5 Players That Will Impress the Most for the Italian National Team in the Euros

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Earlier this week, Italy revealed their squad for the Euros. There were some interesting exclusions, to say the least.

It doesn’t matter who got excluded from this squad. All that matters now is how the players on the team will perform. So, here are 5 players that will impress the most for the Italian National team in the Euros!

1. Nicolo Barella

Nicolò Barella - Player profile 20/21 | Transfermarkt

Image Via: https://www.transfermarkt.us/nicolo-barella/profil/spieler/255942

Nicolo Barella is arguably the best Italian central midfielder, currently. In my view, the only Italian central midfielder that could be better is Verratti.

Nicolo has everything you want in a box-to-box midfielder. He’s top-class at playmaking, dribbling, passing and not to mention tracking back. If he’s this good, hasn’t he already impressed the football world?

Here’s my answer. Of course, he’s already world-class. In saying that, international tournaments are where players like Barella can impress even more with in front of a bigger audience. It’s been that way ever since these international tournaments began.

Specifically, How Will Nicolo Barella Play a Big Role for the Azzurri?

Above, I’ve just talked about his talent and type of player he is. Here’s how he’ll specifically play a big role for Italy in their group.

Italy is definitely the favorites to win their group because they are with Turkey, Switzerland, and Wales. As a result, they’ll most likely have the most of possession in each game.

This means that each of these other teams will sit back and play on the counter-attack.

Offensively, Nicolo will provide that extra forward run that they will need to break down their opponents’ backlines.

Defensively, Nicolo will have the speed, strength, and positioning to stop teams from starting threatening counter attacks.

Let’s hope Nicolo Barella impresses like I think he will.

2. Manuel Locatelli

Locatelli: I'll always speak well of AC Milan, I wasn't ready to deal with  expectations there | Forza Italian Football

Image Via: https://forzaitalianfootball.com/2020/11/locatelli-ill-always-speak-well-of-ac-milan-i-wasnt-ready-to-deal-with-expectations-there/

At the young of age of 23, it’s been interesting to see how much Locatelli has improved in so many areas.

At Milan, he was a decent defensive midfielder. Over the last couple of seasons he has turned into a deep-lying playmaker. Now, is he or will he ever be close to the calibre of Pirlo or Xavi were? I’m guaranteeing he won’t. He will stand out in the Euros, though.

If you’ve watched him in Serie A the last couple of seasons or for Italy, you know how good he is.

Some other clubs also know how good he is. It is rumored that man city, juventus and psg are interested in him.

So, How Will He Be Important for Italy?

Locatelli is such a talented player in his position.

He creates space with his playmaking abilities and takes away space with his defensive abilities.

For Italy, he’ll be the last midfielder back, which means he’ll player a important role. He’ll make it hard for opposing teams to get into Italy’s half.

Think of him like Italy’s security guard in the middle of the park.

3. Gianluigi Donnarumma

Italian Legend Slams Gianluigi Donnarumma Following Poor Performance in the  European Championship | 90min

Image Via: https://www.90min.com/posts/5216441-italian-legend-slams-gianluigi-donnarumma-following-poor-performance-in-the-european-championship

In the last few seasons, Donnarumma has become one of the best goalkeepers in the world. The 2020 Euros will be his first big international tournament as Italy’s goalkeeper.

It will be tough for him because he’s taken over from the best goalkeeper of all-time, Gigi Buffon.

I’m sure he’ll embrace the pressure he’ll be under, though. Remember, he made his debut at 16 with one of the biggest clubs in the history of soccer.

How Will He Be Important for the Italian National Team?

We all know why elite goalies are important in the beautiful game, physically. Donnarumma has the potential to be important for the squad mentally too, though.

When Buffon was in net for Italy, you could tell that their backline was always super calm and composed.

If Gigio plays at an elite level in this tournament, he’ll have the same effect on Italy’s backline. The only thing he should try to avoid doing is having the ball at his feet as much as possible. He can be vulnerable with the ball at his feet.

