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Andrea Pirlo has passed his UEFA coaching badges with a stunning score, leading excited Juventus fans to believe they could have a very special manager in charge.
Any manager who takes charge of a Serie A game needs a UEFA Pro licence and Pirlo received confirmation of his in the days before Sunday's Juventus vs Sampdoria game.
However the official result raised eyebrows. Breezing through his coaching badges with the same brilliance he sailed through matches, Pirlo scored 107 points out of a possible 110 in his final exam, according to the Italian Football Federation (FIGC).
The FIGC stated, via GOAL: "Pirlo's thesis analyses - using the terms written by the coach himself - the adaptation 'to the increasingly liquid context of matches'."
Before you get all Proper Football Manager and assume that exams don't belong in real football coaching, know that Italy's Coverciano training centre - where Pirlo studied - is world famous. The likes of Carlo Ancelotti have excelled there before going on to coaching glory. Not to mention Everton.
Only Pirlo's fellow Italy teammate Thiago Motta could best his score in recent times, gaining a sky-high 108 out of 110.
Andrea Pirlo's thesis, translated to English!
Very interesting ideas and clarifications of what to expect from our Mister, enjoy the read! :point_down:https://t.co/CFefHsAW2R
- Juve Canal (@juvecanal2) September 16, 2020
Final approval of Pirlo's licence came through on Wednesday, just days before the champion's first Serie A fixture. Yet other coaches have left it later: Gareth Southgate had to get special dispensation to stay on Middlesbrough's bench in 2006 as he took the managerial job without a UEFA Pro license.
No such issue for Pirlo, who often looks like a man with zero problems in life. Yet it has been a rapid and remarkable rise for the World Cup-winning midfield great.
At the end of July, he was given the reins at Juve's under-23 side in Serie C. Only nine days later, however, he was given the job of boss of the first team after the dismissal of Maurizio Sarri.
That must have been a hell of a nine days. Let's assume he somehow got every single U23 player passing like a prime Pirlo.
Juventus are clearly trying the late-noughties Barcelona method, when a legendary club playmaker is brought in to oversee a new style of play within a team. Whether Pirlo can have anything like a Pep Guardiola-style impact remains to be seen, of course, but the early signs for his managerial career are certainly positive.
All imagery: PA Images
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