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Saturday, June 22, 2024

AC Milan sacks coach over poor performance

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

The management of Italian football giant, AC Milan, has terminated the appointment of its manager, Stefano Pioli, barely two years after guiding the team to Serie A title.

Milan decision was said to have been made following the team’s poor performance during the league and early exit from the UEFA champions league.

Meanwhile, Portuguese football tactician, Paulo Fonseca, who has been in charge of French club, Lille, for the last two seasons, has been topped to take over from Pioli.

The club announced Pioli’s sack on Friday through a short statement and visuals to bid him farewell for the services rendered within the two years.

AC said in a statement that Pioli “will be departing after the end of the current season, after having been in charge of the First Team since October 2019”.

They will finish second this season but way behind city rivals Inter, who clinched the title by beating Pioli’s team 2-1 at the end of April.

Pioli was hailed a hero in 2022 after delivering the once dominant force in Italian football their first league title since 2011.

He also guided them to last season’s Champions League semi-finals — the first time they had gone that far since the 2006-2007 campaign — where they lost to Inter.

However, an early exit from the Champions League this term and failure to run Inter close in the title race set the alarm bells.

The Milan board paid a warm tribute in the farewell statement to 58-year-old Italian.

“AC Milan extends heartfelt thanks to Stefano Pioli and his entire staff for… securing an unforgettable League title and re-establishing AC Milan’s consistent presence in the top European competition,” read the statement.

“Stefano’s professionalism and human touch have significantly contributed to the growth of the squad, embodying the Club’s core values from day one.”

Pioli, who numbers Lazio and Inter among the clubs he has formerly managed, thanked the club and praised the “unwavering dedication” of its supporters.

Stefano Pioli expressed his gratitude to AC Milan “for the opportunity to be part of the history of this glorious Club,” read the statement.

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