Parma, 27 May 2021Enzo Maresca was officially presented as the new Parma Calcio head coach at a press conference at the Tardini today.

Maresca was introduced by Club president Kyle Krause: “In terms of the Club, we searched hard for the characteristics that we wanted and we have found that in regards to these requirements. The one we went with was in high demand due to his ability. It is a great pride to present to you our coach, Enzo Maresca.”

Here’s what the new Crociati boss had to say: This is a prestigious Club that has made history in football. I had the chance to play on this ground and there were some brilliant players. One of the forces that brought me here was the desire to recreate that same level of enthusiasm that I saw whenever I played here in Parma, in this stadium. There’s a lot of enthusiasm and a hunger to perform – I’ve felt it from everybody here at the Club. I have my own methods and principles as a coach, as everyone does. We’ll try to control games at all times, trying to boss possession and have the initiative over any other team. I don’t like to talk about formations and stats; I love thinking about spaces and positioning. Stats are all relative because you might need one system in one game and a different one in the game after. When a team has a year like the one just gone, I think there’s a need to reset. The might be very few good things and a less than positive year can happen; we need to go again and work out what went wrong. We’ll have the chance to reorganise the squad over the coming days. I had a great time at Manchester City and I learned a lot. I treasure that time but it’s in the past now. I learned a lot just by being closer to the man that I think is the best coach in the world in Guardiola. I had the chance to talk with him throughout the year, also about the experience that I will have here in Parma. That experience taught me a lot.”

If there’s no sense of belonging, you’re always going to struggle. The aspect of character plays a greater role in my methods than tactics. It’s essential for me to feel that sense of belonging. If I accepted Parma, it’s because I know that there’s a need to win; this drove me to come here and not the contrary. There has to be a process in any job. The aim is to bring the Club, city and fans back to where they belong. There’s a process to follow. In England, there are coaches like Marcelo Bielsa, who is considered one of the top coaches in the world but only won the Championship title in his second season with Leeds. There’s a process to follow but without hiding because, as I said, we want to take Parma back to where it deserves to be.”

“Any player will only come in if he’s happy to join. By working on the squad, I think there’s plenty of cause to get excited again. We’ll try to make every game our own. I haven’t had the chance to talk with any of them yet but I know a few people from previous years. It’s important to start this new process as a team as well as at an individual level. We’ve discussed various topics. The scouts and sporting director will do all they can to ensure that the sort of profile we need fits the coach’s wishes. There are no easy leagues; I’ve never heard any coach say that a league isn’t tough. They’re all great and they’re all difficult. There are a few components required to make sure that a team functions well; you can have great defenders but without good strikers, you’re going nowhere. We need a balanced squad. Parma needs to become a place that people have to want to come to. We’re not here to hand out favours. They need to come here because they feel that this is a big Club. We need the right arrogance, so to speak, to bring in people that want to be one of us, to give us a hand in taking this team back to where it belongs.”

“I spent three years in England, two as an assistant to Pellegrini and one in charge of the Under-23s, where I worked with the first team on a daily basis. I had the chance to learn a new footballing culture. I think it’s only right to talk about Parma and not about other clubs. Parma represents a difficult challenge but our profession is made of big challenges, which give you a lot of passion. That’s how I was as a player too; for me, there was never a reason to not accept a challenger for a glorious team. A team that tries to play has more chances of winning – that’s my way of thinking. My idea is all about being positive, rather than conservative. The staff is practically all put together. There are just some pieces left to fit in. I want to bring in people that can help me to ensure that things are done as they should be and to get results.