Massimiliano Allegri is number 42 in 90min’s Top 50 Great Managers of All Time series. Follow the rest of the series over the course of the next nine weeks. You can find Jude Summerfield’s career overview of Allegri here.
Having arrived in Turin in 2014, Massimiliano Allegri is responsible for turning Juventus into the ruthlessly dominant side they are today.
With five Serie A title wins on the trot, Allegri has carved his way into Juve and European football history, leaving La Vecchia Signora in better shape than when he inherited the side from Antonio Conte.
So, without further ado, here’s Allegri’s ultimate XI as we continue 90min’s Top 50 Greatest Managers of All Time series.
Goalkeeper & Defenders
Gianluigi Buffon (GK) – Yeah, a pretty good goalkeeper as it goes. A mainstay at Juventus for 17 years, Buffon was Allegri’s first choice during their four seasons together and helped mould Wojciech Szczesny into the stopper he is today.
Stephan Lichtsteiner (RB) – The Switzerland international’s versatility proved extremely handy for Allegri, as he was able to play at full back, wing back, and even as a makeshift centre back. Aggressive in the tackle and energetic down the flank, Lichtsteiner was an excellent servant for La Vecchia Signora.
Leonardo Bonucci (CB) – Barring the treacherous move to Milan, Bonucci was terrific under Allegri. The ball-playing defender alongside the monster that is Giorgio Chiellini, Bonucci launches attacks with his arching long passes and gets his small share of goals.
Giorgio Chiellini (CB) – The ultimate defender. The niggly nuisance stickin’ his knee into your back. The guy who’s broken his nose about 50 million times. Chiellini has been one of the best centre backs around for the last few years, and that won’t change any time soon. Was a mainstay under Allegri and will be again for Maurizio Sarri.
Alex Sandro (LB) – Very much a modern full back, Sandro can beat players when one on one and was used in varying positions by Allegri. He’s frequently been linked with a move away from Turin, but Sandro’s best years will probably be those he spent with his former manager.
Andrea Pirlo (CM) – Funnily enough, Pirlo’s spell with Allegri at Milan didn’t go particularly well. He appeared just 17 times in the league and was released, free to join Juventus for the start of the 2011/12 season. When Allegri arrived at Juve in 2014, Pirlo’s league appearances did diminish but his standing in the team did not. Was very good at passing, if you didn’t know already.
Arturo Vidal (CM) – ‘He’s a right warrior, that Vidal! Gets in the way of everything!’ This is the wrong interpretation of Arturo Vidal. The lad scored 33 goals from midfield between 2012 and 2014. That’s quite a lot for a supposed bruiser. Sure, he got stuck in when necessary, as you have to when you play with Pirlo, but Vidal will be remembered at Juve as a brilliant all-round talent.
Claudio Marchisio (CM) – Playing in a deeper role, Marchisio provided the bridge between defence and attack. He would intercept and quickly move the ball forward, and always had a keen eye for goal. Currently playing for Zenit Saint Petersburg.
Paul Pogba (CAM) – The Juventus era Paul Pogba was one of the world’s leading midfielders, an advanced creative outlet known for his leadership and long-range bangers. Loves a dab and the papers can’t get enough of him, but Allegri gave him the responsibility of being his chief playmaker and the Frenchman more than repaid his manager’s faith.
Carlos Tevez (ST) – Inheriting the number ten shirt from a legend like Alessandro Del Piero is a tall order, but Argentine Tevez managed to make him own mark at Juve. His 19 goals in 2013/14 helped earn Juve their 30th Scudetto, before another 20 the next season secured another league triumph.
Gonzalo Higuain (ST) – No, Cristiano Ronaldo does not get into Allegri’s all-time XI. Of course he doesn’t. That place instead goes to big Gonzalo Higuain. Before the Milan and Chelsea loans, Higuain was probably the best striker in Europe, and his 40 Serie A goals across his two seasons in Turin proved pivotal in Juve’s title wins in those campaigns.
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