Wednesday, 4 August 2010

FIGC appoints Baggio, Sacchi and Rivera

The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) has appointed former international Roberto Baggio at the head of its Technical Sector while Arrigo Sacchi, who was Baggio's Italy coach at the 1994 FIFA World Cup, has been named youth teams co-ordinator.

The two high-profile appointments come in the wake of Cesare Prandelli's installation last month as Italy coach, replacing Marcello Lippi, as the FIGC shakes up its operations following the national team's poor showing at the World Cup finals.

Baggio, the 43-year-old former Azzurri forward who made his name with Fiorentina and Juventus, will act as President of the FIGC Technical Sector in Coverciano which focuses, among other things, on the latest technical advances and football development.

The 64-year-old Sacchi, meanwhile, will be the overall supervisor of all Italy's junior national teams from Under-21 level down to U16.

Sacchi, whose tenure as Italy coach lasted from 1991 to 1996 and peaked with second place at the 1994 World Cup, will work alongside another famous name from the Azzurri's past, Gianni Rivera. The latter, who as a Ballon d'Or nominated midfielder won the 1968 UEFA European Championship with Italy and two European Champion Clubs' Cups with AC Milan, will preside over the educational side of the youth department.

"I dream that Italian football will soon be able to count on a number of young talents," Baggio said. "We must have more faith in youngsters because they are the future of our football.

"We must give everything we have to help them grow in the best possible way."

Baggio had been out of football since retiring from playing in 2004, with Brescia his final club. The 1993 Ballon d'Or winner scored 27 goals in 56 games for Italy, and remains the fifth-highest scorer in Serie A history with 205 strikes.

Sacchi can claim an equally impressive pedigree having lifted successive European Cups as Milan coach in 1989 and 1990. All his experience will be put to use in working with the country's future talent.

Rivera, 66, who preceded Baggio as European Footballer of the Year by some 24 years, posted national-team statistics of 14 goals in 60 appearances.

Italy's world title defence ended at the group stage in South Africa as they finished behind Paraguay, Slovakia and New Zealand.

New head coach Prandelli will begin the rebuilding process with a friendly against the Ivory Coast in London on 10 August.

Their UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying campaign starts in Estonia on 3 September, with Serbia, Northern Ireland, Slovenia and the Faroe Islands also in Group C.

Source: FIGC / UEFA

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