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Name Maurizio Sarri
Gender Male
Ethnic Italian
Job Italian Football coach
Desc xxxx

Affiliation

Club as Coach Juventus
  Chelsea FC
  Napoli FC

2016 10 28 Retrieve

[Partenopei supporters had been left both heartbroken and outraged by the striker’s decision to join the club’s most hated rival] I was expecting at least a phone call, even if it was just for five minutes before Higuain had his medicals at Juve. The lads also expected a farewell but, as far as I know, there was nothing

2016 10 29 Retrieve

[Napoli head coach Maurizio Sarri gives a humorous take on greeting former Napoli and current Juventus forward Gonzalo Higuain when his side visits Turin] Higuain did well with me and was always hard working in training. How will I greet him on Saturday? In the same way that a father would with a son who made him angry

2017 12 29 Retrieve

[Napoli have collected 48 points from 19 matches so far to sit top of the table in Italy] Statistics are worthless. We got 96 points over two different seasons, so we got the ratio wrong. It’s a strong run, reaching the Champions League is very important for us, so having 48 points at the midway stage of the season gives us hope

2018 07 21 Retrieve

[Maurizio Sarri talks about his philosophy on the game in his first press conference as Chelsea manager] Ours is not a sport but a game. Anybody who plays a game started doing it as a child for fun and the child in us must be nurtured because this often makes us the best. To create play that is fun is the first thing to obtain a style for a high-level squad

2018 07 22 Retrieve

[Speaking at his first Chelsea press conference in July] I know this will be an extremely difficult challenge for me. The Premier League is different to Serie A because it is stronger at the moment. I play in a slightly different way so it will take some time for the squad

2018 08 Retrieve

[The view after seeing his Chelsea team beat Arsenal 3-2 in a crazy game at Stamford Bridge in August] It was very, very difficult because we lost the distances between the players and we were unable to cover the lost balls and press like a team, so we were really in trouble

2018 08 26 Retrieve

[Sarri says Abramovich wanted me for attacking football] But I think he [Abramovich] knows it [will take time]. If they called me 40 days ago, I think it’s because they wanted to see my football here. It’s not easy, but I have to try.

It’s important if I like it, first of all. I want to enjoy, I want to have fun, press the ball. Then, if I enjoy the game, maybe the supporters enjoy the game. And I think that, if the team enjoy the game, they’ll have a lot of opportunities to win the match.

It will take two or three months. But I think, in this case, with this team, there are very intelligent players

[Sarri isn’t known for compromising his beliefs and spoke about his challenge, after last week growing worried with a 15 minute period against Arsenal, where he side lost control of the game] I don’t know. Maybe I have to do that [compromise my beliefs in future], but I am better when I play my football, my way of football. I don’t know if I’m as good of a coach if I teach another way of football

It’s not so easy to change the player’s mind [when defending too]. If you are used to defending by looking at the man and I ask you to defend by looking only at the ball, I think if you are 18 it’s maybe easier. If you are 28 and, for 10 years, you’ve played the other way, it’s not so easy. So you have to change completely the mind.

I think it’s better. I think, if you arrive to think in this way, then it’s very easy. It depends only on you. You are not depending on the opponent. I think it’s very easy and if you defend by looking only at the ball, you can stay very high up the pitch. In the other way, you defend on the movements of the opponent.

[The forward line will normally be no more than 15 metres away from the defensive line and Sarri rubbished the assertion that his players are struggling to cope physically with his methods] No. I don’t think so. If you defend forward, you only have to do 10-15m. If you have the ball inside, you have to back for 50m. I think we can press for 90 minutes, only if we have the right distances between the players, we stay very high. Otherwise it’s a problem, of course

No. I don’t think so. If you defend forward, you only have to do 10-15m. If you have the ball inside, you have to back for 50m. I think we can press for 90 minutes, only if we have the right distances between the players, we stay very high. Otherwise it’s a problem, of course

I am not able to switch off. I have spent only one day in London in 40 days here. But the moment was difficult. We had to prepare the season without players, so it was difficult the first part of the season for me. But I’m not able to switch off, me. Never.

I am thinking always about my team and about the match, or the next match. It’s my way to work in football. After the match with Arsenal I remained in London, only a long walk in the centre of London. And I found a lot of people of Naples

2018 09 Retrieve

[After Chelsea went top of the table with a 4-1 win over Cardiff in September] I think that at this moment Liverpool and Manchester City are another step than us. But I think we can improve. My target is to be the best team in England, but not in one month

2018 10 Retrieve

[When Marco Ianni goaded Jose Mourinho following Chelsea’s late equaliser against Manchester United in October] I have spoken with the member of my staff and then I bring him to speak with Mourinho to say sorry to him. We made a mistake. We were in the wrong

2018 11 01 Retrieve

[His verdict on Alvaro Morata despite the striker scoring twice in the 3-1 win over Crystal Palace in November that took Chelsea above Liverpool after 11 games] He has to improve more in personality and in confidence because sometimes he’s a little bit fragile

2018 11 02 Retrieve

[Explaining his deployment of Kante in an advanced role following his first Premier League defeat away to Tottenham] I think, as you know, I want to play a central midfielder as a very technical player - Jorginho or [Cesc] Fabregas. I don’t want [N’Golo] Kante in this position

2018 12 Retrieve

[After becoming the first team to beat Manchester City in the Premier League this season in December] I am happy with the mentality of the team in this match. It is difficult for us to find motivation but when we are, we are a very strong team

2019 01 Retrieve

[Following the 4-0 defeat at Bournemouth in January, having spoken to the players for an hour in the dressing room] Maybe it is my fault, maybe I am not able to motivate them

2019 01 24 Retrieve

[Manager Sarri believes former Real Madrid man Higuain can contribute more than just goals as the Blues battle for a top-four Premier League finish and Champions League qualification] It’s very difficult in January to find one of the most important strikers in the world. So I think the club is working very well because it’s not easy to get a new striker.

We hope he’ll bring goals, that he starts scoring for us. He’s also very good at other aspects, other than just goals, but that’s what we are hoping for.

He has had some difficulties recently, but we’re hoping we can raise him back to his best form

2019 02 Retrieve

[After seeing his Chelsea side thrashed 6-0 by Manchester City in February, the club’s worst defeat since 1991 and the worst defeat of his career] I didn’t see my football. I am worried about my team, the performance, but my job is always at risk

2019 03 Retrieve

[After a second-half surrender in the 2-0 defeat against Everton in March] The players don’t know what happened and at the moment I can’t explain the change. It is very strange

2019 04 Retrieve

[On prioritising silverware back in April] We want to win the Europa League because it’s a very important competition, not for getting into the Champions League

2019 05 05 Retrieve

[Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri played down the significance of Gary Cahill’s comments on Sunday following an extraordinary personal attack from the former England defender] I don’t know the situation, I’m sorry. It’s not important for me. Cahill, during the season, was really very professional. He played only five, six or seven matches, but he was really very important in the training ground, in the dressing room. Today was his last match for Chelsea, so it was important for him to be on the pitch, only for a few minutes but I still think it was really very important for the fans and for him. He played only five, six or seven matches, but he was really very important in the training ground, in the dressing room. Today was his last match for Chelsea, so it was important for him to be on the pitch, only for a few minutes but I still think it was really very important for the fans and for him.

2019 05 11 Retrieve

[Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri said that spying took place in Italian football, but that he did not do it] No. Because I don’t have very good spies, I think!

