ATHENS (Reuters) - Former Inter Milan and Udinese boss Andrea Stramaccioni has been named as the new coach of Panathinaikos, the Greek Super League club said on Sunday.
The 39-year-old Italian has penned a two-year deal with the Athens giants to take over from Giannis Anastasiou, who parted company with the club by mutual consent last Monday.
“I’m really happy and proud to be at this club,” Stramaccioni said in a statement on the club’s website.
“I’m in the right place for the work I want to do and prove to the people that have brought me here that I can meet the demands required.
“I do not want to make big promises; this is something I don’t do generally. The only thing I pledge is that I will give the best I can to take this club where it wants to go...
“I am coming in mid-way during the season and this is difficult because there is no time but much work to be done — which starts for the derby coming up fast.”
Stramaccioni faces a baptism of fire in his first game in the Greens’ dugout with an Athens derby against fierce rivals Olympiakos Piraeus after the international break on Nov. 21.
Olympiakos are dominating proceedings in Greece’s top flight having secured a record 10 wins from their opening 10 matches, to lead second-place Panathinaikos by eight points.
Anastasiou was credited with rebuilding a new-look Panathinaikos with an emphasis on young Greek players following a period of financial turmoil.
He was named Greece’s coach of the year in 2014 after winning the Greek Cup and finishing runners-up in the Super League.
Panathinaikos, however, suffered a bad start to this season and failed to reach the money-spinning Champions League group stages, while losing ground domestically to Olympiakos.
Rome-born Stramaccioni began his playing career at Bologna in 1994 but a serious knee injury forced him to quit.
He began coaching provisional youth sides and joined the coaching staff at Roma in 2005.
He became head coach at Inter in 2012-13 before taking over at Udinese for the 2014-15 season.
Editing by Toby Davis