Sat, Jul 15, 2006 - Page 19 News List

Roberto Donadoni named as new Italy soccer coach

AFP , ROME

Roberto Donadoni, then coach of Italian Serie A soccer team Livorno, takes part in a press conference in Livorno on Jan. 11 last year. Italy's soccer federation named Donadoni as the new coach of the national soccer team on Thursday.

PHOTO: EPA

Former international star Roberto Donadoni was on Thursday named as the new coach of World Cup winners Italy, the Italian soccer federation said.

The 43-year-old Donadoni, who played for AC Milan and had been the coach of Livorno until he quit in February this year, takes over from Marcello Lippi who stood down on Wednesday after Italy's World Cup final win against France.

Donadoni, a quick winger and talented passer of the ball, was considered one of the best Italian players of the late 1980s and won 63 caps, scoring four goals.

He was part of the Italian team which finished third at the 1990 World Cup and played in the side which lost the 1994 final to Brazil in a penalty shootout.

Donadoni started his playing career at Atalanta before a highly successful move to Milan where he became one of Italy's best ever wide-midfielders.

After a spell in the US with New York Metrostars, he took up coaching in 2001-2002 when he was named as Lecco boss in the third division.

He then moved to Livorno before an ill-fated move to Genoa where he lasted just three games.

He returned to Livorno during the 2004-2005 campaign but then left in February with his team in sixth place in the table.

Donadoni's first game in charge will be a Euro 2008 qualifier at home to Lithuania on Sep. 2 before a rematch with World Cup final opponents France in Paris four days later.

Italy are in Group B of the Euro 2008 qualifiers which also includes Ukraine, Scotland, Georgia and Faroe Islands.

Lippi stood down from the job on Wednesday, just three days after he brought his country their fourth global crown.

"I believe that I have achieved what I set out to achieve as coach of the Italian team," Lippi said.

"I want to thank the federation for the confidence it had in me during the last two years of work crowned by a result that will rest in the annals of Italian football and live on in the memory of our fans," he added.

Italy won their fourth World Cup in Berlin on Sunday when they defeated France in the final 5-3 on penalties after the game had finished tied at 1-1 after extra time.

Meanwhile, Donadoni will be presented to the media on Tuesday in Rome.

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