In a surprising yet thrilling development, Croatian Hajduk Split has announced that Gennaro Gattuso will lead the team next season. The 46-year-old has signed a contract with Hajduk that will keep him in Split until the summer of 2026. He is expected to arrive next week to begin preparations and will be officially presented at Poljud Stadium.

The club said: “HNK Hajduk is very pleased to confirm today that the legendary Gennaro Gattuso will lead our first team in the new season! He signed a contract with the Whites until the summer of 2026. He will arrive in Split next week, at the beginning of the first team’s preparations, when we will officially present him at Poljud.”

Gattuso‘s appointment at Hajduk Split marks another significant chapter in his diverse and extensive coaching career. The Whites, a historic club in Croatia, have high expectations from their new coach. The club finished third in the league last season; thus, they will compete in the second qualifying round of the UEFA Conference League.

What can Gattuso bring to Hajduk Split?

The Croatian outfit is eager to leverage Gattuso’s experience and tactical acumen to achieve greater success. The Italian’s arrival in Split will coincide with the start of pre-season training. Thus, he will engage in discussions with club directors regarding market strategies and potential player acquisitions.

Gattuso’s move to Hajduk Split underscores the enduring appeal and influence of Italian football tacticians across Europe. Italian coaches have recently garnered significant recognition, having secured two of the three major UEFA club trophies. The 46-year-old’s versatility and resilience under high-pressure situations make him a valuable asset for any team. As a result, Hajduk Split hopes to benefit from his extensive experience and winning mentality.

Gattuso’s appointment also highlights Hajduk’s ambition to compete at higher levels and strengthen their squad with top-tier talent. The club’s management is allegedly confident that Gattuso’s leadership will bring a new era of success and help them reclaim their position at the summit of Croatian soccer.

How has Gattuso’s career helped him in coaching?

The renowned former Italian midfielder and World Cup winner started his professional journey at Perugia, where he made his senior debut. His early career saw him moving to the Scottish club Rangers, before returning to Italy to play for Salernitana. In 1999, Gattuso joined AC Milan, where he would spend the next 13 years and establish himself as a soccer legend.

At Milan, Gattuso played 468 games and was instrumental in the club’s numerous victories. He won the UEFA Champions League twice (in 2003 and 2007), two Serie A titles, the UEFA Super Cup, the Italian Super Cup, and the Club World Cup. His tenacity, combativeness, and unyielding winning mentality made him an iconic figure in the world of soccer. His crowning achievement was winning the FIFA World Cup with Italy in 2006.

Gattuso ended his playing career with the Swiss club Sion in 2013, where he immediately transitioned into coaching, taking over the management of the first team. His coaching career began at Sion and included brief stints at Palermo and OFI Crete. His significant breakthrough came when he led Pisa to promotion to Serie B.

Gattuso then took charge of his beloved AC Milan, where he managed current Hajduk sports director Nikola Kalinic. His coaching career progressed with positions at Napoli, where he won the Coppa Italia in 2020, Fiorentina, Valencia, and most recently, Olympique Marseille. His tenure at Marseille ended in February after a brief stint.