Christian Panucci has been given his first head coach role by Serie B club Livorno.
Since hanging up his boots in 2010, Panucci, who played for the likes of Real Madrid, Inter Milan and AC Milan, had been working as sporting director at Palermo -- resigning after just one month -- and as assistant to Russia boss Fabio Capello.
That role with Capello ended acrimoniously, with Panucci branding the Italian "a disgrace" for just standing and watching as his contract was not renewed last summer. Panucci continued working with Capello for several months without being paid, saying he had turned down another job before quitting in November.
The 41-year-old has now signed a contract with Livorno until 2017 -- where he will be assisted by former Derby County midfielder Stefano Eranio -- and he says he is delighted to have landed his dream job.
"Livorno is the club I wanted," Panucci told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "I like their squad and I hope I am able to give the president [Aldo] Spinelli and the whole city much joy."
Panucci begins work on Wednesday with the aim of guiding the Tuscan club back into Serie A. With 11 games of the season remaining, they currently lie sixth in Serie B -- in the playoff zone -- five points adrift of second-placed Bologna, who occupy the last automatic promotion berth.
Panucci's predecessor Ezio Gelain lasted just 10 games, even though he won five of them. Four defeats, nevertheless, prompted Spinelli to make his 22nd change in 16 years, with the club still in the same position they were in when Gelain arrived in January.