Gattuso named new Napoli coach after Ancelotti sacking

Former Rangers midfielder Gennaro Gattuso joins Napoli at a difficult time despite their qualification for the knockout stages of Europe’s top competition. (Getty Images)
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Updated 11 December 2019

Gattuso named new Napoli coach after Ancelotti sacking

  • The 41-year-old replaces a friend in Ancelotti, who coached Gattuso to two Champions Leagues and one Serie A title
  • Media reports in the United Kingdom suggest both Arsenal and Everton are keen to hire Ancelotti

MILAN: Gennaro Gattuso on Wednesday took over as coach of Napoli after Carlo Ancelotti was sacked despite guiding them to the Champions League last 16, the troubled Serie A side announced.
Gattuso, who left AC Milan at the end of last season after failing to qualify for the Champions League, takes charge of a club who sit seventh in Serie A.
“The aim is to recoup points and get back into the Champions League positions,” said Gattuso, who won the 2006 World Cup as a player with Italy.
“We need to work hard, win back points and come through this tricky period.”
The 41-year-old replaces a friend in Ancelotti, who coached Gattuso to two Champions Leagues and one Serie A title over eight years in charge of seven-time European champions Milan.
“Ancelotti is like a father to me,” he added. “He’s always been close to me and supported me. He’s won it all and I still have a lot to prove.”
Former Rangers midfielder Gattuso joins Napoli at a difficult time despite their arrival in Monday’s draw for the knockout stages of Europe’s top competition.
Last season’s Serie A runners-up sit 17 points behind league leaders Inter Milan.
More worryingly they are eight behind fourth-placed Cagliari, who hold the final spot for next season’s Champions League, and have been engulfed in a row between the players and owner Aurelio De Laurentiis.
De Laurentiis ordered the players into a week-long training camp after defeat by big rivals Roma early last month — a decision with which Ancelotti publicly disagreed — but they rebelled and were hit with a massive fine that incurred the wrath of Players’ union FIFPRO.
Media reports in the United Kingdom suggest both Arsenal and Everton are keen to hire Ancelotti, who has won three Champions Leagues as a coach, after sacking Unai Emery and Marco Silva respectively.


Xavi donates 1 mn euros to Barcelona hospital

Updated 04 April 2020

Xavi donates 1 mn euros to Barcelona hospital

  • Lionel Messi, Pep Guardiola, Rafael Nadal and Pau Gasol are among several Spanish sports stars to have donated or led fundraising campaigns to help combat the deadly virus
  • The total number of deaths in Spain stands at 11,744, second only to Italy

MADRID: Former Barcelona and Spain star Xavi Hernandez and his wife have donated one million euros ($1.08 million) to the city’s Hospital Clinic to help the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
“Xavi Hernandez and Nuria Cunillera have made a donation of one million euros to the clinic to face up to COVID-19. Thanks a lot for your help and support... All together, we will get there,” the hospital tweeted on Saturday.
“Nuria and I, we support the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona’s fight against the coronavirus. Thanks to the donations they are receiving, the hospital has acquired equipment for patients and health care professionals,” Xavi said in a video posted on his Twitter account.
The former World Cup winner and two-time European champion with Spain is currently in charge of Al-Sadd in Qatar and turned down an approach from Barcelona in January after the club sacked Ernesto Valverde.
Lionel Messi, Pep Guardiola, Rafael Nadal and Pau Gasol are among several Spanish sports stars to have donated or led fundraising campaigns to help combat the deadly virus.
Spain, which is under a near-total lockdown, on Saturday recorded a second successive daily fall in coronavirus-related deaths with 809 fatalities.
The total number of deaths in the country stands at 11,744, second only to Italy.
The number of new Spanish cases also slowed at 7,026, taking the total to 124,736.