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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
By ESPN Staff

Valencia's Carboni retires to become sports director

MADRID, May 19 (Reuters) - Valencia's former Italy defender Amedeo Carboni has brought his playing career to an end aged 41 to become the Primera Liga club's sports director.

"I am a novice in this role but there is a lot of work to do, we want to develop and are very ambitious," Carboni told a news conference on Friday.

The league's oldest player retired after nine years at Valencia in which time he won two league titles, the UEFA Cup in 2004 and the King's Cup in 1999.

Carboni also played in the 2000 and 2001 Champions League finals.

The former AS Roma and Sampdoria player shrugged off suggestions his appointment would cause tensions in the side now that his former boss, coach Quique Sanchez Flores, would be working for him instead.

"We are both employees working for the club with specific jobs to do. It's a lie that we have a bad relationship," he added.

"Sanchez Flores will continue as coach because he has achieved his objectives."

Valencia finished third in the league in Sanchez Flores's first season at the helm and will enter next year's Champions League in the third qualifying round.