Guidolin: ‘I could be Italy Coach’

Francesco Guidolin reveals he was close to the Italy bench before Antonio Conte and has what it takes, but also turned down Napoli.

The former Udinese Coach only just took over at Swansea City, but is one of the names touted to replace Conte after Euro 2016.

“Two years ago, before Conte became available, I believe that I was very close to the Azzurri bench,” Guidolin told the Corriere della Sera newspaper.

Francesco Guidolin reveals he was close to the Italy bench before Antonio Conte and has what it takes, but also turned down Napoli.

The former Udinese Coach only just took over at Swansea City, but is one of the names touted to replace Conte after Euro 2016.

“Two years ago, before Conte became available, I believe that I was very close to the Azzurri bench,” Guidolin told the Corriere della Sera newspaper.

“I like it when people speak highly of me, because I think I’ve done very well in my career. I feel like one of those directors who don’t get the awards in Hollywood, but are loved by a niche audience. I find that gratifying.”

He had problems dealing with stress at Udinese and claimed he solved the issue by taking up yoga, so would he be able to handle the Nazionale?

“I feel very much in balance at this moment of my life. I am very relaxed. I experience football with great intensity, without which I wouldn’t have become the Coach with the seventh most games in Serie A history.

“I don’t need to thank anyone for what I’ve achieved. I think I have the balance and sharpness to control any situation. That includes the Nazionale bench.”

Conte has already confirmed he will be stepping down after Euro 2016, most likely to join Guidolin in the Premier League with Chelsea.

“In my view it’s a good move. Chelsea are choosing one of the best Coaches in Europe, but many other Italian tacticians would like to come here if given the chance, just as I said yes to Swansea.

“I am optimistic for Italy’s chances at Euro 2016. The squad itself is improving and Conte with the help of the ‘old boys’ and above all Gigi Buffon will bring out the best in these lads.

“Conte will want to make his mark before he leaves.”

Guidolin also made a fascinating revelation about his own career.

“Maurizio Sarri got the chance to lead Napoli because I turned them down. Theirs was one of six or seven calls I received when I took time out.

“I have no regrets and in fact compliment Sarri, though I had no doubts he would do well. The concept of a Coach who is only good in the provincial clubs is a very Italian cliché. I am convinced I could’ve done well there too.

“The Scudetto race is very tight and will be a great fight between Juventus and Napoli to the end. All it takes is one slip-up to change the balance of the situation.

“Italian football can compete very well with other European Leagues, you just have to see how Juve fought Bayern Munich or the style of football shown by Napoli and Roma.

“It’s everything around the pitch that needs to change. The atmosphere here in the Premier League is better and I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to have that. I see no steps forward.”

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