ESRA – Lions aim to start new season’s preparations with coach Prandelli

Lions aim to start new season’s preparations with coach PrandelliGalatasaray, popularly called the Lions, hopes to kick off preparations for the new season with former Italy coach Cesare Prandelli at the helm on Monday, after the Istanbul club made an unanticipated move to sign with the Italian.The 56-year-old has recently parted ways with the Italian national team following its failure to progress from the group stage of the World Cup due to a lackluster start.

He will go back to club coaching with the Turkish giant after four years in his native Italy.Galatasaray Chairman unal Aysal told the club’s TV station that Prandelli will head the team starting Monday.

The boss also revealed details about the Prandelli deal, saying the club had talks with him prior to his departure from the Italian national team “We didn’t directly have official negotiations because the coach was under contract with Italy. But we started official talks following the termination of his contract,” he said.

The Prandelli move came as a surprise to many since his name had not appeared in the countless news reports on Galatasaray’s search for a new coach following the sacking of Italian coach Roberto Mancini over budget issues. Aysal had earlier said during a club meeting that the coaches of this year’s World Cup competitors were on the table for Galatasaray.

Nevertheless, Prandelli did not seem to be among the options. The Lions were expected to sign with their earlier coach Mustafa Denizli among other options, including Italian Luciano Spalletti, Dutchman Dirk Aocaat, Germany coach Joachim Lw, USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann and Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld.

Aysal is confident that Prandelli is the right choice. “[He is] bold, hardworking, disciplined and hungry for success.

He was an appealing target for us. I can comfortably promise the [domestic] league title to our fans this season,” he said.

Prandelli started his career and rose to fame in his native Italy, and he stayed there his entire career As a midfielder, he made a name for himself at Juventus between 1979 and 1985. He retired from playing at Atalanta in 1990 and embarked upon his coaching career at the same club right after his retirement as a player He proved his credentials as a coach in 2002 while he was at Parma He moved to Roma in 2004 however, did not stay long due to his wife’s illness, which eventually ended her life in 2007.

Prandelli coached Fiorentina for five seasons from 2005 to 2010 and the club reached greater heights under his helm, reaching the semifinals of the second-tier UEFA Cup and last 16 in the topnotch Champions League.In 2010, he became the head coach of Italy and led his side to the final for the Euro 2012 trophy, which Spain eventually won, amidst a national match-fixing scandal.

Despite losing the trophy, his team still received a hero’s welcome at home. Prandelli’s Italy comfortably earned a berth in the 2014 World Cup, but failed to survive the group stage competition.

Italy bowed out of the tournament with two losses against Latin Americans Costa Rica and Uruguay and one win over England. The Italian recently left his post due to World Cup slump.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman