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 Three Best Serie A Signings of the Summer Transfer Window

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Now that the Summer Transfer Window has concluded, all the focus has turned to how these new signings will perform with their new clubs. Here are my top three signings from Serie A clubs in the Summer Transfer Window!

3. Marash Kumbulla

Image Via: http://romapress.net

Last season, Kumbulla played absolutely marvellous and grabbed the attention of some clubs in Italy. You probably already know this. But, just in case you didn’t, Kumbulla signed with Roma! In some people’s eyes, this is the best Serie A transfer of the transfer market. I’m rating at number three. However, that doesn’t take away just how good of signing this is. Roma clearly needed another centre-back and they definitely got another adequate one in Kumbulla. The toughness and defensive skill he’ll bring to the squad is already noticeable early in the season. Kumbulla is probably one of the most physically imposing defenders in his age group. He also possesses the defensive intelligence to be world-class. One of his weaknesses is his technical abilities. But, Roma just needs another defender that knows how to defend at a top-level.

2. Victor Osimhen

Image Via: http://thenationonlineng.net

One of Napoli’s needs coming into the Summer Transfer Window was a striker. There were several names linked to the club. However, they ended up landing a highly-touted young striker, Victor Osimhen, from Lille. It cost them a pretty penny. However, this addressed Napoli’s huge need at striker. Also, he’s young so he should benefit Napoli long-term. He possesses so many great qualities that a striker needs. His positioning and all that stuff are very good. He even possesses the above-average technical ability and is also a good passer of the ball. So, he’s versatile. Another reason why this was such a great signing for Napoli is that it gives them more options in the attack. That’s key for Napoli because they’re competing in the Europa League as well as the Coppa Italia and Serie A, so he provides much welcome depth. I can’t wait to watch him blossom for Napoli!

1. Achraf Hakimi

Image Via: http://moroccoworldnews.com

During his time at Dortmund, Hakimi showed how world-class he is as well as can be. Now, he’s part of Inter’s squad. I’m not even an Inter fan and still hasn’t even sunk in that Hakimi is playing in Serie A. He possesses so many good qualities. Not only is he super fast, but he also provides so much in the attacking half and can defend well for a full-back of his age. By signing Hakimi, Inter addressed one of their massive needs which were signing a wingbacks. At Dortmund, Hakimi was deployed as a right-back. However, it’s clear from the first few matches that he fits being a right wing-back. He possesses top attacking ability down the right side of the field. It’s not only that, though. He has so much speed up and down the field, that his tracking back is also world-class. I don’t know if I’ve seen a player in a while that can transition from attack to defense or vice-versa so rapidly. It’s remarkable to see it!

Thanks for reading this article! Be sure to spread the word about my blog to people you know that are interested in calcio or want to learn more about it. If you’d like to follow me further, my Twitter handle is @calciofanblogs1, my Instagram account is @calciofanblogs, and my Facebook Page is Calcio Fan Blogs. Additionally, if you’d like to reach out to me, email me at calciofanblogs@gmail.com and/or connect with me on LinkedIn!

The Most Impressive Serie A Clubs Since the Current Season Resumed

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Several months ago, everything was up in the air and I didn’t know whether the current Serie A season would resume. However, flash-forward to now and there are matches scheduled for the majority of each week over close to the next two months. It’s also still early in the resumption of the season, but there have been a few clubs that have stood out. Here are the most impressive Serie A clubs since the current season resumed.

MILAN

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Ever since Pioli got hired, it’s been obvious that Milan has played significantly better. I think that’s pretty obvious. Clearly, they’ve continued their good form since the resumption of the season. Their first match back was against Lecce. In that match, they were up 1-0 at the half and it seemed as though things we’re going downhill, as Lecce equalized just after half. After that, I’m not sure what happened, but Milan exploded and scored three goals to secure a 4-1 victory. Yes, Lecce isn’t a great team. But, the win was impressive, nonetheless. Then, last Sunday they faced Roma. It was a tight game throughout. However, Milan continued got the job done late in the second half with two goals. This club continues to impress and it’s possible that the Rossoneri can make up for their bad start to the current season. With the form they’re in, it’s definitely possible.

ATALANTA

Image Via: https://www.espn.com/

Atalanta has impressed me so much over these last couple of seasons. Even once the season resumed, it’s like Atalanta never stopped playing. A lot of fans may complain that their club’s players are suffering from rust from not playing for so long. However, if you look at the way Atalanta has been playing since the restart of the season, those excuses look less valid. Not only did they beat Sassuolo by a good margin, but they also beat Lazio and even got a victory Udinese on the weekend. It doesn’t even seem real that they can come back after that long and score goals for fun. It’s amazing, to say the least! Obviously, defensively they’re a bit vulnerable. However, they’ve scored 80 goals in 28 matches this season so far, so I don’t think they’re afraid of sacrificing defensively to score. It’s amazing to still watch their highly-energetic attack. What’s even more impressive is it feels as though they can outscore almost any other club in Serie A.

