VERONA, Italy (AP)Former Italian and Russian league center back Salvatore Bocchetti was handed his first senior-level head coaching job by Hellas Verona in Serie A on Thursday.
Bocchetti replaces Gabriele Cioffi, who was fired on Tuesday after four straight losses left the club in the relegation zone.
Verona has just one win and five points through nine rounds and is 18th after a top-10 finish last season under Ivan Juric, who then left for Torino.
The 35-year-old Bocchetti was an assistant under Juric last season. He previously played for Genoa, Rubin Kazan, Spartak Moscow, AC Milan and Verona.
Since Bocchetti does not have a UEFA coaching license yet, he will be accompanied on the sideline by a team member who does.
Verona visits defending champion AC Milan on Sunday.
It’s the fourth coaching change in the Italian league this season following moves at Bologna, Monza and Sampdoria.
AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports