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Real escape with hope of progress

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By ESPN Staff

Casiraghi and Zola take on Italy Under-21 roles

MILAN, July 24 (Reuters) - Former Lazio, Juventus and Chelsea striker Pierluigi Casiraghi has been appointed the new coach of Italy's under-21 team and will be assisted by another ex-Chelsea forward, Gianfranco Zola.

The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) announced on Monday that Casiraghi would take over the under-21 side from Claudio Gentile whose contract has not been renewed.

Casiraghi, 37, was forced to end his playing career prematurely after suffering a serious knee injury following his move from Lazio to Chelsea in 1998.

The former Italy international has worked as a youth team coach with Monza and had a spell as first team coach of Serie C2 team Legnano.

The FIGC said Antonio Rocca, previously the coach of Italy's under-17 team, would be Casiraghi's assistant.

Zola, who ended his playing career last year and does not yet have a coaching certificate, would take on the role of 'technical consultant', the FIGC said.

The changes complete an overhaul of the Federation's staff after Roberto Donadoni took over from Marcello Lippi as coach of the full national team following the Azzurri's triumphant World Cup campaign.