Leaving Chelsea was 'a big mistake' admits Sarri

Cameron Smith
Maurizio Sarri, Lazio

Former Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri has called his decision to leave the Blues "a big mistake" as the Lazio boss prepares for his first job since being sacked by Juventus.

Sarri was appointed by Chelsea in 2018 after a successful spell at Napoli, but he only lasted one season at Stamford Bridge before leaving for Juventus.

He did win his first trophy as a manager with the Blues, however, recording a 4-1 win over Arsenal to be crowned Europa League champions, whilst also securing a place in the top four.

Sarri became the first head coach, or manager, to go unbeaten in their first 12 Premier League games and Chelsea fans were mostly happy with him at the helm.

His football was sometimes branded as boring, and his substitutions predictable, but he did a good job at Chelsea.

He left just one year in, though, and joined Juventus to move back to Italy. He won the Serie A title with the Old Lady, and became the oldest manager to do so, but was sacked one day after being knocked out of the Champions League last-16 by Lyon.

After a year out of management, Lazio confirmed that Sarri would be taking over from the Inter-bound Simone Inzaghi as their new head coach.

What has Sarri said about his time at Chelsea?

Speaking to SportItalia, Sarri discussed his time at Stamford Bridge and revealed that he regrets leaving Chelsea so soon.

“At Chelsea, I made a big mistake. [The mistake was] wanting to return to Italy at all costs," he said.

“Marina [Granovskaia] stonewalled me for leaving Chelsea, I had this desire to return to Italy. Chelsea are a great club and in the following years they have brought in many young players suitable for my style.

“I experienced a particular year, in which [Roman] Abramovich couldn’t enter England and we had an owner who was not present. A fairly difficult situation, all in the hands of Marina and she had a thousand problems to solve, the football aspect was in the hands of the staff, not having the economic power available.

“Then came [Timo] Werner, [Kai] Havertz, [Mason] Mount, [Hakim] Ziyech, who all suited me and my way of playing.”

Club legend Frank Lampard took over from Sarri at Chelsea, but he was replaced at the club by Thomas Tuchel in January 2020.

The German guided the Blues into the top four once again and won the Champions League final against Manchester City.