MILAN (Reuters) – Napoli appointed the much-traveled and hugely successful Carlo Ancelotti as their new coach on Wednesday, handing him the job of trying to end Juventus’ dominance of Serie A.
Ancelotti will replace Maurizio Sarri, who led Napoli to two second-place and one third-place finish during his three seasons in charge.
“SSC Napoli is delighted to announce that an agreement has been reached with Carlo Ancelotti for him to become the head coach of the first team for three seasons starting in 2018/19,” the club said in a statement on its website http://www.sscnapoli.it/static/news/Welcome-Carlo-14855.aspx.
Although Sarri’s team won plaudits for their free-flowing, attacking football, they lacked the killer punch needed to unseat Juventus who have won Serie A for the last seven seasons.
Napoli amassed a club record 91 points in the season which finished on Sunday to become the first team to pass the 90-point mark but fail to win the title.
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis thanked outgoing manager Sarri for his contribution to the club earlier on Wednesday.
“I’d like to thank Maurizio Sarri for his valuable contribution to the Napoli cause,” De Laurentiis said on his official Twitter account.
“He brought joy and prestige to Naples and Napoli fans all over the world with an entertaining brand of football that drew praise from all quarters. Well done, Maurizio.”
The 58-year-old Ancelotti, who returns to Serie A after a nine-year absence, had been out of work since being fired by Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich in September, a rare failure in his illustrious career.
He has coached Reggiana, Parma, Juventus and AC Milan in his homeland, plus Chelsea, Real Madrid, Paris St Germain and Bayern.
He won the Champions League twice with AC Milan and once with Real Madrid plus domestic league titles with Chelsea, AC Milan, Paris St Germain and Bayern.
Ancelotti is unlikely to have the sort of money to spend in the transfer market that he enjoyed at his previous clubs as De Laurentiis has often said that his club cannot match the spending power of Europe’s elite clubs.
(Writing by Brian Homewood in Bern; Editing by Toby Davis)