No smoke without fire: Lazio hire Sarri


Rome (AFP) – After teasing the news with a cryptic tweet, Lazio on Wednesday announced they had hired former Chelsea and Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri.

“Maurizio Sarri is the new coach,” posted the Serie A club on social media.

Earlier Lazio sent out a tweet showing a hand holding a lit cigarette, track suit tops and a simple drawing of a bank.

Sarri, the former Napoli, Chelsea and Juventus coach, worked as a banker and is a notorious chain smoker who wears a track suit on the sideline.

Italian media reported that the two sides agreed to a two-year deal earlier in the week.

Lazio followed the announcement of the signing with another tweet which they posted on their web site.

It said: “Sarrismo…The conception of the game of football advocated by coach Sarri based on speed and attacking propensity.”

It was accompanied by a one-minute video which, in addition to Lazio fans and players, contained clips of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, separated by a shot of Paolo di Canio, as well as images of a rainbow, Roman ruins and Freddie Mercury, before finishing with Sarri. 

Sarri succeeds Simone Inzaghi, who left for Inter Milan after five years at Lazio.

The appointment continues a tumultuous off-season summer in Italy’s top flight. So far 12 clubs have changed coaches with only AC Milan and Atalanta in the top 10 keeping their coach.

Sarri, 62, became famed for his ‘Sarriball’ at Napoli from 2015-18. He joined Chelsea where he spent one season, winning the Europa League, his first trophy as a coach, before moving to Juventus in 2019.

In Turin he won Serie A, but was fired last August after one season in charge.

Sarri is a charismatic and colourful coach who has worked his way up from the Italian lower divisions, starting on the benches of tiny Tuscan clubs while retaining his day job as a banker.

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