FLORENCE, ITALY - APRIL 22: Fiorentina head coach Delio Rossi shouts instructions to his player Adem Ljajic before the Serie A match between ACF Fiorentina and FC Internazionale Milano at Stadio Artemio Franchi on April 22, 2012 in Florence, Italy. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)
Fiorentina have fired Delio Rossi after the manager physically attacked midfielder Adem Ljajić in the dugout during Wednesday night's match against Novara.
No, it's not April Fool's Day. Fiorentina really have fired manager Delio Rossi, after he attacked one of his own players during Wednesday night's match against Novara. After 30 minutes, the Viola were down 2-0 to the visiting Novara, and Adem Ljajić had just missed a header. Perhaps Rossi was frustrated with the Serb's performance, perhaps he just felt it necessary to make an early substitute. Either way, the manager pulled Ljajić in favor of Ruben Olivera.
As he left the field, the youngster sarcastically applauded his coach before giving him a mocking thumbs-up as he entered the dugout. Apparently that was just too much for Rossi, in charge of Fiorentina barely six months and unable to reverse their fortunes after Siniša Mihajlović left town. Maybe it was displaced rage for the former Serbian coach? Whatever provoked him, Rossi attacked Ljajić, grabbing him around the throat, falling into the dugout and sending blows to his head.
Fiorentina sacked Rossi immediately after the match, stating that although plenty of frustration had built up over the last few months, there was no justification for the way the manager behaved. They will also look into what Ljajić said to determine what the player's punishment might be.
Spend enough time with Maurizio Zamparini, and you start to catch the crazy...