New Juve boss and Italy legend Pirlo is “screwed” says his Azzuri teammate

New Juventus boss Andrea Pirlo was the cheap option with Mauricio Pochettino and Zinedine Zidane’s wages too steep after huge £21m pay-off to flop Maurizio Sarri… but iconic midfielder comes with backing of giants Ronaldo, Chiellini and Buffon

Andrea Pirlo was named as the Juventus manager on Saturday night but only after president Andrea Agnelli decided he could not afford first choices Mauricio Pochettino and Zinedine Zidane.

Former Spurs boss Pochettino reportedly wanted around £8million (€9m) a year to take the reins in Turin, while Madrid head coach Zidane would have asked for even more, at around £10.8m (€12m).

As well as economic reasons, particularly given sacked coach Maurizio Sarri’s £21m pay-off, Pirlo has a similar on-field mentality to previous successful Juventus managers Conte and Massimiliano Allegri, which has worked in his favour with Agnelli.

The 41-year-old, who only re-joined the club in a coaching capacity with the Under-23s 10 days ago, has only taken a slight increase in terms in his contract signed at the end of July too.

Andrea Pirlo has been warned his vast array of achievements as a player will count for little as he embarks on his managerial career by former teammate Gennaro Gattuso.

With the Turin giants, the former midfielder won four Serie A titles and the Coppa Italia, but Gattuso has warned those triumphs are no guarantee of a successful managerial career.

“Well he’s screwed now… That’s the job,” Napoli boss Gattuso told Sky Italia after watching his side lose to Barcelona in the Champions League on Saturday night.

Pirlo made over 100 appearances in the famous black and white stripes of Juventus, after signing for the club from AC Milan in 2011.

Is he worried? Perhaps this provides a clue.

“I don’t feel pressure … I don’t give a toss about it. I spent the afternoon of Sunday, 9 July 2006 in Berlin sleeping and playing the Playstation. In the evening, I went out and won the World Cup.”

— Pirlo, on his mental state in Italy’s World Cup victory over France in the 2006 FIFA World Cup Final.