A year after being sacked by Juventus in the wake of a disappointing first season in charge, Italy great Andrea Pirlo is aiming to relaunch his coaching career on the banks of the Bosphorus with unfashionable Istanbul club Fatih Karagumruk.

“I have an idea of how I want to play football and I hope it will be a successful season,” insisted Pirlo at his unveiling in mid-June, dressed in an immaculate blue suit as he met Turkey’s sports press at a chic Istanbul hotel.

Pirlo, now 43, had no prior top-level coaching experience when he was named Juventus coach in August 2020.

He led the Turin club to victory in the Italian Cup but Juve went out of the Champions League in the last 16 and finished fourth in Serie A, ending a run of nine consecutive titles.

Pirlo was duly sacked, but he is now back in business at Karagumruk, who play their first game of the new Turkish Super Lig season on Sunday after finishing eighth in the last campaign.

Fate has dictated that his first game will be against another Italian coach in Francesco Farioli, who was in charge of Karagumruk last year and is now at Sunday’s opponents Alanyaspor.

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