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Wednesday, 10 April, 2002, 13:48 GMT 14:48 UK

Cesare Maldini

Position: Coach

Former Italy manager Cesare Maldini is far too stoical a figure to have got caught up in the uproar surrounding his arrival as Paraguay boss in January.

Other coaches in the country were furious at being overlooked in favour of a foreigner and the managers' union tried to get him expelled by claiming he had breached immigration laws.

But Maldini has clung on to his post and, having always approached the game with measured composure, his time coaching Italy has prepared him for the worst criticism.

Maldini became Italy manager in 1996 but his ultra-defensive tactics were slammed in France 98, where Italy went out in the quarter-finals.

He was a defender for AC Milan in his playing days and was assistant manager to Enzo Bearzot when Italy won the 1982 World Cup.

Maldini speaks hardly any Spanish and, despite the support of senior players such as Jose Luis Chilavert, the language barrier could prove a problem.

He is the father of Italy's long-serving captain Paolo Maldini, and, at the age of 70, is the oldest manager at the tournament.


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