Luciano Spalletti has been appointed coach of 2007/08 UEFA Cup winners FC Zenit St. Petersburg on a three-year contract.
Champions League chance
The 50-year-old Italian returns to front-line coaching three months after leaving the AS Roma hot seat. He replaces Anatoly Davydov who stepped up from coaching the reserves to become caretaker manager in August, when Dick Advocaat parted company with the 2007 Russian champions. Spalletti, in charge of Roma for four years, started his coaching career in 1994 at Empoli FC and also led UC Sampdoria, AC Venezia, Udinese Calcio and Ancona Calcio. With Roma he won two Coppa Italias and secured three runners-up finishes in Serie A. Zenit had a mixed 2009 season, losing in the UEFA Europa League play-offs to CD Nacional but recovering to come third in the Russian Premier-Liga and earn a 2010/11 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round slot.
A Zenit statement read: "The board can unanimously confirm the appointment of Luciano Spalletti. The deal with the Italian, who previously worked with AS Roma, is for three years. The new coach has been set the task of regaining the league title, consistently performing at a high level in European competition and working with the club's youth department, which should result in homegrown players appearing in Zenit's first team. Anatoly Davydov has been offered the chance to continue working at the club."
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