Breaking News

Maccarone recalls Sarri's great Empoli test – and how it helped him adapt to Ronaldo

Massimo Maccarone and Maurizio Sarri go back many years, sharing in the joy of promotion to Serie A with Empoli in the 2013-14 season.
Massimo Maccarone is rarely mentioned in the same breath as Cristiano Ronaldo, but the Italian knows they share a common bond: both have tested the tactical mastery of Maurizio Sarri.
Empoli favourite Maccarone played at the Tuscan club when Sarri made his reputation there in a three-year stint that began in 2012, before the coach went on to Napoli, Chelsea and now Juventus.
Veteran boss Sarri only came to prominence in his early fifties, when Maccarone was a key figure in his Empoli side, just as Ronaldo now is at Juve.
While 61-year-old Sarri has forged a plan to fit superstar Ronaldo alongside Gonzalo Higuain and Paolo Dybala in a three-man Juve attack, it was once the case that he had a quandary involving Maccarone. Once he solved that puzzle, Empoli and Sarri went from strength to strength.
"At Empoli, the strikers were me and [Ciccio] Tavano, but he started with only one forward," Maccarone told Stats Perform. "So, to let us both play – we were still young at 33 since we are still playing at 40 now, but still we were not so young – he adapted himself to the talent he had.
"This is when a manager proves to be smart. Ever since he changed the formation, we started getting points. Now he says, 'I have got Cristiano Ronaldo who will score at least one goal per game, so I have to adapt my style to his'."
Maccarone is a cult hero to many followers of Italian football, having returned from a spell in England with Middlesbrough to score regularly, largely for Siena and Empoli.

No comments