Allegri in 2012
|Full name||Massimiliano Allegri|
|Date of birth||11 August 1967|
|Place of birth||Livorno, Italy|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Massimiliano Allegri (Italian pronunciation: [massimiˈljano alˈleɡri]; born 11 August 1967) is an Italian professional football manager, currently in charge of Italian club Juventus, and former midfielder. As a footballer, Allegri spent his career playing for various Italian clubs. After beginning his managerial career in 2003 with several smaller Italian sides, he later played a key role in Sassuolo's rise through the lower Italian divisions, and subsequently led Cagliari to their best Serie A finish in nearly 15 years, winning the Panchina d'Oro Award for best Serie A coach in 2009. His performances as head coach of Cagliari earned him a move to Milan in 2010, where he remained until January 2014; in the 2010–11 season, Allegri helped Milan to their first Serie A title since the 2003–04 season. After joining Juventus in 2015, he immediately won the domestic double in his debut season, and achieved the same feat the following season.
After spending the earlier part of his career in the lower leagues, including his hometown club Livorno, Allegri joined Pescara in 1991. A talented and creative player, he established himself in midfield as Giovanni Galeone's side won promotion to Serie A in 1992. Allegri was an outstanding performer for Pescara in Serie A. Despite the side's relegation in last place, there was no shortage of goals and Allegri scored an impressive 12 goals from midfield. He moved on to Cagliari and then Perugia and Napoli before returning to Pescara. Brief spells at Pistoiese and Aglianese followed before his retirement from active football in 2003.
He was banned for one year in 2001 with others six Italian footballers for match-fixing following a Coppa Italia tie in 2000. The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) also handed one-year suspensions to Fabio Gallo, Sebastiano Siviglia, and Luciano Zauri of Serie A side Atalanta; and Alfredo Aglietti of Serie B's Pistoiese.
Allegri started his managerial career in 2004, serving as the boss of Serie C2 team Aglianese, the club where he spent his two final years as a player. Following an impressive season with them, Allegri was called to head Grosseto, then in Serie C1; his experience with the Biancazzurri, however, proved not to be as successful as with Aglianese, and he was ultimately sacked shortly after the beginning of the 2006–07 Serie C1 season. Shortly after being sacked by Grosseto, Allegri agreed to rejoin his mentor Giovanni Galeone at Udinese, becoming part of his coaching staff. This practice, however, proved to be forbidden by the Italian football laws because he was still contracted with the Tuscan club, which caused Allegri to be disqualified for three months on early 2008.
On August 2007, Allegri became head coach of ambitious Serie C1 team Sassuolo, who Allegri managed to lead quickly into the top league spots. On 27 April 2008, Sassuolo mathematically ensured the 2007–08 Serie C1/A league title, thus winning a historical first promotion to Serie B for the neroverdi.
On 29 May 2008, Allegri was announced as new head coach of Cagliari in the Serie A, replacing Davide Ballardini. Despite a disappointing start, with five losses in the first five league matches, Allegri was confirmed by club chairman Massimo Cellino and later went on to bring his team up to a mid-table placement in December. On 9 December, following a 1–0 home win to Palermo, Cagliari announced to have agreed a two-year contract extension with Allegri, with a new contract that was set to expire on 1 June 2011. The contract was then revealed to have been signed on October, in the midst of the rossoblu's early crisis result.
He completed the 2008–09 season in an impressive ninth place, their best result in Serie A in almost fifteen years, which was hailed as a huge result with respect to the limited resources, the lack of top-class players, and the high quality of Cagliari's attacking football style, which led the Sardinians not far from UEFA Europa League qualification. Such results led him to be awarded the Panchina d'Oro (Golden bench), a prize awarded to the best Serie A football manager according to other managers' votes, ahead of Serie A winning coach José Mourinho. In the 2009–10 season, he managed to confirm Cagliari's high footballing levels despite the loss of regular striker Robert Acquafresca, leading an impressive number of three players from his side — namely Davide Biondini, Federico Marchetti, and Andrea Cossu — to receive Italian national team call-ups during his reign at the club.
On 13 April 2010, Cagliari surprisingly removed Allegri from his managerial duties despite a solid 12th place with 40 points, and youth coach Giorgio Melis — with Gianluca Festa as his assistant — was appointed at his replacement.
