Napoli Officially Appoint Luciano Spalletti New Head Coach

There is no doubt anymore, Luciano Spalletti is the new head coach of Napoli, with the club releasing an official announcement on Saturday morning. The 62-year-manager will replace Gennaro Gattuso, who parted ways with the Partenopei following a nightmarish five-place finish in the 2020-21 Serie A season.

Spalletti returns to the realm of management after being out of work since being axed by Inter Milan in May 2019. Even though he failed to win a trophy at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, the Italian led the Nerazzurri to back-to-back top-four finishes in Serie A. The 2018 Champions League qualification was Inter’s first in six years.

Spalletti also helped Roma wrap up consecutive Coppa Italia titles during his first tenure in the capital between 2005 and 2009. The experienced coach returned to the Stadio Olimpico in 2016-17 following a trophy-laden five-year stint at Zenit St Petersburg in Russia.

During his time in the Russian Premier League, Spalletti won two league crowns in 2010 and 2012. He also guided Zenit to the Russian Cup triumph in 2010 and the Russian Super Cup success the following year.

Among several accolades he has received during his illustrious managerial career, Spalletti was also named the Serie A Coach of the Year back in 2005-06 and 2006-07. 

Napoli bigwig Aurelio De Laurentiis released a statement on his official Twitter account on Saturday morning, saying Spalletti will lead the team next season.

I am pleased to announce that Luciano Spalletti will be the new Napoli coach starting from next July 1st,” the statement read.

Welcome Luciano, we are going to do great work together.

Spalletti’s appointment comes less than a week after the club severed ties with Gattuso, who failed to secure Champions League football in a tense, photo finish of the season.

Despite entering the final day of the 2020-21 campaign firmly in control of their fate, the Partenopei ended up empty-handed as a dismal 1-1 home draw with Hellas Verona allowed Juventus to leapfrog them to fourth.

Meanwhile, Gattuso succeeded Giuseppe Iachini at Fiorentina following the Tuscan side’s underwhelming Serie A campaign.