Official: AS Roma appoint former coach Spalletti

Roma have confirmed the appointment of Luciano Spalletti as the club’s new head coach, with the Italian returning to the capital after leaving to join Zenit in 2009.

The 56-year-old arrived at the club’s training ground at Trigoria on Thursday to complete his return, replacing recently axed Rudi Garcia, and will take charge of his first match against Verona on Sunday.

The Serie A outfit fired Garcia on Wednesday following their poor run of form in recent months, as they dropped to fifth place in the table after just one win in their last seven league games.

Spalletti guided the side to two Coppa Italia titles and a Supercoppa Italiana during his four year spell in charge before joining Zenit where he won two Russian Premier League titles, but he was fired in March 2014 and has since been out of work.

But after almost two years without a club, he is back in the Italian top flight, telling the club’s official website: “I’m excited because I know what the merits of this city, this club and this team are. It’s exciting to work with such worthy people.”

Roma president James Pallotta added: “We are very excited to welcome Luciano Spalletti back to Roma. He is a proven winner with a strong track record of success. We are looking forward to working together to take Roma to where we believe it should be.”

Spalletti began his coaching career at Empoli in 1995, leading the club he represented as a player from Serie C to Serie A in successive seasons.

Along with helming Sampdoria, Venezia and Acona, he enjoyed two spells at Udinese – leading them to Champions League qualification in 2005 to pave the way for his first Roma tenure.

Roma chief executive Italo Zanzi said: “We have so much to play for this season, both in Italy and Europe.  Luciano Spalletti’s arrival only adds to the confidence we have in our players and team.”

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