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 By Ben Gladwell

Christian Abbiati returns to AC Milan as new club manager

Christian Abbiati of AC Milan during the AUDI Cup bronze final match between Tottenham Hotspur and AC Milan on August 5, 2015 at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany.
Christian Abbiati ended his playing career in 2016.

Christian Abbiati has returned to AC Milan as their new club manager, just a year after the former goalkeeper left the club.

The 39-year-old former goalkeeper ended his playing career a year ago, after eight seasons with Milan. He previously spent seven years with the club, making a total of 380 appearances and winning the Champions League, three Serie A titles and one Coppa Italia.

He will now be the liaison between the team and the club, according to a statement published on the club's official website.

Gab Marcotti believes AC Milan's recent transfer activity is an indication of their ambitions for UCL placement next season.

"Christian Abbiati is back home," the statement said. "A true AC Milan legend, he played 15 seasons in Red & Black, winning six Italian trophies and two international titles. Today he has been named as club manager. He will report directly to the club's sporting and technical director Massimiliano Mirabelli and will be the liaison between the team and the club.

"The strong bond between AC Milan and Abbiati started in summer of '98, when Christian joined the team -- coached by Alberto Zaccheroni -- as second reserve goalkeeper behind Sebastiano Rossi and Jens Lehmann.

"A few months later, on 24 January 1999 he made his debut and he had a key role in helping AC Milan win the 16th red & black Scudetto in Perugia. That bond lasted for 15 seasons, until the day Christian said goodbye to the red & black fans in San Siro, on 15 May 2016. This bond is stronger than ever today, the day of Christian's return. Good luck Abbia!"

Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.

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