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Guidolin exclusive: I turned down lifetime contract at Udinese

Francesco Guidolin has revealed he was offered a job for life by Udinese.

The Italian is undoubtedly one of the Bianconeri's greatest coaches, having spent two spells at the club in 1998/98 and from 2010 to 2014.

It was in the latter period when Guidolin confirmed his status as a legendary manager as Udinese became a European competition regular, having qualified three times in his four seasons in charge.

His debut campaign saw Udinese finish in fourth and collect their highest points total ever, which earned Guidolin the Panchina d'oro, given to the best coach of Serie A.

And Udinese attempted to re-pay Guidolin with an incredible offer.

He recalled to TribalFootball.com: "When in 2011 I was under contract with Udinese, the company offered me a contract extension. I will never forget one thing: the expiry date of the contract told me to write it myself.

"They asked me: 'do you want to stay here for life?' Write 2022 and that's fine with us. I chose to sign up until 2017, it seemed like a lot already, but if I wanted to write a date beyond 2020, I could. Such was the harmony between us and this tells how much they enjoyed my work. I was fine there. That's a sign of harmony and gratitude."

Guidolin continued to give his heart and soul for the club over the following three seasons as Udinese became known as formidable opponents, who were also able to produce young talent.

Guidolin added: "We launched Mauricio Isla, Alexis Sanchez, Kwadwo Asamoah, Gokan Inler, Mehdi Benatia, those you mentioned. All boys who came from Serie B, or from afar or were young and needed to improve and develop. We succeeded. I say we because it is the work of a team. Which clarifies the relationship of trust between me and the club."

By 2014, all the effort had taken its toll on Guidolin. He stepped down as manager in May, but his strong relationship with the Udinese owners, the Pozzo family, saw him step into a technical director role which saw him overlook their three football clubs, including Premier League side Watford and Spanish club Granada.

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Matteo Vitale
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Matteo Vitale

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