Maurizio Sarri confesses he made a monumental error leaving Chelsea in order to take the Juventus job in 2019.
The Blues appointed Sarri as Antonio Conte’s replacement in 2018 and he led the club to the Europa League title and a third-place finish in the Premier League in his debut season.
But the Italian never settled in England and pushed for a return to Italy just 12 months into his three-year contract at Stamford Bridge.
Sarri’s wishes were granted and he took charge of Juve for the 2019/20 campaign, during which he won Serie A but fell short in the Champions League, leading to his sacking.
During the turbulent 2019 summer, Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia had pushed for Sarri to honour his contract in west London, and the 62-year-old admits it was a grave error not to heed her advice.
“At Chelsea I made a sensational mistake, that of wanting to return to Italy at all costs,” Sarri told AlfredoPedulla.com.
“Marina stonewalled me to leave Chelsea, I had this desire to return to Italy. Chelsea are a great club, in the following years they have taken many young people suitable for me.
“I experienced a particular year, in which (Roman) Abramovich could not enter England and we had an owner who was not present in the area.”
Sarri also explained that there are a number of youngsters playing for Chelsea these days whom he would have relished coaching.
He added: “A rather difficult situation, all in the hands of Marina and she had a thousand problems to solve, the football aspect was in the hands of us of the staff, not having the economic power available.”
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“Then came (Timo) Werner, (Kai) Havertz, (Mason) Mount, (Hakim) Ziyech: all suited to me and my way of playing.”
Meanwhile, Sarri was appointed Lazio boss last month as a replacement for Simone Inzaghi, who joined reigning Italian champions Inter Milan.
The former Chelsea boss claims he had offers to return to Napoli, but he has been enjoying a time of recuperation during his year away from the spotlight.
“In these quiet days I have been with my family, I have read and watched a lot of games,” Sarri told Sportitalia .
“But above all I’ve seen a lot of bike races. I come from a family of cyclists. This passion was born from that.
“I have to say, though, that it didn’t weigh on me too much being away. Empty stadiums made me very sad and I didn’t really want to come back.”