2019 05 13 Retrieve

[Maurizio Sarri put the blame squarely on his players after Chelsea’s 2-0 defeat at Arsenal] The fact of the matter is it appears this group of players is extremely difficult to motivate

2019 06 04 Retrieve

[Chelsea step up search for Sarri successor with Lampard the leading candidate] For us Italians the call of home is strong. You feel that something is missing. It has been a heavy year. I begin to feel the weight of distant friends, elderly parents I rarely see, My loyalty to Naples? [Francesco] Totti was the last one-club man

2019 10 17 Retrieve

[Former Chelsea Manager Maurizio Sarri explain why Ngolo Kante cant become holding midfielder] In that position, I want a player able to move the ball very fast… N’Golo is very useful for us, but this one is not his best characteristic

2019 11 02 Retrieve

[Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri always knew de Ligt would take time to settle in Italy and believes he even struggled early on against Turin] De Ligt struggled in the first 20 minutes, but then got into the game and had a very good second half. He is 19 years old, comes from a much more open and less tactical league than ours, the kind where errors happen and nobody notices. It’s only natural he’ll need a period of apprenticeship and he is improving

2019 11 02b Retrieve

[Sarri: Juventus could not be beautiful against Torino] This was a very difficult game and it was clear Torino would be extremely determined from the start. So, the first phase of the plan was just to contain them and take control of the match later on, then close it towards the end. It was a tough game, full of intensity, physicality and tough tackling. It’s not really suited to our characteristics, but we managed to get it done. This was not the game where we could try to be beautiful. The opposition’s tactics, current form and the state of the pitch all meant we were forced to play with elements that are not our usual approach. It’s reassuring that we were able to win anyway

[Aaron Ramsey came off the bench in the second half but Sarri indicated the Wales midfielder is not yet fit enough to start matches] [Federico] Bernardeschi has more dynamism and forward runs, whereas Ramsey is better at passing. Aaron Ramsey was out injured for a month, but I don’t feel he has 90 minutes in his legs. It is good to have players who can come off the bench and change gears. De Ligt struggled in the first 20 minutes, but then got into the game and had a very good second half. Alex Sandro seemed a little tired and it was only right to give him some rest. Mattia De Sciglio had been out for a while, so he was a little rusty, but once he too got into the rhythm, he did better

2019 11 03 Retrieve

[Sarri says Serie A not a two-horse race between Juve and Inter] There’s still 81 points to earn. Tomorrow’s standings could already give you a different idea. Because the standings we’re seeing tonight do not include the games of some big teams that still have to play. Perhaps tomorrow [Sunday] Atalanta will be closer. I think now it’s too early to talk about it. I understand that for a journalist it’s more interesting to create media interest on the head-to-head between two teams, but frankly it’s premature to think that all the other teams are cut out of the run

[Saturday’s 1-0 Derby della Mole win away to Torino saw Sarri’s Juve return to the top of the table ahead of rivals Inter] I am happy of the performance of my team because we’ve found ourselves in a very tough derby, with high levels of intensity and aggression. A game that maybe wasn’t good for us considering our characteristics, but we played it well and we sorted it out. And when a coach sees a solid performance in terms of character by his team is always happy

2019 11 06 Retrieve

[Juventus manager Maurizio Sarri has declared that there is only one race as he hit out against recent acts of racism in Serie A] Unfortunately I smile when you speak about racism in football. That’s because those who are racist at the stadiums are also like this in society, one cannot think that the stadium is a world apart. Football has the right technology to stop these people. It’s inadmissible to speak of races in 2019. There is only one race: the human race

There are no simple counter-measures against teams that make great density in front of the defense, otherwise nobody would do it anymore because it would be overwhelmed. It’s not easy, unless you can quickly unlock the game. In situations like these, they can often be solved by a single person and we have many players with enormous qualities. But I have seen some games played by Lokomotiv at home and they have been more aggressive and proactive. We face a team that has quality

[Sarri said of Higuain] He improved in making himself available to the team, before he played more for the goal, he was more selfish. Now he is more involved in the play, he is perhaps less dangerous in the area, but he works a lot for the team. He has more motivation, there was a change in character, last year I saw a player who suffered a lot having to say farewell to Juve. For him it was a personal defeat

2019 11 06b Retrieve

[The Argentine is, of course, a long-time Sarri favourite but the coach is correct when he says that Higuain is the only striker at Juventus with the characteristics of a real centre-forward] The others are more atypical. Despite dominating possession, we always risk not having enough presence in the box without Gonzalo.

[However, of greater significance was the absence of Pjanic, as Juve looked slow and predictable in possession without him] We missed his quality but also his rhythm, because he moves the ball fast and our play becomes quicker as a result

2019 11 07 Retrieve

[Sarri explains Juventus star’s reaction to being substituted] Ronaldo was angry because he wasn’t very well, he had a knee problem a few days ago and his adductor got tired. At the end of the first half he was nervous. I was afraid he would hurt himself and I preferred to take him off

[Sarri admitted his side were far from their best but praised the team’s character for eventually coming away with the victory] It was not one of our best performances. It was very stop-start, even though we knew that they would set up like this. The first half was too open and in the second we had too many players above the defensive line. We risked too much. But the team wanted the victory at all costs and achieved it

2019 11 09 Retrieve

[Maurizio Sarri is hopeful Cristiano Ronaldo will feature for Juventus against AC Milan, though conceded the forward may miss out with a knee problem] How is Ronaldo? I still don’t know, because yesterday he was with the physiotherapists and we will see today and tomorrow in the last training session. Let’s see what he can do. He feels a little pain in his knee but it is nothing serious

[Sarri, however, is looking forward to having what he sees as a crucial player more readily available] Aaron Ramsey has important technical qualities and can do both the roles I ask. He can be a modern midfielder. He can be an offensive midfielder, as an attacking midfielder he can also give cover

The fact is that the team is still unable to close out games. The strength, however, is that until the end we go to look for the victory and often we succeed. Milan is a good team, which did not make a good start to the season. In football there are cycles; rebuilding to get back to a very high level is not easy. Milan have many young players and they are laying the foundations for an important future

2019 11 10 Retrieve

[Ronaldo storms down Juventus tunnel after being substituted for second time in a week] Ronaldo was angry because he wasn’t very well, he had a knee problem a few days ago and his adductor got tired. At the end of the first half he was nervous. I was afraid he would hurt himself and I preferred to take him off

2019 11 10b Retrieve

[Sarri admits Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t at his best] We must thank Ronaldo, because he made a sacrifice to be there at all tonight in a difficult situation. He did everything possible to play, but I saw he was not well and thought it best to take him off. It’s only natural a player is going to be irritated to leave the pitch, especially when he worked so hard to be there. Over the last month, he has had this little knee problem, he had a knock in training and it hurt the collateral ligament. When he trains at high intensity or plays, it unbalances him, so he ends up overcompensating and it damages the calf and thigh muscles. It is affecting his performances and he is not at his best at the moment. All players who are trying to give their best will have at least five minutes of being annoyed when they are substituted, but a coach would in general be much more worried if he didn’t seem upset

[The Old Lady are now one point clear at the top of Serie A with Sarri impressed with his team’s desire, if not their performance on Sunday] I liked the spirit of the team, but we have to improve immensely in terms of quality, as we made too many mistakes, gave the ball away cheaply and opened up spaces for Milan. The hunger and determination to win is what kept us going. Milan had shots on goal, but they were almost all efforts from outside the penalty area. They have impressive passing quality, played clearly above their average performance level of this season and have strong technique

2019 11 11 Retrieve

[Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri praised Ronaldo for playing through injury] We must thank Ronaldo, because he made a sacrifice to be there at all tonight in a difficult situation. He did everything possible to play, but I saw he was not well and thought it best to take him off. It’s only natural a player is going to be irritated to leave the pitch, especially when he worked so hard to be there

2019 11 11b Retrieve

[Ronaldo’s angry reaction to being withdrawn suggested he was not entirely happy with Sarri’s decision] We must thank Cristiano Ronaldo, because he made a sacrifice to be there at all tonight in a difficult situation. He did everything possible to play, but I saw he was not well and thought it best to take him off. It’s only natural a player is going to be irritated to leave the pitch, especially when he worked so hard to be there. Over the last month, he has had this little knee problem, he had a knock in training and it hurt the collateral ligament. When he trains at high intensity or plays, it unbalances him, so he ends up overcompensating and it damages the calf and thigh muscles. It is affecting his performances and he is not at his best at the moment. All players who are trying to give their best will have at least five minutes of being annoyed when they are substituted, but a coach would in general be much more worried if he didn’t seem upset

2019 11 12 Retrieve

[Juventus confirm no fine for Cristiano Ronaldo despite angry reaction to substitution] He should be thanked because he made himself available despite not being in optimal conditions. In the last month he has had this discomfort in his knee and this is a little problem for him

2019 11 14 Retrieve

[Speaking after Ronaldo’s substitution midweek against AC Milan, Sarri praised Ronaldo’s dedication and backed him to bounce back once he shakes off a lingering injury] We must thank Ronaldo, because he made a sacrifice to be there at all tonight in a difficult situation. He did everything possible to play, but I saw he was not well and thought it best to take him off. It’s only natural a player is going to be irritated to leave the pitch, especially when he worked so hard to be there. Over the last month, he has had this little knee problem, he had a knock in training and it hurt the collateral ligament. When he trains at high intensity or plays, it unbalances him, so he ends up overcompensating and it damages the calf and thigh muscles. It is affecting his performances and he is not at his best at the moment. All players who are trying to give their best will have at least five minutes of being annoyed when they are substituted, but a coach would, in general, be much more worried if he didn’t seem upset

