Arrived from Fiorentina at Parma in season 1998/1999 (along with several FINE players the club bought and put in his disposal: Veron, Boghossian, Vanoli, Fuser, Balbo) taking over from Ancelotti and his first season can't be called anything but succesfull as he won the UEFA Cup and the Coppa Italia. Parma played what I personally think was the best football in Italy, and I personally believe we were the best team in Serie A, better than the overrachieving Milan of Zaccheroni who won the league AND the very good Fiorentina and Lazio teams. However, we ended up 4th which is partly because of Malesani deciding to hit on all fronts AND a lack of squad debth. In the summer, Malesani asked the Tanzis to sell Veron and replace him with Ortega as he had personal problems with the former... Veron was duly sold to Lazio, Ortega did fvck all and the demolition of Parma started, along with the big sales. The least said about the rest of his time with us, the best. Eventually, he was sacked before getting us relegated... He went on to relegate Hellas Verona despite having Mutu and Camoranesi in his roster (decisions like starting Mario Frick over Gilardino go some way in explaining why) and having one more failed stint at Modena. He's a VERY nice guy, and I was rather font of him and the way he was celebrating every time Parma scored, and he likes attacking football but he is not a GREAT coach and he seems to have lost it. Panathinaikos has the players to accodomate Malesani's formation but it will be interesting to see if he will adapt in a different league than Serie A. He can be both a failure and a success in my opinion.
By the way, I don't know if you read that piece on GOALNews called "Mission to Parma - Our Malesani" where this reporter went to Parma and interviewed four players about Malesani. The players were Paolo Cannavaro, Fabio Vignaroli, Fabio Bettarini and Daniele Bonera, so far so goud. The problem is that none of them were at Parma during the Malesani years and only Cannavaro Jr. has worked with him - at Hellas Verona.
Anyway, if I had to make a best PAO line up according to Malesani's tastes I think it would look something like this: