Italy: The Future Looks Bright
Italy have fallen victim to Roberto Donadoni's strategy of holding on to the "golden generation" from Euro 2008.
Donadoni called-up almost the same squad Marcello Lippi had brought two years earlier in the 2006 World Cup. The only new major face in the Italian first-team was 30 year-old Antonio Di Natale.
But now the 2006 hero is back.
Donadoni was sacked following a poor Euro display by Italy and Lippi has taken charge of the Italian national team for the second time in his managerial career.
In international football, change is a hard task for any manager. Calling-up new faces means that the "golden generation" will be left out in the cold, something which the media and fans will criticize unless results come really quickly.
But Italy need new blood. Surely the team still needs the experience of its world-class talents such as Gianluigi Buffon, Gianluca Zambrotta, Andrea Pirlo, Gennaro Gattuso and in-form Alessandro Del Piero.
However, Lippi must "invest" in youth. At the moment there has been a huge influx of Italian talent in all areas of Serie A.
The Future Looks Bright
A striker who resembles Filippo Inzaghi in his goalscoring appetite and even his petite figure. Owned by Inter and on loan at Cagliari, Acquafresca can become one of the best strikers in Italy.
The Ghana-born Inter stiker has played with Italy's Under 21 team. He's a powerful striker and an excellent finisher.
The Torino number 10 has been heavily linked with Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool, Inter and Milan. He's a creative dribbler of the ball and can fill the attacking midfielder and winger positions.
With injuries plaguing the Old Lady's midfield, Marchisio is blossoming into one of the best center midfielders in Italy with Juventus. The Italian has a bright future in front of him.
He makes Del Piero look huge with his tiny figure. But Giovinco is a fantastic winger with a huge reservoir with talent.
Other upcoming Italian talents include Villareal's Guiseppe Rossi, Empoli's Nicola Pozzi, Sampdoria's Daniele Dessena and their new signing Gianpaolo Pazzini, Lazio's Lorenzi Di Silvestri, Parma's Alberto Paloschi, Juventus' on-loan Domenico Criscito (currently playing at Genoa) and Giorgio Chiellini.
The future looks bright for Italy with Marcello Lippi on the helm and some excellent players ready to make it into the national team.
The 2010 World Cup squad will surely be a mix of young talents combined with the best of the players who lifted the World Cup in Germany.
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