Montella takes Roma reins
Vincenzo Montella has been appointed as Roma's new coach after the club accepted the resignation of Claudio Ranieri.
Montella, 36, has now taken the reins at the Stadio Olimpico, having spent 10 years with the club, scoring 118 goals in 267 Serie A games before retiring from the game in the summer of 2009 and joining Roma's backroom staff as a youth coach. The former Italy international also played for Empoli, Genoa, Sampdoria and Fulham.
"A.S Roma have, today, given first team duties to Mr Vincenzo Montella until the end of the current season,'' read a statement. "We are certain he will be able to put the team's quality together with his professionalism, dedication, enthusiasm and experience."
Ranieri quit the club on Sunday night following Roma's capitulation at Genoa. They led 3-0 six minutes after the interval but went on to lose 4-3 and the club wasted little time in accepting his resignation.
''AS Roma announces it received yesterday evening the resignation of Mr Claudio Ranieri as coach of the first team,'' the club added in a seperate statement. ''Following this move, the financial contract with Ranieri, whose deal was coming to an end on June 30, 2011, has ended by mutual consent. Roma wishes to thank Claudio Ranieri for the professionalism shown and the work done.''
The Genoa result came on the back of a 3-2 defeat at home to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League, which leaves them needing to win and score at least twice in Ukraine to make it to the quarter-finals.
Roma have lost four games in a row - with further defeats to scudetto challengers Napoli and Inter Milan - and last won a match on Jan 27 when they won 2-0 at Juventus in the Coppa Italia, which had then completed a run of four consecutive wins.
But the latest dip in form has left Roma's hopes of qualifying for next year's Champions League in tatters as they sit nine points behind fourth-placed Lazio with a game in hand.
Recent reports suggested Ranieri had fallen out with key players amid Roma's lengthy slide, which has left them down in eighth place. Defensive problems have been the key to the Roma collapse this season as they have conceded 11 goals in their last three games, including a 5-3 defeat to Inter.
Ranieri said on Sunday night: "I've always thought about the good of Roma and after a game such as today's I believe it's right to give a signal. After the final whistle I went into the changing rooms to thank the team and I decided to hand in my resignation.
"Today we began with the desire to fight for the victory for all those who love this shirt and this city. Every minute of my day is dedicated to Roma and I've always said that for me a defeat is especially painful. But seeing my lads fighting to the end and losing shook me to the core.
"I want to thank all the fans and the president [Rosella] Sensi. Together, despite the difficulties, we did a great job last year and this year.
"I am and always will be a man of the pitch and after a game such as today's I believe it's right to give a signal for the love of these colours and I hope that my decision will help spur on the team. Sport and football have values that for me and for those work hard and with passion are life itself."
Having managed 10 clubs in Italy, Spain, and England, Ranieri returned to his spiritual home - his childhood club and where he began his playing career - in September 2009 and quickly improved their performances.
They got themselves back into the title race and eventually finished only two points behind Jose Mourinho's Inter last season. Hopes were high that Roma could challenge this season with Mourinho gone, but things have rarely gone right for Ranieri second time around.