Italian Media Highlight How Former Lazio Coaches Simone Inzaghi & Stefano Pioli Come Full Circle Ahead Of Inter Milan Vs AC Milan Serie A Clash

Italian Media Highlight How Former Lazio Coaches Simone Inzaghi & Stefano Pioli Come Full Circle Ahead Of Inter Milan Vs AC Milan Serie A Clash
February 5, 2023 14:40
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Inter head coach Simone Inzaghi and his AC Milan counterpart Stefano Pioli could well be surprised at how far they have both come if they’d fast-forwarded to this evening’s Milan derby clash from April of 2016.

This is highlighted in today’s print edition of Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, via FCInterNews, who note that the Nerazzurri and the Rossoneri coaches were involved in a sliding doors moment at Lazio almost seven years ago, and now have come full circle.

Pioli had been Lazio coach in the middle of last decade, but the wheels had started to come off of his Biancocelesti project towards the second half of the 2015-16 season.

The former Bologna coach was sacked by Lazio, and on April 3 he was replaced by Inzaghi, who was promoted from the Biancocelesti’s Primavera side.

Former Lazio striker Inzaghi was initially promoted on an interim basis, but he impressed so much that he was eventually made Lazio coach on a permanent basis after the infamously brief stint by Marcelo Bielsa.

Inzaghi stayed in the Italian capital until the end of the 2020-21 season, where his reputation grew as he guided the Biancocelesti to the Coppa Italia and to the Champions League knockout rounds.

Meanwhile, Pioli’s journey in coaching included spells in charge of Inter and Fiorentina before he was appointed Milan coach to replace Gennaro Gattuso in October of 2019.

The two former Lazio coaches now sit on opposite sides of the derby divide, with both having been lauded for the jobs they’ve done so far at their respective clubs.

The highlight of Pioli’s tenure with the Rossoneri so far was undoubtedly last season’s Serie A title triumph, although he has also guided the club back to the Champions league round of sixteen for the first time in over a decade this campaign.

Meanwhile, Inzaghi has secured the knockout rounds of the Champions League for Inter in two seasons running, whilst he has also brought back the Coppa Italia last season.

The Nerazzurri coach lost out narrowly to his Rossoneri counterpart in the Serie A title race last season, whilst he has yet to beat Pioli in a league derby in three attempts.

On the other hand, Inzaghi masterminded an emphatic 3-0 win in the Coppa Italia semifinals on the way to winning the competition last season, whilst Inter won the derby by the same scoreline in the Supercoppa Italiana last month.

What is certain is that, had Inzaghi and Pioli seen themselves on the bench of this evening’s derby clash in the circumstances they are in, both of the pair might well have been more than a little surprised.

By Toni Weeler