AC Milan have sacked Clarence Seedorf as first team coach after just five months in charge and replaced the Dutchman with his former team-mate and club icon Filippo Inzaghi.
Seedorf had replaced Massimiliano Allegri following the Italian’s dismissal in January but failed to arrest the slump the Rossoneri endured, as they eventually finished in eighth place and outside both the Champions League and Europa League places for the first time in 16 years.
He had been contracted for another two years, and guided them to seven wins from their last nine matches, but was reported to have lost the faith and backing of the Milan hierarchy and was axed unceremoniously on Monday afternoon.
It had been the 38-year-old’s first job in management and comes just a day after he had been seen looking so relaxed and happy during Soccer Aid on Sunday evening, where he scored a hat-trick for the Rest of the World side in 4-2 victory.
Inzaghi will now be the man entrusted with the responsibility of returning the club to the dizzying heights of old and securing their status as a European superpower once again.
The former Italian forward has been in charge of the club’s youth team over the past two years, and has now been given the main job at Seedorf’s expense.
He will be the team’s third manager in less than a year, but hopes are high he can replicate the achievements of Pep Guardiola at Barcelona in spite of his minimal coaching experience.
Inzaghi was a cult hero at the San Siro during his playing days, and played a key role in the Champions League successes of 2003 and 2007.
He scored twice in the latter as Milan beat a spirited Liverpool side 2-1 in Athens, and remains the club’s highest goalscorer in European competitions with 46 goals, the same number as Benfica and Portuguese legend Eusebio.
One of his first responsibilities will be clarifying the future of striker Mario Balotelli when the Italian returns from World Cup duty.
The former Manchester City and Inter Milan player is currently preparing to gun down England on June 14, but his future is shrouded in uncertainty following reports of interest from Premier League contingent Arsenal and Liverpool.
Paris St Germain are also said to be keen, but are already well equipped in the striking department through Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani.
Appointing Inzaghi could prove to be a managerial masterstroke or a terrible tragedy. He will just have to hope the Milan hierarchy give him the time to deliver success that he predecessor was not afforded.
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