July 18, 2024

AC Milan has announced the appointment of Paulo Fonseca as their new head coach, marking a significant managerial change for the Serie A runners-up.

The 51-year-old Portuguese manager has signed a three-year contract, taking over from Stefano Pioli, who was dismissed at the end of the 2023-24 season.

The announcement was made by former Milan forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, representing the club’s owners, during a press conference. Ibrahimovic praised Fonseca’s previous work and expressed confidence in his ability to bring a new, offensive style to Milan’s game.

“We studied very carefully what he did, how he prepared his matches,” Ibrahimovic said. “We want him to bring his identity of game, his offensive style to our team, to our players. After five years we wanted something new, with all respect to Stefano Pioli.”

Fonseca, who was born in Nampula, Mozambique, began his coaching career in Portugal with stints at Pacos de Ferreira, Porto, and Braga. He then moved to Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine, where he enjoyed significant success, winning seven trophies and amassing 103 wins in 139 matches. In 2019, he took over at Roma, leading them to fifth and seventh-place finishes in Serie A before moving to French club Lille in 2022. At Lille, he guided the team to fifth and fourth-place finishes in Ligue 1, securing European competition in both seasons.

Milan is coming off a challenging season, having finished second in Serie A, well behind city rivals Inter Milan, who claimed the league title. Additionally, Milan was eliminated in the group stage of the Champions League, finishing behind Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain, and exited the Europa League in the quarter-finals against AS Roma. Their last Serie A title came in 2022.

Fonseca’s appointment is the second major managerial shift in Italian football in recent days. On Wednesday, Juventus announced Thiago Motta as their new head coach, following the sacking of Massimiliano Allegri.

As Fonseca steps into his new role at AC Milan, fans and analysts alike will be watching closely to see how his tactics and leadership will shape the future of the storied club.

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