Who is new Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri?

There will be a new Chelsea manager in the dugout at Optus Stadium when the Premier League giants arrive in Australia to take on Perth Glory.

Antonio Conte won a league and FA Cup title apiece during his two year stint at the South West Londoners, but the Italian received his marching orders on Friday evening.

The club has wasted no time in appointing his successor, and it's another Italian: Maurizio Sarri.

Sarri signs on at Stamford Bridge following an impressive stint at Serie A giants Napoli. Under the 59-year-old's guidance, the Naples club came within inches of breaking Juventus' league dominance last season but ultimately finished runners-up.

The bespectacled tactician will be tasked with mounting a title assault and leading the Blues back into the Champions League next season.

READ: Chelsea gearing up for Glory friendly

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However a Hyundai A-League challenge is first for the Italian and Sarri's reign will commence against Perth Glory at Optus Stadium on Monday July 23, kick-off at 7.30pm (AEST).

Here’s what you need to know about the new Chelsea boss.


At 59-years-old, Sarri doesn’t have the same kind of playing resume as a number of managers who coach at some of Europe’s biggest clubs.

The Italian only ever played amateur-level football and it wasn’t until age 40 that he decided to quit his day job, banking, and devote himself to becoming a football manager.

He bounced around between professional and semi-professional clubs, before being picked up by Sorrento in 2011 and got the Serie B side playing some good football and getting the results to match.

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Sarri was then poached by Empoli and guided the club to the Italian top flight in his second campaign at the helm. Widely tipped to head straight back down, Sarri defied expectations and avoid relegation.

Maurizio Sarri Empoli
Sarri during his time with Empoli.


A fantastic effort with the Tuscan outfit earned Sarri a move to his hometown club of Napoli in 2015, where he signed a one-year contract.

In his first season in charge Napoli finished runners-up behind Juventus, earning himself a three-year contract extension.

Sarri’s time at Napoli was a decorated period for the club despite the lack of silverware. He was named Serie A coach of the year in 2016-17 and was awarded the Enzo Bearzot Award in 2017 for his impressive work in turning the previously underachieving giants back into genuine contenders.

Last season, Sarri’s Napoli side lost just three times in the league and finished runners-up to Juventus. For the second season in a row Napoli led the competition after the first half of the season but tailed off in the second.

What’s also notable is the calibre of players Sarri has been able to get the most out of during his time at Napoli. Belgian attacker Dries Mertens is one such player who has been transformed into a world-beater by the Italian tactician - he enjoyed an outstanding return of 22 goals and 12 assists in 49 matches for the club last campaign.

Dries Mertens
Dries Mertens is one player who benefitted from Sarri's attacking brand.


Everywhere Sarri has gone, attractive and attacking football has followed. This can be seen in the number of goals Napoli has scored in the past three seasons, with 77 in 2017/18, 94 in 2016/17, and 80 in 2015/16.

In contrast to the more pragmatic philosophy utilised by Conte during his reign, Sarri will likely try and wed his new charges to a possession-based style. Napoli were renown as one of world football's most entertaining teams last campaign, even drawing huge praise from Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola after their thrilling Champions League group stage encounters.

Just how that translates into Chelsea’s first ever game under their new boss is unknown. Sarri's side will arrive down under with a host of FIFA World Cup™ players absent, but the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Pedro are among many will be eager to impress the man in charge at Stamford Bridge.

Eden Hazard dribbles the ball past Robert Stambolziev.
Eden Hazard will be one player who could enjoy his time under Sarri.