2019 11 22 Retrieve

[Sarri reveals Cristiano Ronaldo is likely to miss Atalanta clash but plays down rift with Juventus forward] There is no need to explain his reaction to being substituted. Even among amateurs, the reaction to being substituted is the same. If anything, the problem is that on Tuesday he told us he had the same issue and we have prepared a programme that will allow him to overcome the problem. There is a 99 per cent chance he will not be available for tomorrow’s game. The goal is to be ready for the Champions League match with Atletico Madrid

[Blaise Matuidi withdrew from France’s squad due to a rib injury sustained against Milan two weeks ago] He still feels a little pain, but he played the whole training session with us yesterday and will be available. Alex Sandro’s problem is less serious than it had initially seemed, while Adrien Rabiot and Juan Cuadrado have adductor problems, but Miralem Pjanic will be available

[Opponents Atalanta have won just one of their last five league matches] They have a way of playing with great intensity. To call it annoying is an understatement. They are a strong and dangerous team, one that is difficult to face. But changing mentality for a single opponent is impossible. It takes months to build a mentality - we have to go our own way

2019 11 23 Retrieve

[Juventus boss Sarri holds no regrets over resting Ronaldo for Atalanta clash] I hope he’ll be back for the Champions League on Tuesday. He has this little problem that is above all affecting him in training, as he’s struggling to train consistently. A lot depends on how the lad feels, the fatigue and the need he has at any moment to rest. He felt, and I fully agreed, it was important right now to find a way of training that wouldn’t put extra pressure on the knee. It’s a solid knee, there are no lesions, but constantly having that pain does take it out of you. I was happy to rest him, as I felt the same way, that it was best to take this time to first of all rest and secondly analyse training methods to see how he could train differently

[Musa Barrow missed an early penalty for Atalanta, who deservedly went ahead thanks to Robin Gosen’s 56th-minute header] It was an entertaining game with tempo and intensity, the kind you don’t usually see in Serie A. We lost our heads after the penalty, thinking of everything except the game of football and allowed Atalanta to take total control. They deservedly went in front. We were fortunate to score the equaliser in a chaotic move against the run of play and from there on showed belief we could win it. In the final minutes, we started to attack the spaces that were opening up, whereas we didn’t do that enough before

2019 11 25 Retrieve

[Sarri hopeful Cristiano Ronaldo will be fit enough to return for Juve’s clash with Atletico] Yesterday he did the training sessions with his team-mates. He seems to be growing [stronger]. We will evaluate it between today and tomorrow to see if we have solved it, but the fact that yesterday he did all the training with his team-mates is very positive. I think and hope there will be no repercussions

[Sarri insists all is well between the duo and he has no objection to players showing frustration when being substituted] My relationship with Cristiano is good. If a player who has won so much is angry about being substituted it means he still has a lot of motivation and this is something positive. It is 25 years I have seen players get angry over substitutions

Playing Paulo, Gonzalo and Cristiano all together is difficult because of their characteristics, but all three know how to play really well and are comfortable with each other. We have three strong strikers for two places. None of the three can play 65 games as seen in the early part of the season. Everyone will find a place

[Juve have already qualified for the knockout phase of the Champions League but know a win over Atleti will secure top spot in Group D] Right now I’m seeing the team play excellently in flashes and I would like to see some more continuity in certain aspects, but we must take into account the characteristics of the players. We certainly have room for improvement. Against Atleti we can’t worry about what they are going to do. They are a difficult team to face but we must think about how important first place in the group is

2019 11 25b Retrieve

[Juventus coach Sarri: I was defined as a Taliban for wanting to play Sarriball] I was defined as a Taliban because I always wanted to play my football, now it’s not good enough because I adapt to the different characteristics of my players. If I had to listen to or read the things that are said about Juventus, I would go crazy. I just get on with my work. I would like to see the most consistent team and certain attitudes, but we must take into consideration the different characteristics of our players.

We will improve in many aspects, but you can’t go for your personal taste and against the characters you already have. The team must be accompanied by implementing ideas, and we have real room for improvement. Right now, we are only showing flashes of what we feel we can achieve and we would like to show them more consistently. The margins are wide, and we will find them between the highs and lows

2019 11 25c Retrieve

[Sarri explains why Cristiano Ronaldo replaced on the Milan game] Over the last month, he has had this little knee problem, he had a knock in training and it hurt the collateral ligament. When he trains at high intensity or plays, it unbalances him, so he ends up overcompensating and it damages the calf and thigh muscles. It is affecting his performances and he is not at his best at the moment

2019 11 26 Retrieve

[Sarri to discuss knee pain with Cristiano Ronaldo as Juventus star looks to regain full fitness] I haven’t spoken to him yet about the pain in his knee. But he looked to be in good shape, as in the final stages he was tracking back, fighting hard and helping out in defence. Dybala is world class, in a very positive period of form, so right now he is making the difference

[Though Juve maintained their momentum with another victory] We used up a lot of energy this evening, as is inevitable in the Champions League. I think we did very well but, like the Atalanta match at the weekend, we had to fight very hard to achieve the victory. It was above all a great first half, and we built on that. We tend to struggle more in Serie A to pass it around quickly.

Perhaps there is more motivation for us in the Champions League, but that is a mistake, because we have to play this style of football in every tournament. I was angry in the second half, as we gave the ball away cheaply. The sensation was that, just like Atalanta, we allowed them to cross too much. Maybe we need to improve the intensity with which we close down these crosses and passes in wide areas

2019 11 27 Retrieve

[Maurizio Sarri has revealed his initially sceptical reaction to Paulo Dybala’s memorable free-kick for Juventus in the Champions League] Dybala scored a goal that nobody could have advised him to do. The first thing that a coach says in that situation is: ‘Why the f*ck are you shooting from over there?’ And therefore what he did was extraordinary. The applause was owed to him, for the performance but also for the technical skill which was extraordinary

[Asked if Cristiano Ronaldo is cut off from the game due to the team’s style of play, Sarri stressed there was no issue] No, there was no problem with Ronaldo. The problem was the way we were occupying spaces. In the first half Paulo was often playing far away from the goal, Cristiano was not playing in the centre and therefore we were never occupying the central spaces. We could have done this more with one of the two alternatively, when Paulo was going for the ball Cristiano could have played more in the centre and when Cristiano was out Dybala could have gone less for the ball. Otherwise we could have exploited that space with Aaron Ramsey, therefore we had some problem occupying spaces, rather than because we were cutting off players from the game

2019 11 30 Retrieve

[Maurizio Sarri hopes Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo wins his sixth Ballon d’Or] Cristiano did well in the last game, even with some resistance. Now he just has to grow in terms of brilliance. I hope that Cristiano wins the Ballon d’Or, de Ligt the Kopa Trophy and that Dybala will one day be a future Ballon d’Or contender

[Sarri said of the Sassuolo clash] Tomorrow’s game is very dangerous. We come into this fixture after two games that took away a lot of our mental energy. In addition, Sassuolo is a team that has done well, even on the road, and they have a young and strong coach who I respect a lot. Do I get a headache choosing who to play in attack? If anything, the opposition gets the headache. Emre Can may be an option for tomorrow. Alex Sandro took part in the full training session with the team yesterday. We need to see if he can play 90 minutes. [Federico] Bernardeschi is doing well, he is a useful player to the team, who has great technical qualities, so we ask him to give more

2019 12 01 Retrieve

[Maurizio Sarri says Cristiano Ronaldo will need to rediscover his spark after proving he has regained his fitness in Juventus’ 2-2 draw with Sassuolo] The feeling is that he has regained strength. He is doing better in the final [moments]. The next step will be to recover the brilliance

[The second of those was a tame effort that squirmed through veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon after a rash clearance from Matthijs de Ligt] It was an incredible series of mistakes, from a bad back-pass to another that hit a Sassuolo player. When you aren’t fully focused, a howler can happen

2019 12 06 Retrieve

[Maurizio Sarri has reiterated that Juventus cannot play Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain together] Right now, playing three forwards is difficult due to the characteristics of the players. You can’t prohibit Dybala from dropping deep, and at the same time Cristiano’s characteristics are not to play too central. We must take some precautions to fill the penalty area more

It’s normal that after Champions League games there’s a drop in energy, mentality and confidence. But from what I’ve seen in training I’m confident. As always, we have to respond on the pitch, getting three points is always important regardless of the game. It will be an important matchday for the teams high up in the table, I hope that our motivations are high. Lazio are a strong team with great quality. They are the best in Italy and among the best in Europe for getting into the last 25 metres. We need to keep them away from our area because they are very dangerous. Based on the average amount of points that they are picking up, Lazio have to be in the conversation for the fight for top. I expect a strong approach from Lazio, who will be very determined. We will have to resist it, come out and dictate the game how we want to

