Casiraghi vents anger at Chelsea

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The Independent Online

Pierluigi Casiraghi has launched an astonishing attack on Chelsea after undergoing his 10th operation on the knee he injured in November 1998.

Pierluigi Casiraghi has launched an astonishing attack on Chelsea after undergoing his 10th operation on the knee he injured in November 1998.

"I have had no help from England, either from club officials or medical staff," he said angrily.

The Italian striker, who had his latest operation in Bologna last week, continued: "Lots of my team-mates have phoned, as has Gianluca Vialli, but he is the manager and not an official of the club.

"Anything I have done since my injury, I have had to do alone. Sergio Cragnotti, Lazio's president, has sent me a lot of telegrams. He is a man of great class, unlike others I could mention."

The operation was said to represent Casiraghi's last chance to save his career. The former Lazio and Juventus player suffered serious knee ligament damage while playing at Upton Park against West Ham.

But Casiraghi, 31, remains confident that he will recover. He said: "I hope to make a return as soon as possible.

"I've never given up. I have been battling with all my strength to leave this nightmare behind. I'm doing all I can to get better. I can already detect some improvements and, contrary to what some people have said, I have been walking normally for a year and a half.

"There are still physical problems to resolve but I am looking to the future with optimism and will power. At my age there are still grounds for hope."

Three weeks after resigning as Italy's national team coach, Dino Zoff has accepted a job teaching a football coaching physical education course at the University of Udine.

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