4. Alessandro Bastoni

Alessandro Bastoni - Player profile 20/21 | Transfermarkt

Image Via: https://www.transfermarkt.us/alessandro-bastoni/profil/spieler/315853

Alessandro Bastoni is another player on Italy’s squad that has so much potential and will impress in the Euros.

A year ago, he probably wouldn’t have been on Italy’s Euros squad. That has completely changed, though.

He’s the perfect defender that can play out from the back and also has great aerial ability. So, he’s a massive scoring threat on corners and some freekicks.

Not to mention, he’s probably one of the most underrated players defensively. I know that sounds weird, given he’s a centre-back. It’s true, though.

How Will He Make an Impact in the Euros?

Given his abilities, he’ll be important in the Euros for a couple of reasons.

The first is because he’s a good passer and can handle the ball well in his own half, he gives the azzurri the option to play out from the back.

Defensively, he’s also super reliable. If I were Mancini I’d consider starting him. He’ll be that impressive.

5. Giovanni Di Lorenzo

Gattuso not satisfied with Di Lorenzo: the reason”. Montervino displaces  everyone

Image Via: https://www.italy24news.com/sport/11248.html

Giovanni Di Lorenzo is one of those defenders that not too many people talk about. They should, though.

Di Lorenzo is so talented for several reasons.

The first is that he’s probably the best right-back in Italy, defensively. Maybe, the issue is he’s so good defensively that he’s not that noticeable to the average fan. Clearly, Napoli and Roberto Mancini have noticed him.

Offensively, he’s super effective and efficient. If I were to pick a right-back that’s consistently reliable anywhere on the field, it’s him.

Why Will He Be Super Important for Italy in the Euros?

Pretty much all the other players I’ve mentioned here have specific skills that will make them important and stand out like crazy.

With Di Lorenzo, his quiet reliability in both halves of the field will impress. If Italy concede goals, I’m sure it won’t be on Di Lorenzo’s side of the field.

Conclusion

Whoever you believe will stand out for Italy in the Euros, it will be fun to watch them play in a major tournament for this the first time in 5 years. This squad will probably be their best since the 2014 World Cup.

There you have it, above are the 5 players that will impress the most for the Italian National Team in the Euros!

Honourable Mentions

Federico Chiesa, Giacomo Raspadori, and Marco Pessina

So, which Italian player(s) do you think will impress in the Euros? Let me know in the comments!

The 4 Most Underrated Clubs Heading Into the 2019-2020 Serie A Season

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Image Credit: calcioefinanza.it

   When Serie A fans discuss this upcoming season, clubs like Juventus, Inter, Napoli, and even Fiorentina are mentioned. However, in my view, there are a few clubs that are not talked about enough and even underrated. So, I will discuss who I think are the 4 most underrated clubs heading into the 2019-2020 season.

4. AS ROMA 

   The giallorossi have been very busy in this summer transfer window. They sold a key defender for them in Kosta Manolas and it’s almost like the floodgates opened after that, as they made many big signings. Notable ones include Gianluca Mancini, Pau Lopez, Jordan Veretout, and Leonardo Spinazzola. They also signed a few more players. However, despite all this, many fans and pundits don’t believe they’ll get a Champions League spot for next season. However,I beg to differ. Many underrate this club and under the leadership of new manager, Paulo Fonseca, they may regret that, as Roma will come back with a bang this season. Last season they missed out on the Champions League. This season, I don’t see it happening.

3. LAZIO 

    Lazio has not made any huge signings this summer. However, I still think they’ll make a splash in the upcoming Serie A season. Simone Inzaghi is an underrated manager and he could very well lead them to new heights. However, Lazio are a club to watch out for, not because of the money they’ve spent, but, the player they’ve been able to keep. Based on many rumors, it would’ve seemed nearly impossible for Lazio to keep star midfielder, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic at the beginning of the summer. However, they did. Now with some smaller additions, this Lazio squad could shock many Serie A fans and really do something extraordinary.

