As cheerful as Sarri: after the sarrismo the short nose also enters the Treccani

In Lazio-Juventus next Saturday two coaches will face each other who influence our language with their neologisms

From the Tuscan derby to the encyclopedia challenge. The first time Massimiliano Allegri and Maurizio Sarri faced each other on the bench, an anonymous zero to zero came out with no shots on goal: 16 November 2003, Group B of Serie C2, the ambitious Sangiovannese of the former banker always in overalls and with a thousand superstitions against the young Aglianese of mister Acciuga (so Allegri was nicknamed when he was still a footballer). Eighteen years later Max against Mau is not only a high altitude duel between two deans of Italian football who have put up different trophies, but also a contest with linguistic implications, because football is not only what is played in the middle of the field. Allegri and Sarri entered the homes of Italians and the hearts of the fans thanks to the ball, but they also contributed to enriching our vocabulary. After the “sarrismo”, which became the heritage of Treccani in 2018, also “short muzzle” has entered the neologisms section of the famous encyclopedia.

Philosophies at the antipodes

It is not new that our language borrows terms or expressions derived from football: before the joyful concept there were also tiraggiro and bonucciata, but it is singular that it was Sarri, the coach, who preceded Max among the coaches. who most held up to him in the years in which he coached Napoli and who took his place at Juventus. “Sarrismo” and “short muzzle” are not just neologisms but philosophies. Two different ways of interpreting football to achieve the same goal: to win. Allegri did it a lot in Italy (6 scudetti, one with Milan and 5 consecutive with Juve), Sarri celebrated the tricolor only once, with the Juventus uniform, but he won a Europa League away from Italy, with Chelsea, and made fun with his Napoli. Hence the “sarrismo”, which as we read in Treccani is a “conception of football based on speed and offensive propensity”.


Sarrism is this and much more: from the “direct and not very diplomatic way of speaking and behaving typical of Sarri”, to the strong sense of belonging that transformed him into a leader in Naples. Sarri joined Treccani in 2018, when he had just left Naples to seek his fortune in England. A year later he returned to Italy, to Juventus, and to those in the first press conference who asked him for a definition of sarrism, he replied as follows: “I have always been this, I never thought about it, I hope I have kept the same concepts, then the experiences of the football and life make you change a little bit. I’m a straight guy, who likes things said to his face. ”

Minimum detachment

The marriage between Sarri and Juventus lasted just one year. The club chose him because it was aiming for a change of philosophy: winning was no longer enough, we also needed a good game. Two years later the Lady returned to the starting point, resumed Allegri and on the day of the presentation Andrea Agnelli explained why: “We have always liked the short muzzle theory, always being in front of the last meter”. Here it is the cheerful neologism, which Treccani recounts as follows: “In horse racing on the track, minimum gap, corresponding to the nose of the horse. In other sports, such as football, victory obtained with the minimum necessary gap. Metaphor used by Allegri in a press conference gone viral “.

Aesthetics and concreteness

The sarrismo is beauty and non-conformism, the short muzzle is essentiality and pragmatism. Max takes care of the point and for those who want to have fun he recommends going to the circus, Mau’s football is all about aesthetics and patterns repeated ad nauseam. Ideas at the antipodes, as are the two coaches off the pitch. Allegri is a good communicator who knows how to turn every conference into a small show. He gives jokes but never goes outside the box, he is a master of style and elegance in an interview with GQ he sided against the coaches in overalls: “I would fine them”. Sarri does not like conferences but is direct and straightforward, sometimes too much: if he doesn’t like something or someone, he says it without too many words. You will never see him on the bench in a suit and tie, even at Juventus he had found a compromise: polo and casual trousers were the best of the concession. Sarri and Allegri met for the last time on April 24, 2018: Juventus-Napoli 0-1, goal from Koulibaly but the bianconeri then won the Scudetto anyway. Saturday will be a whole other story. Lazio and Juventus are far from the Scudetto, but it remains a very intriguing challenge, between two coaches who have also conquered the encyclopedia.

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As cheerful as Sarri: after the sarrismo the short nose also enters the Treccani

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