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Franco Baresi confirms move to Fulham

last updated Thursday 23rd May 2002, 11:18 PM
Franco Baresi has confirmed he has signed a one-year contract as technical director of Fulham.

The Italy and AC Milan legend had claimed the Premiership club had jumped the gun earlier this week when they announced he had agreed to join them from June 1.

Fulham Technical Director of Fulham Franco Baresi However the 42-year-old, who has an optional extra year included in the contract, has today confirmed: "I cannot believe that I am leaving AC Milan after so long.

"Fulham chairman Mohamed Al Fayed's programme, is serious and ambitious, and has convinced me."

Reports in the Italian press say Baresi - who has also served Milan as vice-president - will appoint fellow Italian defender Filippo Galli, currently with Watford, as his assistant.

Baresi will take up a range of duties including scouting, recruitment of players, the academy and the development of women's football.

Current manager Jean Tigana would concentrate on his primary responsibility for the first team and, in particular, player coaching.

Earlier this week Chairman Al Fayed claimed: "This is the next step in realising my dream of making Fulham one of the foremost clubs in the world."

Baresi, regarded as one of the greatest defenders of all time, began his international career a few months after Italy won the 1982 World Cup - although he was an unused squad member in Spain - and ended his glittering career in 1997.

He currently has responsibilities at Milan for coaching, scouting and worldwide PR and marketing.

Captain of AC Milan for 16 years and Italy national captain for four years, Baresi played in two World Cups and missed a penalty as Brazil triumphed in a shoot-out to decide the 1994 final.

He won the European Cup three times with Milan, the UEFA Cup three times, the Intercontinental Cup twice and the Italian Championship six times.

Baresi played 760 games for AC Milan and won 81 caps for Italy.

An official Fulham statement confirmed: "Franco Baresi has today signed a contract as director of football for Fulham F. C. He begins work on June 1."
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