Allegri takes his revenge, in his farewell step

There are still 2 games left. Bologna away, Monza at home. Then everyone goes on holiday (not really everyone in reality, given that many will fly to Germany for the European Championships). But in reality for Juventus the real season, the one that counts, ended on the night of the Olimpico, where they raised the 15th Italian Cup in their history to the sky (read here).In Rome it is a late spring evening, at times summery. We see the first shorts and short-sleeved shirts. You sweat, a lot. Also, and above all, for the tension. The one who is dripping with sweat the most, even if well disguised, is Massimiliano Allegri who, on the pitch at the Olimpico, may have lived his last great night with the black and white jacket on.

He never fits on the bench, it’s not for him. He gets up, gives directions to his players. Then in the 90th minute, with the game now on ice, he explodes. He takes off his jacket, throws it, his shirt comes out of his trousers (for him it’s almost sacrilege). Even the tie comes to a bad end. He shouts at the fourth official and the referee who, rightly, sends him off. “Shame” he shouts at the top of his lungs, after a mid-field foul, which would not have affected anything. But in those cries, in those screams, coach Allegri took off his clothes to put on those of Massimiliano. With his thoughts, his tensions, his desire for revenge.

Yes, because he had to swallow some bitter, or rather very bitter, morsels. Many, many. He had to swallow bitter, very bitter pills. More often than not, unfair. Until a few days ago, the hashtag “#Allegriout” was all the rage on social media after the draw against Salernitana, bottom of the table. The Allianz Stadium is furious, it can’t take it anymore. Inter won the Scudetto easily, and the wound is still open. “Juve gave up too soon” many say, without considering that the Nerazzurri played a record year. Because they are the strongest of all, even Juventus. In the sights of the fans, but also of the critics, there is always the same target: Allegri’s game. Which has now become a mantra.

Let’s be clear: Allegri is not exactly the Italian Guardiola. But he’s not interested in being one, he’s always said so. He is practical, concrete, at times at extreme levels, with a hyper-conservative and wait-and-see game. Is it one of its limitations? Perhaps. But all this clashes with his career, given that his CV speaks for itself: 6 Scudetti (of which 5 with Juve), 3 Super Cups, 5 Italian Cups (never anyone like him). To this, let’s add 2 Champions League finals, lost against 2 teams – Barcelona and Real Madrid – who had very little of humanity. Other planets, other worlds. But only they prevented Allegri from sitting on the throne of Europe.

From penalties to disqualifications

Allegri returned to sit on the Juventus bench 2 years ago, after as many years of inactivity. He was no longer the Juve of Cristiano Ronaldo, Tevez, Pirlo and singing company. The players have changed, the level is still high but not comparable to what he was used to. The minimum goal? Getting to the Champions League. For reasons of prestige, but also for budgetary reasons which, in today’s football, are more important than anything.

Allegri has to deal with sporting earthquakes inside his home. Last year, the Sports Justice imposed a 10-point penalty on Juventus, due to the Prisma investigation linked to the alleged false capital gains. Many, many, which force Juve to slip from second to seventh place. Whose position, for the record, means Conference League (a cup that Juve will never play, given that UEFA will disqualify them from European competitions shortly afterwards). But, without those points taken away, Juve would have finished the championship in third place, equal to Inter. On the field, therefore, Allegri was right.

But that is not all. The worst thing came this season, due to the betting scandal that hit Italian football like a storm. Storm which, among others, also hit Juventus, given the maxi-disqualification imposed on Nicolò Fagioli, a young and talented midfielder. To this, let’s also add the 4-year ban imposed on Pogba for doping. Any other coach would have easily lost control of the situation. Almost all of them, but not Allegri, who has plenty of experience. And, in difficulty, he emerges. Here too, the news is clear: Juventus won the Champions League and managed to lift a trophy, the Italian Cup, 3 years later.

It’s not much, some say. It’s obvious, others say, because winning is mandatory for Juventus. But the reality is different. Winning is never a given. Behind the victories there are sacrifices, hard work. Victory starts from the training field, from the gym. The match on the pitch is just the tip of the iceberg, what anyone can see. But there is a long, very long journey, which lasts months, sometimes even years.

The criticisms, therefore, are legitimate. Those who are paid their weight in gold and are constantly on display must expect them. Especially from the press. Otherwise, change jobs. However, however, the coin always has 2 sides. And if one shows the hyper-conservative, perhaps too old, game, the other shows the results, which are also irrefutable.

Cheerful at the farewell step

He hugs his players, sits on the billboards and observes the fans. From the images, he seems to be arguing remotely with the sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli. He won, but it wasn’t enough to calm him down. He goes in front of the Mediaset cameras, he says “I’ll leave it to Juve…sorry, I meant…” which says it all, in fact. His farewell almost makes it official on its own. The messages seem to all be there. He is very tired, or rather exhausted, as if he had played himself. And, in some ways, that’s how it is.

For weeks now rumors are bouncing around that Juventus are increasingly pressing Thiago Motta, who painted a masterpiece by dragging Bologna into the Champions League last time. And, in the shadows, there is always Antonio Conte. Whether it’s one or the other (or someone else), the one who doesn’t seem to be there is Allegri, who seems to already have his bags packed outside the Continassa. But on the doorstep, he gives away an Italian Cup. At Juventus, of course. But, most of all, to himself. (Photo: Juventus official Facebook page)

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