Former Internazionale FC and Torino Calcio boss Luigi Simoni has been named as the new coach of Bulgarian club FC CSKA Sofia.
Former Inter man
The 62-year-old Italian, who counts Internazionale FC and Torino Calcio among his former clubs, has signed a two-and-a-half year contract with CSKA, who are joint-top of the A PFG League. The deal includes an option to extend his tenure for another two years and is reportedly worth around €320,000 a season.
"Maybe, a few years ago, I would never have accepted an offer like that," Simoni said. "But now I'm excited about it. It is a challenge that will need courage, but it's also exciting and I can discover a new football world."
Simoni said he had talked to European clubs including SL Benfica, Sevilla FC and Panathinaikos FC before accepting his new position. "I have goals now (with CSKA) which will satisfy me if I reach them," he said. "If not, I will return home." He praised Bulgarian football for its high technical standard, but will still be choosing an Italian assistant.
CSKA executive director Lazar Vassilev said the task for the new coach was to win the national title and a place in the UEFA Champions League. The club last won the league in 1997.
UEFA Cup winner
Simoni has been out of work since he was sacked by Torino last season. After winning the UEFA Cup with Inter in 1998 Simoni was named Italy's coach of the year before being sacked and moving to Piacenza FC. He has also coached S.S. Lazio, SSC Napoli and Brescia Calcio. He will be the second Italian to coach CSKA after Enrico Katuzzi, who was with the club last season.