2. ATALANTA 

Atalanta did something that was uncalled for last season, they qualified for this season’s Champions League by placing third in the last Serie A campaign. They haven’t made a huge splash in the transfer market, as you’d expect a club going into the Champions League would. But, they’ve made a couple key signings. One is Luis Muriel, who will add firepower to that already jaw-dropping attack. Also, they bought Martin Skrtel, who will provide crucial veteran presence in the back for Atalanta. This club may now be playing in multiple competitions, but look for them to shock the calcio world once again, like they did last season.

1. SAMPDORIA 

For those who’ve read some of my blog posts, it is obvious that I admire Eusebio Di Francesco as a manager. His style of play is exciting and the heights he can get his squads to reach is remarkable. Sampdoria will just be another one of those squads that he improves. Sampdoria acquired Colombian centreback, Jeison Murillo, on loan from Valencia this summer. That’ll be huge for them in the back. Also, many people are writing this Sampdoria squad off. But, it seems as if they can elevate their level of play and possible earn a Europa League spot for next season. I wouldn’t bet against Eusebio Di Francesco or this Sampdoria side. So, watch out for this club, as they should make waves in this upcoming Serie A campaign.

To conclude, I am excited to see how these underrated clubs do in this upcoming league campaign. However, what I am most excited for is watching the upcoming Serie A season happen. The new Serie A season begins at 12 pm Eastern Time today and I absolutely can’t wait to see these and other clubs in action once again.

 

 

 

Why is Selling Moise Kean a Mistake?

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Image Credit: bleacherreport.com

I’ve made it abundantly clear on all my social media platforms that I’m not a fan of Juventus Selling Moise Kean to Everton. The reaction to this news seems mixed. Some, believe it’ll be good for his development and feel he’s not ready to be a regular starter for Juve. Then, there are others like me that believe selling him is a big mistake and that  he’s definitely ready for the show. So, here are the reasons why I think Moise Kean being sold was a mistake.

REASON#1: His goals to games ratio was the second-best on Juve’s squad last season. 

I know that using statistics are dry and boring. Some, also don’t think stats tell a lot of the story. But, I will talk about some stats anyways. Last season, man key players for Juve were not performing at the level they should. However, Moise Kean was the brightness that stood out for them last season. In Serie A, Moise Kean made 13 appearances and scored 6 goals. I know that’s a small sample size, but that’s really impressive for a kid whose ‘not ready’ to start for Juve. His goals to games ratio was the second highest on the bianconeri’s squad last season. CR7 was the only on the squad who beat him in that category, as he scored 21 goals in 31 appearances in Serie A. If you ask me, that’s impressive and will be one of the reasons Juve regrets selling Kean.

 

REASON#2: He’s currently better than any Juve Striker on the squad.

So far, under Maurizio Sarri, ideas have been floating around that he wants to deploy Cristiano Ronaldo as a striker, which is fair if that’s what he wants to do. However, if we’re looking at Juve’s strikers other than Moise Kean, it is quite apparent that they aren’t at his level. For some Juve fans, that’s just the harsh truth. Knowing that, Juve’s upper-management should’ve clued into that and tried to sell Gonzalo Higuain and Mario Mandzukic. Instead, those two haven’t been sold, and Moise Kean is being sold. Juve may have a master plan of buying a top striker, who knows. But, time is running out in the transfer window and it looks as though the bianconeri don’t have a true plan in regards to buying a new number 9. It’s no secret that they only have three weeks to make this signing, so time is running out.  I hope Juve at least buys another striker or CR7 will have to carry the club offensively, which will put  too much pressure on him and they won’t win all the silverware they want.

 

REASON#3: Not having a buyback clause in the deal means he probably won’t come back to Juve. 

It seems as though there is likely not to be a buyback clause in Moise Kean’s transfer deal between Juve and Everton. Supposedly, there is a ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ that if Everton wants to sell Moise Kean in the future, Juve will be the first club they turn to for a transfer. Here’s the big problem with this. Let’s say that Moise Kean plays well on Everton and wants to move to a bigger club, chances are that Everton will sell him to the club that bids the highest, as opposed to sticking to a word of mouth agreement. Also, if in fact Juve wants to buy Moise Kean in the future, there is no guarantee that him and his agent want to sign with Juve again. That second point is less likely to happen, as it seems as though he bleeds bianconeri blood. However, a vendetta against his former club would be very possible. I hope he proves Juventus wrong and demonstrates his skills on Everton.

