By Johnny Askounis/ email@example.com
Current AX Armani Exchange Milan boss Ettore Messina has agreed to return to the helm of the Italy senior national team, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I am annoyed that after a career stretching 30 years, someone can assume I am capable of planning to take the job of a colleague such as Sacchetti, who has achieved great results leading Italy to the Olympic Games and will do well in the future as well,” Messina told Italian news outlet ANSA, “My goal is to confirm the trust of [owner] Mr. [Giorgio] Armani and president [Pantaleo] Dell’Orco.”
Messina, 62, previously led the Azzurri from 1993 to 1997 and from 2015 to 2017. The stints included capturing the silver medal in the 1997 edition of EuroBasket after the loss to Yugoslavia in the gold medal game held at Barcelona. He has coached Italy through four EuroBasket tournaments and in the 2016 Turin FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Meo Sacchetti will be leading Italy until the conclusion of his contract through the approaching EuroBasket, per the report of the Italian newspaper. Under his guidance, the national team is set to host Group C facing Estonia, Greece, Ukraine, Croatia, and Great Britain in Milan. The remaining stages will be held in Berlin’s Mercedes-Benz Arena.
The third stint for Messina would accordingly start in the 2023 FIBA World Cup. Italy sits second in Group H of the European Qualifiers after edging the Netherlands and losing to Russia through the recent international window. The top three teams will advance to the next round and from there aim to book a ticket to the final stage of the tournament scheduled to be held between August 25 and September 10, 2023, in Indonesia, Japan, and the Philippines.
The former assistant of Gregg Popovich at the San Antonio Spurs inked a three-year deal with Olimpia Milano in 2019 to become the head coach and president of basketball operations. The contract with the Italian powerhouse will expire following the 2021-22 season.
Photo Credit: FIBA.BASKETBALL