Italian Mangia appointed Malta coach

Valletta (AFP) –


Former Italy under-21 manager Devis Mangia has been appointed head coach of Malta, the national football association announced on Monday.

The 45-year-old Italian has signed a four-year contract until December 2023.

"Devis's knowledge of Italian football and his coaching experience, having worked at different levels of the Italian league structure, will be an asset for us in this context," FA president Bjorn Vassala said in a statement.

Mangia coached Italy to the 2013 UEFA Under-21 Championships final, and has had spells with Italian league sides including Palermo and Bari.

He most recently coached Romanian club Universitatea Craiova, winning the Romanian Cup in 2018, and guided them to the Europa League.

"His vision and football philosophy fit with our plans to improve the performance and results of our national teams, including the project to enter a professional club in the Italian Lega Pro," added Vassala.

Malta, who are ranked 184th in the world, finished bottom of their Euro 2020 qualifying Group F with just one win over the Faroe Islands.

"The project presented to me is a very ambitious one and I am confident that with hard work and dedication together we can significantly improve the level of Maltese football," Mangia said.