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Ranieri joins band of Italian national team coaches

Published: Friday 25 July 2014, 13.52CET
Following Claudio Ranieri's appointment by Greece, looks at how some notable compatriots fared in their roles as European national team coaches.

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Published: Friday 25 July 2014, 13.52CET

Ranieri joins band of Italian national team coaches

Following Claudio Ranieri's appointment by Greece, looks at how some notable compatriots fared in their roles as European national team coaches.

Claudio Ranieri has been presented as the new coach of Greece on a two-year deal.

The well-travelled Italian succeeds Fernando Santos, who stepped down after guiding Greece to the last 16 of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Ranieri, for whom this is a first post outside of club coaching, said: "When I met the president of the federation [Giorgos Sarris], I had a good feeling and, knowing the Greek team, I decided it was a good move to come here.

"I watched Greece in the World Cup. They had a fine tournament and I particularly liked their spirit. We will keep up the hard work. My aim is to produce the best possible results."

The 62-year-old – who counts SSC Napoli, Valencia CF, Club Atlético de Madrid, Chelsea FC, Juventus, AS Roma and FC Internazionale Milano among his erstwhile employers – was dismissed by AS Monaco FC in May. His contract covers the UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying campaign, with Greece in Group F alongside Faroe Islands, Finland, Hungary, Northern Ireland and Romania.

Following his appointment by the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO), looks at how some notable compatriots fared in their roles as European national team coaches.

©AFP/Getty Images

Fabio Capello, England (2007–12) and Russia (2012–)
After winning trophies aplenty during spells in charge of AC Milan, Juventus and Real Madrid CF, Capello started a new chapter in his career with England in 2007. "Coaching this team was my dream," he said after his appointment. With nine victories from ten qualifiers, he guided the Three Lions to the 2010 World Cup, where Germany ruthlessly ended their participation in the last 16.

An unbeaten qualification campaign for UEFA EURO 2012 followed, but Capello resigned four months before the finals. Instead of returning to club football, he accepted the Russian Football Union's (RFS) offer in the summer of 2012 and maintained his perfect qualification record by guiding his new side to the 2014 World Cup only to bow out at the group stage.

©AFP/Getty Images

Giovanni Trapattoni, Republic of Ireland (2008–13)
The one-time Milan, Juventus and FC Bayern München tactician's first foray into international management came with Italy, taking the Azzurri to the 2002 World Cup and UEFA EURO 2004. Hired by Ireland in 2008, Trapattoni experienced 2010 World Cup play-off disappointment against France, but two years later it was a different story as the men in green beat Estonia over two legs to reach UEFA EURO 2012.

Ireland failed to gain a point at the finals and Trapattoni eventually parted company with the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) in September 2013. He is remembered fondly for his humour and idiosyncratic ways. "We are lucky, as it only rains twice in a week here," he said. "The first time is from Monday to Wednesday, the second from Thursday to Sunday."

©Domenic Aquilina

Pietro Ghedin, Malta (1993–95 and 2012–) 
A former defender, Ghedin first coached the Mediterranean team in the 1990s and went on to lead the Italian women's squad, steering the Azzurre to the UEFA Women's EURO 2009 quarter-finals. Nearly two decades after the beginning of his first stint with Malta, he was reappointed in 2012 and oversaw a surprise 1-0 triumph in Armenia in 2014 World Cup qualifying. "Football has changed in Malta since my first time here," he said. "Competition is stern now and we are growing better and better."

©Getty Images

Gianni De Biasi, Albania (2011–)
After various jobs in Italy and one in Spain with Levante UD, three-time Torino FC coach De Biasi committed to Albania in December 2011 and nine months later led the Eagles to victory in their opening 2014 World Cup qualifier, 3-1 against Cyprus. Though they finished fifth in their section, Albania also defeated Slovenia and won in Norway, and in November 2013 De Biasi signed a new two-year deal. Albania will play Armenia, Denmark, Portugal and Serbia in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying Group I.

©Getty Images

Alfredo Foni, Switzerland (1964–67)
The 1938 World Cup winner's first experience as an international coach was not a happy one – he failed to take Italy to the 1958 World Cup, the first time they had not qualified in 28 years. Foni had subsequent postings with Bologna FC, AS Roma and Udinese Calcio before taking the Switzerland reins in 1964. He steered the Alpine country to the 1966 World Cup in England, but Switzerland lost all three of their group games.

©Getty Images

Giampaolo Mazza, San Marino (1998–2013)  
When Mazza stood down in October 2013 he did so as the longest-serving national team coach in Europe, having been in situ for 15 years. A former midfielder, he coached several San Marinese and Italian lower-league clubs before his national-team appointment in 1998.

The 58-year-old presided over 82 losses, two draws and the only victory in San Marino's history: 1-0 against Liechtenstein in 2004. "Unfortunately I never won a competitive game," said Mazza. "But I'm proud of having played at Wembley and of the live TV broadcast of the game against Italy."

Last updated: 03/06/15 6.54CET

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