• Sunday, June 23, 2024
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BusinessDay

Osimhen’s coach, Spalletti takes leave from football, Napoli job

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Luciano Spalletti has announced that he will take time away from football as he resigned from his job at Napoli Football Club after guiding the club to lift the Italian Serie A League for the first time in 33 years.

Spalletti speaking at an event at the Italian national team’s Coverciano training centre, disclosed that he would take time away from football and would not be immediately moving to coach another team.

“I need to take some time to rest because I’m pretty tired.

I don’t know if you can call it a year’s sabbatical but I won’t be working. I won’t be coaching Napoli or any other team,” he said.

The 64-year-old confirmed this on Monday, May 29, 2023 after winning the club’s first league title in over three decades.

The Neapolitan club won the Italian Serie A league last in 1990, when Diego Maradona led them to claim the trophy ahead of other teams, before the 2023 feat.

For that singular feat, Maradona was hero-worshipped in Naples and till date they still accord him massive respect in that city. In fact, their club stadium is named after Maradona.

Spalletti, after managing Empoli FC, Udinese, AS Roma and Inter Milan won his first Scudetto trophy this season with the Azure colour team. He won the league in style with five matches to play after a magical campaign in which his team played some of the most thrilling football in Europe.

Napoli’s title triumph was the crowning glory of Spalletti’s long and eventful coaching career which had brought plenty of plaudits but few trophies.

The Certaldo, Metropolitan city-born coach will bow out as Napoli coach on Sunday, June 4, 2023 when the newly-crowned champions host relegated Sampdoria at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

In 2006 and 2007 Spalletti was elected coach of the year in Italy. And he is currently the 2023 Enzo Bearzot Award winner due to the fantastic displays of his Napoli team this season.

According to Football Italia, the award is given to the best Italian coach of the year from a jury consisting of representatives from the major Italian sport newspapers.

The Partenopei coach started his coaching career as a semi-professional footballer in his mid-20s, from 1982 to 1993. He ended his playing career with Empoli FC before switching to coaching as a profession.