Cerezo Osaka appoint Pezzaiuoli

The 45-year-old won the 2009 Uefa Under-17 Championship with Germany and will now head to the J-League for his next challenge

Cerezo Osaka have announced the appointment of Marco Pezzaiuoli as coach as the club look to revive their disappointing J-League campaign.

The 45-year-old German, who managed Hoffenheim in the second half of the 2010-11 Bundesliga season, is best known for winning the 2009 Uefa Under-17 Championship with a Germany side that included current Bayern Munich star Mario Gotze and new Barcelona signing Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Cerezo fired Ranko Popovic, who was in his first year with the club, after a disappointing start to the current J-League season. The western Japan side boast a squad that includes Japan internationals Yoichiro Kakitani and Hotaru Yamaguchi, as well as Uruguay striker Diego Forlan.

“From seeing many fantastic Japanese players in the Bundesliga and stars such as Shinji Kagawa, I’m well aware of the high quality of Japanese football,” Pezzaiuoli said. “I’m incredibly happy to be able to work for a club with as much talent as Cerezo Osaka.”

With the J-League on break during the World Cup, Cerezo will face Myanmar in a friendly on June 28 before resuming their season on July 15 against Kawasaki Frontale.