‘He’s screwed!’ – Del Piero and Gattuso react to Andrea Pirlo’s Juventus appointment

‘He’s screwed!’ – Del Piero and Gattuso react to Andrea Pirlo’s Juventus appointment

The former Inter, AC Milan and Juve midfielder replaced Maurizio Sarri on Saturday (Picture: Getty)

Andrea Pirlo’s appointment as Juventus manager has even taken his old teammates by surprise, with Alessandro Del Piero admitting he never expected the legendary midfielder to move into management and Gennaro Gattuso saying he is ‘screwed’.

The Old Lady decided to axe Maurizio Sarri following the side’s disappointing exit from the Champions League in the last 16 against Lyon, announcing Pirlo – who was only unveiled as their new Under-23 coach last month – as his replacement.

Del Piero was just as stunned by the news as everyone else, though he believes Pirlo has all the attributes required to be a success and even suggested he can better the achievements of Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid.

Pirlo and Del Piero played together with both Juve and the Italian national team (Picture: Getty)

‘To be honest, I wouldn’t have bet on him becoming the coach. It’s a surprise for me too,’ said Del Piero on Sky Sport Italia.

‘I was already pleased for him taking the Under-23 role and thought that was the right move for him, but he’s skipped ahead, so I can only wish him luck.

‘I think the general perception of former players who become coaches is changing in Italy. Before, there was this need to go through a long process in the lower leagues to learn the trade, but in recent years we’ve seen Filippo and Simone Inzaghi succeed, plus Gennaro Gattuso. They were great players and started straight away with great teams.’

On comparisons with Zidane taking over at Real, he added: ‘It’s not a fair comparison, because Zizou had already worked with the Real Madrid youth team and then was Carlo Ancelotti’s assistant manager.

‘But Pirlo has everything it takes to do even better than Zidane. He already knows the club, the players, the directors, so I think they communicated in a very clear way.’

Pirlo will face off against old Milan midfield partner Gattuso next season (Picture: Getty)

Napoli joined Juve in exiting the Champions League at the last-16 stage on Saturday night and afterwards their manager Gattuso, another of Pirlo’s old teammates, was asked about the appointment.

‘Well he’s screwed now! That’s the job,’ Gattuso told Sky Italia after Napoli’s defeat to Barcelona.

‘He’s lucky to be starting at Juventus, but this profession is one where a great playing career is not enough. You have to study, to work hard, and you don’t get much sleep.’

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