TJ EXCLUSIVE – Sarri, his friend Virgili speaks: “I bet with him that he will win the Champions League, for Juve-Inter he owes me a bottle of wine. I reveal his nickname. On ‘Gimmi’ and Higuain …”


An over twenty-year friendship between Aurelio Virgili, son of the unforgettable Giuseppe ex Fiorentina football player, and Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri. Several times, during the chat, he defines him as a “brother”. And it could not be otherwise for those who shared a path full of adventures, starting from the Fideuram bank – where Aurelio still works – and going up to the stage of great football where he arrived without shortcuts. Our editorial staff contacted him by phone, exclusively, to try to reveal some anecdotes and more:

How is Maurizio Sarri Juventus manager?

“He is always the first fan of the team he trains, he is focused and wants to win with these colors. In Turin he feels really good, he is a person who loves himself in the environment in which he works. I love him so much that, even though I am a Fiorentina fan, I exult every time Juventus score. In reality, however, I did it last year with Chelsea and two years ago with Napoli. I am his first admirer “.

What is its strength?

“Maurizio is one who lives totally for football, is a scholar and is attentive to every single detail. He is a computer, he knows every facet of the field. If you ask him at the end of the game how many balls Pjanic has played or how many kilometers Ronaldo has traveled , will be able to give you the same answer as a database. The Napoli factotum told a very important diversity: while Benitez asked him to take him around to get to know the city, Sarri was always closed in his office to process data. Psychologically he manages to getting the best out of everyone, can keep you entertained. ”

Those who know him talk about it as a very straightforward and direct person.

“Yes, it is true. He is a person who does not send them to say, if he does not like a footballer he says it clearly. A bit like what happened with Emre Can. It is obvious that the person concerned may not take it well, but in my opinion this is a fundamental characteristic if you want to be a coach. He is a person of culture, ironic, he doesn’t feel the pressure and his reactions are genuine and spontaneous. He was like that even when he coached the first category, he didn’t change his a comma. It’s not because Juventus trains their heads. ”

Have you heard it in the last few days?

“It has been a few weeks since I called him, we say that we hear every week during the championship period. He suffered a lot from the quarantine period, but now he will surely be happy to be back on the field and to have started his daily bread again”.

An anecdote that comes to your mind?

“One evening at the table I asked him about Cuadrado, for me he is stratospheric and my father liked it when he played in Fiorentina. He starts talking to me about it and defines him ‘Gimmy’, not understanding why I ask for explanations. And he replies, with the smile printed on his face, which at that moment had the face of ‘Gimmy’ and therefore he calls him so for the whole training. At the beginning he did not hear him, then he turned and at the moment he told him the whole team laughed Except that in our region it is customary to give us nicknames “.

Oh yes? And how is Sarri nicknamed?

“From the parts of Figline he was known, as a young man, as ‘the dry’ because he was very thin as a nail. Even if he is no longer so. But in any case to my Juventus friends I said, not because I am biased, who took the top of the top on the bench. And Juventus, which is equally at European level, can finally aspire to win the Champions League. In my opinion, the club will have to buy him the players suited to his role, because this year Maurizio has worked with whom it has been made available to him. ”

The Champions League from Turin is quite a taboo.

“In this regard, I bet with him that Juventus will win the Champions League. And I have always beaten him (he smiles). The prize, as always, is a bottle of wine. Mauri is already indebted to me, because in the The last bet had predicted, even a bit out of superstition, Inter’s victory or draw while I was convinced of the fixed 1. We all know how it turned out then “.

Did you ever mention Higuain in your talks with Maurizio?

“When he left Naples he suffered a lot from this, also because he loves him like a son. Maurizio has always had nice words for him, he has never said bad things. Besides, he is like that, he is a person who he has no grudge for his neighbor. Even when he suffers injuries, and has suffered injuries in his professional career, he prefers to move forward. I think that Higuain with another manager would have another performance, it is Sarri who transmits that charge to him that we see when he wears the shirt. of Juventus. It is no coincidence that the best season has come to Naples. ”

Have you ever confided that he would become the Juventus manager?

“No, but I never thought it appropriate to ask for feedback on what the press wrote. I did so because, quite simply, I respect him so much that I preferred not to break his boxes too much. In the period when he was going to Napoli he had been sought also from Milan and Fiorentina, but I remember that he called me immediately after the signing of the contract. He was radiant because he was about to go and train the team of his city “.



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