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Sarri reveals downside of managing CR7

Former Juve boss Sarri reveals downside of managing Cristiano in candid interview

July 6, 2021 By Ali M.
The newly-appointed Lazio manager admitted that it is both a blessing and a curse to manage Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the greatest players of the game but also its biggest superstar.

Maurizio Sarri rose to fame after turning Napoli into one of Europe's most attractive and exciting teams, but since his departure from Naples to Chelsea, and subsequently Juventus, the 62-year-old has seen his stocks fallen. Nonetheless, the passionate gaffer is gearing up for his return to Serie A, preparing to take charge of Lazio for the upcoming 2021/22 season after replacing Simone Inzaghi at the Stadio Olimpico.

Ahead of his maiden campaign at the helm of Le Aquile, the Italian tactician opened up about his recent gig at Juventus. His term in Turin was cut short despite winning the 2019/20 Scudetto title, something the Old Lady failed to do under his successor Andrea Pirlo, as their UEFA Champions League round of 16 exit at the hands of Lyon was deemed a sackable offence only one year into his reign.

While Sarri was cordial on this topic, he did not shy away from honesty, frankly admitting to feeling underappreciated at the Allianz Stadium in spite of winning the Serie A crown. Maurizio even pointed out this season's achievement – if you can even call it that – as the Bianconeri managed only a fourth-placed finish in the Italian top-flight immediately after his departure.

"We won the Scudetto without even celebrating it, everyone just went to dinner on their own," Sarri said in an interview with Alfredo Pedulla.

"The league title was taken for granted, inside and outside the club. But this year I saw them celebrating finishing fourth, so maybe those were the ideal conditions for going to Juve."

Sarri gave many interesting answers, arguing that Jorginho, who initially struggled when he arrived at the Blues, was a misunderstood boy in London while admitting to regretting his decision to leave Chelsea – yes, according to him, Marina Granovskaia was eager to keep at Stamford Bridge. However, one of his more eye-catching quotes came in regards with managing Cristiano Ronaldo.

During his time at Juventus, the former Napoli boss had the Portuguese icon at his disposal and while many argue that having the five-time Ballon d'Or winner is an unmeasurable blessing, Maurizio opened up about the downsides invisible to the naked eye.

"Ronaldo is not easy to manage, he is a multinational company with personal interests that must be combined with those of the team," the 62-year-old confessed. "I consider myself to be better at being a coach than a manager."

The on-the-pitch benefits of having Cristiano on your team are not lost on Sarri, with the Lazio boss admitting that CR7 "will bring results home in the end, and they are important results". However, he caveated this with the current trend of discussing the player's needs over that of the team.

It will be interesting to see whether Ronaldo will cross paths with his former boss when Lazio face Juventus in the upcoming season. The Portuguese legend has been heavily linked with a move away from Italy after yet another disappointing campaign in the UEFA Champions League, but recent reports suggest he could in fact remain in Turin.

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