Pirlo leaves Juventus after disappointing year in charge

TURIN, Italy — Andrea Pirlo is leaving Juventus after only one season as coach following a fourth-place finish that ended the club’s run of nine straight Serie A titles.

Juventus did not say in Friday’s statement whose decision it was to go, but reports in Italy say the 42-year-old Pirlo was fired.

Pirlo, a former Juventus player who had never coached at any level, was surprisingly appointed last year after Maurizio Sarri was fired.

“A few months ago, Andrea Pirlo, an icon of world soccer, began his new adventure, his first as a coach,” Juventus said in a statement. “To do this, first of all, it takes courage, as well as awareness of one’s own means … Pirlo has just begun the first steps of what will no doubt become a brilliant career as a coach.”

Juventus won the Italian Cup and the Super Cup under Pirlo, but Inter Milan won the Serie A title.

The club also faltered in the Champions League, losing to Porto in the round of 16.

“Since in soccer, what counts are the victories, let’s remember them: in the space of a few short months Pirlo’s Juve has raised two trophies: The Italian Supercup and the Coppa Italia. And he, as coach, brought home brilliant victories on the most prestigious of fields, from San Siro to Camp Nou,” Juventus added.

Pirlo’s replacement could be announced imminently. Former Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has reportedly signed a three-year deal at the club — only two seasons after his departure.

Juventus won five straight league and cup doubles under Allegri and also reached two Champions League finals.

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