Luciano Spalletti replace Roberto Mancini as Italy new manager
Former Napoli coach Spaletti has been appointed the new Italy head coach after replacing Roberto Mancini in the national team role.
The 64-year-old led Napoli to the Serie A title last season and will take up the reigns in his new position on September 1, with an official presentation set for the start of next month.
The Italian FA released a statement confirming Spalletti’s appointment on Friday and insisted they are convinced he is the best person to lead the country to future major honours.
The announcement read: ‘We welcome Spalletti’ says the President of the FIGC, Gabriele Gravina. ‘The national team needed a great coach and I am very happy that he accepted the technical guidance of the Azzurri.
‘His enthusiasm and expertise will be fundamental for the challenges that await Italy in the coming months’.
The news comes as a largely surprising announcement with Spalletti previously explaining his decision to leave Napoli after guiding them to a first league title in 33 years was due to him wanting to take a 12 month break.
Spalletti at the time said: ‘When you work from morning to night, some matters tend to mature in your mind, because you have to put this spectacle on all the time’.
‘Out of respect for the club, I told De Laurentiis straightaway that I needed to take a year off. ‘I’m a bit tired, and want to spend time with my daughter Mathilde,’ he added.
Former Juventus, Chelsea and Tottenham manager Antonio Conte was also linked with the position before Spalletti’s arrival was confirmed.
However, the new boss will have to rectify issues within the national team set-up after Mancini departed his position following internal disagreements and disappointment on the international stage.
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Italy starred by winning the European Championship at Wembley two years ago, but miserably followed that up with failing to qualify for the World Cup.
Spalletti will have the chance to avenge the harrowing defeat against North Macedonia that ended Italy’s chances of qualifying for last year’s World Cup when he takes charge of his first match against the same opposition on September 9.