Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Italiano names his role models and reveals La Viola’s targets this season.
Italiano was appointed Fiorentina coach after La Viola had parted ways with Gennaro Gattuso, who left the club after just 23 days in charge.
“I’m grateful to the club, to Rocco Commisso, Joe Barone and Daniele Prade. They really wanted me. That means everything to me. It means people value you, believe in you, have confidence in you. When that’s the case, you’re happy to take on the responsibility – to try to repay all of that,” Italiano told Fiorentina’s official website.
“Slowly but surely, I’m getting to know everyone. This is a fantastic club, a top-level club. I took on this challenge because I believe this is a quality team, with lots of great players who perhaps haven’t yet reached their full potential. That’s the challenge for me. It’s also a challenge with myself to try to achieve something important.
“I hope it proves to be a big success all round: in improving the players, improving on last season, on a personal level and for Fiorentina. I’ll certainly put everything I have into it – heart and soul – as I have at all the clubs I’ve worked for.
“I’m here to get results.”
Italiano, a former midfielder, leaded Spezia to Serie A survival last season in his first-ever campaign in Italy’s top flight as a coach.
“Being a coach is a 24/7 job – it really is,” the 43-year-old said.
“That’s the difference between being a player and a coach. As a player, when training finishes, you can focus on your personal life and your free time. You can buy a book and read it, go for a walk, or take in a film at the cinema. You’re able to switch off completely because at the end of the day, it’s the coach’s job to do the thinking. You just play your part.
“Now that I’m on the other side of the fence and I’m the coach, I realise it’s a lot more complicated. Personally, I’m never able to stop thinking about preparing training sessions and solving things that aren’t working. When you’re a perfectionist, it gets inside of you and stops you from thinking about anything else. I’m always thinking about what I want to do the next day in training or later in the week. I do read the odd book and occasionally go to the cinema, but it’s rare.”
But who are his role models?
“In recent times, you can’t not mention [Josep] Guardiola, given everything he has achieved. [Maurizio] Sarri has earned a lot of plaudits, too, both at Napoli and then Chelsea. [Jurgen] Klopp, Luis Enrique… Barcelona,” Italiano said.
“They have their own football philosophy regardless of the coach. Barcelona always play the same way and that’s something that appeals to me. It would be good to export it to other countries. [Zdenek] Zeman has always been an inspiration for many coaches, for the attacking football his teams played and the goals they scored.
“That’s basically been my inspiration, considering that I play with three forwards and three midfielders.”