Showing posts with label Massimiliano Allegri. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Massimiliano Allegri. Show all posts

6 December 2018

Andrea Agnelli - Juventus chairman

Fourth member of famous dynasty to run Turin club

Andrea Agnelli has been chairman of Juventus since succeeding John Elkann in 2010
Andrea Agnelli has been chairman of Juventus
since succeeding John Elkann in 2010
The businessman Andrea Agnelli, who since 2010 has been chairman of Italy’s leading football club, Juventus, was born on this day in 1975 in Turin.

He is the fourth Agnelli to take the helm of the famous club since 1923, when his grandfather, Edoardo, took over as president and presided over the club’s run of five consecutive Serie A titles in the 1930s.

Andrea’s father, Umberto, and his uncle, the flamboyant entrepreneur Gianni Agnelli, also had spells running the club, which has been controlled by the Agnelli family for 88 years, with the exception of a four-year period between 1943 and 1947. The family still owns 64% of the club.

As well as being chief operating officer of Fiat, which was founded by Andrea’s great-grandfather, Giovanni, Umberto was a Senator of the Italian Republic.  On his mother’s side, Andrea has noble blood.

Donna Allegra Caracciolo di Castagneto is the first cousin of Marella Agnelli - Gianni’s widow - who was born Donna Marella Caracciolo di Castagneto and is the daughter of Filippo Caracciolo, 8th Prince di Castagneto, 3rd Duke di Melito, and a hereditary Patrician of Naples.

A young Andrea Agnelli pictured at the 1996 Champions League final - the last Juventus won - with his uncle, Gianni
A young Andrea Agnelli pictured at the 1996 Champions
League final - the last Juventus won - with his uncle, Gianni
Andrea had a private education St Clare's, an independent college in Oxford, England, and at Bocconi University in Milan.  After university, Agnelli entered the business world, working for companies in England and France that included Iveco and Auchan Hypermarché. He also spent several years in Switzerland.

He was appointed chairman of the board of directors of Juventus by his first cousin, John Elkann, in 2010, after Elkann had come under criticism from Juventus fans for the club's poor results during the 2009–10 season.

Many Juventus fans welcomed Andrea’s arrival because of the family's historic association with the club. He is credited with turning round the club’s fortunes at a time when the financial recession and the aftermath of the infamous Calciopoli scandal were making progress difficult.

Emma Winter, the English artist Agnelli married in 2005
Emma Winter, the English artist
Agnelli married in 2005
He stabilised the club’s finances and, after initially appointing Sampdoria duo Giuseppe Marotta as director of sport and Luigi Delneri as coach, pulled off a masterstroke in May 20100 by hiring former captain and fan favourite Antonio Conte as new manager.

Conte, who had coached Bari to the Serie B title in 2008-09, steered Juve in his first season to their first scudetto since they were stripped of two titles in the mid-2000s as a result of the Calciopoli rulings.

Since then, with Agnelli appointing the former AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri to replace Chelsea-bound Conte in 2014 in a seamless change at the top, Juventus have won a record seven Serie A titles in a row, as well as four Coppa Italia titles in a row since 2014–15.

Juventus are well on course for an eighth consecutive title, having already built a lead of eight points over Napoli in the Serie A table, but Agnelli and the club more than anything crave success in the Champions League, which they have not won since 1996, when they defeated Ajax on penalties in the final in Rome.

In the 22 seasons subsequent to that one, they have been runners-up five times, twice since Andrea became chairman, in 2015 and 2017, when they were beaten respectively by the Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Andrea Agnelli would like to see the Champions League established as the main competition for Europe's biggest clubs
Andrea Agnelli would like to see the Champions League
established as the main competition for Europe's biggest clubs
Despite falling revenues - the club recorded an operating loss of €19 million (£17 million) in 2017-18 - Andrea authorised the signing of Real’s Cristiano Ronaldo in July this year for a fee of €100 million (£88.5 million), beating the previous record fee paid by an Italian club that was set by Juventus in 2016 when they signed Gonzalo Higuaín from Napoli for €90 million (£75.3 million).

The Ronaldo signing will eventually cost Juventus €340 million (£301 million) with the player’s salary taken into account, yet Agnelli insisted that the outlay “made sense on and off the pitch”, in a reference to the commercial revenue the Portugal star was likely to generate for the club through merchandising, and to his potential for helping Juventus achieve Agnelli’s target of winning the Champions League.

