning team,” Sarri added.

“I gave 110 per cent, but we still couldn’t do it. It was an experience and I will now give everything for this club.”

Although Sarri won the Europa League with Chelsea and led them to a third-place finish in the league, the fans did not take to him.

They did not like the style of play he tried to implement, which worked wonders for him at Napoli.

Juventus seemed to lack a recognisable playing style under the pragmatic Allegri in his final season.

Now, Sarri has said he would build his team around Juventus forwards Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala.

“You have to start with the talented players who can make the difference like Ronaldo, Dybala and Douglas Costa and build around them,” Sarri said.

“When you have a player with the qualities of Dybala or Ronaldo, they can play in any role. What can change is only the interpretation of the role.

“Coaching Ronaldo will be yet another step forward, I’d like to help him break some new records.”

Juventus director Fabio Paratici said hiring Sarri to replace Allegri was a straightforward decision.

“The style of play was not a driving factor in the change,” Paratici said. “Sarri was always the first choice. We tried to make him understand right away that we really wanted him.


(Edited by Olawale Alabi)

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Juventus names Sarri new coach



The 60-year-old Sarri spent just one season in the Premier League after joining Chelsea from Napoli and moved on in spite finishing third and winning the Europa League.

Juventus split with previous coach Massimiliano Allegri at the end of last season to conclude a five-year reign.

They have won the last eight Italian titles but exited the Champions League in the quarter-finals this term.

Sarri would be tasked with improving Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus in Europe’s elite competition.

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Juventus agree deal with Chelsea for Sarri – reports



Juventus have reached an agreement in principle with Chelsea over a deal for manager Maurizio Sarri to join the Italian champions, Sky Italia and the BBC reported.

There has been no official confirmation of the agreement from either clubs but Sarri, who won the Europa League with Chelsea, is expected to sign a three-year contract, Sky reported.

Juve manager Massimiliano Allegri left the Turin club at the end of the season but Premier League Chelsea wanted compensation for releasing Sarri to cover the final year of his contract.

According to Sky and the BBC, the clubs agreed a five million pounds compensation settlement late on Thursday and Sarri could be unveiled as Juve coach as early as Friday.

Edited by Maharazu Ahmed

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