Cesare Prandelli will take over the Italian national side after this summer’s FIFA World Cup.
The Fiorentina coach is one of the most respected in Serie A and has had a successful five year spell with The Viola who he guided to the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League last season.
Current Azzurri coach Marcello Lippi has always stressed his intention of departing his post after the World Cup in South Africa. Lippi who guided Italy to the summit of International football four years ago after winning their fourth FIFA World Cup, retuned for a second stint in charge following Roberto Donadoni’s failure to flourish in the 2008 European Championships.
Prandelli who was named Serie A coach of the year in 2009 following his amazing exploits with Fiorentina will now take prime place in one of world football’s most coveted roles. His club gave him permission to speak with the Italian football federation where terms have been agreed for him to step into international management. He has now left the club but has surpassed Fulvio Bernardini as The Gigliati’s longest serving manager.
In his first season as coach he guided Fiorentina to a Champions League place. Unfortunately the Italian match fixing scandal that rocked the sport following the national teams heroics in Germany by winning the World Cup meant that Fiorentina were punished with a fifteen point deduction at the start of the 2005/2006 season as a result of their part in the scandal which also saw their hopes of competing in Europe’s premiere competition vanquished, along with Juventus who were subsequently relegated to Serie B.
Despite the huge points reduction Prandelli remarkably guided The Viola to a top six finish, qualifying them for the UEFA Cup the following campaign. Many had already written off their chances of survival as team morale would be subdued due to their punishment. The former AS Roma boss come up trumps as his achievements landed him with the accolade of Serie A manager of the year.
Although last season’s bottom half finish in the league hadn’t matched his previous exploits with the club, he still steered them to the Champions League knockout stage where their quarter-final hopes were dashed by an Arjen Robben wonder goal at The Stadio Artemio Franchi. Nevertheless a huge achievement for the 1957 European Cup finalists.
The Azzurri are currently preparing for next month’s World Cup. Current Italy coach Marcello Lippi has delivered his appraisal on his upcoming successor as well as refusing to explain his reasons for leaving.
“The Federation has found the right person.”
“I said that I would guide the team for two years and then I would leave.”
“I don’t want to discuss the reasons for my decision as I will do that after South Africa and not now.”
52 year old Prandelli will now be succeeded at Fiorentina by former Lazio favourite Sinisa Mihajlovic. The Serbian is still seen as a novice to the management fray after only two years in the profession with Bologna and Catania.