Monday April 20 2020
De Biasi: 'Intense experience in Albania'

Gianni De Biasi says it was an ‘intense experience’ to coach Albania and reveals he ‘lacked motivation’ after five and a half years.

The former Brescia boss took Albania to Euro 2016, their first ever major tournament, and was fighting with Spain and Italy for a place in the 2018 World Cup.

But he left with four games remaining and wanted to give the new coach an opportunity to get a head start before the inaugural UEFA Nations League.

“Not having to follow 20-30 people, on one side, is an advantage,” he told Gianluca Di Marzio. “As a national coach, it seemed like I only saw players once in a while.

“It’s an intense experience, you need to work a lot with the players’ heads. It’s not easy to prepare two matches with months in between.

“In the meantime, you carry on scouting to follow all the players. I did my best with Albania, I also received many awards from the government, that’s a wonderful feeling.

“I left Albania because I had been there for five and half years, we were third in the standings and we had four games to go. But we had Spain and Italy ahead of us.

“I told the President that I would stop to give my successor the opportunity to work with some other games before the Nations League, I lacked motivation, I needed to start again because I felt too much on the pedestal.

De Biasi has been without a job since he left Alaves in November 2017, where he was limited to nine games in charge over a two-month period and has lately been linked with a move to Asia.

“We must first see how these health issues evolve, I’m looking for a project that intrigues me,” he said. “I was close to taking over Iran.

“Everything changed last minute and in addition the coronavirus outbreak definitely closed things.”