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By ESPN Staff
Jul 30, 2014

Arrigo Sacchi quits Italy youth post

Arrigo Sacchi led AC Milan to successive European Cup triumphs in 1989 and 1990.

Arrigo Sacchi has stepped down from his role as technical coordinator of the Italian Football Association (FIGC), citing stress as the main factor.

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The 68-year-old had overseen Italy's youth selections since 2010, but deteriorating health has convinced him to bring his career in football to an end.

"I regret to announce that I am leaving a role that means a great deal to me, but there is a rotten rival who I have been able to rule for 22-23 years, and in the end, it is beating me -- and that is stress," Sacchi said at a news conference on Wednesday.

Sacchi says his decision had been made a year ago, although he wanted to see out the remainder of his contract. Having done that, he is now looking forward to enjoying family life as much as he can, making up for lost time.

"I informed the FIGC a year ago that I would leave at the end of my mandate," he said. "I was never a good father as I neglected my daughter, and now I don't want to do the same with my granddaughter, who was born recently. And then it's not as if I'm all that young anymore either."

Sacchi believes he can look back on a productive four years in his role, even if it ended in disappointment with Italy's failure at the World Cup this summer.

"We've done a lot of work in these four years, trying to give these lads more of an international mentality, getting them involved in 30-35 percent more matches. In a country which does not consider its youth, I think we should thank the federation for the efforts it has made," he said.

"As for Italy, it was really only down to sentiment that we thought we could win [the World Cup]. None of our clubs had made it into the quarterfinals of the Champions League so it would have taken a miracle, but we could have done better.

"A few years ago, I spent six days in Costa Rica giving a seminar. Maybe now we should be calling one of their managers to come here and teach us a lesson or two."

Sacchi won the European Cup twice with AC Milan during his coaching days, also them also to one Serie A title and two Intercontinental Cups. He also coached Parma and was in charge of the Italy national team for five years from 1991 to 1996.

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