When you take a team like Juventus to the quarterfinals of the Champions League and essentially wrap up a fourth straight Scudetto in the middle of March, you're going to get some recognition for it.
Turns out, that is exactly what is happening for Max Allegri.
After being littered with praise in the days following Juve's win over Borussia Dortmund in Germany, Allegri officially has some hardware to put up on his mantel. Juventus' first-year manager has been honored with the Enzo Bearzot award, given to the coach that shows "ability to combine results with good football."
Seeing what Allegri has done since the day he has taken over for Antonio Conte over the summer, I'd say he's done that with relative frequency.
The official press statement, courtesy of Juventus' website:
Massimiliano Allegri has been awarded the prestigious Enzo Bearzot recognition, the fifth edition of a prize named in honour of Italy's 1982 World Cup winning coach.
Handed out by the Italian Christian Workers' Association, under the patronage of FIGC, the achievement sees Allegri follow in the footsteps of last year's winner Carlo Ancelotti.
In revealing their reasons for the choice, the panel said: "Just like the great Enzo Bearzot, Massimiliano Allegri has always placed himself a step behind his players, giving them maximum responsibility but guiding them, as well as with tactical knowledge, with balance, resolve and tranquility. It's a method of working that appears to have become the trademark of one of the best Italian coaches."
Allegri, of course, came into a fantastic situation compared to the one he left after being fired by Milan earlier in the 2014 calendar year. Sure, things were more than a little uncertain because of who just left, but the foundation was there for even more success in the upcoming season.
I said before the year that Juventus' talent is enough to overcome any shortcomings Allegri has as a manager. But he's proven me and a lot of other people wrong. He's done a great job -- and that's not just because he's taken Juve into the Champions League quarterfinals. He's shown great tactical flexibility going between his preferred 4-3-1-2 formation and Conte's 3-5-2 based on what players are available to him on a game-by-game basis. And he's just done well to continue the progress Conte made in his three years in charge rather than seeing Juve take a step back despite clearly being the far and away No. 1 team in Italy this season.
So, good on you, Max Allegri. Well earned. Keep up the good work.
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