Pierluigi Casiraghi has stepped down as Italy Under-21 coach following the Azzurrini's failure to reach next summer's UEFA European U21 Championship.
Casiraghi's contract was due to expire after the finals next June but following his side's extra-time defeat by Belarus in the play-offs, the former striker has opted to leave with immediate effect. Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Giancarlo Abete thanked Casiraghi for "working with passion" since replacing Claudio Gentile in 2006. The 41-year-old guided five-time winners Italy to two final tournaments, reaching the semi-finals in 2009.
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