Lille's head coach Paulo Fonseca gestures during the Europa Conference...

Lille's head coach Paulo Fonseca gestures during the Europa Conference League round of 16 second leg soccer match between Lille and Sturm Graz, at the Pierre Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve d'Ascq, northern France, Thursday, March 14, 2024. Fonseca was hired as AC Milan’s coach on Thursday, June 13, 2024, and charged with forming a more competitive challenge to city rival and Serie A champion Inter Milan. Credit: AP/Matthieu Mirville

MILAN — Paulo Fonseca was hired as AC Milan’s coach on Thursday and charged with forming a more competitive challenge to city rival and Serie A champion Inter Milan.

Fonseca, who signed a three-year contract, replaces Stefano Pioli, who left the club at the end of the recent season after a nearly five-year stint that included the 2022 Serie A title.

Milan finished second in Serie A last season but was a distant 19 points behind Inter. Milan was routed by Inter 5-1 in the derby in September and lost the second meeting 2-1 in April.

Under Pioli, Milan ended a seven-year absence from the Champions League in 2021 and reached the semifinals last year, losing to Inter.

This past season, Pioli’s team failed to advance from a tough group that included Borussia Dortmund, which ended as runner-up, and Paris Saint-Germain. Milan then switched to the second-tier Europa League and was eliminated by Roma in the quarterfinals.

Fonseca coached Roma from 2019-21. The Portuguese manager’s most recent job was at Lille, having gained attention for his performance at Shakhtar Donetsk from 2016-19.

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