Unpredictable Palermo president Mauricio Zamparini has named former Lanús manager, Guillermo Barros Schelotto his sides new coach after a disappointing start to the Serie A season. The 42-year-old has been tipped to coach his old club Boca Juniors since making his managerial debut at Lanús in 2012 but after leaving El Granate at the end of the 2015 season, the fiery coach has been given the huge opportunity of making the leap to Europe.
Barros Schelotto has garnered an excellent reputation in his relatively lengthy tenure in Argentine football terms with Lanús. Capturing the 2013 Copa Sudamericana, Lanús established themselves as one of the strongest club sides in Argentina and Guillermo and his twin brother, Gustavo take enormous credit for that.
This aside, a move to Serie A represents a gamble on the side of Palermo and a huge test for the Barros Schelotto brothers. Not only in coping with the unruly nature of president Zamparini but in adjusting to Italian football and keeping their own tempers under control. A reputation for poor discipline was probably entirely justified after both brothers found themselves regularly sent from the dug-out after remonstrating with officials. The lenient rules in Argentina saw them back the next match but it is something that they will need to keep in check in Italy.
Palermo struggle this season and Zamparini has wasted no time in dispatching Davide Ballardini. After consulting Argentine midfielder Franco Vásquez and speaking with Guillermo, Zamparini feels he has got the right man to lead the Rosanero forward.
“About a month ago, a top Argentinian Coach came to my house in Friuli, and at my request we talked about a project for a new Palermo.
“I called the Coach, who has already given his availability, and we already have Viviani here, who has his licence and already knows the team well. He’ll be the link between what came before and what will be next.
“Today I wanted to talk with [Franco] Vazquez to ask questions about Guillermo Barros Schelotto.
“He’s been a Coach in Argentina for three years with Lanus, he won the Copa Sudamericana, got to the semi-final of the Copa Libertadores, and came second once and third once in the League.
“In our meeting a month ago, he said he wants to get to know European and Italian football, his vision is to then go to a top team.
“He’s a coach for a project which is starting even now, he knows the players and what Palermo’s strengths are.
“At Genoa, Viviani will be on the bench, he’ll be the assistant Coach on the field and will also work with Barros Schelotto.
“It wasn’t an easy choice, but as I have a different Palermo in my head for the coming years, I’ve taken a choice about what to do in June six months early.
“They’ll be together, him and Viviani. The boss will be Schelotto though. Maybe he’ll be in the stands against Genoa on Sunday.
“It was too risky to stay as we were, and history will show that.
“Schelotto has given up the Paraguayan national team to come to Palermo. He knows that a few years at Palermo can take him to the big club he aspires to.
“He won’t be on the bench on Sunday, but definitely against Udinese.”