2019 12 07 Retrieve

[Sarri disputes Juventus red card in Serie A defeat to Lazio] We didn’t respect our duties, because players were in the wrong position. It was a distraction and you pay for that. We had decided before the game on certain positions and we didn’t cover them. I do not entirely agree that it was a clear scoring opportunity, as the ball was going wide. I thought a yellow card was the right ruling, but the fact remains that is out of our control and we made a mistake to create the situation

[Sarri, who said Rodrigo Bentancur needs tests on a ligament injury, felt there were positives to take from Juve’s performance] In the second half, when the game seemed to be in a more balanced state, the red card changed everything. We lost the match, but, to be honest, I saw improvements in my team

2019 12 08 Retrieve

[Juventus coach Sarri not thinking about the transfer market] The transfer market is the last thing I want to do in life, it bores me to death. I like to do my job, which is to coach. I will work to find solutions. I was in the Premier League and the level was high. If I think about when I left Italy two years ago, there is now a better level. The smaller teams have a good technical level and are always fighting. Fortunately, our championship is improving. The thing that interests me now is to suffer less and to ensure that, come the final whistle, we have won our games

2019 12 10 Retrieve

[Sarri offered Juventus backing despite recent struggles] Sarri has taken on a tough and difficult challenge. But we know together, we can win it all

Clearly this is a big challenge for me. It’s been difficult since I accepted the job because I arrived in a team and in a company that has won a lot. We want to continue to win in Italy and to be competitive in Europe. In Italy, winning the Scudetto is almost an obligation, while in Europe we do not feel this, but only as a great challenge to make all the Juventus fans happy. It will not be easy, but I am happy to be here and to have accepted this challenge

2019 12 10b Retrieve

[Worried Sarri hoping for ‘change of mentality’ at Juventus] We know that we have to work to do better, but we are calm. We need a spark, but that can be many things. We’ve got to move the ball quickly and not defend too deep after we’ve taken the lead. It’s important that we always try to control the game. These are all things that represent a change of mentality at Juventus, so they do not come automatically. We’ve seen them in moments, for example the first half in Rome [against Lazio]

[Sarri wants his side to demonstrate a strong mentality in their performance] The first time I was contacted by the Juventus hierarchy, I asked how come they only managed three points in the final Serie A games of the season. I said it would be a bad sign of their mentality if they justified it with the fact the Scudetto had already been won. We have the privilege and the honour of playing in the Champions League. I expect a strong and focused performance, because there are always objectives. I ask for a performance, then the result can come or not

2019 12 12 Retrieve

[Sarri hoping for Mourinho reunion in Champions League as Juventus & Spurs wait on last-16 draw] I had the honour of getting to know him [Mourinho] and I really hold him in high regard. He is an extraordinary person that is very different from the perception that the outside world has of him. I am convinced it was a real pleasure to get to know him. Playing against him isn’t easy, but seeing him again would great

It’s important to keep a sense of balance. We lost against Lazio, but for long periods it was one of our best games of the season. It was tough game against a side that is doing very well in the Bundesliga this season. We held out and as soon as their tempo dropped, we stepped up to take the points

We hope to get Rodrigo Bentancur back soon, we’ll have a look. If he is out too, then someone else will take the role. The issue is not who plays, but keeping this level of focus and balance

2019 12 14 Retrieve

[Maurizio Sarri has acknowledged that Adrien Rabiot is yet to fully settle at Juventus] He has struggled to settle into our football, but that is normal. He also came off an injury and struggled more in the first half in Germany [against Leverkusen], but he came out towards the end. He is also quite introverted, which doesn’t help him to settle. Can was immensely disappointed [at being left out of the Champions League squad]. Either Can or Rabiot will certainly play and both of them may well be on the pitch for a portion of the game

The risks of dropping the intensity levels and dropping points after Champions League games is visible in the statistics. You can’t argue when it happens two or three times. We’ve got to find out why it keeps happening and fix it. There are differences playing in Serie A to the Champions League, but it’s not true to say the European opponents are more open. Bayer Leverkusen focus mainly on possession, while Lokomotiv Moscow tend to clam up. Perhaps subconsciously our minds can drift to other targets after so many Scudetto titles in a row, but that is something we must absolutely fight against. If we are to be competitive in the Champions League, we need to be competitive in Italy, too

[Udinese are led by caretaker coach Luca Gotti, who was part of Sarri’s staff at Chelsea last season] Gotti is very talented. Udinese can transform any long ball into a scoring opportunity, so we’ve got to be wary of that. They are a dangerous team that knows how to close down well and make the game tight. They have strikers who work well and can be dangerous in different circumstances

2019 12 19 Retrieve

[Sarri reacts to Cristiano Ronaldo’s incredible headed goal] When Ronaldo scored I thought the same as the Dybala one – ‘f***, wow. But wow does not describe it all. They both scored two outstanding goals. [Dybala] chose a left-footed volley in a situation where 99 players out of 100 would stop the ball and then shoot. The [Ronaldo] one, I think the amount of time he spent in the air before the header was incredibly long – a wonderful, physical and technical action

[When asked about Higuain being upset following the substitution] I don’t care. Players always complain if substituted. Better to stay away, but I don’t care. Higuain is playing a lot lately and he seemed very tired in the second half and I changed him. Angry? There will be a time when someone will start from the bench because of physical issues and the strikers will be different than today. Everything is normal

2019 12 22 Retrieve

[Maurizio Sarri conceded Juventus lacked energy in their 3-1 Supercoppa Italiana defeat to Lazio] We arrived at this game short of energy, physically and mentally. This happens. Meanwhile, Lazio are experiencing a moment of incredible form. We are sorry we lost a title, but we still have many competitions to play for in the next five months. There is anger, but crying over it does not solve the problems. We did not lose because of the front three, since we conceded the [second and third] goals after I added a midfielder

[Lazio are six points behind second-placed Juve in third but with a game in hand] I have a positive record against Lazio, and I don’t think that the players will be influenced by these two games. As I said before the game, I don’t think this final can affect the next five months of the league championship

2020 01 04 Retrieve

[Sarri has previously claimed that Adrien Rabiot hasn’t found it easy adjusting to life in Italy] He has struggled to settle into our football, but that is normal. He also came off an injury and struggled more in the first half in Germany [against Leverkusen]. He is also quite introverted, which doesn’t help him to settle

2020 01 05 Retrieve

[Juve boss Sarri may break up Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain trio to include Aaron Ramsey against Cagliari] We’ll see tomorrow. Ramsey also seems to be growing, so we will have to decide. We will need to take a lot of care. The Cagliari midfielders can start strong attacks, so we will need great balance on our part, especially in midfield

When you concede a lot of goals [before Christmas], you often place the blame on the defenders. But that’s not always the case. In my opinion, the right protection has not been given to the defence. That’s why we have been working on the movements of the midfielders

[Sarri on Douglas Costa] He had a complicated period, with shoulder and adductor problems. He is very young, he rested because he had small problems, and [Merih] Demiral has grown a lot. He seems to be recovering, so we’ll see for tomorrow

[Juventus this week completed the signing of Dejan Kulusevski from Atalanta for an initial €35 million] [Kulusevski] is a great prospect and it is important that the club is attentive to these young players and gets there first. There were no conditions [possible] where he could be available now

2020 01 06 Retrieve

[Sarri backs De Ligt to become ‘best defender in the world’ at Juventus] I am the first to be convinced that he will become the best defender in the world. He had five difficult months playing every three days and having to settle in a new country, a new league with a new language

[Ramsey has been in and out of the Juventus team due to injuries] He is finding some continuity in training. After various injuries he is finding good form. He was excellent in the defensive phase of the game. In the offensive phase he can do better, he has the qualities to do it. I am happy with his performance and that of the team today

Adrien Rabiot had a good game, he’s improving. I made it a little difficult for him by making him play on the right but he had a solid game, always in the right position. Merih Demiral is now doing very well, he is sweating from every pore with hard work and it is right to take advantage of this. I’m glad Paratici has said we’re finished [in the transfer market]. It’s a difficult team to improve, especially in the January window. We’re ok, as he said

2020 01 07 Retrieve

[Maurizio Sarri says A fit and firing Cristiano Ronaldo is really happy now his knee problem is behind him] Ronaldo has not any more problems with his knee and now he is enjoying his great physical and mental condition. Finally I can see him really happy because his knee is fine now. He can play at his best now

