You know how hectic the last few days have been for the soul lovers of the beautiful game, football. And if you are a Juventus fan, it is sheer exasperation that has overthrown hecticness. Having seen water splashed all over their well-crafted plans, Juventus now left exposed to the footballing world, receiving backlash from fans, media, and pundits from across the globe. It was not as if they had already ridiculed themselves enough following the abrupt innovation of the so-called European Super League and its subsequent downfall; the Hansi Flick story has further rubbed more salt into the fresh wound.
What is this Hansi Flick story?
German outlet SPORT BILD claimed that Juventus are interested in bringing Hansi Flick to Turin as their new manager this summer. The report came out of the blue. Hansi Flick is told to be relieved of his duties at Bayern Munich after the end of the current season.
He became the interim manager of Bayern Munich in December 2019, having replaced Niko Kovač at the helm. Winning a bunch of trophies, including a record-breaking treble, with Bayern in the 2019-20 season, he was made the permanent boss at the German club last April. He put pen to a contract until 2023.
But soon, everything scattered like an ill-fated house of cards. In the last summer transfer window, Flick wanted a right-back, especially a cover for Benjamin Pavard. Bayern’s current board director of sport, Hasan Salihamidžić, assured him that he would sign one. Bayern signed one in Bouna Sarr, who was believingly not the first-choice target on the list for Flick.
There was a clash of personality between the duo. And The Athletic understands that Karl-Heinz “Kalle” Rummenigge, the chairman of Bayern Munich, and Herbert Hainer, the president of the club, urged both to reconcile in February 2021. But the pair understandably never sorted the matter out. Salihamidžić’s ignorance and lack of communication with the manager made Flick somewhat desolate.
And after the elimination at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain in the quarter-finals of this season’s Champions League, Flick decided to step down from the manager’s role. As a consequence, Bayern Munich will begin their search for a new manager as Hansi Flick, on the other hand, will be seeking opportunities in a team where his decisions will be valued.
Are Juventus planning on changing their manager sooner or later?
Juventus have experienced their worst season in Serie A over the last ten years this term. They are seemingly out of the title race, UEFA Champions League quite unexpectedly, and have shown no real sign of progress under the management of Andrea Pirlo.
Yes, we should not ignore the heroics of Cristiano Ronaldo, who has single-handedly continued to shoulder the mass of almost the whole team, and the rapid rise of Juve’s new summer signing Federico Chiesa under the command of Pirlo — and perhaps a few sprinkles of individual masterclass here and there.
But, we are yet to witness the collective effort on the pitch from Pirlo’s Bianconeri. If they had shown it, they wouldn’t have been knocked out of the Champions League against Porto over a two-legged tie.
On the back of the cancellation of the “diabolical” Super League, Juventus want to play UEFA Champions League football to receive some financial aid amid the pandemic situation next season. But the defeats to Atalanta, Benevento and draws to Torino and Verona in the recent weeks have not been a bright reflection of encouragement for Pirlo and his men.
Even if they somehow manage to qualify for the next season’s Champions League, do you think Andrea Agnelli and his governing team, who sacked Maurizio Sarri after the former Chelsea man had helped them win the Scudetto last season, are going to sit quietly with Juventus somehow qualifying for the Champions League? After witnessing their desperation regarding the disastrous Super League project, it would be a miracle if they keep faith in Pirlo and do choose the part of righteousness over immediate success.
Flick seems to have a better option than Juventus
In a hypothetical world, let us believe Pirlo has just got the sack and Hansi Flick is available. Now, put yourself in the place of Hansi Flick and answer this one simple question — would you like to manage a team with an aging squad in a foreign country or prepare your compatriots for the upcoming FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar? I would be surprised if you have chosen anything but the latter.
Yes, Hansi Flick is thought to be the frontrunner for the German national team job. In March 2021, the current coach of the German national side, Joachim Low, declared that he would vacate his role as head coach of the German national team after the European Championship in the upcoming summer.
Hansi Flick became the assistant coach for Germany in 2006 and managed the German team in the UEFA Euro 2008 quarter-final against Portugal, owing to the fact that Joachim Low was suspended for the respective game.
Having received a load of praise and experience while working under Low, Hansi Flick remains the favourite to capture the throne of Germany after the departure of the 2014 World Cup-winning coach.
Although everything was not smooth between Flick and Salihamidžić at Bayern, the potential opening for the managerial job in the national team, as many reckon, was the impetus behind Flick terminating his contract with Die Roten. Hence, I don’t see a prospect of Juventus pouncing on the stage and simply hijacking a deal — not after what they conspired to do with the game people love.