NAPOLI

Image Via: https://en.as.com/

For the first few matches under Gattuso, Napoli seemed to continue to struggle. However, since then they’ve played on a completely different level. If moving back to the top 6 wasn’t enough for some, winning the Coppa Italia might’ve been. A lot of squads would’ve lost focus for the rest of the season after winning a trophy like the Coppa Italia. However, not Napoli under Gattuso. Since they’ve resumed their season, they’ve beaten both Hellas Verona and SPAL. Now, the match against Hellas Verona seemed to be tough for them throughout. But, they defended well and were able to contain the beast that Hellas Verona has been this season. Then, they were able to capitalize on the Counter Attack. In both matches, the players stayed focused and calm and as a result, they’ve impressed. If they keep playing like this, who knows who they can surpass in the Serie A table.

JUVENTUS

Image Via: https://mundoalbiceleste.com/

After Juve’s Coppa Italia performances, it would’ve been easy to write them and Maurizio Sarri off. However, so far Sarri has adjusted things and that has really helped. As a result of Alex Sandro’s injury in the Coppa Italia, he’s had to adjust. In the first match, he deployed De Sciglio as the left-back. Then, in the second match, he deployed Matuidi at left-back, which was odd because he typically plays as a central midfielder. But, they had no other choice and it seemed to work. The biggest difference in my view, though, was the attack. At right-wing, instead of starting Douglas Costa as Sarri did in their Coppa Italia matches, he opted to start Bernardeschi. That definitely paid off. Of course, Douglas Costa is a better player than Bernardeschi. But, the reason their attack has looked better in the last couple of games is one simple reason. Bernardeschi was willing to switch his position in order to allow more freedom for CR7 and Dybala. Costa, however, wasn’t as willing to switch play. As a result, Bernardeschi has surprisingly been better as a starter than Costa, since the season resumed. Time will tell if the front three of CR7, Dybala, and Berna will be truly effective. However, for now, it definitely is.

Thank you for reading this article! If you’re passionate about Serie A and want to constantly teach/learn about the league, you can reach out to me via Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Additionally, you can also send me a message to my email address, which is calciofanblogs@gmail.com

Here’s Dybala’s impressive goal against Lecce on the weekend. Enjoy!

Video Via: Youtube- Netizen Indonesia Channel

Ways Serie A Clubs Can Increase Their Attendance at Stadiums

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Serie A is a very attractive league to watch. However, in regards to attendance numbers at stadiums, it’s still behind other top football leagues such as the EPL (England Premier League) and the Bundesliga. So, I decided that it’d be a good idea to compare the EPL’s average attendance numbers to Serie A’s numbers. Also, I want to write about ways Serie A clubs can increase their attendance at stadiums. So, let’s get it done!

EPL’s AVERAGE STADIUM CAPACITY AND ATTENDANCE NUMBERS THIS SEASON

Image Credit: http://dailymail.co.uk

To start off, I got each individual club’s stats from https://www.soccerstats.com in order to write this article. Then, added the numbers from each club. After that, once I got the total numbers from each league, I divided it up by the number of clubs that are in each league. That’s how I was able to get the average attendance, stadium capacity, and the average percentage of seats being filled from both leagues. From my calculations, so far this season, the average number of fans that are attending EPL matches this season is approximately 39,295. The average capacity of English Premier League stadiums close to 40, 546 people. Finally, the average percentage of each stadium in England’s top-flight that has been filled this season is 96.6%.

SERIE A’s AVERAGE STADIUM CAPACITY AND ATTENDANCE NUMBERS THIS SEASON

Image Credit: http://www.milanotoday.it

To calculate Serie As average attendance and stadium capacity numbers, I used the same method as I did above. Serie As average numbers in these categories are lower, which means they need to improve. So, here are the numbers. Based on what I calculated from the https://www.soccerstats.com website, Serie As average stadium capacity is approximately 39, 331 people. Also, Serie A’s average attendance so far this season is about 26, 641 attendees. To cap off Serie A’s average attendance and capacity numbers, approximately, 71.7% of the league’s stadium capacities have been filled.

SO HOW CAN SERIE A CLUBS INCREASE THEIR ATTENDANCE NUMBERS?

1. BUILD NEWER STADIUMS/RENOVATE OLDER ONES

Image Credit: http://www.skyscrapercity.com

This solution is a very difficult one to implement, as it would have to go through a lot of political barriers as well as major planning. Also, some club owners would be hesitant just because there are a lot of costs associated with this. Permits, building costs, and more would be part of those costs. However, in the long-term, I believe that it would attract more fans to attend Serie A stadiums each week. Personally, if I were to go to any Serie A stadium, it’d be a dream. However, some fans would love to go to stadiums that are newer and aren’t crumbling apart. One of the big factors as to why Stadiums in the EPL have a high number of fans attending their matches each week is because of a lot of stadiums being newly built or renovated.

