Former AC Milan and Italy defender Paolo Maldini has insisted he is not interested in coaching the Italy National Team despite having conversations with Alessandro Costacurta, Italian Football Federation (FIGC) vice commissioner.
“I never saw being a coach part of my life,” Maldini said at an International Champions Cup luncheon in New York City. “My father (Cesare) was a coach and you have to be ready with your luggage. After 25 years playing all around the world, I just want to do my own schedule and being a coach is not for me.”
Italy is in search of a coach following the sacking of Gian Piero Ventura in November 2017 after the nation failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The four-time World Cup champions will miss out on soccer’s grandest stage for the first time since 1958.
Under-21 boss Luigi Di Biagio has been in charge of the senior team on an interim basis. Costacurta said he plans to announce a permanent coach on May 20.
Maldini, 49, told Sky Sports Italia he has discussed the vacancy with his former teammate, saying, “I’m always willing to listen.” The former defender had previously turned down an opportunity to join the backroom staff at AC Milan as technical director in 2016.
Maldini, who has 126 caps for Italy, said he hopes the FIGC uses the opportunity to right the ship and get Italian football back to the pinnacle it once was.
“I think it’s going to take time,” Maldini said. “We have to be a new federation, we have to be more up with the times, we have to be more modern. As Italians we have talents, but it’s not enough.”
The association is even without a president, appointing Roberto Fabbricini as its emergency leader in February after failing to elect a replacement following the resignation of Carlo Tavecchio.
“It’s an opportunity and you have to take advantage of it,” Maldini said. “I hope Italy will have the strength to make some changes.”