[De Ligt has yet to replicate the type of form which earned him the move to Turin ahead of this season] The situation of De Ligt is very clear: I’m sure he’ll become one of the best - or the best maybe - defenders in the world. We need to understand that he was just 19 coming to a club like Juventus and forced to play 23 games in a row. He needs to learn a new language and new training technique. In Italy he had to change his way to play and his lifestyle. He had a lot of work to do in the last months. He improved a lot, then he had some little injuries. But that’s normal

2020 01 08 Retrieve

[Maurizio Sarri made it clear to Drinkwater that he was not part of his plans, despite giving him half an hour in the 2018-19 season-opening Community Shield clash with City] As he knows very well, he has never played because, in my opinion, he is not suitable to my system, to my way of playing. I told him everything in August. He appreciated it but he decided to remain

2020 01 13 Retrieve

[Sarri: I don’t care if Dybala was angry at being substituted] I couldn’t care less, to be perfectly honest. The game was telling me to do certain things and I had to make decisions. Paulo can give his response on the field, but it’s pretty normal. I’ve never seen a player leave the pitch looking happy with the idea

They are improving game by game, so I am pleased with them both, but they also have margins for more improvement. Aaron was also able to score a few goals at Arsenal, as it’s in his DNA to run forward between the lines. It’s not easy for him in Serie A and he had a series of fitness issues. We knew that we’d have to wait for him and I am pleased that our patience is paying off. I am convinced the same will be said of Rabiot

2020 01 15 Retrieve

[After Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in the 4-0 win over Cagliari to start 2020, Sarri declared his star forward free of any injury issues] Ronaldo has no more problems with his knee and now he is enjoying his great physical and mental condition. Finally I can see him really happy because his knee is fine now. He can play at his best now

2020 01 15b Retrieve

[Sarri remains ‘convinced’ that De Ligt will become the best defender in the world but is, quite understandably, preaching patience] He comes from a much more open and less tactical league than ours, the kind where errors happen and nobody notices. It’s only natural he’ll need a period of apprenticeship

2020 01 15c Retrieve

[Sarri insists there is ‘no problem’ with Juve star] I talk to Dybala every day, also because I like him. There is no need to talk about what happened. Among other things, the staff told me that he asked only why he was being replaced, it doesn’t seem to me anything in particular. We are fortunate to have strong attackers who must be a resource, not a problem or a controversy

[Sarri suggested he could select a strong line-up for the round-of-16 fixture, with Cristiano Ronaldo under consideration] Our three forwards are all in good shape. Cristiano is fine and in great form and I want to speak to him on Wednesday to find out whether or not to play him

[Demiral is facing an extended spell on the sidelines after sustaining anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus damage to his left knee] I’m very sorry for Merih Demiral. It happened in a particular moment in which he was growing a lot, demonstrating that he’s a Juventus player and having scored his first goal for the club

2020 01 16 Retrieve

[Maurizio Sarri said it is ‘really annoying’ that any player has won more Ballons d’Or than superstar Cristiano Ronaldo] I would like to help Cristiano win the sixth Ballon d’Or first. It’s really annoying thinking that someone won more [Ballons d’Or] than him. I think about him and I think helping him, it is my goal and the goal of the team. It is right for him

[Sarri also tipped Juve striker Paulo Dybala to challenge for the award in the future] Dybala is going to be one of the contenders in the next years. I think so

[It took his season tally to 11 goals across all competitions] Dybala is a top player. As every top player when they are becoming confident and having the right age, they are playing like a top player. I don’t think a manager can teach something to a top player. Dybala is going to leave a mark in world and European football in the next years. He has got the right age to leave a mark and he’s still got many years of his career. He is really confident in this moment after a few difficulties in the past

2020 01 18 Retrieve

[Maurizio Sarri insists Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala have no problem playing together] It seems to me that Dybala is doing the best things this year with everyone, he is always doing well. With him and Ronaldo, we have fewer players in the middle, but lately with them both we have always created and scored. I consider it a myth that the two of them have difficulty playing together, Cristiano is also scoring and I don’t see any problems whatsoever. They also scored with Gonzalo [Higuain], so I don’t see any problems

[Sarri focus on Dejan Kulusevski this weekend] I hope that Kulusevski will not be a danger and that will mean that our defenders have contained him well. Then I hope he does well with us six months from now

[Sarri began his briefing on Saturday by paying tribute to Pietro Anastasi, the ex-Juventus and Italy forward whose death at the age of 71] I’d like to remember Anastasi. A very important player in Juventus’ history and Italian football. I remember him as a leading man in the 1968 European Championship, a great footballer and a great man

2020 01 19 Retrieve

[A double from Cristiano Ronaldo helped Serie A leaders Juventus to a 2-1 win over Parma on Sunday where Paulo Dybala claimed the assist for Ronaldo’s second strike against Parma] It seems to me that Dybala is doing the best things this year with everyone, he is always doing well. With him and Ronaldo, we have fewer players in the middle, but lately with them both we have always created and scored. I consider it a myth that the two of them have difficulty playing together, Cristiano is also scoring and I don’t see any problems whatsoever. They also scored with Gonzalo [Higuain], so I don’t see any problems

2020 01 19b Retrieve

[Maurizio Sarri says Cristiano Ronaldo can create a problem for Juventus but solves 100 of them] We have a champion who sometimes creates a problem for you but solves 100 of them. The rest of the team has to revolve around him

[Sarri was frustrated with his team’s inability to extend their lead] The mental intensity can be improved, even the management of certain moments of the matches. I don’t even like dribbling in our own half in the last few minutes. I would prefer to concede a goal on the counter-attack than in our own penalty area. Putting Higuain on at 2-1 was a clear message to the team: let’s end the game

[Sarri is concerned by neither the Nerazzurri nor the in-form capital club] I have a fear for other things, not for football. Concern? Even that [would not describe it]. We are talking about sports. We know we have two very strong opponents. One is in an amazing moment that will hopefully not last long

2020 01 21 Retrieve

[Juventus boss Sarri casts doubt over Cristiano Ronaldo availability for AS Roma clash] We’ll evaluate Cristiano tomorrow morning. It depends on whether he is in the right condition to play three games and if he is completely recovered

[Sarri also provided updates on the fitness of several of his other key players] Juan Cuadrado trained in the gym as a precaution today. Alex Sandro has a problem with the transverse muscle but it’s nothing serious. Both are to be evaluated. Adrien Rabiot came out of the last match with a couple of serious knocks. He’ll also be evaluated tomorrow. He’s a player with important physical quality even during the recovery between matches

2020 01 23 Retrieve

[Maurizio Sarri is delighted with extraordinary Cristiano Ronaldo and with Juventus’ form] Winning is becoming normal. I’m happy for the team. But we don’t have to look at the numbers because it will be more difficult this year. We will certainly have to do better than previous years if we want to be competitive in the league

Ronaldo is in extraordinary physical and mental condition. He is continuing at an impressive pace and has extraordinary skills. He is very well physically. In terms of explosiveness, he is good. He takes great care of the details. Ronaldo is a champion, we want to help him win the sixth Ballon d’Or, it would make us all happy

[Juve’s next league task takes them to Sarri’s former club Napoli, who are struggling in the bottom half of the table] It will be a difficult game. We must not look at their position in the table. They have a strong team. They are going through a difficult time but have good players. From one point of view, there are three points at stake. From my point of view, from a personal point of view, it will be particularly special because I am very close to Napoli

2020 01 24 Retrieve

[Maurizio Sarri express his disappointment at Lionel Messi pipping Cristiano Ronaldo to a sixth Ballon d’Or last December] It’s really annoying thinking that someone won more than Cristiano

[Sarri played down his role in Ronaldo’s resurgence] I cannot take credit for Ronaldo’s current form. You can only give credit to his mother for creating such a specimen! We have a champion who sometimes creates a problem for you but solves 100 of them. The rest of the team has to revolve around him

2020 01 25 Retrieve

[Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri on Cristiano Ronaldo’s form and who should get the credit] I cannot take credit for Ronaldo’s current form, you can only give credit to his mother for creating such a specimen!

