Why does Sarri hate Europe? – Magazine Contrasts

A (difficult) relationship that comes from far away.

Of course, it tastes less bitter to evaluate the reasons for another European defeat in the week after the win in a fiery derby. But the data remains. When in 2019 in Baku held the Europa League trophy in his hands, Sarri did not appear gloomy, as one might infer from his explicit disinterest in European competitions. Fresh from his first coaching title, he smiled happily as a child.

It may have been the beginning of an ideal relationship between one of the greatest enthusiasts of ‘gameism’, understood as white magic in the imaginary struggle between opposites with grim ‘resultism’, and victory. However, this did not happen. Maurizio Sarri had returned to his old ways after this sparkling Azerbaijani evening. And if he wanted to win a Scudetto, he had agreed to wear tailored suits with the logo embossed minimal chic the old and bitter rivals of Juventus, With the European Cup, the relationship was broken again with no possibility of reparation.

It all started in the not too distant 2015, when Figline’s coach took the place on the Napoli bench vacated by Rafa Benitez.

The highly decorated Spain coach had swallowed the bitter pill of elimination in the Europa League semi-finals the year before against the humble Ukrainians of Dnipro, who managed to bring all the firepower of Nikola Kalinic to bear in their ranks. They said no – the opportunity to play with Napoli in a final of European competition more than twenty-five years after the Maradonier’s epic triumph over Stuttgart.


For his part, Sarri, on his absolute debut in the competition, had immediately sensed his desire to improve on the results of his predecessor, dominating the qualifying round and showing flashes of that wonderful team game that made him an urban institution in Naples like Masaniello. Favorite son of a small but hyper-tactical footballer who would rather spend Thursday nights endlessly reviewing moves and transitions in the video room than playing a contest worthy of no more than fifty percent of the starting line-up, Sarri had started the first leg of the round of 32 against Villarreal as a massive favorite. pity the Sales volume.

The horrific evening of the ninetieth-minute defeat in Turin by Juve – that of Zaza’s outside goal and the eventual overtaking of Allegriano at the head of the Championship – might have left more than a slag on the Azzurri, but Sarri had chosen to complicate it all through six changes compared to the game in Turin. Higuainwho would have scored two goals this season even sitting on a chair in the penalty area, he had obviously been left on the bench. Room, then, for Chiriches, Strinic, Lopez, Valdifiori, who were little or never used in the league, and Napoli in the midst of a crisis of self-esteem had suffered another 0-1 draw, the classic result which, if the away goal was worth double, it could be very difficult.

At the moment, with four games in a very few days, we didn’t go to squeeze the players who played enough‘ was the coach’s reasoning, and when the script was repeated at San Paolo (aside from Higuain), Napoli, having taken the lead, had been caught and eliminated by a solid but definitely within reach team. The following year saw their Champions League debut and in the round of 16 with Real Madrid only a madman would have put their reserves in the doubles challenge against Los Blancos. And Sarri is certainly not crazy, maybe just a little fixated on some ideas. Besides, he would have preferred to go to the Bernabeu with Diawara than with Jorginho anyway.

Another round, another run and In 2018, Napoli finished third in their group of champions and were relegated to the Europa League: Is there a better opportunity to test the second line?

The paths of Commander’s Napoli had crossed in the round of 32 this timeRB Leipzig and the hyperkinetic vitality of his fast-paced game. It was the Napoli with ninety-one points in the league, with Mertens at center forward in the shadows, with Insigne at his side primary and from the cuts at the far post from Callejon, from Jorginho in the line and from Allan to chop wood, from Koulibaly and Albiol to command the defense. A season that almost always started with the same eleven in the league.

In the first leg at San Paolo, half-empty reserved for the competition due to the general all-Italian disinterest, however, Tonelli, Maggio, Rog, Diawara, Ounas and Callejon had taken the field from 9th place and that Napoli had been overwhelmed with a clear 1:3. Sarri was happy: “Europa League? It’s a demonstration bordering on insane!“. And the week after, his Napoli had been ousted, after all he had tried to overturn the deficit with the starting XI, but ended up making it 2-0. “Paid for mistakes along the way‘, Sarri’s comment. Especially when it comes to training.


Then Sarri had flown to London and also thanks to Giroud’s failed goals it had arrived a clear victory in form as expected given the disparity in the budgets of the two Londoners who had played the final compared to those of their other rivals. Eliminating against Malmö in the Round of 32 with this squad would have been a much more complicated proposition after all.

Then it was Juve’s turn and a snap of the fingers before the start of the mask and lockdown period Sarri was outwitted by Lyon in the Champions League round of 16 and with him Juventus hope to lift the big-eared trophy with CR7 on top. The 1-0 final in France wouldn’t have been impossible, but with five months split between inactivity in seclusion and then a mad race to make up for lost time in the second leg in August, Juventus weren’t managed a 2-1 draw which Sarri again condemned to elimination due to the now outdated away goals rule.

“Let’s have a few days to think,” Agnelli commented at the end of the game, and Sarri had lost the bench to another continental debacle on a side he himself – say the well-informed – described as “untrainable”.

Less than a year away has done anything to change his view of European competitions and the results with Lazio prove it. Immobile, Zaccagni, Luis Alberto, Milinkovic, Romagnoli and Co. are one thing in the league, another in Europe, Sarri Dixit: “In the league we are more attentive, more committed. The side might subconsciously feel they can do better in Serie A than in Europe.” Then he was beaten by Dutch club AZ in the second round of the Conference League for the second time in seven days.


But the apology doesn’t hold water. It’s the exact job of the coach to motivate the players and to explain at the beginning of the press conference before a crucial second leg in which he has to come back from a deficit that he doesn’t have to think about the derby and then basic , Cancellieri, Gila and Pellegrini (never placed in the league) You risk looking like Pinocchio. Just to stay in Tuscany.

In a European campaign by Italian finally convincing, beyond the triumphalism that should take into account the good helpings of luck from which Milanese women finally drew, Sarris Lazio were the only team to make a bad impression first in an affordable group in the Europa League and then in that Conference League won by rivals Roma the year before and ‘branded’ by Tare.loser competition“.

“We don’t have the structure physically, mentally and numerically to compete in more than one competition at the same time”, was the usual justification, which is no longer applicable even in view of Roma’s success eight months ago. There’s no point in rushing to the Champions League if you don’t use the small trophies to gain experience and train it.”European mentality” what Sarri says is lacking in his Lazio as in Naples and maybe even in Juve by Ronaldo, Pjanic, Rabiot, Dybala, De Ligt and Bonucci. As if mediation were a task beyond the capabilities and responsibilities of the trainer.

Then, luckily for Sarri, came the derby. And that the Dutch from AZ, to use the words of the Tuscan coach, more “ready for these competitions“ Compared to the biancocelesti – even without real estate – nobody thinks about it anymore. But isn’t that what feature articles are for?

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