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Who is new Inter coach Gian Piero Gasperini?

June 29, 2011

It is the question on the lips of many football fans around the world. Why would the 2010 European champions recruit an unknown as coach?

Inter would argue Gasperini is not a nobody having guided Genoa to decent success in Serie A but the fact he was sacked by the mid-table side in November is not particularly aupiscious. He was also shocked to get the job.

Some may ask why no other club recruited him until now, but the simple answer is that coaches in Serie A are not allowed to train two team in the same season.

This doesn’t mean Gasperini was Inter’s first choice though. Far from it. Marcelo Bielsa, Andre Villas-Boas and Sinisa Mihajlovic were all contacted along with probably several other more high profile figures.

The fact Inter have struggled to recruit a top name after boasting Jose Mourinho, Rafa Benitez and Leonardo in the last year is probably as much a reflection on Serie A as it is on the club.

Italian football has been outstripped by Spain and England on the pitch and in terms of financial clout with the onset of UEFA’s financial fairplay likely to hit Inter and AC Milan quite badly given they rely on rich benefactor owners Massimo Moratti and Silvio Berlusconi.

Ageing stadiums, match-fixing scandals and hooliganism make Italy not the hot destination it was once was.

Inter are also not as attractive to leading players as they were two seasons ago when the majestic Mourinho was in charge. Five straight scudettos and the 2010 Champions League title are now distant memories and the only way is down in many ways.

This is not the primary reason why Leonardo has decided to leave after just six month, though.

The Brazilian never really fancied being a coach in the first place and it took lots of persuasion from AC Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani to change his mind and make him accept the Milan job in 2009.

After just a year, he quit because of Berlusconi meddling in tactics but his shock appearance at Inter suggested he really did like being a manager after all.  Just a few months later though and he is heading to Paris St Germain for a less hands-on, less stressful director of football role which will allow him to nip back to his native Brazil more often.

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