Andrea Pirlo is the new Juventus manager - his first job in management.
Just a few weeks ago, the Italian was appointed as the club’s new Under-23 boss. He’d been out of the game since retiring as a player in 2017 and this was his first step towards becoming a coach.
A fortnight later and Pirlo, who won four consecutive Serie A title with Juventus during his four years as a player, has been named as Maurizio Sarri’s replacement.
Pirlo won’t be strolling into an easy job despite Juve becoming Italian champions for the ninth consecutive season.
They crashed out of the Champions League at the hands of Lyon last week, while there are rumours star man Cristiano Ronaldo wants to move to Paris Saint-Germain.
Will the arrival of Pirlo please Ronaldo and ensure he wants to remain in Turin?
Well, not if he saw his new manager’s Champions League dream team from five years ago.
The former midfielder was asked to pick an XI of the best players to have played in the Champions League and Pirlo opted for Lionel Messi, rather than Ronaldo.
When talking about Messi, Pirlo said: “Has achieved so much, but still I am sure will achieve so much more. I don’t need to talk in detail about what he is capable of. Everybody knows he is one of the greatest ever already.”
Incidentally, here is Pirlo’s XI: Pirlo's dream XI: Buffon; Cafu, Maldini, Cannavaro, Lahm; Gattuso, Xavi, Scholes, Kaka; Messi, Inzaghi.
It’s not the first time Pirlo has heaped praise on Messi in recent years either.
Ahead of his farewell match at the San Siro, Sky Sports asked him to name the best player he’s ever played against.
His answer? “Lionel Messi.”
And yes, he has also played against Ronaldo.
Then, when he bumped into Messi at a restaurant in 2015, he made sure he got a picture and uploaded it on Instagram with the caption: “A great meeting with the best Leo Messi.”
The first training session at Juventus could be awkward…
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