The Serie A sale: why Italian imports are a waste of money

Ollie Irish

18th, July 2006


A word of warning to English clubs considering a bid for any of Juventus’s disgraced stars: Italian footballers don’t travel well. They’re pampered mamma’s boys who never stray too far from the comforts of home. A case in point: Gianluigi Buffon could cherry-pick a Premiership or Primera Liga club, but instead he wants to move to AC Milan, who are banned from next season’s Champions League. Alessandro Del Piero, meanwhile, is set to stay at Juventus. Where’s the ambition? Why not try a season in England or Spain?

The Serie A sale: why Italian imports are a waste of money continued…

If you do succeed in enticing an Italian footballer to leave the warm bosom of his homeland, there’s a very good chance they’ll underperform away from Italy – not to mention the fact that they’ll be wanting a quick return to Serie A when Juve et al have served their time. Can you imagine the look on Del Piero’s face as he sat on the subs’ bench away at Middlesbrough in February…

Name five Italian imports who have succeeded at the highest level in British football? You’ll struggle. Yes, there’s cheeky Gianfranco Zola, but after that the cupboard is bare.

So put away your chequebooks, Premiership chairmen – you’d be mad to waste your money on an Italian, World Cup-winners or not.

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  1. bEN pARKER says:

    Carlo Cudicini, Gianluca Vialli, Paolo DI Canio, Gattuso

  2. Ollie, Editor says:

    Ben, Gattuso was very popular at Rangers but he wasn’t a massive success there. You have to admit, Italians have a pretty poor track record in Britain. I rate Cudicini highly but it’s straw-clutching to cite a reserve keeper (Okay, he wasn’t always second-choice).

  3. Anthony says:

    What about Ravenelli?
    OK he was bit of a git, but he banged in a few goals…
    The rest have been a bit pants… Materazzi springs to mind.

  4. Deamz says:

    Franco, Vialli, Di Matteo, Lombardo & Cudicini.