Nesta played for the Impact before retiring following Montreal's elimination from the MLS playoffs (Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images)
Alessandro Nesta is the next coach of the Montreal Impact, a Montreal source tells SI.com.
Nesta, 37, one of the great Italian defenders of the past two decades, retired as a player with Montreal after Thursday’s playoff loss to the Houston Dynamo. He replaces Swiss coach Marco Schällibaum, whose one-year contract was not renewed.
Nesta will be Montreal’s third head coach in three MLS seasons after Schällibaum and Jesse Marsch the past two years. He takes over an Impact team that had the best record in MLS as recently as August but stumbled badly the rest of the season, barely qualifying for the playoffs.
Nesta, whose greatest playing years came with Lazio and AC Milan, is said to be a favorite of Montreal owner Joey Saputo.