Giovanni Trapattoni has stood down as SL Benfica coach despite leading the Lisbon club to their first Portuguese championship in eleven years.
The 66-year-old Italian cited personal reasons for his decision at a news conference this afternoon. "I need to return to Italy to be with my family and I have other problems to resolve after that," Trapattoni said. "I want to thank this very famous club, the team, the president [Luís Filipe Vieira] and all the people that have worked with me this past year."
Trapattoni's title success with Benfica came in his first season in the SuperLiga, having signed a two-year contract last July after leading Italy at UEFA EURO 2004™. The former Juventus FC and FC Internazionale Milano coach had a previous spell abroad in the 1990s with FC Bayern München, helping them to the Bundesliga title.
Despite becoming one of few coaches to guide teams in three countries to their domestic crown, Trapattoni's tenure at the Estádio da Luz ended on a low note as the Eagles were beaten 2-1 in the Portuguese Cup final by Vitória FC on Sunday, thus missing out on a first double since 1986/87. Benfica hope to appoint the man who will lead them into the UEFA Champions League this week.
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