Sassi & Zahavi call it a day
Off the playing field, Valencia will be called into recruitment action again with the news that both Roberto Sassi and Pini Zahavi have opted to call time on their roles with the club. Roberto Sassi, who turned 70 just a few weeks ago, had an immediate impact within the backroom setup after agreeing to join the club as a Sports Scientist, his 3rd spell at the Mestalla.
The Italian, born in Valmorea, had enjoyed a somewhat journeyed career before his third stint with the club, including having coaching roles across some of the biggest clubs in Europe. Most recently, before his return, he had been part of the setup at Juventus, to whom he had moved from Dinamo Moscow back in 2011. The “Prof” was also at fellow Serie A clubs Parma and Sampdoria following his second departure from Valencia, where he had arrived with Claudio Ranieri back in 2004 from Chelsea. A loyal lieutenant of the tinkerman, his initial spell at the club had also been with his Italian compatriot, along with spells at Fiorentina and Atlético Madrid. Sassi will be dearly missed by all at the club, as will his coaching methods and knowledge which have had a huge impact at the club throughout his three spells.
Another calling time is Israeli scout Pini Zahavi. Once dubbed the “Israeli Superagent” Zahavi was another who joined the setup after the arrival of Barlow a year ago, joining the scouting network to offer increased coverage across Europe and Russia. Having also worked as an agent, including some big brokerage deals such as the record-breaking transfer of Rio Ferdinand, and also being involved in the ownership deals at both Chelsea and Portsmouth, the 77 year old is widely respected in the game, with close friendships with Roman Ambramovich and Alexandre Gaydamak among those he can call on. Valencia will now move to replace both men during the summer, with a hope to hit the new season with both a full playing squad and complement of staff as they look to improve on their 2nd place finish this season, their first under the stewardship of Barlow.Share this: