Ex-Lazio boss Reja named Albania coach

Italian Edoardo Reja was appointed Wednesday as the new coach of the Albanian national team, replacing Christian Panucci who was sacked after they lost their opening Euro 2020 qualifier.

Albania, who reached their first major tournament at Euro 2016, started their qualifying campaign with a 2-0 home loss to Turkey before beating Andorra 3-0 last month.

"Edoardo Reja is a coach of great experience who will... lead the Albanian team during the Euro 2020 qualifications," Albanian Football Federation president Armand Duka told reporters.

Former Palermo midfielder Reja, 73, has previously coached Napoli, Atalanta and Lazio in Italy, but this is first time he will be leading a national side.

"I have a one-year contract and results will decide if it will be extended or not," Reja said, saying he was hoping to reinforce the "team's spirit, indispensable to face challenges ahead".

"I like aggressive teams and at this moment Albania is not one," he said.

Albania, currently third in qualifying Group H, host world champions France in September after games against Iceland and Moldova in June.

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