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OFFICIALLY OFFICIAL: Rita Guarino to leave Juventus Women at the end of the season

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That season, by the way, comes to an end this weekend.

Juventus Women Training Session Photo by Filippo Alfero - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images

It has been reported in recent days within some corners of the Italian press that this could be a summer of change for the Juventus women. That, of course, would be a major difference from the last few summers where roster continuity has been a key for helping the Bianconere continue their dominance in Serie A Femminile as well as trying to make progress on the European stage.

On Friday, the first domino fell. And it was a big one.

Juventus announced that the only manager the women’s team has ever had, Rita Guarino, will be stepping down at the end of the 2020-21 campaign, one that comes to a close this weekend against Inter Milan. Guarino, who has led the Juve women to the Scudetto in each of the four seasons in which they have been in existence, steps aside despite the fact that she had agreed to a contract extension through 2022 all of 3 12 months ago at the beginning of February.

It has been reported that one of the reasons why the 50-year-old Guarino has decided to step down as manager is to take over the Italian national team seeing as the Azzurre’s current manager, Milena Bertolini, has not agreed to a new contract. Bertolini’s current deal runs through the summer.

Part of the announcement from Juventus is as follows:

After four successful years at the helm of Juventus Women, Rita Guarino and Juventus’ path will go their separate ways: from the bottom of our hearts, thank you Rita!

[...]

On Sunday, in the final league match against Inter, she will chase another record and raise yet another trophy with the Juventus crest above her heart. It will be the moment to say goodbye together, to remember all the extraordinary things we did together, smiling for the thousand battles won side by side. It is difficult to imagine a better farewell.

And so, as we look back on these four glorious years spent with Guarino in charge, we can only do so with a broad smile on our faces, as they were filled with unforgettable memories, silverware and pure joy.

Thank you, Coach, thank you for everything!

Guarino proved to be the perfect choice for a new squad like Juventus started. Sure, a lot of their players had played together at the national team level or with their previous clubs (most notably Brescia), but it was Guarino who got this team to essentially establish itself as the best in Italy right from the start. Not only have the Juve women won four straight league titles, but they’ve done so in dominant fashion along the way. They are the team that every other squad in Serie A Femminile is chasing. And when you look at how the quality of the league has improved since Juventus started a women’s team, it speaks volume to just how consistent they have been.

In total, Guarino won seven trophies during her four-year tenure at the helm of Juventus Women.

But now for the first time in the women’s team’s history, there’s serious change afoot.

The main name thrown out there as a possible replacement for Guarino has been Joe Montemurro, who himself stepped down as manager of the Arsenal women’s team at the end of the 2020-21 season earlier this month. Montemurro has previously played professionally in Italy with Treviso and obtained his coaching licenses at Coverciano.