Massimiliano Allegri believes the tactics that dominate Italian football are “bullsh*t” and that instead the game should be viewed as “art”.
Allegri has been out of management since he left Juventus at the end of last season following five trophy-laden campaigns in Turin.
The 52-year-old coached Cristiano Ronaldo in his final season at Juve, with the former Real Madrid superstar scoring 28 goals across all competitions in 2018-19.
And Allegri insists the way to get the best out of players such as Ronaldo is to give them free licence to do as they wish on the field and not weigh them down with tactics.
“When the ball gets to Ronaldo, [Paulo] Dybala, Ronaldinho, [Clarence] Seedorf or [Andrea] Pirlo, I have to put the other players in a position to get the ball to them,” Allegri told ESPN .
“Once they have the ball they decide what to do with it, what the best decision is. My son is eight and every now and then we go on YouTube and watch the great players, the amazing things they do in attack and in defence, because football is art.
“In Italy, the tactics, schemes, they’re all bullsh*t. Football is art and the artists are the world-class players.
“You don’t have to teach them anything, you just admire them. All you need to do is put them in the best condition to do well.
“I love it when I see a great player do something amazing. On the bench, I’m a spectator watching a show put on by someone, and that someone is a player.”
Allegri also claimed the introduction of more technology is clouding the judgement of coaches.
“In my ignorance I don’t even have a computer,” he added. “I’ve got an iPad that Juventus gave me. I watch games on it, pull up some stats. Fortunately I’ve got a good memory and I manage to remember what happens in games.
“A coach has to be on the sideline. He has to breathe the game, he has to understand when it’s time to make a sub or take off his best player because the team needs a different kind of player.
“The perception is different from the sideline. They’re making out football to be an exact science. If that’s the case, the coach may as well go to the cinema. If you mechanise everything, you no longer have thinking players.
“If the players are used to going through that door and the door is locked, they’ll end up banging their heads against it. If the players are used to thinking for themselves, they’ll try to find another way out.”