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Zenit coach Spalletti on Chivu: Great player. Great man

Zenit St Petersburg coach Luciano Spalletti has paid tribute to Inter Milan defender Cristian Chivu.

Chivu is on the brink of announcing his retirement as he faces more surgery on his troublesome knees.

Spalletti, who worked with Chivu at AS Roma, said: "Chivu is a great man as much as he is a great player. I understood immediately he would be valuable, thanks to his ability to play multiple roles. Great character.

"His best ability, however, was to be open-minded and to try to lend a hand to anyone who asked him for help.

"He's a great man and the results I achieved with Roma I owe thanks also to the value of Chivu."

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