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 By Ben Gladwell

Agnelli: Italian game needs new broom

Andrea Agnelli said 'something new' was needed to tackle the problems facing Italy.

The Italian FA (FIGC) vice-president Carlo Tavecchio is not the man to steer Italy's game away from its current difficulties, Juventus president Andrea Agnelli has said.

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With Serie A clubs struggling to compete in Europe and crowds dwindling, a growing air of gloom was intensified by Italy's exit at the World Cup group stage.

But Agnelli saw that setback as an opportunity to revolutionise the game and said he believed Tavecchio -- the deputy to outgoing president Giancarlo Abete and the favourite to succeed him -- would represent continuity rather than the different approach he believes is needed.

"Tavecchio has the backing of a system that goes back years, but we'll do what we can to find something new," Agnelli told reporters. "The candidate we need is an ex-footballer with great authority."

He said that meant someone of the ilk of Michel Platini or Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, explaining: "Whenever they walk into a room, you feel an obligation to rise to your feet.

"It's the same with [Pavel] Nedved at Juventus, but I would struggle to find the same authority with Tavecchio. People who would fit the bill are [Gianluca] Vialli, [Paolo] Maldini, [Fabio] Cannavaro or [Alessandro] Costacurta."

Tavecchio, meanwhile, believes he is the right man to address the challenges facing Italy, telling La Gazzetta dello Sport: "Our clubs and national teams have got to return to occupying the positions at the summit of world football and be competitive. If we want that, we've all got to work together.

"With me, the system will return to the top."


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