Cesare Prandelli steps down as Fiorentina boss due to personal distress
Prandelli said "a dark cloud" had developed inside him
Cesare Prandelli has resigned from his position as Fiorentina manager, citing personal distress as the reason behind his decision.
Prandelli was appointed manager in Florence in 2020 for a second spell at the club for a second spell, having led the first team between 2005-2010.
He leaves La Viola 14th in the Serie A table, with one win in their last five league games.
But fans will have the greatest sympathy for the 63-year-old, who bravely opened up about the internal turmoil that led him to making the decision to step down.
In an open letter to fans of the club, he explained that he had endured a "period of profound distress which is preventing me from being who I really am."
What an incredible, brave letter this is from Cesare Prandelli 💜 pic.twitter.com/r8T6ODzLcp
— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) March 23, 2021
The letter read:
"This is the second time I’ve left Fiorentina. The first time was not my decision, but this time it is. In life, as well as the good times, there are also dark moments which can get on top of you.
"I have been going through a period of profound distress which is preventing me from being who I really am. I began this experience with joy and love, spurred on by the enthusiasm of the new owners. It’s likely that that my love for the city, and the memories of the great moments I’ve experienced here, made me blind to the early signs that something wasn’t right inside.
"My decision has been guided by the enormous responsibility I have towards the players, the club and – last but certainly not least – to the Fiorentina fans, for whom I have great respect.
"All players at this level have talent, and when you have talent you are perceptive – I wouldn’t want my distress to be picked up and affect the team’s performances.
"Over the past few months, a dark cloud has developed inside of me, changing the way I see things. I came here to give 100%, but I now feel that this is no longer possible and therefore I have decided to step back for the good of everyone involved.
"I'd like to thank Rocco Commisso and his wonderful family, Joe Barone and Daniele Prade, who have always been right behind the team and me. Most of all, though, I want to thank the people of Florence, who I know will understand.
"I’m aware that this could be the end of my career as a coach, but I have no regrets and don’t wish to have any. The world I’ve been a part of for my whole life probably isn’t right for me anymore – I no longer see myself in it. I’ve certainly changed, but the world is moving faster than I thought too. That’s why I believe the time has come for me to stop being swept along, stop for a while and rediscover my true self once again."
We join the rest of the footballing world in wishing Prandelli the best in his personal recovery to becoming his happiest self again.