Tudor reign begins as Udinese axe Oddo

Igor Tudor, pictured in 2017, appointed coach of struggling Italian club Udinese

Former Croatian international Igor Tudor was on Tuesday appointed coach of struggling Italian club Udinese hours after Massimo Oddo was axed following an 11-game Serie A losing streak.

The north-eastern club released 41-year-old former AC Milan and Italy defender Oddo and his coaching staff after just five months in the job.

Tudor -- who coached Turkish giants Galatasaray last year -- has signed a contract until June 2019 with an option to go until 2020.

Capped 55 times by Croatia, the 40-year-old former defender spent nine years with Juventus from 1998 to 2007.

"I worked with the best coaches when I was in Italy, like Marcello Lippi, Carlo Ancelotti and Fabio Capello. I took something from all of them, but then I have to ultimately be myself," said Tudor after being handed his first coaching job in Italy.

He started his coaching career in 2013 at Hajduk Split, where he won the Croatian Cup, and has also coached PAOK in Greece and Turkish sides Karabukspor and Galatasaray. He was fired by Galatasaray in December despite being in second place in the Turkish league.

"There is important work to be done, so we can end this season the way the club deserves, then we can resume with new energy," he told a press conference.

"Udinese are a great club, I still follow Serie A and think this is an interesting squad with good young players."

Oddo, who as a player was part of Italy's 2006 World Cup-winning squad, was appointed last November in place of Luigi Delneri.

But the club have plummeted to 15th position, four points above the relegation zone with four games to play.

"Many people called me and said it wasn't an ideal scenario, but even the coach at Real Madrid has problems to deal with," said Tudor.

"I take it as a challenge, as I believe in myself and my squad. We'll remain in Serie A and then have a great season."

Udinese -- the second oldest club in Italy after Genoa -- finished 13th last season.