2020 01 25b Retrieve

[Maurizio Sarri has indicated he could retire from football at the end of his Juventus reign] After this experience I could even quit: it depends on what energy I have left and if I think I can do well again. These aren’t things I’m thinking about at this moment

Pressure is a false myth: external pressure must not influence you, but if your motivation is lost then it is better to stop. I don’t know if at the end of my contract with Juventus I will be the same Sarri: if yes, I will continue. Otherwise, no

[Sarri, though, thinks Napoli are a better unit than their results suggest] Napoli are a strong team that even in difficult moments can be dangerous in a one-off game. They have a position that doesn’t reflect their performance. And they will have great motivation. Napoli have changed from Ancelotti to Gattuso. They are working to improve their solidity because they remain ever dangerous in the attacking phase

For me, it’s clearly a special game, but you shouldn’t spend your energy on a personal point of view when the collective goal is what matters: to bring home the three points in a difficult match. It is true that Napoli’s position is strange, because they are first in terms of ball possession and have other excellent statistics, but they haven’t obtained the points that reflect what they have done so far

Certainly he is a player of great stature. But from here to think that he can change the balance of a championship, that is a next step. And we don’t care: we have to focus only on ourselves, knowing we are competitive

2020 01 25c Retrieve

[Tuchel and Sarri confirm Juve and PSG swap talks for Layvin Kurzawa and Mattia De Sciglio] The director (Fabio Paratici) told me that this swap is a possibility, but it’s not done yet. Honestly, I know very little of Layvin Kurzawa because I didn’t study his skills. Watching him on TV doesn’t mean studying him

2020 01 26 Retrieve

[Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri should be braced for a frosty reception from Napoli fans] It is a special game for me, but we mustn’t spend too much energy on personal issues and focus on the collective

We have a very important match to play. If the fans did jeer me, I would consider that a show of affection. They were unfair to do that to Higuain, though. If Higuain plays tomorrow or not is purely a tactical consideration and has nothing to do with the atmosphere

[The Naples outfit, meanwhile, are down in 13th and on a run of three successive defeats] Their current position in the table is strange because they are the best in many aspects. Looking at the statistics, you feel they are destined to climb back up quickly. I know only too well what motivation they will have going into this game. Napoli are changing, Gennaro Gattuso likes to bring solidity to his teams and it looks as if he is achieving that intent here

2020 01 26b Retrieve

[Juventus coach Sarri happy to help Napoli with surprise loss] I am happy for the lads, as I will always be fond of them. If you have to lose, I guess I’d rather it be here to help Napoli get out of their current problems. I’d rather they started winning next week, of course. Clearly, the game takes over and you have to detach yourself from everything around that. Napoli represented a special moment in my life and it’s always pleasing and emotional to be back here. We should have felt more motivated to break away [from Inter] rather than less, otherwise this will mean we are weak. I would hope not. If that situation weighed on us, even unconsciously, it means we are not ready yet

2020 01 29 Retrieve

[Layvin Kurzawa has been named in Paris Saint-Germain’s squad to face Pau on Wednesday after a proposed swap deal with Juventus full-back Mattia De Sciglio was called off] The director (Fabio Paratici) told me that this swap is a possibility, but it’s not done yet. Honestly, I know very little of Layvin Kurzawa because I didn’t study his skills. Watching him on TV doesn’t mean studying him.

2020 02 01 Retrieve

[Maurizio Sarri has said that his post-match reaction to the 2-1 loss to Napoli was exploited] I don’t know about any controversy and it seems strange to me that some phrases have been exploited. It seems only natural that after working with these guys for three years and they helped me on a journey that would see me arrive at the biggest club in Italy, there is still a fondness and gratitude. The fans should be angry because not only did we lose, but we played really badly, which is even worse

[quizzed as to whether his side have a problem when it comes to maintaining the concentration to fully see out matches until the final whistle] Perhaps. Although we seem to have overcome that lately. It’s not easy to talk about psychological situations rather than tactical situations. I’m not worried about the number of goals we’re conceding. We’ve done better in the Champions League and Coppa Italia than in Serie A, but overall progress is good, even if we know we still have work to do

I have a group of 27 players. Emre Can’s quality is not up for debate and he will be fundamental in a team that has a different way of playing. I didn’t ask for anything in the summer or in January. It’s a strong squad and I have to adapt to their characteristics. I can’t try to revolutionise an entire squad of players. My objective for the next couple of months is to make Douglas Costa a key figure behind the strikers. I think he can change the balance of a game from there

2020 02 07 Retrieve

[Maurizio Sarri confirms Giorgio Chiellini is close to making his Juventus return] He’s proceeding as scheduled. Giorgio is alternating between individual and team training. The progress that he is making is very important. The most important thing right now is to listen to what he says to us. Clinically, he is totally healed. All that matters now is how he feels

[…] Cristiano was in excellent condition in today’s training and has been ever since he got over his knee trouble. Rabiot is improving a lot and is in a very good moment, so I’ve picked him rather than other midfielders, but we can’t forget who Matuidi is and what strengths he has. In the long run, Matuidi is one of those players who is always useful. This is just one period; there are lots of games to play. But now, I honestly think we have to give this guy [Rabiot] some consistency. He’s finding confidence and form. I think he can improve further. I think it’s important now to let him play four or five games to find consistency

2020 02 09 Retrieve

[Maurizio Sarri warns Juventus they cannot throw away points as they did in Saturday’s 2-1 Serie A defeat to Hellas Verona] This team has been accustomed to winning comfortably over recent years and we need to get it into our heads that we cannot afford to waste points. Hopefully we’ll learn the lesson, because we have been talking about it for quite a while. It’s difficult, because the team trains well but then can’t rise to its full potential during matches. We have to find a resolution to this. The mind is most important. If that’s not engaged then you aren’t going to be on the mark tactically. Similarly, if your mind is also not 100 per cent engaged, then the physical stuff won’t follow either. We need to realise that winning cannot to be taken for granted. We must work harder, get dirty when we need to and not relax. Verona deserve immense credit for the first 30 minutes, but we deserve the blame for the final half-hour. They showed great intensity – we didn’t, it’s that simple

2020 02 10 Retrieve

[Inter are now top of the Serie A standings on goal difference ahead of Juve after 23 fixtures, with Sarri left bemoaning his team’s complacency in the wake of their latest setback] This team has been accustomed to winning comfortably over recent years and we need to get it into our heads that we cannot afford to waste points. We need to realise that winning cannot to be taken for granted. We must work harder, get dirty when we need to and not relax

2020 02 12 Retrieve

[Will Cristiano Ronaldo be rested by under-fire Juventus boss Sarri?] We will see. I have spoken with him and he told me he is feeling well right now. We will evaluate him on a game-by-game basis. Chiellini’s road to recovery looks good. He needs to do a few more tests like he did this morning

Milan have improved a lot in this period. They come into the game off the back of the derby in which they played well. It will be a difficult game. My team is training well, with intensity and application. The standard is very high

2020 02 12b Retrieve

[The Italian Post Office has delivered a swift response to Juventus manager Maurizio Sarri for suggesting their job is not scrutinised to the same extent as his own as a football manager] Contrary to what Mr. Sarri claims, pressure does exist at the Post Office. It is responsible to citizens, businesses and public administrations. Poste Italiane invites Mr. Sarri to spend a few minutes of his precious time discovering that the Poste is the largest company in the country, chosen by young graduates as one of the most attractive companies to work with, which has achieved one of the best stock market performances in 2019 and ranks third, worldwide, among Italian companies in terms of image and reputation. We are waiting for him in one of our 15,000 centres so that he can see our daily work in person

2020 02 14 Retrieve

[Juventus have ‘stalled’ but Sarri not worried after AC Milan draw] I am not worried, as the only real worries in life are your health. It seems a normal phase to be going through, it’s unthinkable for a team to be in a continual ascent. This is a sport and so much depends on the physical and psychological conditions of so many players. Our growth has stalled a little in the last three weeks, we concede avoidable goals. Having said that, we’ve conceded only three more than the best defence in Serie A, so it’s not that much of an issue

We did better in terms of our passing and playing out from the back but were lacking in the final third. It’s a process and we are continuing. We have conceded some avoidable goals, for example today the cross was quite slow and - in my view - easy to defend. We were coming off a bad performance in Verona, but picked up a positive result, especially as it’s the first leg

2020 02 15 Retrieve

[Sarri laughs off Klopp claim Juventus are Champions League favourites] Jurgen also said that he doesn’t watch much Italian football, so that explains his confusion! Jurgen is one of the smartest and funniest people I’ve ever known and what he’s doing here is shaking off the burden of being the favourites for the Champions League.

