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Paulo Fonseca named new AC Milan coach

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AC Milan has officially announced Paulo Fonseca as their new head coach. The former Roma coach returns to Italy as the new boss of AC Milan, the Serie A runners-up revealed on Thursday.

“Milan’s new coach will be Paulo Fonseca,” said former Milan forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, representing the club’s owner, during a press conference.

Fonseca, 51, has signed a three-year contract with the club. He comes from French club Lille, where he has been since 2022. Fonseca takes over from Stefano Pioli, who was sacked at the end of the 2023-24 season after five seasons in charge.

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“We studied very carefully what he did, how he prepared his matches,” said Ibrahimovic, who had two spells as a player with Milan and ended his playing career there in 2023. “We want him to bring his identity of game, his offensive style to our team, to our players. After five years we wanted something new, with all respect to Stefano Pioli.”

Fonseca was born in Nampula, Mozambique, in 1973. He began his coaching career in Portugal with stints at Pacos de Ferreira, Porto, and Braga. He then spent three years at Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk, where he won seven trophies and finished with a record of 103 wins in 139 matches.

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In 2019, Fonseca took over at Roma, leading them to fifth and seventh place finishes in Serie A. He then moved to Lille, guiding them to fifth and fourth place finishes in Ligue 1 and securing European competition in both seasons.

Milan had a challenging season, finishing second to city rivals Inter. They were eliminated from the Champions League at the group stage and lost to AS Roma in the quarter-finals of the Europa League. Milan’s last league title came in 2022.

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Fonseca’s appointment marks the second big managerial change in Italy in two days. On Wednesday, Juventus named Thiago Motta as their new coach, succeeding Massimiliano Allegri who was sacked last month.

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