Football: New coach Prandelli confident 'interesting' Valencia can improve

Valencia's Italian coach Cesare Prandelli (right) holds his new team's jersey as he poses with Valencia's Singaporean President Lay Hoon Chan during his presentation to media.
Valencia's Italian coach Cesare Prandelli (right) holds his new team's jersey as he poses with Valencia's Singaporean President Lay Hoon Chan during his presentation to media.PHOTO: AFP

VALENCIA • New Valencia coach Cesare Prandelli, 59, wants to take the "glorious club" back to a starring role in both the La Liga and in Europe, he said yesterday.

The Italian has signed a contract until June 2018 with the Spanish football club, becoming their ninth coach since 2012.

"My aim is to find a balance which is currently lacking," he told a news conference at the Mestalla stadium.

"I want to transmit to the players the values of this club.

"For me, it's an honour to be in such a glorious club and we want to take it back there."

Valencia are languishing in 18th place in La Liga, with six points from seven games.

They fired Pako Ayestaran two weeks ago after he had the worst record of any coach in the club's 98-year history, collecting just 10 points from 12 games after taking over from Gary Neville in March.

Neither Ayestaran nor former England assistant coach Neville had any top-level coaching experience, which is in stark contrast to Prandelli, a former Fiorentina and Italy coach.

During his five-year spell at Fiorentina, Prandelli guided the team to fourth place in the Italian Serie A and to the round of 16 in the 2009-10 Champions League.

He led the Italy national team to a runners-up finish at Euro 2012 before resigning after the team's first-round exit at the 2014 World Cup Finals in Brazil.

He has not coached since leaving Turkey's Galatasaray in 2014.

"Here is a very interesting football project that attracted me," Prandelli said.

"I met (Valencia owner) Peter Lim, he seems distant from the club but he is not.

"He is a businessman who has a long-term project for Valencia and that includes winning."

Prandelli, in the stands for Sunday's 2-0 home defeat by Atletico Madrid, was upbeat.

"I'm optimistic because there is an interesting technical base," he said.

Valencia sold Spain forward Paco Alcacer to Barcelona in the summer and have scored nine goals in seven games since.

"We just have to attack with more players and create more scoring chances," Prandelli said.

"I'm convinced that if we're able to have a team mentality, this group can improve a lot.

"We need to stick to several clear ideas which I think is what this team need."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 04, 2016, with the headline 'Prandelli confident 'interesting' Valencia can improve'. Print Edition | Subscribe