Maurizio Sarri’s story isn’t one of chance. He isn’t just another coach working at a club. Sarri is a man who followed a dream and today is living it. Sarri’s story is of a little boy that grew up in Tuscany but who was teased for supporting Napoli. Napoli…that mystic city far off but where his heart had first begun to beat. The city where his father had worked and where he happened to be born. He found it natural to root for them even though he had left there at the age of three. They say one does not choose to support Napoli but one is born a supporter. For Sarri it was no different. Despite what the other kids may say, Sarri’s heart was blue inside.
As an adult, Sarri followed his professional life into the world of banking. He was successful and his career took him to Switzerland, Luxembourg and England. However, Sarri was not satisfied by his work alone. At night he would coach football. Mornings in the office and nights on the pitch. That was his routine for years and he continued to gain success in both aspects of his life.
About ten years later, in 2002, and after many successes in the world of coaching he found himself coaching Serie D. He soon realized that nightly practice sessions would no longer cut it. There was only one thing to do; follow his heart and to pursue coaching full time. So he gave up his life as a banker and dove headfirst into coaching.
Sarri brought his hardwork and attention to detail from the world of banking to the world of football. Unlike many coaches today, he rose through the ranks step by step by his own merit. He earned the nickname “Mister 33” in honor of the many different set pieces his team prepared for matches and drew praise for his abilities even as he coached in the lower divisions.
It has been a long and arduous road but today Sarri finds himself coaching Napoli. That city, that team, that has commanded his heart since he was just a little boy. Last year Sarri was asked by a reporter if he was upset by the fact that his contract was far inferior to some other Serie A coaches. His reply? “Are you kidding? I’m the son of laborers. What I earn is more than enough. I get paid to do something that I would do for free at night after work.” Dreams don’t always come true but for Sarri they have. Napoli fans are now hoping Sarri’s destiny takes him to fulfilling their own dreams as well.