x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

A vintage 12 months for Italian coaches both home and abroad

While Serie A presidents may have been trigger-happy – there were 17 changes of boss during the season – what they do know is that they work in a country where coaching standards are high.

epa03217733 Italian head coach of Juventus FC, Antonio Conte, celebrates the victory of the Italian Serie A Championship 2011-2012 after the soccer match against Atalanta BC at Juventus stadium in Turin, Italy, 13 May 2012. EPA/ALESSANDRO DI MARCO *** Local Caption *** 03217733.jpg
epa03217733 Italian head coach of Juventus FC, Antonio Conte, celebrates the victory of the Italian Serie A Championship 2011-2012 after the soccer match against Atalanta BC at Juventus stadium in Turin, Italy, 13 May 2012. EPA/ALESSANDRO DI MARCO *** Local Caption *** 03217733.jpg

Italian coaches filled the top six positions of the final Serie A table. Or, if you like, nine Italian managers contributed to filling all the European qualifying positions in Italy's top-flight by the end of the campaign, because Inter Milan employed three different coaches last season, all of them Italian.

That is unique among the leading leagues of Europe. Spain's Primera Liga was won by a Portuguese coach; in England none of the top three finishers were managed by an Englishman; two of the German Bundesliga's top four spots were gained by non-German coaches and in France, where Ligue 1 finishes this weekend, either the gold or silver medal will go to a non-French boss.

While Serie A presidents may have been trigger-happy - there were 17 changes of boss during the season - what they do know is that they work in a country where coaching standards are high.

An impressive sweep of prizes have already been achieved by Italians: the scudetto to Antonio Conte ofJuventus; the Premier League to Roberto Mancini of Manchester City; the Russian league title to Luciano Spalletti of Zenit Saint Petersburg.

There is a possibility that by the end of the weekend an Italian manager will have picked up the Champions League, should Roberto Di Matteo's Chelsea upset Bayern Munich, and a chance Carlo Ancelotti's Paris Saint Germain will have won the French title.

Italy's clubs may not have had a vintage year in Europe but Italian instructors have, and deserve the utmost respect.

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