As chairman of the powerful European Club Association, a position he has held since 2017, Andrea is keen to see the Champions League overtake domestic competition as the principal focus for Europe’s top clubs, proposing an increase in the size of the Champions League and a corresponding reduction in the number of domestic fixtures.

Edoardo Agnelli, grandfather of Andrea, ran Juventus in the 1930s
Edoardo Agnelli, grandfather of
Andrea, ran Juventus in the 1930s
This has been driven in part by the inequality that now exists between the domestic leagues in European countries, mainly because of the huge variations in television revenue, particular compared with the Premier League in England. Juventus, despite their dominant position in Italian football, are only the 10th wealthiest club in Europe in terms of revenue.

Andrea Agnelli is married to Emma Winter, a English-born artist, designer and art director, whose clients have included United Visual Artists, Universal, Sony, Polydor, Ted Baker, Adidas, Dove, Peugeot and Panasonic.

They were married in 2005 at the church of San Pietro in Vincoli in Villar Perosa in Piedmont, with the reception taking place at the nearby Villa Agnelli, the family estate which is now the home of Marella Agnelli. The couple have two children, 13-year-old Baya Agnelli and six-year-old Giacomo Dai Agnelli.

UPDATE: Agnelli resigned as chairman and president of Juventus in November 2022 following investigations into financial irregularities at the club. He received a two-year ban from football over alleged false accounting and was suspended for a further 16 months from July 2023 when he was found guilty of fraud relating to player salary cuts during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Villa Agnelli, country home of the Agnelli family at Villar Perosa in Piedmont in 1811
The Villa Agnelli, country home of the Agnelli family
at Villar Perosa in Piedmont in 1811
Travel tip:

Villar Perosa, where Giovanni Agnelli was born, is a small town about 40 km (25 miles) southwest of Turin.  The Villa Agnelli, the family's country house and estate there, consisting of a 45-room stuccoed rococo villa with grounds and a commanding views of the Alps, has been in the the Agnelli family since 1811. As well as Russell Page, the English landscape gardener, the Agnellis hired renowned architect Gae Aulenti to create the timbered pool house. The estate also contains a family chapel, where members of the Agnelli clan are buried.

Search TripAdvisor for Villar Perosa hotels

Juventus play their home matches at the Juventus Stadium, which holds 41,000 people, in the Vallette district of Turin
Juventus play their home matches at the Juventus Stadium,
which holds 41,000 people, in the Vallette district of Turin
Travel tip:

Juventus is one of the two major football clubs in Turin, the other being Torino.  Although Juventus now play at a stadium on the northern perimeter of the city in the Vallette district, the club's roots are in the city centre.  Their original ground was in what is now known as the Parco Cavalieri di Vittorio Veneto, a large green space between Corso IV Novembre and Corso Galileo Ferraris just south of the city centre, which in the late 19th century was Piazza d'Armi, an army parade ground.  Nearby is the Stadio Olimpico, now the home of Torino, which was formerly called Stadio Comunale, where the two clubs cohabited until 1990. Juventus now play at the Juventus Stadium, an ultra-modern ground with a 41,000 capacity that has been their home since 2011, and which also houses the Juventus museum.

More reading:

How Gianni Agnelli became more powerful than politicians

Marella Agnelli, the noblewoman who married into a business dynasty

Massimiliano Allegri, the coach who keeps the trophies coming at Juventus

Also on this day:

1478: The birth of Baldassare Castiglione, the author of the Italian classic, The Book of the Courtier

1586: The birth of astronomer Niccolò Zucchi

1794: The birth of 19th century opera star Luigi Lablache


11 August 2017

Massimiliano Allegri - football coach

Former AC Milan boss has topped Conte's record

Massimiliano Allegri led Juventus to three consecutive league and cup doubles
Massimiliano Allegri led Juventus to three
consecutive league and cup doubles
Massimiliano Allegri, the man who looked to have taken on one of the toughest acts to follow in football when he succeeded Antonio Conte as head coach of Juventus, was born on this day in 1967 in Livorno.

