Maurizio Sarri Won't Be on Juventus Bench Against Parma, Napoli Due to Pneumonia

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistAugust 22, 2019

NANJING, CHINA - JULY 24: Maurizio Sarri head coach of Juventus reacts during the International Champions Cup match between Juventus and FC Internazionale at the Nanjing Olympic Center Stadium on July 24, 2019 in Nanjing, China. (Photo by Yifan Ding/Getty Images)
Yifan Ding/Getty Images

Juventus manager Maurizio Sarri is recovering well from pneumonia, but he won't be on the bench for the Bianconeri in their first two Serie A matches against Parma and Napoli

The Italian champions released a statement on Thursday, which said the latest tests show "good clinical improvement."

Sarri has also been coordinating with his staff at Juventus' training centre despite the fact he won't be in charge when the team opens their Serie A campaign on Saturday.

Sarri missed the friendly against Triestina with the flu, and after missing a training session on August 19, further tests in the afternoon confirmed he had pneumonia. 

Former club Chelsea wished the tactician all the best:

Chelsea FC @ChelseaFC

All of us at Chelsea send our best wishes to Maurizio Sarri, who is being treated for pneumonia. Get well soon, Maurizio...💙

Sarri spent just one season at Stamford Bridge before returning to Italy to take the Juventus job this summer. He previously coached Napoli, pushing the Bianconeri for the Serie A title before moving to England.

His exit from the Partenopei was not a clean one, and Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiistook shots at the tactician throughout the 2018-19 campaign.

Per Neil McLeman of the Mirror, Laurentiis called him "highly strung" and accused him of being obsessed with money in December months after he had already left the club.

Per sports writer Tancredi Palmeri, the feud won't play out on the pitch in Week 2 of the season:

Tancredi Palmeri @tancredipalmeri

No vicious encounter between Sarri and Napoli! Juventus manager is out due to serious pneumonia, and he won’t sit on the bench in the first two games of upcoming Serie A, against Parma and Napoli

Sarri is known for playing an intricate system based on ball movement and possession, often referred to as "Sarri-ball." The Bianconeri have been adapting to the system all summer, with mixed results in the International Champions Cup and narrow friendly wins over Triestina and their B-team.

Parma are not expected to pose much of a threat for the defending Serie A champions, but Napoli are among Italy's strongest teams, and not having Sarri on the bench for that match will be a big blow.

Serie A will break for international fixtures after the first two weeks, giving the 60-year-old ample time to continue his recovery. Juventus' next match after the Napoli fixture won't be until September 15 against rivals Fiorentina.