It was clear from the very start that this would be a different type of season. I think it’s motivating to be in a title race to the very end, so I feel we have to feed off this situation. No single match is decisive. We just have to focus on ourselves and picking up as many points as possible

I went to Chelsea last season and they weren’t in the Champions League. I was happy to do it. This is also the first stage of the process, there will be appeals and we’ll see what the definitive verdict is, but there are situations where a coach can look beyond those limitations

2020 02 26 Retrieve

[Sarri exasperated with Juventus’ inability to grasp passing instructions after Lyon defeat] It’s difficult to explain why, but in the first half we moved the ball too slowly so the opposition were going to press, win the ball back and score. We lacked determination and aggression when attacking, and for 15 minutes lacked it defensively too. The second half was better, but it’s not enough for a Champions League match. I don’t know why I cannot get the players to understand the importance of moving the ball quickly

This is fundamental. We’ll keep working on it and sooner or later this concept will get into their heads. I continued to tell them, and there were many who were doing it, moving the ball too slowly and therefore getting into the wrong positions. We had training yesterday and the ball was moving twice as quickly as it did tonight. This is the opposite of what should happen. Lately we’re doing a lot of things opposite to in training. When the ball is slow, you lose positions, you allow the opposition to close you down, to be aggressive and steal the ball back. I don’t even think the Lyon pressing was that strong. We just moved it slowly, never varied the tempo, and when you do that, it’s unlikely you’re going to create anything

2020 03 03 Retrieve

[Sarri admits ‘nobody in the whole world’ can replace Cristiano Ronaldo as Juventus star flies to be with sick mother] I don’t know what will happen, it is a personal matter, so he will discuss it when he returns. His return will depend on how the situation develops. It’s obvious that the tactics and plans do change depending on whether Ronaldo is available or not. There’s no replacement for him in the whole world, so naturally we’d do something different in his absence

2020 03 07 Retrieve

[Sarri says Juventus should give Ronaldo a ‘gift’ as he chases new milestones] He is an active player, and so not much thinking is needed. This is a great achievement, but he must immediately chase after new goals. But we know Cristiano and we know that he will be like that. It is a cue for his team-mates to give him a gift

It will be a beautiful match. It is clear that Juventus-Inter is the most prestigious match in Serie A: for the history, and this year, for the standings. After two important transfer windows, I think Inter has become one of the favourites for the league title, like us. Therefore, it is important for the rankings. I hope it will be a beautiful game, and I hope we enjoy it. It will surely be a difficult game but also beautiful to play. Given their way of playing, a problem, for us, may be the size of the opponents. However, both teams have the characteristics that can put the opponent in danger. And so, it will be a difficult game for us, and one where preparation is needed. But, of course, it will also be difficult for our opponents

2020 03 09 Retrieve

[Sarri impressed with Ramsey after Juventus edge Inter] He [Ramsey] maintains that he needs to see more of the pitch in front of him, or he gets a little lost. He is doing well in this role, although in fairness he’s also in much better physical condition now than he was when playing as a trequartista. I was about to introduce Dybala a minute before we scored with Ramsey, but I decided to put him on anyway, as I felt that was the moment we could finish the game. Inter tried to press us high in the first half and probably used up a lot of energy doing that. The inertia of the game changed after our goal, we had a very strong 20 minutes after that and gained confidence, whereas Inter lost it at the same moment. It’s very positive that we barely allowed a quality side like Inter a single shot on goal

We tried to stay in their slipstream, but must learn from defeat and take the lessons of comparison to grow in terms of character, quality and strength. It’s a loss that must help us to grow and understand how far away we are. It certainly shouldn’t make us distraught, as we knew there was a gap and we lost both meetings with them. The results speak clearly, they won two and we got zero points. We must grow in terms of character if we want to compete at the highest level. It’s also about characteristics, as there are players who are stronger in personality and others less so. We all need to do better in that sense and be more determined

2020 03 09b Retrieve

[Sarri questions coronavirus protocols] I am a coach and can talk about football, but I am always wary of those who believe they know everything. I don’t know what the right thing is to do. What I have to ask is whether it’s right to take two hours of enjoyment away from those who are stuck indoors or if there really is a serious risk for the players and staff, I just don’t know the answer to those questions. I honestly cannot say how elevated the risks are

We considered it with the staff, because starting with Cuadrado in the trident meant leaving Dybala and Douglas Costa out. Starting with Douglas allowed us to have both options and Dybala proved a very important card we could whip out at the right time. This is an important victory, but there are still 12 games to go, so it’s a long road ahead. This was far more what I wanted to see from my Juventus. We had seemed a little empty and flat recently, so we had to choose players who could guarantee more energy, both physical and psychological. That’s the sensation we got in training from these players, but that can change in a couple of weeks

2020 03 09c Retrieve

[Should the ban be ratified by the Italian government, the news will be unlikely to please Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri] I am a coach and can talk about football, but I am always wary of those who believe they know everything. I don’t know what the right thing is to do. What I have to ask is whether it’s right to take two hours of enjoyment away from those who are stuck indoors or if there really is a serious risk for the players and staff, I just don’t know the answer to those questions. I honestly cannot say how elevated the risks are

2020 04 09 Retrieve

[De Ligt has failed to show the form that he displayed at Ajax in his debut season in Turin but Sarri has previously outlined why it will take time to see the best from the central defender] I am the first to be convinced that he will become the best defender in the world. He had five difficult months playing every three days and having to settle in a new country, a new league with a new language

2020 04 18 Retrieve

[Maurizio Sarri says I had a confrontational relationship with Chelsea dressing room, but many of them cried when I left] I had a conflicted relationship with the Chelsea dressing room but, when I told them I’d be leaving, many of them cried. I’m not so much a person who pats others on the back. I talk a lot about what they do wrong and less about the good things they do. I think that has a big impact, but then they learn to appreciate you for who you are. The longest relationships are with the lads I played least, so I think they recognise something once they absorb your character

[Sarri also opened up on his underwhelming experience of living in England] I would never live there [again], I don’t understand how the Italians who are there do it. As for the football, it’s a different story. I miss the Premier League. It has an extraordinary technical level and an incredible atmosphere

2020 06 10 Retrieve

[Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri has told midfielder Miralem Pjanic that he must show the attitude of a great player] Miralem is a fantastic player. He can’t afford to underperform for four or five matches like he did. I spoke to him; he wasn’t able to recover from some bad matches. He needs to understand that he is a great player who can mistakes. He needs to react

Dybala is a phenomenal player, although tactically it’s difficult to make him and Ronaldo coexist. They can make a difference but it’s not easy for them to play together. But with the technical and physical qualities that they have, they can make the difference at any time. The team must adapt in both the defensive and attacking phase, but it is a pleasant headache to have

With 12 or 13 games to play, anything is possible. Losing points at this point is very easy. Nobody knows where we are. We’ll only discover on the pitch

2020 06 13 Retrieve

[Speaking following the first professional match in Italy since the Covid-19 outbreak] I asked Ronaldo to take a more central role, he was pleased to try it out and he played the game he needed to at this moment. He probably isn’t accustomed to missing a penalty, so hitting the inside of the post it could go anywhere and he was unlucky. I don’t think playing him a few metres more one way or another is going to make a huge difference to such a strong player. Everyone had a strong opening 30 minutes and then faded away

[Serie A champions Juve will face either Napoli or Inter in the Coppa Italia final in Rome on June 17 and Sarri] Clearly after three months, getting back to the touchline and seeing the teams out there is a good sensation, even if it’s not the same without the fans. I was very surprised and satisfied with our opening 30 minutes, as we moved the ball so quickly and totally dominated the game, even before the red card. After that, we slowly dropped our tempo, intensity and mental determination, but that is a risk in an empty stadium. We had been doing so well, playing one and two-touch football, but then we slowed down and lost some sharpness, focused more on individual moves and taking two touches. The positive is that we didn’t allow the opponents to play at all. It’s going to take a while to get the fitness and mentality back to 100 per cent. If you compare it to a pre-season game, it’d be early July, but this is worse than pre-season, because it was a much longer break. It’ll take some patience, but the first 30 minutes I saw today was an excellent sign

2020 06 16 Retrieve

[Sarri fires back at critics over lack of trophies in Italy] I get annoyed when they say, ‘In Italy, he has won nothing’. I earned eight promotions from one division to another, and I achieved them all on the pitch. That is perhaps a small thing compared to the Champions League and the Scudetto, but it is not easy. It’s always an important incentive to win important trophies and there is a desire to lift the cup. I am happy that we are in the final

Napoli are a difficult team to face. They are solid when they close the spaces and dangerous on the counter. They won against us, against Inter and drew with Barcelona, they know how to play at a high level. Napoli are a team of dribblers, on Wednesday we must remain compact and not allow easy counterattacking situations. I like Gattuso a lot, he is straightforward and direct. I’m not surprised by what he’s achieving

