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Most football lovers have grown somewhat tired of Serie A and Italian footballers for understandable reasons. Aside from the tactical defensiveness, fanciful diving and corruption, there is something monotonous about Italians playing with other Italians.
Of course, many who disagree will point to the recent successes of Napoli and the usual domination of the three juggernauts Juventus, AC Milan and Internazionale. However, much of their achievement has come as a result of foreign imports who have lifted and changed the play of their respective teams (arguably, Juventus has mostly relied on the best Italian players that they have picked out from the league’s lesser clubs).
Napoli would be nowhere without Edinson Cavani (Uruguay), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Argentina) and Marek Hamsik (Slovakia). Similarly, Milan owe much to their Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Inter have for years been blessed with an abundance of Argentine talent from Javier Zanetti and Esteban Cambiasso to Diego Milito and Ricardo Alvarez.
Nevertheless, there should be the sense that Italy will surprise this tournament with so much controversy surrounding a team that has lost one player to the match-fixing scandal and has another, Leonardo Bonucci, under investigation.
With such crazy circumstances, this squad could bring much hope to their grieved nation and show that there are still numerous Italian players that can light up any pitch if they can pick apart Spain in their opening game and make it out of the group.