Maurizio Sarri takes a dig at former Chelsea ace Eden Hazard during Juventus unveiling


The Italian, who left Chelsea last week after one year in charge to take over at the Serie A giants, also seemed to further goad his old club with the announcement that working with Cristiano Ronaldo at Juve would be a ‘step forward’ for him.

Sarri, who steered Chelsea to third place in the Premier League, a Europa League win and the League Cup final but never endeared himself to the fans, unusually wore a suit for his unveiling.

And he revealed that Hazard – who hit 21 goals for Chelsea last season before leaving in a £130 million move to Real Madrid – caused him problems.

Sarri said: “We had to accommodate Hazard’s characteristics. He could change the game, but his presence caused issues in defending that we had to work on.”


The 60 year old flew straight out to meet with Ronaldo in Greece where the Portugal star is on holiday, and admitted: “I coached some very strong players, but training him will be yet another step forward. I’d like to help him break some new records.”

The former Napoli coach also said: “Napoli had team players, who were at the disposal of the team and moved the ball at a quicker pace.

“Chelsea had probably technically superior players, but they had wingers who wanted the ball at their feet. It leads to a less fluid style. Napoli had 11 who could play one-touch football, Chelsea had seven or eight. The others were individuals.

“You’d be insane to think you could change the characteristics of the players at your disposal.”

Sarri also insisted he could still get the best out of striker Gonzalo Higuain, who had an unhappy five months on loan at Chelsea, saying: “Pipa is a lad I love a great deal and it depends on him if he remains.

“He didn’t enjoy the post-Juventus experience and was a little shaken. He can play another 3-4 years at a high level.”

Chelsea are expected to announce Frank Lampard as Sarri’s successor in the next few days.

Express Sport understands Lampard has told the Derby players he will take over at Stamford Bridge should the right offer come in.

Lampard will be offered a three-year deal and is expected to take Jody Morris with him as assistant manager.

Lampard guided Derby to the play-off final, where they missed out to Aston Villa at Wembley, but now looks set to move back to Chelsea after just one year in management.


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