Friday, 29 January 2010

Zaccheroni in for Ferrara at Juve

Juventus have dismissed coach Ciro Ferrara and replaced him with Alberto Zaccheroni on a contract until June following a dismal run of form, with the final straw Thursday's 2-1 defeat by fiercest rivals Inter in the Coppa Italia.

Alberto Zaccheroni (centre)The quarter-final loss at the San Siro was the Bianconeri's ninth defeat in 12 games in all competitions, a run which has left the Turin giants sixth in Serie A, 16 points adrift of league leaders Inter.

Zaccheroni has agreed to a four-month contract at the Stadio Olimpico after which the club is expected to appoint a long-term replacement with Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez, Russia boss Guus Hiddink and Italy head coach Marcello Lippi all in the frame.

"Ciro will always remain a part of this club," said Juve President Jean-Claude Blanc. "I thank him and I am very fond of him from a professional and personal standpoint. But football is cruel and sometimes it forces you to take painful decisions.

"Zaccheroni guarantees experience at the highest level and that is what is needed in this difficult time. The decision is shared by the board, the shareholders and the owner."

A legend as a player, Ferrara was named interim coach at Juventus in May after Claudio Ranieri was sacked with two games of the 2008-09 campaign remaining.

Victories in both earned the 42-year-old the post full time and the Bianconeri a place in the UEFA Champions League, but with Juve eliminated after the group stage following a humiliating 4-1 home loss to Bayern Munich last month and now out of the Coppa Italia, the club have turned to experienced Zaccheroni.

The 56-year-old has been without a job since leaving Juve's city rivals Torino in 2007 and says he wants to be more than a stop-gap coach.

"I accepted this job with great enthusiasm," Zaccheroni, who reportedly beat off competition from former Juventus player and Italy Under-21 coach Claudio Gentile, told a press conference.

"I'm proud to be here. Being the coach of Juventus is the best there is. I've signed a contract until June 30 but my aim is to put the (club) directors in a difficult situation.

"I'm starting out with great determination and I'll try to transmit this to the lads. If the lads become convinced we can reach our goals we'll go a long way.

"There's a lot of talent here. I'll ask the squad to give me all this talent."

After making his name with Udinese between 1995 and 1998, Zaccheroni led AC Milan to the Scudetto in 1999 before coaching Lazio and Inter.

His main objective in Turin, which begins with a clash against former club Lazio on Sunday evening, will be to secure a top four finish in Serie A and challenge for the UEFA Europa League, where they face Ajax in the Round of 32 in February.

Source: Various

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