Pi­oli tasked with restor­ing In­ter Mi­lan to re­spectabil­ity

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

For­mer Lazio coach Ste­fano Pi­oli was hired by strug­gling In­ter Mi­lan yes­ter­day, re­plac­ing the fired Frank de Boer and tasked with restor­ing the 18-time Serie A cham­pi­ons to re­spectabil­ity.

In­ter an­nounced that it signed Pi­oli to coach through next sea­son and that he will be in­tro­duced to­mor­row.

Be­sides Lazio, the 51-year-old Pi­oli pre­vi­ously coached his home­town club Parma plus Chievo Verona, Palermo and Bologna in Serie A. In 218 matches as a Serie A coach, his teams have a record of 73 wins, 62 draws and 83 losses.

"He seems to me to be a log­i­cal choice," for­mer In­ter pres­i­dent Mas­simo Mo­ratti said. "He's a coach who knows Ital­ian soc­cer and who has al­ways made his clubs play well."

De Boer was fired last week af­ter In­ter lost seven of 14 matches in all com­pe­ti­tions.

In­ter's youth squad coach, Ste­fano Vec­chi, had been given tem­po­rary con­trol of the se­nior team for a 2-1 loss at Southamp­ton in the Europa League on Thurs­day — leav­ing the Ner­az­zurri last in their group — and a 3-0 win over last-place Cro­tone on Sun­day in Serie A.

In­ter is in ninth place in the Ital­ian league, 13 points be­hind leader Ju­ven­tus.

Pi­oli's de­but will come in the derby against AC Mi­lan on Novem­ber 20.

Con­sid­ered the next in a long­line of Ital­ian tac­ti­cians, Pi­oli was con­sid­ered the safest choice af­ter a long week­end of meet­ings and in­ter­views con­ducted by In­ter man­age­ment — even though he has never coached a ma­jor club.

Other coaches re­ported to have in­ter­viewed for the job in­cluded Marcelino, Ital­ian great Gian­franco Zola and the well-trav­eled Guus Hid­dink.

Big Ital­ian clubs rarely hold in­ter­views for coaches in the pub­lic man­ner that In­ter did, which sparked per­plex­ity among the club's sup­port­ers.

"I never held any cast­ing in­ter­views but I ob­served (coaches) on my own," Mo­ratti said. "They're dif­fer­ent sys­tems but it's not like one way is right and the other is wrong. It's a trans­par­ent method to make a well-in­formed choice."

In Pi­oli's first sea­son at Lazio, he led the Rome club to a third­place fin­ish. He was fired by Lazio in April af­ter a 4-1 derby loss to Roma.

As a player, Pi­oli was a cen­ter back for Ju­ven­tus, Hel­las Verona and Fiorentina.

While fi­nan­cial details were not an­nounced, the Gazzetta dello Sport re­ported that Pi­oli will earn 1.4 mil­lion eu­ros ($1.5 mil­lion) for the re­main­der of this sea­son and nearly 2 mil­lion eu­ros ($2.2 mil­lion) for next sea­son.

De Boer was hired less than two weeks be­fore the sea­son be­gan fol­low­ing the un­ex­pected res­ig­na­tion of Roberto Mancini, who re­port­edly wanted more con­trol over the trans­fer mar­ket and clashed with Sun­ing, the Chi­nese re­tail gi­ant that took con­trol of 70 per­cent of In­ter in June.

In­ter fans have blamed the club's com­pli­cated global man­age­ment struc­ture for the team's trou­bles.

The club pres­i­dent is Erick Tho­hir, an In­done­sian en­tre­pre­neur who pur­chased In­ter from the Mo­ratti fam­ily three years ago and who now has 30 per­cent of the own­er­ship af­ter the re­cent re­struc­tur­ing.

Michael Bol­ing­broke, an English­man who for­merly worked at Manch­ester United, re­signed his po­si­tion as CEO on Mon­day.

And there are five Chi­nese rep­re­sen­ta­tives on the club's nine­mem­ber board of direc­tors — Ren Jun, Mi Xin, Liu Jun, Yang Yang and Zhang Kangyang.

Dur­ing In­ter's win over Cro­tone, sup­port­ers dis­played ban­ners that read, "Shame on the man­age­ment," and, "Thanks Frank, you're pay­ing for er­rors that were not yours."

Pi­oli be­comes In­ter's ninth coach since Jose Mour­inho led the club to a tre­ble in 2010. The oth­ers were Rafa Ben­itez, Leonardo, Gian Piero Gasperini, Clau­dio Ranieri, An­drea Stra­mac­cioni, Wal­ter Maz­zarri, Mancini and De Boer.

For­mer AC Mi­lan, In­ter and Ju­ven­tus coach Al­berto Zac­cheroni also la­beled Pi­oli the best choice.

"He has shown over the last few years to be the smartest coach with the most ideas," Zac­cheroni told Rai state ra­dio. "Pi­oli knows the Ital­ian league. In­ter play­ers are in need of cer­tain­ties right now, and a coach like Pi­oli can pro­vide them."

In­ter Mi­lan’s new coach Ste­fano Pi­oli

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