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Baggio to return as Italy technical director


ROME (Reuters) -- Former Italy striker Roberto Baggio is poised to make a shock return to soccer as technical director at the Italian federation.

The shy 43-year-old, who shone at the 1990 and 1994 World Cups, has shunned the limelight since retiring in 2004 and has only just started his coaching badges.

"I have a great willingness to undertake the role," the ex-Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan striker told reporters on Monday after meeting federation officials.

His appointment to the role, which includes advising coaches and nurturing young Italian talent, will be rubber-stamped on Wednesday.

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Italy's recent World Cup flop has prompted the federation to choose the inspirational Baggio to head its technical division despite his lack of coaching experience.

New Italy boss Cesare Prandelli will soon name his first squad for next week's friendly with Ivory Coast but has limited youngsters to pick from, an issue Baggio will be forced to address.