Albania have named former Real Madrid, AS Roma and Italy defender Christian Panucci as their new coach to replace Gianni De Biasi, who quit last month.
Albania are effectively out of the running for a place at next year’s World Cup and federation president Armand Duka said Panucci’s first job would be to try to qualify them for Euro 2020.
Duka said that Italians Paolo Di Canio and Alberto Malesani and Dutchman Clarence Seedorf had been among the other candidates. “It was a protracted process and it was not an easy decision,” he said. “I am very confident that we have made the right choice.”
De Biasi will be a hard act to follow as he led Albania to their first major tournament, Euro 2016, and is regarded as the most successful coach the team has had.
Panucci, on the other hand, has limited experience. He was assistant Russia coach under Fabio Capello at the 2014 World Cup and has since coached Serie B teams Livorno and Ternana.