 

I will conclude to say this. While, I’m a big Juventus fan and I think selling Moise Kean to Everton is a crazy move, I hope he lights it up in the English Premier League and would be heavily considered to be part of Italy’s squad if they were qualify for the 2020 Euro tournament.

My Serie A Top 4 Favourites Before the End of the Summer Transfer Window

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So far, this summer transfer window has been full of thrills and shocks, especially if you’re a fan of Serie A. I will predict my top 4 favorites to win the scudetto before the end of the summer transfer window. So, let’s begin!

4. AS ROMA

On the surface, this Roma side doesn’t look up to par, as they’ve already sold their best defender to Napoli, Kostas Manolas, so far. There are also rumors that Edin Dzeko will be leaving the eternal city as well. Also, don’t forget that the Roman Gladiator, Daniele De Rossi has left Roma as well. However, they just brought in young centreback, Gianluca Mancini. They are also on the verge of signing Jordan Veretout, who is a young midfielder that currently plays at Fiorentina. They’ve brought in a few other reinforcements as well. What will guide this club to a Champions League spot will primarily be because of their manger, Paulo Fonseca. He has a great track record in both Portugal and Ukraine, so expect him to continue that in the eternal city!

3. INTER

At this point last summer, Inter was going on a spending spree to try and gather reinforcements for the upcoming season. Many people including myself, thought they would contend for the Serie A title. However, it didn’t pan out that way and they barely qualified for this upcoming season’s Champions League. However, this summer they added a world-class manager in Antonio Conte, as well as bright young Italian midfielders in Stefano Sensi and Nicolo Barella. Considering, the squad at Inter’s disposal and their new manager, they will definitely give headaches to opposing clubs. If the top 2 favorites weren’t so good, Inter would truly challenge for the scudetto this upcoming season. Who knows, they may do that.

2. NAPOLI

Despite selling Jorginho last summer, Napoli were able to remain in second place and be Juve’s challenger to the Serie A throne. Now, Napoli’s defense has just become a brick wall, as they signed Kostas Manolas from Roma. Him and Koulibaly will probably be one of the best defensive duos in the world, next season. Napoli has also been able to keep their key players, which is a huge plus for them. Let’s not forget, they are rumored to be going after Mauro Icardi or James Rodriguez. Even, if Napoli don’t buy either of those players, they will still be a club to be reckoned with. It also helps that Carlo Ancelotti is their manager, as he is a tactical mastermind. With this current squad, they should be looking to contend on all fronts. Even, in the Champions League.

1.JUVENTUS

You’d think that it’d be easy to pick Juventus as being the Serie A favourite for this upcoming season. However, it’s not as simple as it sounds. Juve have made many signings in the summer so far, including young Dutch phenom, Matthijs De Ligt. He’ll definitely improve their squad. Juventus are also rumored to be going after other big fish in Mauro Icardi, Federico Chiesa, and Paul Pogba. Despite, all these new reinforcements, there is still a bit of doubt in my mind on whether Juve will win the Serie A title this upcoming season. My doubt stems from the fact that Juve’s new manager, Maurizio Sarri, has never managed a club with this squad and very high expectations. He is a manager that only likes to utilize 14-15 players out of a 23-man squad for an entire season. That worries me a bit because Juventus will be expected to win trophies on all fronts and if he thins his bench, players will have a lot of fatigue midway through the season, then there’s a possibility that Juventus may not win any trophy throughout the season. Maurizio Sarri will need to improve his squad management if Juve are to win the scudetto this upcoming season, as it will be the toughest title race in a while for them.

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The Top 5 Managers Heading Into the 2019-2020 Serie A Season

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If there’s anything that’ll improve in this upcoming Serie A campaign, it will be the quality of the managers. This season will see the likes of Carlo Ancelotti, Antonio Conte , and many others battle it out for the coveted Serie A trophy. I can’t wait for it! So, here is what I believe are the top 5 Serie A managers heading into this upcoming season.