2. ELIMINATE THREATS OF VIOLENT AND DISCRIMINATORY BEHAVIOUR WITHIN THE STADIUMS

Image Credit: http://edition.cnn.com

Unfortunately, sometimes Serie A gets a bad reputation because of some people within the stadium who look to cause physical violence as well as displaying discriminatory behaviour towards fans as well as players. Serie A needs to crackdown on people who display this type of behaviour in the stadium because first of all, it’s wrong and shouldn’t be tolerated at all. We are all human beings who shouldn’t be threatened by violence or discriminated against in any shape or form. Second of all, if fans feel that they’re in danger by going to a stadium and watching their team play, it’ll result in them not wanting to go. Therefore, Serie A needs to crack down on these types of actions within stadiums.

References:

https://www.soccerstats.com/attendance.asp?league=italy

https://www.soccerstats.com/attendance.asp?league=england

Three Current Players I’d like to see Play in Serie A

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It’s official! Franck Ribery, Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Romelu Lukaku will all be playing against each other in the same domestic League for the first time ever! That league is, of course, the wonderful Serie A. As a result of these players joining Serie A at the same time, I’m writing about three other ones I’d like to see play in Italy. So, enjoy!

1. KYLIAN MBAPPE

Image Credit: http://en.as.com

The legend of Kylian Mbappe keeps growing at a fast rate. At 21, he’s already won the World Cup as well as three Ligue 1 titles with both Monaco and PSG. He definitely boasts an impressive resume for his age. That is exactly why I’d love to see him play at a Serie A club. Imagine Cristiano Ronaldo, Ibrahimovic, and Kylian Mbappe playing in the same league. That’d be something remarkable and I hope it happens. However, the big limitation to trying to buy the player is his price. He was purchased by PSG in 2017 for 145 Million Euros plus 35 Million Euros in bonuses. Also, he keeps getting better by the day, so, I’m not sure which Serie A clubs can afford to buy him without selling many of their key players. But, it’s a dream of mine for this young star to grace the calcio fields of Italy.

2. LIONEL MESSI

Image Credit: http://goal.com

As of now, it’s very difficult to see Lionel Messi going to another club other than Barcelona. Indeed, the loyalty he has for the club seems unbreakable. However, in 2005, Inter were nearly able to sign the young Lionel Messi. That’s in the past now, but, I’d still love to see him play in Serie A, not just because of his technical abilities or dribbling technique, but also because it’d be cool to see him pursuing a new challenge in his career. What better challenge than to play in Italy? Lionel Messi would also join many other Argentinean legends by playing in Italy. However, it is still only a dream, as, like I mentioned earlier, I can’t see him ever leaving Barcelona to go to another club.

3. KEVIN DE BRUYNE

Image Credit: http://talksport.com

It’s an interesting thing to say, but, compared to the other players in this article, I’d say Kevin De Bruyne is the most likely to make a move to Serie A. His price would be crazy. However, he would definitely be cheaper than the other two players. Also, while, he has won a bunch of silverware for Manchester City, I feel like he’s the type of player to want a new challenge. Maybe, if Manchester City plateaus with their current group, he’ll want higher level trophies such as Europa League or even Champions League trophies. A move to Serie A for Kevin De Bruyne would depend on if Man City keeps achieving the level of success that they have for the past couple of seasons. Hopefully, this move happens in the near future.

What Napoli Needs to Do in Order to Finally Win the Scudetto.

It has been many years since Napoli have won the Scudetto. The last time they won a Serie A title was in 1990, which was 29 years ago. After last season’s epic title chase with Juventus, Napoli will be desperate to capture the Scudetto. I have identified two things in which Napoli needs to do in order to bring Serie A’s most prestigous trophy back to their city.

Be More Consistent 

Halfway through the Serie A season, Napoli only has lost three matches so far. But, they’re nine points behind Juventus, who is in first place in Serie A. Well, Juventus is undefeated so far in the season, Napoli needs to demonstrate more consistency. Every match they must maintain their focus. A signing during January to boost that midfield would definitely help, though.

                          Hope That Their Midfielders and Defense Contribute More Goals 

Mertens, Insigne, and Milik have all done their fair share of goal scoring for Napoli so far this season. However, what they have lacked is other players that can contribute a bunch of goals to assist their forwards. I acknowledge that generally speaking, defenders and midfielders should not have to worry about scoring goals. However, when you rely on very few players to score goals for your club, it takes a toll after a while.

I know this was a short blog post, but thank you reading it and be sure to follow my Instagram @calciofanblogs as well as following me on Twitter @calciofanblogs1 and liking my Facebook Page: Calcio Fan Blogs.