Andrea Pirlo has returned to Juventus to take over as the coach of their under-23s side, the Serie A champions have announced.
Pirlo spent four years at Juve between 2011 and 2015, helping the Bianconeri to four Serie A titles, one Coppa Italia triumph and two Supercoppa Italiana victories.
The playmaker left for MLS side New York City, spending three seasons at the club before retiring in 2017.
Now, as was reported yesterday and confirmed by the Turin club today, Pirlo has taken his first step into coaching, returning to Juve to take over their U23s.
Juve’s U23s finished 10th in Italy’s third tier last season under Fabio Pecchia, reaching the play-offs for promotion to Serie B but falling at the quarter-final stage, while winning the Coppa Italia Serie C.
Sources have confirmed that former Juve goalkeeper Marco Storari will also be part of the club’s Under-23 set-up, with the 43-year-old taking up a sporting director role as part of Pirlo’s staff.
Pirlo’s influence and technical presence played a significant role as the Bianconeri won four successive Scudetti during his time at the club, as well as the 2014-15 Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa Italiana in 2012 and 2013.
Prior to his time in Turin, he had started his career in Brescia before moving to Inter, where he failed to establish himself, forced out on loan to Reggina and Brescia.
A switch to Milan kickstarted his career, and it was while wearing the red and black of the San Siro side that he enjoyed his greatest successes domestically, twice being a member of Champions League-winning squads.
On the international scene, meanwhile, he was a long-standing member of the Italy national team, playing for the Azzurri on 116 occasions and scoring 13 goals.
In 2006, he was a member of the squad that won the World Cup in Germany, claiming an assist in the 1-1 draw against France in the final and also scoring the opening penalty in the ensuing shootout, which Italy won 5-4.
He famously reflected in his autobiography on that match: “I don’t feel pressure, I don’t give a toss about it. I spent the afternoon of July 9, 2006 in Berlin sleeping and playing the PlayStation. In the evening, I went out and won the World Cup.”