[Sarri believes his approach has changed during the lockdown enforced by the coronavirus crisis] From a mental point of view it’s been a difficult period for everyone but I’ve seen the guys at their best: open, smiling and ready to play. Maybe I’ve also improved too, I’m more patient and less uncompromising. I am completely focused on the final and on our team, with the right concentration and conviction. We’ve played for seven months, and then have had a long break in order to play these remaining matches. Therefore, we’ll have to give everything that we have and give that little bit more to win as many trophies as possible. Apart from a few games that haven’t gone our way the results have been good so far. We have an excellent points average so we can be pleased with that, but now we want to transform it into something concrete

2020 06 18 Retrieve

[Sarri said Ronaldo and his other attackers are lacking the level of fitness] He’s in the same shape as the others, like Paulo Dybala and Douglas Costa, he is lacking the sharpness to do what works best for him. I didn’t say much to the players after the game. I was angry and disappointed just like them, so at these moments it’s best to stay silent. We’ll talk better tomorrow morning

There is disappointment for the boys, for the club, for the fans, but this is a particular moment, both for the physical condition and for some important absence. We made different choices than usual, pressing less high to have a better grip at a distance and we played the game with good levels of application. Right now, however, we lack brilliance to make the amount of game produced dangerous and without that brilliance it becomes more difficult to beat the man, which our players are usually used to doing easily, and finding other solutions. Two 0-0s are an unprecedented fact and I think it is characteristic of this period.

2020 06 19 Retrieve

[Sarri is no stranger to criticism for his style of play since arriving in Turin] I was defined as a Taliban because I always wanted to play my football, now it’s not good enough because I adapt to the different characteristics of my players. If I had to listen to or read the things that are said about Juventus, I would go crazy. I just get on with my work. I would like to see the most consistent team and certain attitudes, but we must take into consideration the different characteristics of our players.

[After failing to score against Napoli midweek, Sarri conceded his side are yet to show their best following the enforced break] Right now, however, we lack brilliance to make the amount of game produced dangerous and without that brilliance it becomes more difficult to beat the man, which our players are usually used to doing easily, and finding other solutions. Two 0-0s are an unprecedented fact and I think it is characteristic of this period

2020 06 21 Retrieve

[Juve boss Sarri denies training row with Pjanic ahead of Bologna clash] A row with him during the training session? That’s fake news. He’s one of the players I fielded the most this season and I have to rely on him, because he has a decisive role in the three-man midfield

2020 06 22 Retrieve

[Ronaldo made it clear to Sarri in a training session before the Coppa final that he didn’t want to fill in as a centre-forward in the absence of the injured Gonzalo Higuain] We talked before the Coppa Italia games with Milan and Napoli, and again yesterday (Saturday). He scored 700 goals by starting slightly wide of centre, that’s his preference and that is normal

[Talk of a training-ground bust-up between Sarri and his under-performing regista, Miralem Pjanic] That’s fake news, there was no argument. Mire is one of the players I fielded the most this season and I have to rely on him, because he has a decisive role in the three-man midfield.

2020 06 25 Retrieve

[Arthur agrees to Juventus move which opens door for Pjanic to Barcelona] On Pjanic, I don’t know what the situation is but right now we’re relying fully on him. It seems to me that he is improving in terms of his performances. Arthur is a Barcelona player and it would seem bad if I started to talk about him. I didn’t like it when Quique Setien spoke of Pjanic, who is my player, and I don’t want to speak about anything in an absolute way. The club have not given me any communication about it

2020 06 21b Retrieve

[Sarri said of Ronaldo’s preferred role] I talked to him before Milan. I talked to him before the Coppa Italia final against Napoli. And again yesterday I talked to him alone for a long time. He is a player who scored 700 goals by starting from the left side, it is clear that his preference is that

[The 61-year-old tactician also reflected on Juve’s second final defeat of the season] Losing a trophy is always painful, it hurts, it gives disappointment and bitterness, but this is the situation and we mustn’t beat ourselves up. We have to turn the page and we have to think about our next goals

2020 06 25 Retrieve

[Juventus manager Sarri has no problems picking Pjanic despite imminent Barcelona deal] If he is sold, it’ll be for other reasons. He is not under discussion from a technical point of view. But the club haven’t given me any signals in that sense, so I don’t take it into consideration. The discussions between him and me are on technical and mental aspects. He mustn’t worry if he misses a game, but he has to react quickly. I’m happy with Miralem and I’m sure, in that role, he can improve further

Arthur Melo is a Barcelona player and I don’t want to talk about him.

2020 06 25b Retrieve

[Maurizio Sarri says Gonzalo Higuain was especially touched by the events of the coronavirus pandemic] Higuain is a very sensitive person, he’s been touched in a particular way from the events of the world and from his personal experiences. At the time of his return he thought it was not even right to go back to playing, while in addition he had this little injury. Now it seems to me that he is finding that desire he had at the beginning. For us, his return is important

The games are all difficult as physical conditions are not optimal. We’ll need to be ready. We should not be looking at the other games but, instead, at our performances, which in the end will bring us the results. The league advantage isn’t substantial as there are still 33 points up for grabs. We need to have the right mentality, always

2020 06 27 Retrieve

[Sarri not worried about Pjanic’s Juventus future] I don’t know if Pjanic will no longer play with Juventus, I have not received any communication. These are not things that interest us, the market only starts in September. Miralem’s a professional, he understands situations quickly. I don’t know anything at the moment, but I’m not worried. He’ll be with us until the end of August. I hope he’ll stay with us even beyond that, but these are decisions that will be made at a later stage

[Sarri was particularly happy for Higuain given how the coronavirus crisis has affected the Argentine striker, an issue he had spoken about pre-game] He had a difficult time on a personal and global level, because the coronavirus emergency hit him a lot and left a mark on him. He has returned, had a minor injury and is now getting back into shape. I am happy that he scored immediately, he is a player who will give us a lot in this season finale

2020 06 27b Retrieve

[Improving Ronaldo needs to play a lot for Juventus] Cristiano now can play with a good fit. He needs to improve after the break and he is doing so match after match. He needs to play a lot. In the future we will find the way to preserve him across matches or for some matches. He is great in listening to himself and he will realise when he will need to stop and rest. But now I think he fits quite well.

[Amid doubts and criticism over Higuain] For us he is very important. He is powerful, one of the strongest centre forward in the world right now. He can be decisive for us at the end of the season. He had a difficult time on a personal and global level, because the coronavirus emergency hit him a lot and left a mark on him. He has returned, had a minor injury and is now getting back into shape. I am happy that he scored immediately, he is a player who will give us a lot in this season finale.

2020 06 27c Retrieve

[Pjanic and Arthur to undergo medicals as Barcelona & Juventus close on midfielder swap] Concerning Pjanic, we are sure that he will stay with us until the end of August. The lad is a great professional, very intelligent and he understands situations very quickly and knows how to adapt

2020 06 28 Retrieve

[Arthur and Pjanic pass medicals in Turin ahead of Juventus and Barcelona transfers] Concerning Pjanic, we are sure that he will stay with us until the end of August. The lad is a great professional, very intelligent and he understands situations very quickly and knows how to adapt

2020 06 29 Retrieve

[Sarri cautious over continuing to start Ronaldo and Dybala] It’s likely that they can start again [against Genoa]. It’s clear that if they play every game, in two or three matches we may have a problem, but I don’t think there is any risk for them to suffer some sort of fatigue right now. In the long run though we need to have [Gonzalo] Higuain fit and able to play a large part of the game, this will become essential at some point

[After Juve’s recent 4-0 win over Lecce, Sarri admitted Ronaldo was improving and would continue to do so the more he played] Cristiano now can play with a good fit. He needs to improve after the break and he is doing so match after match. He needs to play a lot. In the future we will find the way to preserve him across matches or for some matches. He is great in listening to himself and he will realise when he will need to stop and rest. But now I think he fits quite well

2020 06 29b Retrieve

[Maurizio Sarri has declared Miralem Pjanic ‘will be happy’ to seal a move to Barcelona] If the transfer becomes official, [Pjanic] will be happy because he will end his career in a great team. The boy can be happy with this solution, I am peaceful because he is serious and intelligent. The possibility that he doesn’t give us 101 per cent, I don’t see it. It’s good for both that they focus on what they have to do now. The opening of the market is two months away, they still have to play some important games. Talking about the market doesn’t give me pleasure. Some of the staff will certainly study Arthur thoroughly to get the clearest ideas, for now let’s enjoy Pjanic in this season finale