Allegri was released from his contract by Cagliari on 17 June 2010, under request of Serie A giants Milan, who were interested in appointing him as their new manager. On 25 June, Allegri was officially appointed as the new manager of Milan. In his first season in charge, Allegri led Milan to their first championship title since 2004, beating title incumbents and cross-city rivals Internazionale in both league fixtures; at the time, only Roberto Mancini had achieved that feat at a younger age. Allegri's Milan side, however, failed to make it past the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia, losing to Palermo 4–3 on aggregate. The team also qualified for the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League, where they were eliminated by Tottenham Hotspur.
Success continued in his second season at the club. He led Milan to their sixth Supercoppa Italiana title, by coming from behind in a 2–1 win over city rivals Internazionale in a game played at the Beijing National Stadium on 6 August 2011. That was as far as his success went for that season, however. A semi-final Coppa Italia knockout at the hands of Juventus followed by a quarter-final UEFA Champions League knockout at the hands of Barcelona left Milan fighting on only one front towards the end of the season — the Scudetto. Even that was to be lost, however, with the Rossoneri finishing in second place to Juventus and therefore qualifying for next season's Champions League group stage. The season was also marked with controversy however, as in the second half of the season, Milan had a goal by Sulley Muntari disallowed in a key match against title rivals Juventus at the San Siro, after they had already been leading 1–0; the match eventually ended in a 2–2 draw. Along with Adriano Galliani, Allegri drew criticism for his decision to sell veteran deep-lying playmaker to Juventus, after excluding him from the starting eleven the previous season, and deeming him to be a surplus due to his age; Pirlo went on to play a key role in Juventus's victorious Serie A title.
On 13 January 2012, Allegri agreed to extend his contract with Milan to the end of 2013–14 season. On 5 June 2012, Allegri stated that he intends to coach for only 10 more years and plans to retire at the age of 55 due to the fact that coaching contains a high level of stress and anxiety. He also said that he hopes to coach the Italian national side before he retires.
With the departure and retirement of several of the club's key players, Milan strugged at the beginning of the 2012–13 season, and had only collected 8 points from their first 7 games, putting Allegri in danger of getting fired early on. Despite all the criticism from the critics, Milan stuck with Allegri and he managed to get the best out of some younger players including Stephan El Shaarawy, Milan's home-grown player Mattia De Sciglio and later on Mario Balotelli. Allegri managed to steer the Rossoneri from 16th place to a 3rd-place finish at the end of the season, with an epic 2–1 comeback victory away to Siena. The result gave Milan the a spot in the playoff round for the 2013–14 Champions League campaign.
On 1 June 2013, club president Silvio Berlusconi confirmed Allegri to remain as the manager of Milan, despite numerous speculations that he would be given the sack. On 31 December 2013, Allegri confirmed he would leave the club at the end of the season, telling Gazzetta dello Sport that, "...Of course this is my last Christmas at A.C. Milan."
On 16 July 2014, Allegri was appointed as the new head coach of Juventus, replacing Antonio Conte who had resigned the day before. Although the decision to hire Allegri was initially met with ambivalence, on 2 May 2015, he guided Juventus to their fourth consecutive Serie A title, as the club defeated Sampdoria 1–0 at the Stadio Marassi in Genoa; this was only the second time Juventus had won four consecutive Scudetto titles (the last time being from 1931 to 1935, when they won five Scudetto titles in a row). Having previously won the title with Milan in 2011, it also marked his second Scudetto title as a manager in Serie A. On 13 May 2015, Allegri guided Juventus to the Champions League final by defeating defending champions Real Madrid in the semifinals, 3–2 on aggregate; it had been twelve years since the Bianconeri had last appeared in the final, eventually losing to Milan 3–2 on penalties in in 2003. A week later, on 20 May 2015, Allegri guided Juventus to a domestic double by helping the club win their record tenth Coppa Italia, defeating Lazio 2–1 in extra time. The Old Lady last won the trophy in 1995, breaking their twenty-year drought of having not won the competition, and making them the first team in Italy to win the trophy ten times. On 6 June 2015, Juventus were defeated by Barcelona, 3–1, in the 2015 UEFA Champions League final.
On 6 July 2015, almost a year after signing with Juventus, Allegri signed a one-year extension to his current contract keeping him at the club until the end of the 2016–17 season. On 8 August 2015, Allegri led Juventus to a 2–0 victory over Lazio in the Supercoppa Italiana, with new signings Mario Mandžukić and Paulo Dybala scoring the goals. Allegri was included in the 10-man shortlist of nominees for the 2015 FIFA World Coach of the Year Award, but was later not included among the three finalists, despite almost completing a treble in his first season as Juventus's coach. However, on 14 December 2015, Allegri won the Serie A Coach of the Year award; and later on 7 March 2016, his second ever Panchina d'Oro for his success with Juventus during the 2014–15 season. On 25 April, Juventus were crowned 2015–16 Serie A champions; after initially struggling during the first ten league matches of the season, Juventus went on an unbeaten streak and won 24 of their next 25 league games to come back from 12th place to defend the title. The team's unbeaten streak ended after 26 matches, and was broken following a 2–1 away loss to Verona on 8 May. On 6 May, Allegri extended his contract as Juventus manager to 2018. On 21 May, he led Juventus to the domestic double once again after a 1–0 victory over Milan in the 2016 Coppa Italia Final.
