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Tuesday, January 9, 2001
Sacchi to take over at Parma

ROME, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Former Italy and AC Milan coach Arrigo Sacchi became Parma's new boss on Tuesday, nearly two years after he turned his back on management and four years since he last worked in the Serie A.

Sacchi agreed a contract until June 2002 and held a news conference at the club's Collecchio training ground before taking his first Parma training session in nearly 14 years.

He coached the side for two seasons in the third and second divisions between 1985-87 before leaving for Milan.

His return to coaching coincided with that of another former Italy boss, Dino Zoff, who took over at Lazio earlier on Tuesday following the resignation of Swede Sven Goran Eriksson.

'Of course I am worried about failing because it is difficult to take over in the middle of a season, but like Zoff I am addicted to football,' Sacchi said. 'We have got a good side here, but I'm not going to make any promises.'

Sacchi replaces Alberto Malesani, who was sacked on Monday following a shock 2-0 defeat at home to Reggina wich left Parma in 10th place with just one point from their last 12.

It was at Parma in the mid-1980s that Sacchi made his name, taking the then little-known club out of Serie C and to seventh place in Serie B before he was snapped up by Milan in 1987.

Both Parma and Sacchi went on to better things.

Sacchi won the Italian championship for Milan in his first season at San Siro and then clinched the European Cup twice with his aggressive 'pressing' tactics combined with a squad brimming with quality.

He took over as Italy coach in 1991 and led his side to the 1994 World Cup final where they lost on penalties to Brazil.

But he was strongly criticised after Italy's first round exit from Euro 1996 and left for a brief and less successful second spell at Milan during the 1996-97 season.

After a season out of football, he moved to Atletico Madrid in 1998. But he resigned in February 1999 and has not coached since, working instead as a television pundit where his controversial views have kept him in the public eye.

Building on the foundations Sacchi laid, Parma won promotion to the Serie A for the first time in 1990 and quickly established themselves as a leading club.

They won the European Cup Winner's Cup and two UEFA Cups in the 1990s but despite heavy investment from the wealthy Tanzi family have been unable to clinch their first league title.

 

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