Football

Maurizio Sarri: Who says I've never won anything in Italy?

Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri yesterday bristled at the suggestion he has never won anything in Italy, pointing out that he has won promotion a number of times in the lower divisions during his 20-year career.

Sarri's record was under the spotlight again as Juventus prepare to face his former club Napoli in the Coppa Italia final in Rome tomorrow morning (Singapore time).

The 61-year-old transformed Napoli during three seasons at the club with a high-tempo passing game dubbed "Sarriball".

However, he has never won either Serie A or the Coppa Italia and when his Chelsea side won the Europa League last season, it was widely proclaimed as the first major trophy of his career.

"It annoys me when people say I've never won anything in Italy," he told a news conference. "I've won promotion on the pitch from almost every division, from the sixth tier to Serie A, and that's a difficult path to take.

"Of course, there's a big desire to win a trophy but that is for the fans and for all of us. I'm not thinking about the past."

Sarri won promotion in Italy's regional leagues with Cavriglia and then Antella during the 1990s, led Sansovino from the sixth to the fourth tier in three seasons, Sangiovannese to the third division in 2004 and Empoli into Serie A in 2014.

His counterpart at Napoli, Gennaro Gattuso, will be looking to claim the first title of his coaching career. - REUTERS

Football