This week European basketball powerhouse CSKA Moscow unveiled Ettore Messina as their new coach three years after he left the one-time military club for Real Madrid. He says keeping star players like Andrey Kirilenko at the club is a top priority.
When Ettore Messina left CSKA in 2009 he mentioned that he would return one day. And that day finally came as the 52-year-old Italian entered a news-conference with a smile unveiling him as the Army Men’s coach for the next three years.
At the top of his to-do list is persuading CSKA's star men to stay. Apart from former Utah Jazz man Andrey Kirilenko some others are also looking for a move to the NBA. If Nenad Krstic, Alexei Shved and Andrey Vorontsevich also go, Messina will his work cut out for him rebuilding the team.
Previously, Messina had four glorious years in charge at CSKA. Winning two Euroleague titles in 2006 and 2008 and four domestic championships, his run with the team marked one of the most successful eras in the club's history.
Since then he's also been a consultant for the LA Lakers and intends to use his NBA experience to good effect.
CSKA will play the Euroleague matches at the 14-thousand seat MegaSport arena next season, and the famed coach's return will undoubtedly help boost attendance.
But it’s not just the fans and club officials who're happy – Messina's family are also getting excited. So everybody seems content at this stage.
It won't be child's play for Messina, however. The club has failed to win the Euroleague since he made them European champions back in 2008, and the Muscovites believe they have the right man to return them to the top.
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