Former Inter coach Simoni still in critical condition


Gigi Simoni, then coach of Inter of Milan, salutes Inter fans prior to a match at Milan's San Siro stadium. (Luca Bruno/AP)

MILAN — The wife of Luigi "Gigi" Simoni says the former Inter Milan coach remains in critical condition after suffering a stroke in June.

Monica Fontani tells La Provincia di Cremona newspaper, "I want to be completely honest: the situation remains complicated."

The 80-year-old Simoni remains beloved by Inter fans for guiding the club to the UEFA Cup title in 1998.

After a playing career during which he won the Italian Cup with Napoli and had a short spell at Juventus, Simoni coached many teams, including Genoa twice, Cremonese, Napoli, Piacenza and Siena in the top division.

Simoni’s short tenure at Inter coincided with the arrival of Brazil star Ronaldo to the club. Inter finished second in Serie A in 1998 and beat fellow Italian club Lazio 3-0 in the UEFA Cup final.

However, Simoni was fired shortly into his second season at Inter after the squad won only five of its opening 11 Serie A matches. His firing came on the same day he received the "Panchina d’Oro" — Golden Bench — award as the Italian league’s top coach for his efforts the previous season.

Simoni is being treated at a hospital in Pisa.

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