Massimiliano Allegri remembers his maiden successes with Sassuolo and Milan more fondly than his triumphs with Juventus.
Sassuolo made history under Allegri in 2007-08 when he led them to the Serie C title and promotion to the second tier for the first time.
He was poached by Cagliari and took over at Milan ahead of the 2010-11 season, guiding them to a first Scudetto in seven years.
Allegri only added the Supercoppa Italiana before moving onto Juve in 2014. He steered the Bianconeri to five straight Serie A titles – the first four of which were domestic doubles thanks to successes in the Coppa Italia – and two Champions League finals, both of which ended in defeat.
Despite the incredible record he possessed during his first stint at Juve, it is the triumphs in the earlier stages of his career that he remembers more prominently.
“All the titles are beautiful, I cannot choose. The ones I remember the most are the Serie C title with Sassuolo and the first Serie A title with Milan,” said Allegri.
“The defeats, on the other hand, are all bad – some more than others because the question remains for you about whether you could have done something better.”
— AC Milan (@acmilan) January 24, 2012
Juve endured a sluggish start to the season following Allegri’s return to the helm and sit eight points adrift of leaders Milan with seven games to play.
Allegri has come in for criticism for a lack of willingness to try out young players, an attitude many believe is widespread in Italy and a significant factor in their failure to qualify for the 2022 World Cup.
The 54-year-old explained why he may seem reluctant to put his faith in youth.
“For some years in Italy, there has been a tendency to consider youngsters to be champions after two or three games,” he said.
“But that is pushing them ahead of schedule – at 20 years old a footballer cannot have the maturity of a 28-year-old.”
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