Greece name Italian Ranieri as manager
25 July 2014, 18:29
Athens - Italian Claudio Ranieri has signed a two-year deal to manage the Greek national team through to the 2016 European Championship, the Hellenic football federation (EPO) said on Friday.
The 62-year-old Ranieri takes over from Fernando Santos who left when his contract expired after this year's World Cup in Brazil.
One of the most experienced coaches in European club football, Ranieri said he did not plan to make radical changes to a Greece team which reached the last 16 of the World Cup for the first time in the country's history before losing to Costa Rica on penalties.
"I had other proposals, but as soon as I met with the president (Giorgos Sarris) of EPO I had a good feeling as I knew the squad had responded positively," said Ranieri.
"For me there is no need to make many changes in the spine of the squad, but we'll see that more clearly when we are able to evaluate all the players," he added.
"I saw the team in the World Cup; they progressed well and I really liked the spirit and organisation they displayed. I want to continue this hard work ethic."
The federation said in a statement: "The Italian coach, with service at many major European clubs, is expected to lead our group to new successes with Euro 2016 on the horizon."
Greece were surprise winners of the 2004 European Championship in Portugal but have not come close to repeating that success.
Ranieri's first match in charge will be a European Championship qualifier against Romania on Sept. 7 with Northern Ireland, Hungary, Finland and the Faroe Islands also providing the opposition in Group F.
The experienced tactician has been out of work since his sacking by Monaco in May after two seasons in the principality.
He made his name in Italy winning the Coppa Italia with Fiorentina before moving to Valencia where he won the King's Cup and the Intertoto Cup.
Four seasons at Chelsea followed before a brief return to Valencia and spells at Parma, Juventus, Roma and Inter Milan.