Former World Cup winner Fabio Grosso has been appointed coach of Ligue 1’s bottom side Lyon, replacing sacked Laurent Blanc, the French club announced Saturday.
Grosso returns to Lyon where he played as a left-back for two years, winning the Ligue 1 and French Cup double in 2008.
The 45-year-old takes over the fallen French giants on a deal that runs until June 30, 2024, with an option for an additional season, the club said.
Blanc left his post “by mutual agreement” on Monday after a 4-1 home defeat against Paris Saint-Germain.
He took over in October 2022. Not counting interim coaches, Grosso is the fifth club manager since June 2019.
Lyon finished seventh last season to miss out on European competition for the second year running.
The team for Sunday’s Ligue 1 match against Le Havre will be prepared by one of Blanc’s assistants, Jean-Francois Vulliez.
Grosso was a key player in the Azzurri’s World Cup triumph in Germany 17 years ago.
He netted the opening goal in Italy’s semi-final win over the tournament hosts and then the winning penalty against France in the final.
Grosso also won Serie A titles with Inter Milan in 2007 and Juventus in 2012.
He started coaching with Juventus’s youth system in 2014 before continuing his modest managerial career mostly in the Italian Serie B.
He joined Bari in 2017 staying one season during which he revealed a dead rooster was left outside his home as a threat by rival fans.
He also had brief spells at Hellas Verona, Brescia, and Swiss club FC Sion, before joining Frosinone in 2021, guiding them to Serie A promotion last May.
With Lyon, he can ease in with a seemingly favorable schedule with matches against Reims, Brest, Clermont and Lorient between now and the next international break.