Stefano Pioli has succeeded Frank de Boer as coach of Internazionale Milano; UEFA.com brings you the lowdown on the new man in the hot seat at San Siro.
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Internazionale Milano have appointed Stefano Pioli as their new coach on a contract until 2018 after parting company with Frank de Boer last week. But who is the 51-year-old now tasked with reviving the Nerazzurri's season?
As a defender, he won the Scudetto, the European Champion Clubs' Cup, the UEFA Super Cup and the European/South American Cup in three seasons with Juventus between 1984 and 1987, amassing 57 appearances in all competitions despite his tender years. He then played for Verona and Fiorentina in Serie A but managed only one goal in ten top-flight campaigns – Fiorentina's winner at Cremonese on 29 October 1989.
Appointed as Palermo coach in summer 2011, Pioli was sacked even before the start of the Serie A season after the Rosanero were eliminated in the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round by Swiss side Thun. "It was my biggest mistake," said Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini later. "I'm still eating my hat for that decision. He has the calmness and personality of Carlo Ancelotti."
That same campaign, Pioli took over at struggling Bologna and guided the Rossoblù to an unexpected ninth place with a series of surprising results, including a 3-0 victory at Inter. He repeated that success at San Siro the following season, 1-0. In summer 2014 Pioli moved to Lazio, whom he led to third position in Serie A and the Coppa Italia final – losing 2-1 against Juventus after extra time – in his first term.
Love for basketball
"The space is different compared to football but some movements, the construction of the attack and teams' defence are similar," he once said. "I was a huge Los Angeles Lakers fan – the team known for 'Showtime' – and I still remember the epic battles with Boston Celtics. In football, 'Showtime' is Barcelona with their quick, simple, intense style."
"Michel Platini, Roberto Baggio and Gabriel Batistuta," are the best players Pioli ever played with, according to the new Inter boss. Meanwhile, the coaches who most inspired him are "Giovanni Trapattoni, Osvaldo Bagnoli and Claudio Ranieri". He also described Trapattoni – his manager at Juve – as "a master of football and life".