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Pioli signs with Al-Ittihad.. Contract details and features of the coach’s philosophy


Italian coach Stefano Pioli is preparing for a new adventure with the club. the UnionHe will take over the training of the Saudi team, succeeding the Argentine Marcelo Gallardo.

According to the Italian journalist, Fabrizio Romano, via his personal account on the “X” platform, the former Milan coach signed with Al-Ittihad, and will take over the technical leadership of the Saudi team for 3 seasons, until 2027.

Italian Stefano Pioli, former Milan coach

Romano added: “The Saudi club is ready for a new era of ambition with the coach who previously won the Italian league at Milan. Al-Ittihad believes that Pioli is the ideal choice for the new project.”

Al-Ittihad Club announced in an official statement, on Tuesday evening, July 2, the dismissal of Gallardo after poor results in the last season 2023-24, as the “Dean” lost all the championships, and the team’s ranking dropped with him to fifth place in the championship. Saudi Roshen Leaguewhich the club won the title in the last season 2022-23.

Pioli is expected to play an important role in choosing Al-Ittihad’s deals during the 2024 summer transfer window, in coordination with the Spaniard Ramon Planes, the Jeddah club’s sports director.

In the following lines, he reviews for you:win winThe most important points related to the 58-year-old Italian’s playing style, and the philosophy of the next Al-Ittihad coach.

Features of Stefano Pioli’s training principles

Stefano Pioli began his coaching career with Salernitana in 2003, then supervised the training of several Italian teams, most notably Lazio, Inter Milan, and Fiorentina, before writing his great history with Milan by winning the Italian League title in the 2021-22 season, in addition to reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League with the Rossoneri in 2022.

Pioli prefers to rely on the “4-2-3-1” tactical formation, but the coach has tactical flexibility, and sometimes changes the style of play to “4-3-3”, or “3-4-2-1”, according to the variables of some matches.

The Parma-born coach always asks his players to put pressure on the ball carrier when defensively, but against opponents who have a high quality in getting the ball out, he has no problem going back and adopting the zonal defence style, which is the philosophy for which the Italian football school is famous.

Pioli likes to rely on players who are able to break the opponent’s lines with precise long passes, and he relies on the full-backs to open the sides of the field to send crosses, with the wingers entering deep to create numerical density inside the opponents’ penalty area.

It is essential for the former Milan coach to position his team’s defenders very close to the opposing players, so that the defender has a relative advantage if the player being marked tries to run behind him.

During high pressure, Pioli does not like his players to occupy any space where there is no opponent, for example, the team’s full-back can move into the middle of the field if there is no player on the flanks who can mark him.

For the coach, his team’s defensive line should be as fluid as possible and not static, and defenders should fill or empty spaces depending on the positioning of the opponent’s players.

It is noteworthy that the Italian coach led his clubs throughout his coaching career in 871 matches across all competitions, achieving victory in 366 matches, while drawing in 248 matches, and suffering the bitterness of defeat on 257 previous occasions, according to data from the website “Transfer Market“.



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