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 By Ben Gladwell

Antonio Conte's Italy reign criticised by FIGC president after exit announced

Italian football federation (FIGC) president Carlo Tavecchio has suggested outgoing Italy coach Antonio Conte will leave "zero trace" of his work when his reign as Italy boss ends this summer.

Tavecchio announced on Tuesday that Conte had decided to leave his role after Euro 2016, with the ex-Juventus coach -- widely expected to join Chelsea -- saying he wanted a return to club management.

Conte's appointment after the 2014 World Cup had exceeded the FIGC's budget, with main sponsor Puma contributing to his wages.

Plans are already being made for his successor, and one of the key details is that the new boss will not be paid less -- but expectations will be higher.

"Times are changing, also in terms of costs," Tavecchio said at a FIGC board meeting on Tuesday evening. "We need to find a leader who is capable of launching the project of a federal cantera [youth academy] so that it works for the whole football system.

"The FIGC will provide the new coach with a staff who can guarantee the continuity of the technical project. To the coaches who show an interest, we are going to be asking for them to provide details of their own technical and scientific work which can become part of the federation's heritage.

"Let's just see who comes forward and offers their services. It doesn't matter if they are currently still under contract."

Conte had been given similar responsibilities during his time as Italy coach.

Tavecchio widened the scope of Conte's work to give him ultimate powers in determining how all of the Italian national teams should be run, and that is something the FIGC chief would like to see continued by the new coach, although he expects more in the way of lasting results.

"Of course we need to reason in a different way, also in terms of the next coach's duties," he said. "We want our coaches in future to leave a legacy and contribute to the federation's heritage for whoever comes next.

"It's useless building something with big names who leave zero trace of their past and then go off to work in big clubs. We're talking about ways of putting the federation first, and not the individual."

Meanwhile, Serie B president Andrea Abodi hopes the next Italy coach will stick around for longer.

"We knew it was not going to last long with Conte, but now we've got to think about the European Championship and calmly appoint a new coach with whom we can share a long project," he told Mediaset. "The next Italy coach is going to have to last 10 years."

Not since Enzo Bearzot between 1974 and 1986 -- a period that included World Cup glory in 1982 -- has an Italy coach lasted a decade. Arrigo Sacchi lasted five years, Cesare Maldini two, Dino Zoff a further two, Giovanni Trapattoni four and Marcello Lippi twice just two years.

Conte's predecessor, Cesare Prandelli, bucked the two-year trend -- which also included Roberto Donadoni -- by keeping his position for four years before resigning after Italy disappointed at the 2014 World Cup.

Italy, the 1968 European Championship winners, have been drawn against Belgium, Republic of Ireland and Sweden in Group E at this summer's tournament.


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