MILAN (Reuters) - Much-travelled coach Stefano Pioli said he was hoping for a long stay at Fiorentina as he took the reigns at his 12th professional team on Wednesday.
Pioli, who spent six years at the club as a player, was appointed on Tuesday less than one month after being fired by Inter Milan where he had been in charge for six months.
The 51-year-old’s career has been fairly typical for Italian coaches, often changing clubs every one or two seasons. His longest stint so far was at Bologna where he lasted two years and three months.
“Only Fiorentina could have made me coach in Italy at this moment, otherwise I would have gone abroad,” he told reporters as he was officially presented.
“I hope my Viola adventure lasts for a long time. It’s always been my wish to coach Fiorentina,” he said. “I hope my face expresses the happiness I feel inside.”
Twice Serie A champions Fiorentina finished a modest eighth in Serie A this season, failing to qualify for Europe. They have finished in the top half of the table for each of the last five seasons but have not played in the Champions League since 2009-10.
“It’s always been my wish to coach here and I want to make my players understand how important it is to play with passion and honour this shirt,” said Pioli.
“This club has achieved great results in recent years, now we want to start a new cycle using young players, Italian ones if possible.
“This is one of our objectives, forming a team with a winning mentality.”
Reporting by Brian Homewood; Editing by Toby Davis