Serie A

Allegri: Mandzukic a ‘special player’

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Max Allegri has recalled how “many thought I’d crash and burn” at Juventus and paid tribute to “special player” Mario Mandzukic.

Allegri was instantly written off when he replaced Antonio Conte as Juve Coach in 2014, but the former Milan boss went on to win five straight Scudetti and reach two Champions League Finals.

“I love to challenge myself and when I arrived at Juve, after the years of Conte, many thought I’d crash and burn,” he told Przeglad Sportowy.

“If you want to do everything yourself, you won’t get anywhere. I can’t be a doctor, physio and fitness coach all at one.

“I don’t have the skills. My principle has always been to surround myself with intelligent people.

“Even as a player I tried to learn from my teammates. The Coach must create a harmonious atmosphere for working. share responsibilities with others and solve problems together.

“I listen more than I talk.”

Mandzukic has been frozen out by Maurizio Sarri but was a key player under his predecessor, who continues to hold the striker in high regard.

“He’s the example of a special player, he gave me a lot of room for manoeuvre. He’d often changed teams, but now he’s in his fifth season with Juventus and this is one of my greatest achievements.”

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Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport.