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Thursday, 11 April, 2002, 14:42 GMT 15:42 UK
Trapattoni yearns for final success
Giovanni Trapattoni is the most successful coach in Serie A history
Trapattoni has had a glittering club career
BBC Sport Online profiles Italy coach Giovanni Trapattoni, the most successful Serie A manager ever.

It came as no surprise when Giovanni Trapattoni was appointed as Italy's national team coach.

Despite Dino Zoff taking Italy to the final of Euro 2000, where they lost to France, there was a certain inevitability that Trapattoni would take the helm and guide the team to World Cup qualification.

The 62-year-old is the most successful coach to have graced Serie A.

Trapattoni's glittering career has seen him win the scudetto six times with Juventus, once with AC Milan and a Bundesliga title with Bayern Munich.

Add one European Cup, three Uefa Cups and a Cup Winners' Cup to his curriculum vitae and it becomes even more obvious that it was only a matter time that Trapattoni would take control of the Azzurri.

Ruthless

The only blip in his career came at Calgiari when he was dismissed before the Sardinian club's eventual relegation.

While Italian club football endured one of its darker phases, with passport, match-fixing and dope scandals rocking the game, Trapattoni made light work of World Cup qualification.

Bar the initial 2-2 draw with Hungary, Italy were ruthlessly efficient in the qualifiers.
Paolo Maldini
Maldini: In the mould of Trapattoni

Trapattoni inherited an experienced but young side from Zoff, and has galvanised them into a match-winning outfit.

He has combined a world-class backline - Fabio Cannavaro, Alessandro Nesta and Paolo Maldini - with a battling midfield.

The industrious Damiano Tommasi and Gennaro Gattuso are exactly the kind of players who have played a crucial role in all of Trapattoni's teams.

The Italy coach has also been able to call on the outstanding talents of Alessandro del Piero, Christian Vieri and Filipo Inzaghi in attack.

And in all of his players, Trapattoni has managed to instil the virtues he has so often extolled - discipline coupled with passion.

Old school

A top-class defender during his playing career with Milan, Trapattoni's most notable performance came for the national side.

He virtually marked Pele out of the match when Italy beat Brazil 3-0 at the San Siro in May 1963.

Christian Vieri has been in fine form
Vieri: In a rich vein of form

Trapattoni transferred his defensive qualities to coaching, building his side in the old-fashioned mould.

But the current Italy team, despite being solid in defensive, do not lack creative flair.

And Trapattoni's critics only have to look to whom the Italy coach has entrusted a key role - the brilliant Francesco Totti as his main playmaker.

A team packed with successful Serie A stars bodes well for Italy as they head to the World Cup.

Trapattoni has suffered only one defeat during his reign as national team coach - a 2-1 reverse to Argentina at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome last February.

And again it comes as no surprise that Trapattoni has identified the Argentines as Italy's main rivals in their quest for glory in Korea and Japan.

The World Cup is the final chapter in Trappatoni's success story and he will be hoping for a happy ending.

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