Sevilla coach Vincenzo Montella: I would like to coach Italy one day
Vincenzo Montella says he would relish the opportunity to coach Italy after realising one of his coaching dreams by beating Jose Mourinho in the Champions League last week.
Montella has been touted as one of the contenders to succeed Gian Piero Ventura as the next coach of Italy and, while he says it does not look like it will be feasible right now, he does harbour ambitions to coach his country one day.
"Being coach of the national team would be a dream," he told RAI Radio. "When it happens -- if it happens, and one day maybe it will -- I would like it. As things stand today, though, it's a bit of a distant possibility.
"I'm very happy at Sevilla, I've got another year on my contract and I want to continue here."
While Sevilla's La Liga form may not have matched the expectations since Montella replaced Eduardo Berizzo in December, a month after he was sacked by AC Milan, reaching the quarterfinals of the Champions League has boosted his chances of seeing that contract out.
The Spanish side, who are now sixth in La Liga after dropping from fifth when Montella took charge, beat Manchester United to set up a quarterfinal clash with Bayern Munich and fulfil one of the Italian coach's ambitions.
"It was a unique emotion, given the calibre of our opponents and the level of the game," Montella said. "It was like winning the Supercoppa with AC Milan.
"Mourinho is a coach I respect and I've followed his training methods, and he was very kind with me, showing that he knows how to lose by coming into our dressing room and paying compliments to our team.
"At this stage, anybody you face is difficult and [Bayern] are one of the top three or four in the world, but I'd like a semifinal or maybe even a final against [former club] Roma."
Montella is also delighted to see Patrick Cutrone earn his first Italy call-up this week, saying he feels part of the merit must also go to him for giving the 20-year-okd his break with the Rossoneri this season.
"I'm delighted he's been called up," Montella said. "It's almost as if I've been called up, because I feel like he is my creation. I gave him his debut and saw his hunger right from the start and we worked a lot on him.
"What distinguishes him is his determination to improve in every minute of training, and this is going to take him far. He could be the future of the Italy national team."
Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.