Maurizio Sarri hopes he can help Cristiano Ronaldo make even more history at Juventus and is targeting Serie A’s single-season goalscoring record.
Former Napoli and Chelsea boss Sarri has been appointed as Juve’s new head coach following Massimiliano Allegri’s departure after the 2018-19 season, during which the club won an eighth straight league title.
Ronaldo, who arrived from Real Madrid in a €112million deal last year, played his part with 21 Serie A goals but trailed Capocannoniere Fabio Quagliarella’s 26.
But Sarri was in charge of Napoli when Gonzalo Higuain netted a record-breaking 36 times in the 2015-16 Serie A season and he wants to see Ronaldo do likewise.
“It is an upgrade from this point of view [in terms of players],” he said in a news conference.
“In the past years, I have found myself managing good players, then better players at Chelsea, but here it is another step forward. [Ronaldo is] at the top of the world, for sure.
“For example, I would like to have the record of goals in Serie A. I already had this record and I would like to help him have another one.”Advertisement
Star forward Paulo Dybala struggled to find his best form playing alongside Ronaldo last term and has been linked with a move away, but Sarri is confident he can find effective roles for the pair.
“When players have the characteristics of Dybala and Cristiano, I believe they can play any role,” he said.
“What might change is the interpretation of the role, which will alter their characteristics. The team will have to adapt, which is fundamental to get results.”
The signing of Ronaldo was seen as a key step towards Juventus winning the Champions League for the first time since 1995-96, and Sarri acknowledges that must be a target after they fell in the quarter-finals this year.
“I expect to wake up in the morning and have a winning mentality,” he said. “It’s something that is not guaranteed to happen. You cannot take anything for granted.
“In Italy, Juventus must bear the burden of being favourites. We have the obligation to do well.
“It is quite clear that Juventus will have to start with the target of winning the Champions League – but with the awareness that, at European level, there are another eight or nine clubs who are as strong.
“Unfortunately, different results have to be accepted. But we have to start at this level.
“We have this dream, this target, that we want to pursue with great determination, with the awareness that, in order to be achieved, it has a very high level of difficulty.”