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Legend Zoff takes over at Fiorentina

Lance Knight2010-05-04 14:04:20 +0000 #1
Monday, January 24, 2005

MILAN, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Former Italy coach Dino Zoff has ended a spell of over three years out of the game by taking over at Serie A club Fiorentina.

Dino Zoff: Third manager this season. (MatthewAshton/Empics)

Fiorentina said in a statement on Monday that 62-year-old Zoff had replaced Sergio Buso and would take immediate charge of the side for Wednesday's Italian Cup quarter-final against AS Roma.

'I am delighted to come and give a hand to this great club and I think that we can do very well,' Zoff said.

'I am coming to Florence with a great deal of enthusiasm and desire to get back on the field and to work.'

Zoff, captain of Italy's 1982 World Cup winning team, becomes Fiorentina's third coach of the season after Buso replaced the sacked Emiliano Mondonico in October.

The club said Buso, who was goalkeeping coach before taking charge of the first team, would remain on the club's staff.

Fiorentina are hovering above the Serie A relegation zone in 15th after losing three of their last four games, including a 2-1 home defeat to Roma on Sunday.

'I've followed Fiorentina just as I have followed football in general and I have to say that despite the quality of players in the squad the team has been very unlucky,' said Zoff.

'Before taking any steps I want to talk to the lads and understand the situation. But I have a lot of confidence and I can't wait to get started,' he added.

GOLDEN GOAL

Zoff has been out of the game since he was sacked as Lazio coach in September 2001.

As Italy coach Zoff took the Azzurri to the final of Euro 2000 where they lost on a golden goal to France.

The former Juventus goalkeeper quit shortly after the game following public criticism from Italian Prime Minister and AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi, who at that time was leader of the opposition.

Before taking over the national side Zoff was coach of Juventus where he won a UEFA Cup and an Italian Cup and then was in charge at Lazio before moving 'upstairs' to become club president.

Fiorentina returned to the top flight this season after being reformed when the original Florence club went bankrupt in 2002.

Club owner Diego Della Valle has invested heavily in new players, bringing in Italy striker Fabrizio Miccoli from Juventus, Japanese midfielder Hidetoshi Nakata and Czech Republic defender Tomas Ujfalusi.

But the 'La Viola' have managed just five wins in 20 games so far this season.

The Florence club did not give details of Zoff's contract but Italian media reported that he had signed a deal until the end of this season with an option to continue for another year.



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