Former Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has admitted he made a ‘sensational mistake’ by leaving the club for Juventus, having spent just a solitary season at Stamford Bridge.
The Italian arrived at the Blues off the back of an impressive three-year stint at Napoli in 2018, yet failed to win over the club’s support from the outset, his perceived uninspiring playing style ultimately proving the main source of criticism despite a largely positive season.
Having managed to stabilise the club after a disappointing campaign under Antonio Conte the year prior, Sarri went his first 12 Premier League games unbeaten, before eventually finishing the season in third place and with a Europa League winner’s medal – the first major trophy of his managerial career.
That silverware ultimately did little to appease the Chelsea faithful, with the experienced coach opting to move to Juventus at the end of the season, where he lasted just one campaign before being given the sack in favour of Andrea Pirlo, despite winning the Serie A title.
Now at Lazio, the 62-year-old has been reflecting on his time in England and revealed his huge regret at leaving Chelsea, albeit while also acknowledging the ‘difficult situation’ he faced during his brief stint at the club.
“At Chelsea I made a sensational mistake, that of wanting to return to Italy at all costs,” he told SportItalia.
“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 Abramovich could not enter England and we had an owner who was not present in the area.
“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.
“Then came Werner, Havertz, Mount, Ziyech: all suited to me and my way of playing.”