Italian De Biasi unexpectedly resigns as Albania coach

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 14, 2017 12:38
De Biasi

Gianni De Biasi

TIRANA, June 14 – Gianni De Biasi has officially resigned as Albania coach in an unexpected decision after he earlier announced he would be leaving Albania by next October at the end of the World Cup qualification campaign when his contract expires.

The announcement came on Wednesday at a joint press conference with Albanian Football Association president Armand Duka, only one day after the 60-year-old Italian coach who led Albania for the past five and a half years, including the debut at a major tournament such as Euro 2016, said he would be looking for new adventures next October.

The decision comes at a time when Albania made a turning point with a 3-0 away victory with Israel after a shameful five-game losing streak the national side had not experienced in more than a decade.

“I have long thought and meditated and would like to inform you that as of today I will no longer be the coach of our national side. I will stop here because I want the team’s best and its growth. I think I have fulfilled my duty which allowed me get from these guys those qualities that in the recent past enabled us to live the European Dream,” De Biasi said with tears in his eyes, reading a farewell letter.

The former Torino and Udinese boss who also obtained Albanian citizenship in 2015, said he would take a break and temporary train no other team.

“I would like to stress that I am leaving the national side with no other team to train,” said De Biasi, adding that he had resisted tempting offers while leading Albania.

De Biasi was also rumored to take over Italy following the Euro 2016, but remained loyal to Albania although he did not hide his ambition to train a big national side or club.

“I am leaving with difficulty but aware that my era with this team is over and give the one who replaces me the opportunity to get to know the players for the next four qualifiers,” added De Biasi.

Earlier on Tuesday, De Biasi complained he was leaving because he had not been offered a contract extension yet.

Football Association President Armand Duka described De Biasi as the best coach Albania has ever had and said his era is not over yet.

“I have always waited until the end before discussing the contract as I thought negotiations would damage the target,” said Duka.

With the two upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Macedonia and Liechtenstein scheduled for Sept. 2 and 5, Albania will now have to seriously think about a decent De Biasi successor.

While Albania has been led by several foreign managers for the past 15 years with De Biasi being the longest serving, the football association says it will not exclude the option of an Albanian coach.

Albania avenged Israel with an unexpected 3-0 away victory on June 11, ending a five-game losing streak and climbing to third in Group G of the World Cup qualifiers for the Russia 2018.

The away victory temporary places Albania third with 9 points, leading Israel on goal difference in a tough group stage that also features former world champions Italy and Spain who seem unrivalled in the top two finish.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 14, 2017 12:38