Rome

Soccer: Gattuso appointed Palermo coach

Former Italy midfielder tasked with returning side to top flight

Soccer: Gattuso appointed Palermo coach

Rome, June 3 - Newly relegated Serie B side said Wednesday that they have appointed former AC Milan and Italy midfielder Gennaro Gattuso as their new coach. Gattuso was sacked as player-coach last month by Swiss club Sion, whom he joined in 2012 after 13 years with Milan. The 35-year is famed for his enormous work rate, his grit and determination on the field, earning himself the nickname 'Ringhio' (Snarler). But he may have a tough time working with Maurizio Zamparini, Palermo's 'coach-eating' chairman. Zamparini's dizzy sackings and rehirings in the just-ended campaign were widely seen as contributing to the Sicilian outfit's fall from Serie A for the first time since 2004. Zamparini sacked coach Giuseppe Sannino just three games into the season, replacing him with Gian Piero Gasperini. He couldn't turn things around, and was replaced by Alberto Malesani in February. Three weeks later, Malesani was fired and Gasperini returned, though he was refired two games later and Sannino was brought back. Despite a late rally under Sannino, it wasn't enough for a side that has never adequately replaced the players they've sold over recent seasons, including Javier Pastore, Salvatore Sirigu, Antonio Nocerino and Edinson Cavani. Sion sacked Gattuso May 13 after a poor run culminated in a 5-0 defeat to San Gallo after being appointed coach in February.

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