Conte won the Serie A title three times and the domestic double of Serie A and Coppa Italia twice in his three years as boss of the Turin club.

Allegri took over only in 2014 but has already exceeded Conte’s record, leading the so-called Old Lady of Italian football to the double in each of his three seasons in charge.

The 2016-17 title was the club’s sixth in a row, setting a Serie A record for the most consecutive Scudetto triumphs.

Allegri was well regarded as a creative midfielder but although there were high spots, such as scoring 12 Serie A goals from midfield in a relegated Pescara side in 1992-923, he enjoyed a fairly modest playing career which was marred by his suspension for a year as one of six players alleged to have conspired in fixing the result of a Coppa Italia tie while with the Serie B club Pistoiese.

In coaching, he followed the customary Italian route of learning his craft in the lower divisions, tasting success for the first time in 2007-08 with the Emilia-Romagna club Sassuolo, guiding the club to promotion to Serie B for the first time in their history as Serie C/A champions.

Andrea Pirlo praised Allegri's calm approach
Andrea Pirlo praised Allegri's calm approach
This earned him a move to Serie A with Cagliari, where he steered the Sardinian team to ninth place, their best top-flight finish in 15 years and enough to win him the league’s Panchino d’Oro award for coach of the year for 2008-09, ahead of title-winning Internazionale boss Josè Mourinho.

Despite the award, Cagliari’s unpredictable owner Massimo Cellini relieved him of his managerial duties in April of the following year, with the team again sitting in a respectable mid-table position.

But Cagliari’s loss was AC Milan’s gain.  Appointed in June 2010, he led the rossoneri to the Serie A title in his first season, winning a place in the affections of supporters by defeating city rivals Inter in both matches.

He was not able to maintain Milan’s high level, in part due to the club’s failings in the transfer market.  They won the Supercoppa Italia at the start of the following season with another victory over Inter but lost out to Conte’s Juventus in their title defence.

In the 2012-13 season Milan recovered from a poor start and climbed from 16th place to finish third but in January 2014 he was dismissed.

Ironically, his early success with Juventus was built around the experience and vision of the veteran midfielder Andrea Pirlo, whom Allegri had controversially deemed surplus to requirements in Milan on the grounds of age.  However, Pirlo bore no grudges and praised Allegri for the “sense of calm” he brought to the team compared with the frenetic style of Conte.

Allegri succeeded Antonio Conte at Juventus
Allegri succeeded Antonio
Conte at Juventus
What has set Allegri apart from some coaches is his flexible tactical approach, with his players adept at switching systems for different opponents, sometimes changing formation several times during a match.  The constant has been a formidable defence built around Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini, often referred to as BBC.

For all his domestic success, Champions League glory so far eludes Allegri, as it has Conte.

He reached the final with Juventus in 2015, losing 3-1 to Barcelona in Berlin, and again in 2017, when a 4-1 reverse against Real Madrid was a particular disappointment after the team had conceded only three goals all told in reaching the final.  Allegri has admitted he considered resigning after the match.

Away from football, Allegri has a daughter, Valentina, by his marriage to Gloria, from whom he is divorced, and a son, George, by long-term girlfriend Claudia, with whom he is now separated after an eight-year relationship.

The Piazza della Repubblica in Livorno
The Piazza della Repubblica in Livorno
Travel tip:

Livorno is Tuscany's third-largest city after Florence and Pisa and tends to be somewhat overlooked as a tourist destination. Yet it has an historic 17th century port, which once served merchants from all over the world, reputedly some of the best seafood restaurants on the Tyrrhenian coast and an historic centre given a unique character by a network of Venetian-style canals and some elegant belle époque buildings.

Sassuolo's Ducal Palace
Sassuolo's Ducal Palace
Travel tip: 

Overshadowed by nearby Modena, which is just 17km (11 miles) to the north-east, Sassuolo is a town of 40,000 inhabitants on the banks of the Secchia river that was once in the possession of the Este family and until the 19th century was part of the Duchy of Modena. The title Lord of Sassuolo currently belongs to Prince Lorenz of Belgium, Archduke of Austria-Este. Hence the town has Ducal Palace, designed by Bartolomeo Avanzini.  The town has since the 1950s been the centre of a thriving ceramic tile industry, supplying 80 per cent of the Italian market.