Italian football icon Fabio Cannavaro has been appointed as the new coach of Udinese until the end of the season, following the departure of Gabriele Cioffi.

The decision comes in the wake of Udinese's recent 1-0 defeat to Hellas Verona, leaving them perilously close to the Serie A relegation zone with just four wins this season.

Cannavaro, renowned for leading Italy to World Cup glory in 2006 as captain and winning the Ballon d'Or the same year, steps into the coaching role after his stint at Benevento ended in February 2023.

His coaching journey has taken him across Asia, with spells at Al-Ahli in Dubai, Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia, and several Chinese Super League teams, including Tianjin Quanjian and Guangzhou Evergrande.

He also had a brief tenure with the Chinese national team.

Cannavaro faces a daunting task at Udinese, with only six matches remaining to secure the club's Serie A status.

His first challenge will be an away fixture against Bologna next Sunday, followed by the completion of Udinese's match against Roma, which was suspended due to a medical emergency involving Roma player Evan Ndicka.

Ndicka, who collapsed on the pitch, was later released from the hospital after experiencing chest pains but was confirmed not to have had a heart attack.

Cannavaro will lead Udinese through the remainder of this match and the crucial fixtures ahead in their battle against relegation.