Juventus took the football world by surprise as they announced the sacking of head coach Maurizio Sarri just days after steering them to their ninth successive Scudetto title. The Italian, who arrived just a year ago from Chelsea, was relieved of his duties in the aftermath of Juve's UEFA Champions League exit.
Winning silverware of any sort is the best form of motivation a group of players can receive. While for some clubs it's a matter of winning what could be considered relevant trophies like the league title or a European crown, for others, a piece of silverware can have a vastly positive psychological impact.
It is for this reason that it is baffling when clubs sack their managers after the conclusion of what could be considered a successful season. Although this might not be the case precisely with Sarri as Juve aspired for UCL glory, it isn't the first time that this has happened. Several managers have been fired in the past despite winning trophies in the same season.
Here, we take a look at five such instances wherein the managers were sacked immediately winning trophies at their club.
#5 Maurizio Sarri | Juventus
Maurizio Sarri endured a mixed bag of a season in Turin. He arrived with the hope and promise of playing scintillating, high-octane football at the Allianz Arena. After a flying start where Sarri won 14 of his first 15 home games across all competitions, it became evident that the 61-year-old would need more time to implement his philosophy at the club.
The former Chelsea coach steered the Bianconeri to their ninth consecutive Serie A title just a few days before his sacking. However, it was the unceremonious exit to Olympique Lyon in their UCL round of 16 tie that has understandably triggered this decision. Lyon, who finished seventh in the Ligue 1, qualified for the next phase on away goals after Memphis Depay converted an early penalty. Juve's hopes were pinned on Cristiano Ronaldo who did deliver in stunning style, but did not receive much support in attack.
However, he would feel hard done by to have gotten the sack less than a fortnight after he delivered the Scudetto at the Allianz Arena. The Italian now has two trophies in two years, albeit with different clubs.
#4 Unai Emery | Pairs Saint-Germain
Unai Emery arrived at the Pac des Princes from Sevilla in 2016 after three glorious UEFA Europa League victories. The Parisians hoped that the Spaniard's experience in Europe would translate to the premier European competition as well. However, that was evidently not the case.
His first season saw them lose out the Ligue 1 title for the first time in four years as a once-in-a-lifetime star cast ensemble at AS Monaco took centre-stage. The principality club led by Kylian Mbappe and Radamel Falcao stormed to their first league title in 17 years despite PSG's stellar squad. To make matters worse, he was on the receiving end of Barcelona's legendary remontada when PSG lost 6-1 after registering a four-goal lead in the first leg.
Although he won the Ligue 1 in his second attempt, PSG's failure in the UCL round of 16 the following year — with both Neymar Jr and Kylian Mbappe at his disposal— all but sealed his sacking. PSG opted against renewing his two-year contract despite a league title and four domestic cups.