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Ballardini returns to Genoa

22 January 2013-PA Sport

Davide Ballardini has returned to Genoa to become the Serie A club's new head coach after Luigi Delneri's dismissal.

The 49-year-old coached the Rossoblu between November 2010 and June 2011 and returns to the Stadio Luigi Ferraris after a 2-0 home defeat to Catania put paid to Delneri's three-month stint in charge.

A statement on genoacfc.it read: "Genoa announces that it has entrusted the management of the first team to coach Davide Ballardini, who led the team in the 2010-11 season.

"The club issues its best wishes to the new coach and announces that Ballardini will meet with representatives of the media at 1700 (BST) today, at Villa Rostan."

Ballardini becomes Genoa's third coach of the season, following in the footsteps of Delneri and Luigi De Canio, who was sacked eight games into the current campaign.

Former Juventus boss Delneri was charged with guiding the Grifone away from the relegation places when appointed on 22 October, but a run of nine defeats from 13 games saw the Ligurian club struggle to emerge from the bottom three.

Delneri left the club in 17th place and three points from safety ahead of a daunting trip to league leader Juve.

Ravenna-born Ballardini has enjoyed three separate spells in charge of Cagliari, his most recent stint ending in March 2012, as well as spending seasons with Pescara, Palermo and Lazio.

Goals from Tommaso Rocchi and Matuzalem sealed a 2-1 victory over Inter Milan as Ballardini's Lazio side won the 2009 Supercoppa. Matuzalem will be reunited with his former coach having joined Genoa on loan earlier this month.

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