Football News

Massimiliano Allegri confirms he rejected Real Madrid in favour of a return to Juventus

By Ben Green

Published: 17:14, 27 July 2021

Massimiliano Allegri has revealed he rejected an approach to be the new head coach of Real Madrid in favour of a return to Juventus.

Allegri, 53, was reappointed as Juve manager to succeed Andrea Pirlo in May, two years after he left the club at the end of the 2018/19 season.

In that time the Italian has taken a protracted sabbatical from the touchline but he is now back in the hotseat, looking to reclaim the Scudetto off Inter Milan.

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With Antonio Conte’s men finally thwarting Juve’s stranglehold on Serie A, Pirlo was relieved of his duties, and Allegri has been identified as the man to restore a semblance of normality in Turin, and that would mean winning the Italian top flight next season.

Real Madrid, likewise, had their own issues last season as they surrendered their La Liga crown to bitter neighbours Atletico Madrid, with Zinedine Zidane stepping down as head coach for the second time.

Allegri was among the names being bandied about to succeed the Frenchman in Madrid, but in a throwback to the early part of last decade, Carlo Ancelotti will now occupy the Bernabeu dugout and the Livorno-born tactician will once again be looking dapper at the Juventus Stadium.

Despite Ancelotti abandoning his Everton project for his second stint at Real, Allegri has since revealed he was actually contacted about the vacant position following Zidane’s exit, though he spurned the offer from Florentino Perez as his desire to manage Juve once more was too great.

In his first press conference as reappointed Juventus manager, Allegri said: “I must thank Real Madrid president for the opportunity he gave me. I picked Juventus because of my love for this club and because I believe in this young team.

“It’s going to be fun to coach these players, but we must win as well. It’s the most important thing.

“I thank the other clubs who had made an offer to me, but I woke up in the morning and called Andrea [Agnelli], asking him for a meeting.

“I am grateful he allowed me to return to coaching and win, which is what matters the most. I watched many games during my time off, especially at the end of the second year.

“I begin a new chapter at Juventus, this team is made of many young players who need to develop.”

“Paulo Dybala is fit and motivated”

One of the main topics of discussion at Juve this summer and part of Allegri’s initial in tray is the contract situation regarding Paulo Dybala, whose present deal expires next year and rumours have been rife that he could depart this transfer window.

However, Allegri was quick to pour cold water on doubts surrounding Dybala’s ‘motivation’ for the club, suggesting the Argentine has a big part to play this forthcoming season, in which he expects him to net between ’20 and 25 goals’.

Allegri continued: “Dybala arrived when he was a kid. Now he is a man who realises that this is an important year for him. He has extraordinary plays, I expect a lot from him.

“He is also very fit, physically and mentally. He is a player who can score goals, even 20 or 25 each season.

“He can take free-kicks so he can make the difference. In terms of his experience at Juve, he can be the vice-captain because Bonucci left Juventus and then returned. I expect a lot from him, I’ve spoken to him and he is very motivated.

“The captain and vice-captain are decided depending on how long they’ve been playing in the team. So Chiellini is the most experienced one, followed by Dybala.”