'Germany success inspiration for Italy'
AC Milan general manager Barbara Berlusconi says Italian football must take a leaf out of Germany's book if it is to return to the top of the world game within the next few decades.
After Italy failed to progress from the group stage of the 2014 World Cup, Italian FA (FIGC) president Giancarlo Abete and coach Cesare Prandelli both resigned from their positions while there have been calls for a complete overhaul of the federation.
The current No. 1 candidate to replace Abete is 71-year-old Carlo Tavecchio, but electing him would be like taking a further step backwards, according to Berlusconi, who has called for somebody "in their 40s" to lead Italy forwards.
In view of Germany's World Cup success, Berlusconi has reaffirmed her calls for some fresh ideas in the most important roles of the Italian game.
"Germany's victory at the World Cup is the result of their courage to change people and change the rules," Berlusconi said in Milan, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. "Germany has an innovative federation, capable of doing everything that Italy has not done and has no intention of doing.
"Germany deserved to win [the World Cup]. They were the strongest side. However, this success is a long time in coming because it's not something you win by chance. It comes, in particular, from the start of the new millennium when those in charge of the game drew up clear plans, to have a federation which was adept and innovative, investing in a huge way in youth development, in new stadiums and in multi-ethnic integration.
"This is something that Italy hasn't done, and it seems to me that we have no intention of doing so either."
Demetrio Albertini and Paolo Maldini, both former Milan legends, have both been endorsed by Berlusconi with the FIGC due to meet in August to discuss a successor to Abete and Prandelli.