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Struggling Verona announce novice Bocchetti as new coach

Salvatore Bocchetti (left) was named as new coach of Verona. Photo: AFP

Verona announced novice Salvatore Bocchetti as their new coach on Thursday after sacking Gabriele Cioffi earlier in the week.

Bocchetti, who was assistant to Cioffi’s predecessor Igor Tudor last season, has been promoted from coaching Verona’s youth team to take up the vacant first-team post.

Cioffi was dismissed on Tuesday after a 2-1 defeat at Salernitana, their fourth loss on the bounce, left them in the relegation zone.

He had been brought in over the summer on a two-year deal following the departure of Tudor, now at Marseille.

But they have won just once in their opening nine games after Giovanni Simeone, Gianluca Caprari and Antonin Barak – who starred in Verona’s best campaign in years last term – all left the club.

Former centre-back Bocchetti, 35, only retired as a player last year and will have the daunting task of taking on champions AC Milan in his first game on Sunday.

He spent much of his playing career in Russia with Rubin Kazan and Spartak Moscow, winning the country’s Premier League in 2017.

Bocchetti made five appearances for his country and was part of the Italy squad during their disastrous campaign at he 2010 World Cup, when the Azzurri finished bottom of a group which also contained Slovakia, Paraguay and New Zealand.

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