5. Maurizio Sarri

Many Juve fans will probably not agree with this. However, us bianconeri fans need to be realistic. Sarri does bring an exciting brand of football to Juventus, as it’s very focused on attacking and pressing the opposition’s defence. However, as a manager he does not beat these other men. He only has won one trophy as a manager and that was last season with Chelsea. He doesn’t seem as though he is good at changing or adjusting his tactics against other clubs. This is why he’s at the bottom of this list.

4. Eusebio Di Francesco

If you told me coming into this off-season that Eusebio Di Francesco would be managing Sampdoria, I would’ve thought you were nuts. With all due respect, he should be managing a club with a better squad. Di Francesco not only shocked the football world and led Roma to a Champions League semifinal, but he also led Sassuolo from Serie B to the Europa League within a couple seasons. He is truly a manager that can get the best out of a group of players. Under him, watch out for Sampdoria, as they could shock many Serie A fans.

3. Paulo Fonseca

Paulo Fonseca is a manager that has not been talked about too much coming into this upcoming season. He has won silverware in both Portugal and Ukraine as a manager. Also, when he was the manager of Shakhtar Donetsk, he led them into being a formidable force in the Champions League. They became difficult to beat for heavyweights in the competition. His counter-attacking style is also very lethal towards opposing players. Paulo Fonseca is one manager to watch for Roma heading into this season.

2. Antonio Conte

Some would argue that Antonio Conte should at the very top of this list. However, either way he is a top manager. He is infamous for being animated on the touchline during matches. But, that must work because he has won three Serie A titles with Juve as well as a league title with Chelsea. He definitely possesses the merit to manage a club such as Inter. Inter may not win the Serie A next season, but Conte will definitely make other clubs work to their fullest extent to beat them. Conte is able to get every ounce out of a club’s squad and I won’t expect any different from him at the helm of Inter.

1. Carlo Ancelotti

The top manager in this list has definitely won his fair share of silverware around Europe. He has been doing it for many years, as well. Carlo Ancelotti has won multiple Champions League trophies as well as having won league titles in 4 different countries. Many managers have a specific style of play they tend to implement. However, Ancelotti is unique because his style of play is based on whichever one suits the squad of players at his disposal. He is able to be successful by implementing various styles, which makes him the top Serie A manager heading into this season. As for Napoli, I’d say they could win the Serie A title, as they recently bought Kostas Manolas and are in the hunt to either buy James Rodriguez or Mauro Icardi. So, I’d say to Juventus to get ready for a tight title race against Ancelotti’s Napoli.

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Why Will The 2019 Copa America Be More Exciting Than Usual? Also, What Country Should Serie A Fans Be Rooting For in This Tournament?

Image Credit:
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-6630407/Copa-America-2019-draw-Brazil-face-Bolivia-Venezuela-Peru.html

For many fans of the beautiful game like me, the Copa America is just as exciting as the European Cup. Although, Italy is not in the Copa America, it is still exciting to watch. It’ll the most exciting one yet for a couple of reasons, which I will explain below.

REASON#1: It’ll Be More Competitive Than Ever

The last two Copa America tournaments have been very competitive, as Uruguay won it in 2011 and Chile won it in 2015. However, expect this tournament to be even more competitive. I know that many will peg both Brazil and Argentina as the two favorites heading into this tournament. However, like the last two Copa America tournaments, other countries will be prepared to challenge them. But, unlike the previous two tournaments, this one will be more competitive. This was highlighted in the South American 2018 World Cup Qualifiers. The notorious Argentina team were about to not qualify for the 2019 World Cup, but the alien, Lionel Messi came through for them . Also, Peru qualified over a highly talented Chile team, which highlights just how competitive it is. Other than two out of the 12 countries in the tournament, this one seems like it is very open for the taking. Teams with the best talent may very easily lose or get eliminated, which makes this year’s Copa America stand out.

