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Enzo Maresca: Remarkable football journey of Chelsea’s new head coach

Enzo Maresca is the new Chelsea head coach, the Italian taking over from Mauricio Pochettino.

Chelsea Football Club on Monday, June 3 confirmed the appointment of Enzo Maresca as the new head coach, taking over from Argentine Mauricio Pochettino.

Pundits have described Maresca as one of football’s brightest managerial talents, with the Italian joining the Blues following a successful spell at Leicester City, guiding the back to Premier League football.

Deployed in a number of central and attacking midfield roles, Maresca enjoyed a remarkable playing career that stretched for almost two decades across Europe. During this period, Maresca donned famous club colours of West Bromwhich Albion, Juventus, Fiorentina, and Sevilla.

The 44-year-old AC Milan academy graduate has shared dressing rooms and lined up alongside icons such as Zinedine Zidane, Alessandro Del Piero, Edgar Davids, Pavel Nedved, Gianluigi Buffon just to name but a few.

Maresca made his professional debut at the Hawthorns —  English second-tier club — when he was 18 years in 1998.

“Yeah, to be honest I was very young, and for me it was my first experience abroad. It was quite good, I really liked the experience with the Baggies!” Enzo told Manchester City back in 2020. “For me it was a great experience in terms of gaining maturity as a man and as a person.”

After impressing in England, a chance for Maresca to return to Italy with Juventus came, and he couldn’t refuse, describing it as a “dream move”.

At Juventus, he secured the Scudetto as his first silverware. He also won back-to-back (2004-2006 and 2006-2007) UEFA Cups with Sevilla, scoring twice in seven minutes in the first final.

At Sevilla, Maresca would go on to win the Copa del Rey and a UEFA Super Cup trophy in victory over Barcelona in 2006.

“Spells at Olympiacos and Malaga would follow, securing Champions League qualification with the latter for the first time in the club’s history. Our new head coach also notched a vital goal for Palermo to save them from relegation, before hanging up his boots at Hellas Verona,” Chelsea wrote on their website on Monday, June 3.

Maresca led Manchester City to their first-ever Premier League 2 trophy, coaching and nurturing many promising youngsters, including current Chelsea players Cole Palmer and Romeo Lavia. PHOTO | CHELSEA FOOTBALL CLUB

After Sevilla, Maresca had spells at Olympiacos and Malaga, securing Champions League qualification for the first time in the Spanish outfit’s history. He scored an important goal for Palermo to save them from relegation before hanging his boots at Hellas Verona.

He has had brief coaching spells with Ascoli and Sevilla, before moving to West Ham as an assistance to is former Malaga boss Manuel Pellegrini.

It is after a year and a half at East London that Maresca landed an opportunity to tutor Manchester City’s Elite Development Squad. Maresca led Manchester City to their first-ever Premier League 2 trophy, coaching and nurturing many promising youngsters, including current Chelsea players Cole Palmer and Romeo Lavia.

After a period as Parma head coach, he returned to England as one of Pep Guardiola’s assistant managers at Manchester City, leading the club to a historic treble.

After the treble, he took over at Leicester in the summer of 2023, guarding them premier league football at the first time of asking. He won the Championship with the Foxes racking up 97 points.

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