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Francesco Flachi Returns To Football, Age 46, After Serving 12 Year Ban For Cocaine

Daniel Marland

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Francesco Flachi Returns To Football, Age 46, After Serving 12 Year Ban For Cocaine

Former Serie A striker Francesco Flachi returned to football last weekend, 12 years after being banned for using cocaine.

Flachi played over 100 games in Italy's top tier between 1993 and 2010 for Fiorentina and Sampdoria.

He was suspended after relapsing while playing in Serie B for Brescia and it's been a long road back.

Despite being 46-years-old, Flachi was desperate to end his career on his own terms and turned out for fifth division side Signa 1914 after five months of training with the club.

Flachi played 30 minutes of the 2-2 draw and was cheered on in the stands by former Sampdoria manager Walter Novellino.

An emotional Flachi spoke following the game and it's clear to see just how much this return meant to him.

He explained per Football-Italia: "I felt dazed before the game, I haven’t slept fro a week because of the excitement.

"I am so happy now and I want to thank all those who are making me feel like a footballer again."

Flachi wants to stay involved in football and is interested in moving into the dugout.

He continued: "The journey has just begun, let’s see what will happen. In May, I will begin a coaching course."

Flachi was first suspended in January 2007, when he was captain of Sampdoria, after traces of cocaine were found in his system during a random drug test.

It was initially a 16 month ban which was then extended to two years.

His second ban came just a year after returning and many believed it was the end of his career.

Image Credit: Alamy
Image Credit: Alamy

"I know I made a mistake and I got punished for it," he told BBC Sport in a brutally honest interview back in September. "I also know I am not as fast as I used to be, but I can do my part and help these guys believe in themselves.

"I also want them to understand how beautiful football is. They can't afford to lose what I threw away."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy & Francesco Flachi/Instagram

Topics: Serie A, Italy

Daniel Marland
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