Style of management
Allegri has been praised for his tactical intelligence and his ability to build effectively upon Antonio Conte's successful tactics and winning mentality as Juventus's manager, albeit in a less rigorous manner. He initially continued to use Conte's trademark 3–5–2 formation, but later switched to a four-man back-line, in particular in the UEFA Champions League. Under Allegri, Juventus became slightly less aggressive and intense in their pressing off the ball, while their playing style became more patient and focussed on keeping possession and gaining territorial advantage, in order to conserve energy, tactics which he had previously used while at Milan. Although Allegri's team was still effective at winning the ball in midfield and scoring from counter-attacks, the club's attacking play on the ball usually involved a slower build-up, which mainly consisted of short passes, and fewer long balls from Pirlo and Bonucci; although goalkeeper Buffon continued to primarily play the ball out from the back with short ground passes to the defenders, he also began to use deeper goal kicks out to the wings, however. Allegri has also been lauded for his versatility, which he demonstrated by adpoting and switching between several different formations during his first season with Juventus, including the 4–3–1–2, the 4–4–2, and the 4–3–3, which he had also previously adpoted while at Milan, in order to find the most suitable system for his players. The fluidity of Juventus's formations under Allegri allowed talented players more freedom and creative licence, and enabled the midfielders to make attacking runs into the area. Despite implementing several changes, Allegri still managed to preserve Juventus's defensive organisation and strength: this was further demonstrated by his tendency to switch to the 3–5–2 in the final 20 minutes of closely contested matches, in order to hold on to the result, as well as by his tendency to play behind the ball with two deep, tight defensive lines when facing teams that dominated possession, preferring instead to focus on breaking up play and adopting a counter-attacking style of play similar to that which he had previously also used with Milan.
Pirlo praised Allegri's seemingly more relaxed attitude to coaching stating that he "...brought a sense of calm" to the team, and that he aided in endowing the players with a sense of confidence. Regarding Juventus's fluidity under Allegri, Italian football analyst Antonio Gagliardi tweeted: "Juventus defend low with a 5–4–1, they press with a 4–4–2 and they attack with a 4–2–3–1. Systems in the future will become ever more fluid." In his second season with the club, Allegri was praised for rebuilding the team following the departure of several key players, such as Pirlo, Vidal, and Tevez, and for his role in inspiring Juventus to a comeback to defend the league title, which included a 15-match winning streak, after a negative start. Although a 1–0 defeat to Sassuolo on 28 October 2015 left them in 12th place, 11 points from the top of the table after their first 10 league matches, Juventus went unbeaten in their next 25 fixtures, winning 24 of them, and finished the season as 2015–16 Serie A champions with three games to spare; this was the club's record fifth consecutive league title since the 2011–12 season.
- As of 21 May 2016
|Aglianese||1 July 2003||30 June 2004||38||10||13||15||30||35||−5||26.32|
|Real SPAL||1 July 2004||30 May 2005||40||13||15||12||47||41||+6||32.50|
|Grosseto||19 July 2005||29 October 2005||11||2||6||3||9||10||−1||18.18|
|Grosseto||17 April 2006||29 October 2006||17||4||9||4||19||18||+1||23.53|
|Sassuolo||17 July 2007||28 May 2008||42||23||6||13||46||32||+14||54.76|
|Cagliari||29 May 2008||13 April 2010||74||27||15||32||106||113||−7||36.49|
|Milan||25 June 2010||13 January 2014||179||92||49||38||303||178||+125||51.40|
|Juventus||16 July 2014||Present||109||74||20||15||200||72||+128||67.89|
Winners / 1st place
Runners-up / 2nd place
|Competition||League||Coppa Italia||Supercoppa Italiana||Champions League|
- Panchina d'Oro Prima Divisione (1): 2007–08
- Panchina d'Oro (2): 2008–09, 2014–15
- Serie A Coach of the Year (2): 2011, 2015
- Enzo Bearzot Award (1): 2015
- IFFHS Coach of the Year Award (Third Place): 2015
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