Former Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has revealed that he turned down an approach from Real Madrid in 2018 when Los Blancos were looking for a replacement for Zinedine Zidane, but he stayed in Turin out of loyalty to the Serie A champions.
Zidane opted to walk away from Real in 2018 soon after winning a third consecutive Champions League title. The club settled on Julen Lopetegui, who had to step down as Spain coach on the eve of the World Cup to take the job, but Los Blancos had seemingly already been knocked back by Allegri.
At that stage, Allegri had won four Serie A titles and four Coppa Italia trophies in four years with Juve and had guided the club to two Champions League finals, losing to Zidane’s Real in 2017. But he still had another year left on his contract in 2018 and decided against breaking it.
“When Real Madrid called me three years ago, I had promised to Juventus that I would remain. That’s the only one I turned down,” Allegri told the Italian media over the weekend.
Allegri went on to win Serie A again with Juve in 2018/19 and opted to step down at the end of the season. He has been linked with a host of top jobs since then, including the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Barcelona, but has taken an extended break from management.
Real, meanwhile, sacked Lopetegui within months after a disastrous start to the 2018/19 campaign and replaced him with Castilla coach and ex-player Santiago Solari. He was later also sacked before the end of the season and Los Blancos persuaded Zidane to return in March 2019, less than a year after he left the club citing a ‘need for change’ to keep things fresh at the Bernabeu.