Serie A success, Champions League misery and Ronaldo's arrival – Allegri's highs and lows at Juventus

By Omnisport 18 May 2019 3299
Serie A success, Champions League misery and Ronaldo's arrival – Allegri's highs and lows at Juventus

Juventus are to embark into a new era following Friday's announcement that Massimiliano Allegri is to step down at the end of the campaign.

Following a five-year stint at the Allianz Stadium, where he won five Serie A titles, four Coppas Italia, two Supercoppas Italiana and finished runner-up in the Champions League twice, Allegri is to call it a day after his side's final two matches of the 2018-19 season.

But amid all the trophy-winning highs, the 51-year-old also endured a number of lows – namely missing out on the Champions League crown that his side crave most of all.

Here we look back at the ups and downs of Allegri's tenure as Juventus start their search for a replacement.

Debut season brings domestic double

Upon taking over from three-in-a-row title winner Antonio Conte in July 2014, Allegri hit the ground running in his first season at the club by guiding Juve to a fourth successive top-flight crown for the second time in their history.

He followed that up with more domestic success in the Coppa Italia, beating Lazio 2-1 after extra time in the final to pull off the first of four doubles.

Pogba's departure raises questions

The 2016 sale of star man Paul Pogba to Manchester United reflected badly on Juventus and their coach, even if the £89million fee – a world-record sum at the time – was almost impossible to turn down.

Juve had sold to a rival who were not even in the Champions League, and Allegri acknowledged the following year that he "did nothing" to stop the transfer going through. In the wake of their latest European failure, it could be argued the World Cup-winning midfielder is exactly the type of player they could do with.

Second time unlucky

Two years after losing to Barcelona in the 2015 final, Juve fell short once again in Cardiff as they suffered a 4-1 loss to Real Madrid.

Allegri's men headed into the match having maintained their dominance of the domestic game by retaining their Serie A title and the Coppa Italia, but the Juve fell just short of winning a first ever treble.

Juve were level with an hour played at the Principality Stadium, only to crumble from that point on – largely thanks to the form of Cristiano Ronaldo, who would later join them – as the LaLiga side struck three more times to make it back-to-back triumphs on the continent.

Luring Ronaldo to Turin

If losing Pogba to United was a blight on Allegri, playing his part in persuading Ronaldo to join from Madrid in 2018 will certainly be a positive mark for his legacy.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner wanted a new challenge away from the Santiago Bernabeu, and Allegri's sustained success ensured Juve were the ideal destination for Ronaldo, who has scored 21 goals in 30 Serie A appearances.

However, Ronaldo's debut campaign may ultimately be remembered for the trophies he failed to lift, rather than the two he did.

Ajax youth proves too much for the Old Lady

Even with Ronaldo in his ranks, Allegri could not end Juve's hoodoo on the European stage.

A path to the final seemed to have had opened up for the two-time Champions League winners as, after relying on Ronaldo to bail them out against Atletico Madrid in the last 16, they had Ajax in the quarter-finals and one of Tottenham or Manchester City if they made it past the Eredivisie giants.

That elusive European breakthrough again passed Allegri by, though, as Juve were outclassed by Erik ten Hag's youthful Ajax team. The Italian champions crashed out 3-2 on aggregate and Allegri came in for criticism for his negative approach, with many marking that upset as the beginning of the end for the 51-year-old.

Sustained success in Serie A

Allegri will ultimately bow out with a smile on his face as Juventus will lift the Serie A title – his fifth with the Old Lady and sixth overall – after their final home match of the season against high flyers Atalanta on Sunday.

After they were given a run for their money by Napoli in 2017-18, Juve wrapped up the title in record time this season, only going off the boil in Serie A once it became clear they were not going to be caught.

Motivating largely the same group of players to go for title after title is no easy feat and Allegri, if nothing else, managed to achieve that consistently over five years in Turin.

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