Fabio Grosso to be new Lyon manager

Lyon’s former left-back Fabio Grosso is to take over from Laurent Blanc as the new manager of the club following Blanc’s sacking earlier this week.

The defender, who won the World Cup with Italy in 2006, played for Lyon for two seasons between 2007 and 2009 before signing for Juventus.

He wound down his playing career with the Turin club before becoming part of their academy coaching setup and eventually taking his first managerial post with Bari in 2017.

His season with Bari saw them finish seventh in Serie B, but they were declared bankrupt during the close season and he moved on to Hellas Verona for the start of the 2018-19 campaign.

Verona had high expectations, having just been relegated from the top flight, and Grosso was dismissed the following May despite the team being in fifth place in the table.

A few months later, he was handed the reigns of Serie A club Brescia, following the sacking of Eugenio Corini. However, Grosso wasn’t afforded time to settle into that role and was sacked after just three games – all defeats – to be replaced by the re-instated Corini.

The following season, Grosso tried his luck in Switzerland at the helm of Sion in the Swiss Super League. Unfortunately that job didn’t work out any better for him than the previous two and culminated in his third successive dismissal, with Sion joint bottom of the table in March 2021.

However, despite a distinctly unimpressive managerial CV, Grosso fell on his feet, landing a new job just eighteen days later. Frosinone, in Italy’s Serie B, had just sacked Alessandro Nesta and decided to take a punt Nesta’s newly unemployed former international team mate.

It took Grosso five matches to record his first win with ‘I Canarini‘ (the Canaries), but on this occasion he was afforded time and he soon grew into the role, guiding them to a ninth place finish.

Frosinone went from strength to strength under Grosso’s careful stewardship the following season, and romped to the 2022-23 Serie B title seven points clear of second placed Genoa to gain promotion to Serie A.

This constituted the first unqualified success of Grosso’s managerial career and, when his contract expired in the summer, he informed the club that he would not be extending it, perhaps expecting an offer to come in from a larger club.

Now Olympique Lyonnais have come calling and he has agreed a two-year contract to head up their coaching team with four or five of his trusted staff members accompanying him to the Groupama Stadium. It represents a big step up compared to his previous roles, but hopefully he will be up to the task.