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 By Ben Gladwell

Allegri: Juve job a bolt from the blue

Massimiliano Allegri has been appointed as the new coach of Juventus, less than 24 hours after the resignation of Antonio Conte.

- Horncastle: Life without Conte

Former AC Milan coach Allegri has signed a two-year contract with the Bianconeri, who won the Serie A title in three consecutive seasons under Conte.

Allegri, 46, who had been out of work since being relieved of his duties as coach of Milan in February, was swiftly linked with the Juve job and told a news conference in Turin: "It's an honour for me.

"It was a bolt from the blue when I got the call yesterday asking if I wanted to coach Juve. I'm delighted. I know how important it is to coach Juventus, a club with history and tradition. Now I'm here to try to contribute to this club continuing winning."

He said he relished the challenge of meeting the expectations of Juventus fans, adding: "I see it being very stimulating because to aim for a fourth title in a row is not easy.

"We want to be challenging for the title to the very end and play a great Champions League season, taking Atletico Madrid as an example from last season."

He said he realised that some fans would be sceptical about his appointment following the shock of Conte's resignation, but added: "I can win them over with results, with hard work and with respect and professionalism. I feel ready and capable to carry on this streak of results Juve have had and to try to improve them."

The new Juve coach will be reacquainted with Andrea Pirlo, a player he allowed to leave Milan three years ago, and insisted there were no problems between them.

"I've got a great relationship with Andrea," he added. "Andrea was, and is, a champion. He had some unforgettable years for Milan, and he has done and is doing the same at Juve.

"I'm lucky to be reunited with Andrea. I've never doubted his quality because, if I did, people would say I'm crazy."

Responding to questions about the departure of Conte, director of sport Beppe Marotta insisted the club had done all they could to prevent him from leaving.

"It was an extraordinarily positive time because these three years [of winning the scudetto] have been historic," Marotta said.

"It will remain in the memory in terms of the titles and the success. From my part, I would like to thank Conte for what he did for Juve and how he helped us grow as a club.

"But, like so often in football, chapters open and close quickly. A winning one has closed and a new one opens.

"We tried all we could to keep a firm grip on Conte because we felt, and we still feel, he's a winning coach and one who has contributed in a great way to our objectives.

"His replacement had to be a coach with the same characteristics as Conte -- a winner with great motivation and great ideas of football -- and we agreed without any shadow of a doubt that we found these in Allegri."


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