The penny has finally dropped at FIGC headquarters. Early morning, brief statement on the FIGC website:
“President Giancarlo Abete on Wednesday met with national coach Roberto Donadoni in the FIGC headquarters. In the course of the meeting, as already announced, they reviewed the work carried out in the last two years and how the European Championships had panned out.“
“While confirming to Donadoni sincere personal admiration and appreciation for the reliability and skilled professional work which marked his time at the helm of the national side, president Abete also communicated to the coach the FIGC’s decision not to renew the contract.”
A few hours later, another statement:
“Marcello Lippi will return to guide the Italian football national team. FIGC president Giancarlo Abete has appointed Lippi as Roberto Donadoni’s successor for the Italian manager job. Lippi will be presented on Tuesday July 1, in a press conference held in Rome.”
Marcello is back. All hail Marcello.
With that said, some credit must go to Roberto Donadoni.
I (almost) always supported the Don’s choices during these last two years (or at least tried to justify them somehow, even when it was extremely hard) but all things considered, I have to admit that his coaching experience was probably insufficient to guide Italy to a major tournament. Ultimately, that’s what caused the Azzurri’s downfall at Euro 2008, and even though we did only lose in penalties, the type of play we exhibited throughout the tournament was far from being extraordinary. When you have the likes of Buffon, Pirlo, and Toni on the team, you’re expected to do much much more.
Now, the Don has stepped down and Marcello Lippi is back, which can only mean good things for Italy, but one thing is certain about Roberto Donadoni: he may not be a brilliant tactical mind, but he is one hell of a gentleman:
- He is not getting a cent from being fired. When he and Abete discussed contract renewals before the tournament, he specifically refused any monetary compensation should his contract be terminated.
- For someone who (for two years straight) always has had to live in Marcello Lippi’s shadow, Donadoni was always very graceful about it. Even when they asked to comment on his successor (before Lippi was announced) he said: “The press has been talking about Lippi for the past two years, I am not here to tell others how to behave. (…) I did not ask Abete whether he had met with Lippi, everyone is free to decide as they please. I’m not going to comment on others’ behaviours, I don’t want to be lacking in tact“.
Thank you Donadoni, no hard feelings and best of luck in your future coaching endeavors.
Posted in Azzurri |