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Pirlo: ‘I had Premier League offers’

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Andrea Pirlo has revealed he turned down offers from Serie A and the Premier League in order to become Juventus Under-23 coach.

The former Bianconeri midfielder gave his first press conference as U23 coach and offered some insight on his journey and what his team will look like.

“I am proud to begin this career as a coach and hope to experience some of the emotions I had as a player,” Pirlo said at unveiling.

“I can’t wait to start, because the years away from the football field since my retirement made me realise this was the path I wanted going forward. I am very happy to have returned to Juventus.

“I arrived here after 10 years at Milan and was welcomed into this family. I got along well with the men here as well as the players, so when I left Turin, I still stayed in contact and remained friendly. It’s not the same with Milan, as there’s nobody left from when I was there.

“I had also received offers from Serie A and the Premier League, but I thought Juventus was the best place to start.

“I had been studying ever since I stopped playing, that increased my curiosity and desire to learn more, so I dived in 100%. I had many coaches in my career, and they all gave me something, from Carlo Ancelotti to Marcello Lippi and Max Allegri.

“However, every coach has to take his own path and I have a specific way of playing in my mind, it’s with ball to feet and always going for the victory. I hated some things as a player and never want to see them again. Systems aren’t the issue, it’s about occupying the space and working with the characteristics of the players.

“I would’ve liked to play in today’s Juventus. I like Sarri’s style of football, the playmaker sees so much of the ball and I’d have really enjoyed myself. I’ll certainly try to create a rapport with Sarri to help these young players grow and make their way into the senior team.

“I need to explain to these lads what Juventus really means. Anyone who plays against us will want to win even more and we must prove ourselves every time.

“Everyone would like to imitate the paths of Zinedine Zidane and Pep Guardiola, but we must earn it. I also had proposals from the Premier League, but I felt that this was the right path to start my career as a coach.

Formations? They are not fundamental, we must first see the players available. It’s the occupation of the spaces that makes the difference, with the right players in the right positions. With clear ideas.”

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