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Football
Del Neri 'sacked' by Juventus
Coach says that club informed him he would leave after last game of the season as Turin side struggle in Serie A.
Last Modified: 21 May 2011 14:33
Del Neri is set to depart Juventus as the club's fortunes continue to dwindle [GALLO/GETTY]

Juventus coach Luigi Del Neri has been sacked and will leave after Sunday's final game of the season against Napoli as the once mighty club again try desperately to rediscover former glories.

"The club told me of their decision during the week," Del Neri, whose side lie seventh in Serie A after a second season of woe, told a news conference on Saturday.

"It is not my defeat. I hope it is the right choice. Good luck to whoever replaces me."

The twice European Cup winners, Italy's best supported and most decorated club domestically, also finished seventh last term and have only an outside chance of overhauling sixth-placed Roma and sealing a Europa League spot on Sunday.

Former Juve midfielder Antonio Conte, who led Siena to promotion to Serie A this term, is the bookmakers' favourite to take over.

Conte was at the centre of one of the best midfields in Europe in the 1990s and early 2000s as Juve routinely dominated Serie A and consistently reached the latter stages of the European Champions League.

Since then Juve have endured a dreadful spell on and off the field.

Their 2006 demotion for match-fixing was followed by an immediate return to the top flight and a third place finish but last term both Ciro Ferrara and Alberto Zaccheroni failed to stop the rot and they ended up a lowly seventh.

Del Neri was brought in having guided Sampdoria to fourth last term but Juve again struggled in the transfer market, failing to recruit the very top talent with the stigma of match-fixing still haunting the club.

Juve will move to a new stadium for next season on the site of their old Stadio Delle Alpi having shared with Torino at the cramped Stadio Olimpico since 2006.

They will become the first Italian club to own their own ground but difficulties finiding a sponsor for the new stadium have again undermined their attempt at renaissance.

Conte brought Bari up to Serie A two years ago but then left after a disagreement before a short unhappy spell at Atalanta, who have been linked in the media with a move for former boss Del Neri now they are back in the top flight.

Source:
Reuters
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