National unveil Zenga

FC National Bucuresti's UEFA Cup campaign will be masterminded by new coach Walter Zenga.

Walter Zenga has taken over as coach of Divizia A side FC National Bucuresti.

Safe hands
Zenga replaces Cosmin Olaroiu, who left last month to coach city rivals FC Steaua Bucuresti. The 42-year-old former Italian international goalkeeper, who played 58 times for the Azzurri, has signed a one-year contract with an option to stay on for another year. National finished as runners-up in the league last season, winning a spot in the UEFA Cup qualifying round.

Successful career
Zenga played the majority of his career for FC Internazionale, winning a Serie A title in 1989 and UEFA Cups in 1991 and 1994. He finally hung up his gloves in 1998 at the age of 38 while at the New England Revolution and then took over as their coach.

Failed Revolution
He left the United States in 1999 after failing to take New England to the Major League Soccer play-offs and returned to Italy as coach of fourth division side FC Brera Milano. Zenga was fired from that role at the beginning of 2000 and went on to work in the media for two Italian TV stations, Telenova and RAI.

Old contact
Zenga said: "I have been friend with National's president, Gino Iorgulescu, for more than 15 years. The first contact between us in order to bring me to FC National began six months ago, but I refused because I wanted to finish my Coverciano [the national training centre in Italy] coaching course.

'I love to be a globetrotter'
"I'm happy to come to Romania because I love to be a globetrotter, to try out new and exotic experiences. I know that it will not be easy for me here, but I want to try to apply what I have learned from the big coaches I have worked with, from Coverciano and also from my experiences on the field."

Petrescu surprise
In another surprise appointment, Dan Petrescu has been appointed as one of Zenga's assistants at National. The former Romanian international, who will be 35 in December, has been playing in England for the last nine years with Sheffield Wednesday FC, Chelsea FC, Bradford FC and Southampton FC. Before that he spent two years in Italy with Foggia Calcio and Genoa 1893.

Previous meeting
Petrescu played 96 times for the Romanian national team and made his debut for them in March 1989 - against Italy. On that day, Italy's goalkeeper was who else but Zenga.

Mate Matei
Zenga's second assistant will be Adrian Matei, the 34-year-old captain of National. Both Petrescu and Matei will continue their playing careers for now. Next week National will announce their new sponsors and it seems that, although several key players had to be sold in the close season, their financial problems have been solved.