Former Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri has been named the new coach of Parma after the Serie A strugglers sacked Stefano Pioli.
New owner Tommaso Ghirardi decided to replace Pioli following Sunday's 3-0 loss at Roma, which leaves the club 19th in Serie A with 15 points from 22 games.
"Parma FC announce that Stefano Pioli has been removed from the role of first team coach," read an official statement. "We thank him and his staff – assistant Coach Giacomo Murelli, physical trainer Matteo Osti and goalkeeper Coach Bruno Fantini – for the professional and serious work done so far.
"The technical guidance of the squad is now handed over to Claudio Ranieri," it concluded.
Ranieri has been out of management since February 2005, working as a television pundit on Sky Italia. This is his first job in Italy since he left Fiorentina for Valencia in 1997.
Ranieri told La Gazzetta dello Sport: "I'm confident we can avoid relegation. I've taken on this job because I believe in the project the club is trying to push forward. I've seen Parma a few times recently. They play well, but I want them to be less beautiful and more practical."
The former defender started his coaching career in 1987, before leading Cagliari from Serie C1 to Serie A between 1988 and 1991.
He then moved to Napoli, ending the season in fourth place, and Fiorentina where he won the Coppa Italia and Italian Super Cup in 1996.
Ranieri then led Valencia from 1997 to 1999, winning the Copa del Rey in 1999, and Chelsea from 2000 to 2004, leading the London club to a Champions League semi-final, but he was still replaced by Jose Mourinho.
He then returned to Valencia for a second stint on a three-year contract, but was sacked after only six months following the Spanish side’s exit from the UEFA Cup.
Pioli's reign proved to be a short one. He joined the club in the summer, helping the club reach the UEFA Cup round of 32, in which they will face Portugal's Braga on Thursday. However, the club's perilous league position cost him his job.
[Serie A 2006-07 Managerial Changes]