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Baresi, Capello headline new Hall of Famers

There were eight new entrants into the three-year-old Hall of Fame in Florence, with the trio the biggest names inducted.

Also given the highest honour in Italian football were: Italy and Milan legend Giovanni Rivera, referees Sergio Gonella and Cesare Gussoni, administrator Massimo Moratti, and former national defender Eraldo Monzeglio (awarded posthumously).

Baresi - who plied his trade at Milan from 1977 to 1997, and also collected 82 caps for Italy - was thrilled to be recognised as a great of Italian football.

"I feel really privileged to be inducted into the Hall of Fame of Italian football," Baresi said.

"There are already so many great players who did Italian football great so I am really honoured."

Baresi, who was renowned for his position as Milan's sweeper at the back, said the days of players spending 20 years at one club - like he did - are all but extinguished.

"Times have changed," he said.

"I think that nowadays young footballers have a much wider choice than we had.

"They can change much more and do many more experiences in modern football.

"It will be very difficult in the future to see other players who can stay at the same club for 15-20 years, like (Francesco) Totti, (Paolo) Maldini or me playing for so long with just one club."

Capello - currently the national coach of the World Cup-bound Russia - ruled out a comeback to Italian football at the awards night.

"I don't think I will come back in Italy to train some club - I am just too old now," the  67-year-old said.

"What's more, we are currently discussing an extension of my contract with the Russian FA.

"Also, I believe that in Italy there are many good coaches. (Cesare) Prandelli is definitely amongst them.

"He is doing a great job with the national side and I wish him well in the World Cup."

Argentine Batistuta was the only non-Italian man inducted on Monday, and the Fiorentina legend said it still did not sink in the effect he had on the Florence club.

"I still can't realize what I've managed to create here," Batistuta said.

"A feeling between Fiorentina supporters and me has been forged through the years and to this day I can't find a proper explanation to this feeling.

"I just wanted to say that it's not important what I've done in one specific game with this shirt but how I've defended it through the years.

"I've worn it with pride and gave my heart for this shirt in response to a city that did the same with me. I am really happy because of this and I really hope that this shirt can always represent me."