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English Premiership club Chelsea said it received 4 million pounds ($5.9 million) of insurance money for Pierluigi Casiraghi after medical experts said the Italian striker would never play top-class soccer again.

Casiraghi, who was signed by Chelsea in May 1998 for a then- club record 5.4 million pounds from Italy's Lazi, damaged right knee ligaments in November 1998 while playing against West Ham.

The 4 million pound payment for the 31-year-old is the largest ever received by an English soccer club, eclipsing the 2 million pounds paid to West Ham after defender Richard Hall was forced into retirement after breaking his toe in 1996.

Casiraghi played 13 times and scored one goal for the west London club before getting injured. He made 44 appearances for the Italian national team, including the 1994 World Cup final against Brazil, and scored 13 goals.
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