New Valencia coach Cesare Prandelli wants to take the “glorious club” back to enjoying a starring role in La Liga and Europe, he said yesterday.

The 59-year-old Italian has signed a contract until June 2018 with the Spanish club, becoming their ninth coach since 2012.

“My aim is to find a balance which is currently lacking,” Prandelli told a news conference yesterday at the Mestalla stadium.

“I want to transmit to the players the values of this club.

“For me it’s an honour to be in such a glorious club and we want to take it back there.”

Valencia are 18th in the La Liga standings with six points from seven games. They fired Pako Ayestaran two weeks ago after he had the worst record of any coach in the club’s 98-year history, taking 10 points from 12 games after taking over from Gary Neville in March.

Neither Ayestaran nor Neville had any coaching experience, which is in stark contrast to Prandelli, a former Fiorentina and Italy coach.

During his five-year spell at Fiorentina, Prandelli guided the team to fourth place in Serie A and to the round of 16 in the 2009-10 Champions League.

He led Italy to a runners-up finish at Euro 2012 before resigning after the team’s first-round exit at the 2014 World Cup. He coached Galatasaray before leaving the Turkish club in November 2014 and has not managed since.

“Having spoken to (Valencia sporting director Jesus Garcia Pitarch) Suso, here there is a very interesting football project that attracted me,” Prandelli said.

“I met with (Valencia owner) Peter Lim, he seems distant from the club but he is not. He is a businessman who has a long-term project for Valencia and that includes winning.”

Prandelli, in the stands for Valencia’s 2-0 home defeat by Atletico Madrid on Sunday, is upbeat.

“I’m optimistic because there is a good technical base,” he said.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us