Veteran coach Marcelo Lippi has been reinstated as manager of the Italian national team.
He replaces Roberto Donadoni at the helm after the outgoing boss paid the price for a disappointing Euro 2008 campaign.
Lippi has been out of work since leading the Azzurri to World Cup glory two years ago in Germany.
He admits that had it not been for the match-fixing scandal which rocked Italian football in 2006 then he would never have left, but is delighted to be back in a role he feels so passionately about.
"I'm obviously really happy to restart where I left off," he said.
"It means that things have not gone to plan for the national team, but I am delighted to be back.
"Many things have been said that were not true since I have been gone. I would never have left the team - you know the reasons why I left - before we won the World Cup.
"But I have decided to come back. For a year I had no desire to be back on the bench, but then I got a few offers from clubs and national teams.
"These two years have not been lost, even though there has not been a European Championship win.
Lippi added: "Once the Euros got underway I had a strong will to be back where I left off should the possibility arrive, and so it has happened.
"In a certain way I feel that I am in debt to the Italian Football Federation.
"We have a group of players who won the World Cup two years ago and we must keep them together, but also allow other players who can offer great things the chance to provide a mix."
Despite his desire to retain the core of the squad which tasted World Cup glory, Lippi admitted that he will not be trying to convince Francesco Totti and Alessandro Nesta to come out of international retirement.
"I'm convinced that we must respect the decisions of the players involved, in this case two players who gave a lot to the national team" he said.
"I have no intention to try and get them to return. It's not right. They took their decision and we must respect that."
Lippi is a popular choice for the role and the president of the Italian Football Federation confirmed that he had always been their ideal candidate.
"I want to wish Roberto Donadoni and his staff all the best for the commitment they showed in their two years and for the moral and professional qualities they demonstrated," said Giancarlo Abete.
"However, at the end of their contract the Federation decided to identify Marcello Lippi as the person able to take the country forward to the 2010 World Cup."