Monday, June 17, 2024

Italiano confirms Fiorentina exit after Atalanta victory

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 2 Jun 2024

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Vincenzo Italiano confirmed he is leaving Europa Conference League runners-up Fiorentina after they ended their Serie A campaign with a 3-2 win at Atalanta on Sunday.

Italiano took charge of Fiorentina in 2021 and has led them to three successive top-eight finishes in Serie A, also reaching the Europa Conference League final in back-to-back campaigns.

However, they were beaten by a last-gasp Jarrod Bowen goal as West Ham lifted the trophy last year, then lost out to Olympiacos in extra time in the 2023-24 final.

The Viola wrapped up their campaign with an impressive 3-2 win at Atalanta in a rescheduled fixture on Sunday, after which he announced his departure.

“We all took this decision together not many weeks ago,” Italiano told reporters after Sunday’s game. “You reach a certain point where you have to stop.

“I’m convinced whoever arrives will be able to continue a path that will leave something improved, I hope I have left something to this group, I think they have been three positive years.

“The only regret was not having added the trophy, but as [Atalanta coach Gian Piero] Gasperini told me, these paths are worthwhile and will be remembered.”

Reflecting on Fiorentina’s latest European near miss, Italiano said he was confident his team would come out on top if the game was replayed.

He also said he regretted being unable to end a traumatic season with silverware, with the club being rocked by the death of general manager Joe Barone in March.

“I would play Olympiacos again tonight, we were all convinced we could beat them. We all believed we could reach the end of the cycle but we didn’t succeed,” Italiano said.

“The saddest moment was the loss of our director, the worst moment since I was in football. The love we had for him pushed us towards an emotional ending.”

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