Reason#2: The Depth of Talent Will be Unique

There will be world-class talent on display in this year’s tournament. There is no doubt in my mind about that. But, the depth of talent will leave fans hungry for more. Of course, the likes of Argentina will boast elite talent. However, other countries such as Uruguay, Chile, and Colombia will boast some mouth-watering talent as well. The fact that Uruguay has two unreal strikers in Luis Suarez and Cavani or the fact that Colombia possesses the likes of James Rodriguez, Duvan Zapata, and Radamel Falcao, will make this tournament even more enjoyable to watch. This tournament will be one for the ages and I hope the people reading this will watch it.

The Country Serie A Fans Should Be Rooting For in This Year’s Tournament

If Argentina could have Mauro Icardi, Papu Gomez, and Paulo Dybala on their squad for this year’s Copa America, I’d consider rooting for them. However, the country I would recommend that Serie A fans root for is Colombia. This Colombia squad has a good chance of containing some exciting Serie A talent. If Duvan Zapata and Luis Muriel don’t thrill you, then how about Juan Cuadrado or even Christian Zapata. While Argentina boasts way more current players in Italy, this Colombia squad should feature a couple of the most exciting and prominent players within the league. No matter how you size it up, Serie A fans will love this tournament because of all the prominent players from the league that will take part in it.

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3 Reasons Why Juventus Has a Good Chance of Winning the Champions League This Season

Juventus beat Atletico Madrid and got through to the quarterfinals of the Champions League on Tuesday, just in case you live under a rock. Of course, Cristiano Ronaldo got a hat trick and the whole squad was on point. Heading into this season, I believed that Juve were one of the top 3 favorites to win the Champions League. This belief has become more apparent, at least for me, after Tuesday’s amazing match. I will discuss 3 reasons why I believe Juve’s odds of winning the Champions League has increased ever since yesterday’s match.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

Image result for cristiano ronaldo celebration vs atletico madrid marca
Image Credit: https://www.marca.com/en/football/international-football/2019/03/13/5c883ea1ca47417e108b463a.html




I know this is obvious to many fans of footy, but the fact that Juve not only bought CR7 in the summer as well as him having had such a great match on Tuesday, demonstrates that this generational talent gives Juventus a greater chance than ever to win the Champions League this season. Cristiano Ronaldo at 34 years of age is still a defender’s worst nightmare, which helps Juve. Cristiano Ronaldo also possesses the right mentality to win this competition, as he has won it 5 times in his career. Don’t get me wrong, without Ronaldo, the bianconeri (Juventus) still possesses a squad that is very capable of winning the Champions League, but having someone like CR7 at your disposal adds that extra oomph to the squad.

2. Juventus’ Squad Depth

Ronaldo said after the game: 'This is why Juventus signed me'
Image Credit: https://www.skysports.com/football/juventus-vs-a-madrid/403928

Generally, in any winning squad, there is always one player that stands out above the rest. But, in order for that star to be at his/her best they need teammates that can support them. As we have seen in this match and in many others over the past few seasons, Juventus has boasted tremendous squad depth. Even yesterday, both Juan Cuadrado and Douglas Costa could not play in the match because of injuries. However, Juve has so much squad depth that replacing them with Bernardeschi on the right-wing was no big deal and actually, some would argue that Federico Bernadeschi was Juve’s best player on Tuesday. It’s not just upfront, though. At the left-back position, Leonardo Spinazzola played over their regular starter Alex Sandro and played stellar too. This squad depth, as was shown on Tuesday, will give Juventus a good chance of winning the Champions League this season.

3. Juventus’ Heart and Determination

Maybe, it’s Juve’s manager Massimiliano Allegri or the players themselves, but in the Champions League, this club seems to show heart and determination even if they get eliminated in the competition. It’s like the heart and determination lives in the bloodstreams of players who wear the white and black jersey. We’ve seen countless examples of how this club demonstrates plenty of heart and determination and this season is no different. Juventus seem to be the type of club that can bend easily, but is very difficult to break. This is as a result of the club’s mentality. This will definitely help guide Juventus to winning their first Champions League title since 1996. I am hoping, as are many other fans, that Juventus pulls it off this season. Let’s hope it happens!

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