In 2014/15, Massimiliano Allegri delivered not only Juventus‘ first league and cup double in 20 years, but also a berth in the Champions League final. It’s safe to say that he is responsible for turning Juventus into the ruthlessly dominant side they are today.
He did so with only minor additions to a squad Antonio Conte didn’t believe could compete with Europe’s truly elite clubs. Allegri may have seen his side swept aside by Barcelona in the Champions League, but as the 2014/15 campaign came to an end, perhaps his only real concern was over how he would rebuild the team.
Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and Carlos Tevez all moved on, followed 12 months later by the loss of Alvaro Morata and Paul Pogba. Instead of Juve collapsing, the coach arguably created an even stronger unit, a tactically versatile group that has allowed him to tailor his approach to any given opponent, and one that has continued to deliver silverware at an incredible rate.
It’s safe to say that Allegri has coached some of the best players in the world (hint: it’s not just Cristiano Ronaldo!).
So, who makes the cut? And who misses out?
Here are Max Allegri’s best eleven players that he has coached in the last decade…..
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus) – 7.87 rating
In February 2018, Gianluigi Buffon played his 500th league game for Juventus, while Massimiliano Allegri reached 200 matches in charge. The majority of Buffon’s appearances have come in Serie A, but 37 were in the second tier during the 2006-07 campaign after Juve had been demoted due to the Calciopoli scandal.
A mainstay at Juventus for 17 years, Buffon was Allegri’s first choice during their four seasons together and helped mould Wojciech Szczesny into the stopper he is today.
Right-back: Stephan Lichtsteiner (Juventus) – 7.34 rating
Lichtsteiner played 257 total games for the Turin side over seven years and won 14 trophies, including the Serie A title in each of his seasons with the team. The Switzerland international’s versatility proved extremely handy for Allegri, as he was able to play at full back, wing back, and even as a makeshift centre back. Aggressive in tackling and energetic down the flank, Lichtsteiner was an excellent servant for La Vecchia Signora.
Centre-back: Thiago Silva (Milan) – 7.44 rating
Silva joined Milan in 2009 from Fluminense and went on to establish himself as one of the highest rated defenders in the world, winning the Serie A title with the Rossoneri in the 2010–11 season. Forced to play as an emergency defensive midfielder due to an injury crisis during the 2010-11 season, Silva played extraordinarily well and earned a comparison to legendary Milan midfielder, Frank Rijkaard.
Center-back: Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus) – 7.33 rating
Chiellini was the ultimate defender. The guy who’s broken his nose about 50 million times (figuratively). Chiellini has been one of the best centre-backs around for the last few years, and that won’t change any time soon. He was a mainstay under Allegri and will be again crucial for Maurizio Sarri. Chiellini has been named in the Serie A Team of the Year five times and has been awarded the Serie A Defender of the Year three times.
Left-back: Luca Antonini (Milan) – 7.28 rating
Antonini was best known for his five–season stint at Milan, for which he played from 2008 until 2013. During that time, he made 111 appearances for the club in all competitions, scored one goal, and won the 2010–11 Serie A title as the team’s starting left back. During the 2009/2010 season, Antonini established himself as the left back for Milan, making 22 appearances, playing solid defense, and displaying his talent of playing the wing under Allegri.
Central midfield: Andrea Pirlo (Milan/Juventus) – 8.40 rating
One of the greatest free kick takers of his generation, Pirlo was the most consistent of Milan’s midfielders. Funnily enough, Pirlo’s spell with Allegri at Milan didn’t go particularly well. He appeared just 17 times in the league and eventually left to join Juventus in 2011. When Allegri arrived at Juve in 2014, Pirlo’s league appearances did diminish but his standing in the team did not.
Central midfield: Massimo Ambrosini (Milan) – 7.72 rating
Ambrosini spent eighteen years of his career at Milan, winning several titles, and captained the side from 2009 to 2013 following the retirement of Paolo Maldini. While many argue that Milan’s age hurt them, Ambrosini’s experience and ability to play at the highest level, as well as his excellent leadership, proved to be a tremendous asset to Milan.
Central midfield: Arturo Vidal (Juventus) – 7.72 rating
Vidal was an integral part of the 2011–12 Scudetto-winning side that went undefeated the entire season. He contributed seven league goals and three assists, including crucial goals against Napoli and a double against Roma. Under Allegri, Vidal began to play a more advanced role; he was deployed as an attacking midfielder, supporting the strikers in Allegri’s 4–3–1–2 formation which worked out perfectly for player and club.
Central attacking midfielder: Ronaldinho (Milan) – 8.18 rating
The two might not have spent much time together, but there’s no denying that Ronaldinho and Allegri were fire together. Besides scoring goals, Ronaldinho was also the master of creating chances for Milan, assisting 16 goals in the 2009 season in Serie A, and three goals in the Champions League. Despite leaving the club halfway through the 2010-11, he was still eligible for a 2010–11 Serie A winner’s medal as Milan won the competition.
Striker: Carlos Tevez (Juventus) – 7.82 rating
Inheriting the number ten shirt from a legend like Alessandro Del Piero is a tall order, but Argentine Tevez managed to make him own mark at Juve. His 19 goals in the 2013/14 season helped Juventus earn their 30th Scudetto, before another 20 goals the next season secured another league triumph. Tevez ended the season as the team’s top goalscorer with 21 goals in all competitions, and was named Juve’s “Player of the Season”
Striker: Gonzalo Higuain (Juventus) – 7.91 rating
Before the Milan and Chelsea loans, Higuain was probably the best striker in Europe, and his 40 Serie A goals across his two seasons in Turin proved pivotal in Juve’s title wins in those campaigns. In 2017, he scored his 100th goal in Serie A, making him only the second player after Zlatan Ibrahimović to score over 100 goals in two of the top European leagues in the past 20 seasons.