Monday May 20 2013
Riva retires from Italy staff

Italy team manager Gigi Riva has left the Azzurri staff after 50 years. “I’m not physically up to it anymore.”

The former Cagliari legend has been a player and then a member of the management staff for several decades, but had been suffering from health problems recently.

“I am leaving quietly, even if Giancarlo Abete wants me to stay on,” announced Riva, who turns 71 later this year.

“Today I confirmed my decision to FIGC President Abete and director general Antonello Valentini.

“It was enormously pleasing that they were ready to wait for me, as Abete wanted me at the World Cup in Brazil next year.

“However, the pain in my hip and my shoulder, added to the strain of travelling, do not allow me to perform my tasks. I’m not physically up to it anymore.”

As a player, Riva won the Scudetto with Cagliari, the 1968 European Championships and reached the 1970 World Cup Final.

He scored 35 goals in 42 caps for the Azzurri and hung up his boots in 1976.

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