Devis Mangia has been hired as Italy's under-21 coach, replacing Ciro Ferrara.

Mangia described the job Wednesday as ''one of the most prestigious in Italian football'' and says ''it is a sign of great esteem and responsibility, I'm really happy.''

Mangia has vowed to follow the model of Italy's senior team coach Cesare Prandelli, who guided the Azzurri to the European Championship final last month.

The 38-year-old Mangia was last in charge of Palermo. He took over the club at the end of August last year, initially on a temporary basis, but a string of impressive results saw him sign a permanent deal on Nov. 4. However, he was sacked just over a month later.

Ferrara left to take over Sampdoria this month.