Torino appoint Zaccheroni on eve of Serie A season

September 7, 2006

Alberto Zaccheroni admitted he was relishing the challenge of restoring Torino's position as one of Serie A's leading teams.

Zaccheroni, a former coach of Udinese, AC Milan, Lazio and Internazionale, was named as the new boss of newly promoted Toro just three days before they open up their campaign against Parma, after the club decided to axe the architect of their promotion campaign, Giovanni De Biasi.

'I am here because I like the ambitious project,' said Zaccheroni at a press conference on Thursday afternoon.

'I have never hidden the fact that I love these challenges.'

The highlight of Zaccheroni's career to date came in 1999 when he led AC Milan to an unexpected Scudetto.

That season, first Giovanni Trapattoni's Fiorentina and then Sven-Goran Eriksson's Lazio choked in sight of the title, allowing Milan to claim the title almost by default.

Zaccheroni promised to work 'day and night' to get the best out of the team.

'I agree with the president about having to just settle this club in Serie A, but I want to aim for higher positions,' he added.

Meanwhile, president Urbano Cairo explained his decision to sack De Biasi, saying: 'I had a few doubts about him.

'I decided to make this move now also to give De Biasi time to make his own choices for the new season.'

De Biasi led the club into Serie A via the Serie B play-offs last season and has spent 12million euros on 11 new players over the summer in a bid to reinforce his squad.

Palermo midfielder Simone Barone, a member of Italy's World Cup-winning squad, and goalkeeper Christian Abbiati are among the more notable purchases.

De Biasi was appointed by Cairo just 12 months ago. The club had to be rebuilt from scratch after winning promotion the year before but being kept down in Serie B after breaching budget rules.

However, a poor warm-up campaign counted against De Biasi, despite leading the club to promotion.

Defeats in friendly games to Genoa, Alessandria and Cuneo, as well as an early exit from the Coppa Italia to Crotone, saw the pressure increase on De Biasi before the season had even started.

The decision was announced in an official Torino statement, which read: 'The club have relieved Giovanni De Biasi, the coach of the first team, from his duties.

'The club thanks him for the work he has done and wish him all the best for the future.'

Now Zaccheroni takes charge of a club which used to be considered Turin's strongest team and can now lay claim to that title again now that Juventus have been relegated to Serie B for match-fixing.

Torino have won eight Scudetti, the most recent in 1976, and won four titles in a row between 1946 and 1949 before the 'Grande Toro' (Great Toro) team was killed in an aircrash.