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Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2010

Zaccheroni named as new Japan manager


Staff writer

The Japan Football Association on Monday named former AC Milan and Juventus manager Alberto Zaccheroni to lead the national team.

News photo
Alberto Zeccheroni AP PHOTO

The 57-year-old, who becomes the first Italian and sixth foreigner to take the job, is set to be unveiled at a news conference on Tuesday.

Reports on Monday said Zaccheroni had agreed to a two-year contract worth $2.36 million with an option for a further two years.

Zaccheroni is best known for winning Italy's Serie A with Milan in 1999, and has managed a number of clubs in his native country including Inter Milan and Lazio. He was last hired in January by Juventus to replace Ciro Ferrara until the end of the season, but had spent the previous three years without a team after being fired by city rival Torino.

Zaccheroni's visa will not be issued in time for him to lead Japan in friendlies against Paraguay in Yokohama on Saturday and Guatemala in Osaka on Sept. 7. That role will instead fall to the JFA's technical director Hiromi Hara, who was entrusted to find a replacement for Takeshi Okada after the World Cup manager stepped down at the end of the tournament.

Hara last week returned from a monthlong overseas recruitment trip, where his advances were rebuffed by former Real Madrid manager Manuel Pellegrini and Spaniard Ernesto Valverde, who signed instead with Olympiakos.

Other names in the frame reportedly included ex-Argentina manager Jose Pekerman and Dutchmen Marco van Basten and Ronald Koeman.



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