Struggling Lyon hires former Italy defender Fabio Grosso as new coach

Juventus' Fabio Grosso cheers after scoring, during the Italian Serie A soccer match between Juventus and Udinese at the Turin Olympic stadium, Italy, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009 (Alberto Ramella/AP)

LYON, France (AP) — Struggling French club Lyon hired former Italy defender Fabio Grosso as its new coach on Saturday.

Grosso replaces Laurent Blanc, who left by mutual consent following a terrible start to the season. Lyon is in last place with only one point from four games.

Lyon said that the 45-year-old Grosso has a contract until the end of the season, with the option for an extra season.

He will watch the home game against promoted Le Havre on Sunday night and take charge of the team on Monday.

Deputy coach Jean-Francois Vulliez will oversee the Le Havre game.

Grosso won the World Cup with Italy as an attack-minded left back in 2006. He played 75 games for Lyon from 2007-2009, helping the club win the league and French Cup double in 2008 in an era when it dominated French soccer.

Last season, Grosso showed his coaching credentials when he guided Italian club Frosinone to the second-tier Serie B title.

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