Damiano Tommasi to return to pitch with San Marino club La Fiorita

The president of the Italian professional footballers association (AIC), Damiano Tommasi, is to take part in next season's Europa League at the age of 41 after signing on for San Marino club La Fiorita.

Tommasi, who ended his professional playing career at Chinese club Tianjin Teda six years ago, is to make a return to the game when La Fiorita face Vaduz in the first qualifying round for next season's Europa League.

"It's going to be an opportunity for my children to see me play, considering it's been many years since I last played on an international stage," he said in La Gazzetta dello Sport. "I'm training and this is a new challenge for me, and I hope to be ready for these two games.

"It's a challenge that La Fiorita have given me the chance to experience all over again. I've been looking forward to this Europa League draw for ages now. Let's hope it will be a beautiful adventure and that I can add another chapter to my football career."

Since hanging up his boots in 2009, after a brief spell with Queens Park Rangers, the former Roma midfielder has spent his time representing footballers in Italy as head of the AIC.

La Fiorita host Vaduz on July 2 with the return in Liechtenstein a week later. The winner will meet Kazakhstan's Aktobe or Estonia's Nomme Kaju in the second qualifying round. Italian club Sampdoria enter in the third qualifying round, so Tommasi would have to get through two rounds before having the chance of facing an Italian club in a competitive game again, nine years since leaving the Italian game.