Napoli appoint Calzona as caretaker manager

Mazzarri is the second manager to be sacked by the club this season

By Web Desk
February 20, 2024
Francesco Calzona reacts. - Reuters 

Francesco Calzona has been appointed as caretaker manager by Napoli until the end of the season following the sacking of Walter Mazzarri, the Serie A club announced on Monday.

Mazzarri is the second manager to be sacked by the club this season following Rudi Garcia's departure in November.

Napoli's Serie A title defence is in tatters since Luciano Spalletti left the club after last season's Scudetto win, with the side in ninth place in the standings.

"I thank Walter Mazzarri, a friend of the De Laurentiis family and Napoli, for supporting the team in a difficult moment," Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis said on his X account.

"He will remain in the hearts of the Neapolitans and our family. Welcome back to Francesco Calzona, who has already worked with us under both Sarri and Spalletti."

Calzona has previously worked as assistant manager at Napoli under Maurizio Sarri and Spalletti, and exited the club in 2022 to take charge as manager of Slovakia and helped them to qualify for Euro 2024.

The Slovak Football Association (SFZ) has given the go ahead for Calzona's temporary return to Napoli, and the national side have two friendly matches in March, against Austria and Norway, before the event in Germany which begins in June.

Since Mazzarri took charge from Garcia last November, things haven’t improved in his second spell at the club, having previously managed there between 2009-2013.

Garcia was ousted 12 league games into the season, having bagged six wins and with his side fourth in the standings, 10 points behind leaders Inter Milan. Mazzarri also lasted 12 league games but managed only four wins to leave Napoli 27 points off top spot.

Calzona's first game comes on Wednesday when Napoli host Barcelona in the first leg of the Champions League last 16.