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Sevilla sack cancer fightback coach Berizzo

Ernesto Carlos Marcucci was in charge of Sevilla while Eduardo Berizzo underwent surgery. Reuters/Srdjan Zivulovic

Eduardo Berizzo was sacked as coach of Sevilla on Friday a week after he returned to the bench following successful surgery. on a tumour. Berizzo, 48, joined Sevilla from Celta Vigo last May and his departure comes just a month after it was announced he was suffering from prostate cancer.

"The Sevilla board has taken the decision to sack the coach of the first team due to the bad form of the team," Sevilla said in a statement.

News of Berizzo's condition was released on 22 November a few hours after Sevilla battled back from a 3-0 half-time deficit against Liverpool to secure a 3-3 draw that helped book their place in the last 16 of the Champions League, where they will face Manchester United.

Berizzo, a former Argentina international, then missed four matches while he was in hospital and recuperating. His assistant, Ernesto Marcucci, took charge of the team in his absence.

Marcucci's last match in charge was a 5-0 thrashing by Real Madrid on 9 Deceber. But Berizzo's return to the bench failed to inspire a surge in fortunes.  Sevilla were held 0-0 at home by Levante on 15 December before losing 3-1 at Real Sociedad on Wednesday.

That reverse left Sevilla in fifth place. "The club has already begun talks to formalise the hiring of the new coach of Sevilla FC, who is expected to join when the staff return after the Christmas holidays," added Sevilla’s statement.

The team’s next game is against Cadiz in the first leg of their last 16 Copa del Rey tie on 3 January. Three days later they take on city rivals Real Betis in La Liga.