Former Inter Milan coach Gigi Simoni has died at the age of 81, the club has announced. The former attacking midfielder played from many clubs including Napoli, Juventus, Torino and more.
"His way of living, both in life and football, was never over the top. His football reflected that: it was humble, functional and capable of making the most of what he had on offer," said Inter in a statement. "This is how we remember him: with his white hair, in our dugout, while he enjoyed the magic of Ronaldo with a smile on his face, enveloped by the fans' affection," the statement further read.
FIFA also paid tribute on Twitter to the former Inter manager.
Simoni, winner of the UEFA Cup with a side which included the Brazilian Ronaldo, had joined Inter before the start of the 1997-98 season at the same time they signed Ronaldo from Barcelona and led them to second place in Serie A behind Juventus and to the UEFA Cup final, where they beat Lazio 3-0. As a coach, in addition to the UEFA Cup with Inter, he lifted the Anglo-Italian Cup with Cremonese and won five Serie B titles (three with Genoa, two with Pisa).
Napoli and Lazio also offered condolences to Simoni's family, on the news of their former manager’s death. He suffered a stroke in June last year and was in a serious condition since then.
Simoni was an excellent coach as he had an experienced coaching career and guided nearly seven teams to promotions from Serie B to the Italian top league.
In 1998, Simoni received the Panchina d'Oro Golden Bench - for his accomplishments in 1997-98 league as the best Italian coach for Inter.
(With inputs from IANS)