Carlo Ancelotti helped Napoli to progress to the Champions League round of 16 but he was still sacked by Napoli.
Napoli’s season has been full of internal friction and there were rumours before Tuesday’s Champions League game that Ancelotti would either resign or will be sacked regardless of the result.
Napoli won 4-0 victory over Genk on Tuesday evening, but Napoli have still sacked Carlo Ancelotti.
The official statement from the club read: “SSC Napoli have decided to part company with first-team coach Carlo Ancelotti. The friendship, esteem and mutual respect between the club, president Aurelio De Laurentiis and Carlo Ancelotti remain intact.”
Ancelotti leaves Napoli with the club 7th in Serie A but their win over Genk means they have qualified for the Champions League last 16 as group runners-up.
Napoli have now appointed former Milan head coach Gennaro Gattuso on an initial six-month contract with an option to renew, although an automatic one-year extension will be triggered if he secures Champions League qualification next season.
The deal is worth €1.5m until next summer, with Gattuso set to make an additional €3m if he stays in charge in 2020/21 season.
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis welcomed Gattuso on Twitter on Wednesday evening.
According to many club players, Ancelotti was a “special person” for them. After his sacking, the players have paid tribute to him.
Club captain Lorenzo Insigne had an up-and-down relationship with Ancelotti during October. But he has written on his Instagram account after Ancelotti’s sacking: “Thank you boss – it was an honour to have worked with you and your staff. In these two years I met a special person. I wish you the best!”
Spanish midfielder Fabian Ruiz has also developed into an important player for Napoli and Spain under Ancelotti. He wrote: “Boss, thanks for everything you did. You have been a special person for me, I wish you the best, wherever you go you deserve the best. A big hug and good luck.”
Allan added: “You were a special person, much more than a coach… I thank you for everything you’ve done in almost two years together… I wish you and all the staff good luck.”
Kostas Manolas, Arkadiusz Milik, Kalidou Koulibaly and Hirving Lozano were among the others to post their thanks to Ancelotti. It seems the three-time Champions League winning coach has retained the respect of his players.
Ancelotti tweeted on Wednesday: “I would like to personally thank the club, its employees, my players, my staff and the president for the opportunity to live an unforgettable experience in a wonderful city such as Naples.”
Gattuso will now replace his former coach. He has played under Ancelotti in Milan. He has won the Champions League as a player with the Rossoneri under Ancelotti in 2003 and 2007.
He has been without a club since being fired by Milan at the end of last season after they missed out on a place in the Champions League by just one point. He will now look to help Napoli to get as far as they can in the Champions League and also secure a top 4 finish in Serie A.
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