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IN the 80;s and thorugh till around 1998 we had some top notch defenders on the bench..we were blesed for at least 6 world class defenders...now we have 1 world class defender..(nesta) a former wold class defender(cannavro) and dodgy defender with a good cross(oddo) and an attack minded left back..(Zambrotta)...and as far as im concerned in the whole of seria there is a HUGE problem in finindg quality italian defenders..fast strong men like ferrara and vierchwood were..u know..ppl u COULD COUNT ON..not Legrotagglie bonera or Materazzi


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Well, in 1982 we won the WC cause we were the most complete team and probably not many people knows that among the 22 we also had players like Franco Baresi, Vierchowod, Dossena and Massaro who never entered the pitch.

In Mexico 1986 most of the champions of Spain 1982 had retired or were going to retire and we had not many stars indeed. The fact that the attack was Galderisi-Altobelli and that the best player of that WC for Italy was probably Fernando De Napoli should confirm how poor were those years for us. The goalies, Galli and Tancredi, sucked.

Finally at Italia 90 we had back a good team... but the defenders were again players already convoked in Spain 1982 (Bergomi, Baresi, Vierchowod) plus Ferri (good but nothing more) and the great Maldini.

In 1994 our defenders were the defense of Milan: Tassotti (who was already over 30), Baresi again (after 12 years after his first WC, he missed just the edition of 1986), Costacurta, Maldini plus not formidable players like Benarrivo, Apolloni and Mussi (maybe I forget someone but I'm working just with my memory).

In the last years indeed Italy created lots of formidable forwards and fantasisti, some good goalies, but just two formidable defender Nesta and Cannavaro, and that was clear in the last WC vs South Korea when both were absent and the Italian defense sucked.
 

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Italian defenders need to get big and physical, like Stam and Samuel. No coincidence that Italy's best right now, Nesta, is 187cm (although he's pretty slim and toned).
 

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When we look back in time we'll always remember retired players as "great" but Italy still have a great defence. Nesta, Cannavaro, Materazzi, Oddo, Ferrari, Zambrotta (wether he's a left back or midfielder) and then backups like Adani, Birindelli and Iuliano etc. Guys like Ferri, Mussi and Apolloni were not better then the current players.
 

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IN the 80;s and thorugh till around 1998 we had some top notch defenders on the bench..we were blesed for at least 6 world class defenders...now we have 1 world class defender..(nesta) a former wold class defender(cannavro) and dodgy defender with a good cross(oddo) and an attack minded left back..(Zambrotta)...and as far as im concerned in the whole of seria there is a HUGE problem in finindg quality italian defenders..fast strong men like ferrara and vierchwood were..u know..ppl u COULD COUNT ON..not Legrotagglie bonera or Materazzi
You're absolutely right, I was thinking along the same lines of late. When you have to rely on Legro and Panucci for backup in the NT you know something is gone wrong with the Italina defence.

Also it must be a real shame for the Italian defensive traditions that the best defence in Seria A doesn't include a single Italian in it(panucci is a reserve for us, thankfully) .;)
 

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Pirri is correct, and there is not even great youth defenders coming through

Nesta is quality, top 3 defender in the world for sure!!! Cannavaro has declined but I suppose for now he can still do a job for us!!!

Ferrari may well be a defender for the future years of the Azzuri, looks impressive but needs to go to a bigger team (sorry Parma) I mean Champs League team to find out how great he can be!!! Who knows Parma can be that team :)

Legrottaglie and Matterazzi are no more than standard players... Marco I rate quite high actually but often has bad days and needs to play in a 3 man defence!!! Legro is very dodgy indeed,, if he plays this summer he really needs to excel current performances!!!

After this we have no-one - Iuliano seems to have declined, Adani is nobody and so on!!!

I hope Maldini comes back for 2004 and we can take Cannavaro and put him on the bench!!! Then play the Milan partnership which is excellent!!! Even Ferrara would be good enough for now :D

For the future, hopes are slim... ferrari can be the future star (we will see) but after that there is a lot of maybe's... Piccolo, Bovo, Zaccardo, P Cannavaro and Mantovani are my main hopes from the youth teams, also marzoratti of Milan Primavera's... but I cant garauntee that any of these will be anything near succesful at the top level!!!
 

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I think Ferrari is the one really stable defender for our future. Adani is a mad man, but he's actually impressed me this year. He seems like a totally insane Italian.
 

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I thought Ferrari was going to be one of the next great ones but seeing his play recently I am not so sure. I share the same feelings...defenders of top quality are not being produced in the youth ranks. Look at the top rated young defenders in the world and look at how many are Italians....not too many.
 

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ItalianBoy said:
Toni, Tancredi sucked!?
What are you on man! Franco Tancredi was a great keeper.
Lo chiamavono la pantera bello!
And IMO, we dont have any problems in defense.
Tancredi sucked with the NT, not with Roma, of course.
In the first part of the 80s there were 3 goalies behind Zoff: Bordon, Giovanni Galli and Tancredi. When Zoff retired after the failure in the qualifications of the Euro 84, Bearzot had to choose the new n°1. Bordon soon showed to be the wrong man (he was even discharged by Inter who preferred the young Zenga over him), so Bearzot came to the WC 1986 in Mexico with both Galli and Tancredi as possible n°1 since none of them had been impressive in the friendlies. The failure in the WC confirmed the doubts on both and the new CT Vicini left both home giving the n°1 to Zenga and the n°12 to Tacconi.
 

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it's always easier to hail players when they don't play anymore...

cuz then you mainly point out the facts when they did something great..... casiraghi, ravanelli, zola and ..... (help me) that FOURTH striker in euro 96 were also great, and when we remember these we all thing about their best moments, cuz we never thing about their worst periods :)
 

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Primo said:
I think Ferrari is the one really stable defender for our future. Adani is a mad man, but he's actually impressed me this year. He seems like a totally insane Italian.
I like the way Ferrari plays...And about Adani....He is effective..he is a headache for opposition team when theres a corner goes againts them....been playing well this season...If you partner him with NEsta...i m sure he will do a great job...:)
 

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i think we still have a very good back four in oddo, nesta, cannavaro and zambrotta. Cannavaro has struggled at inter since joining, but it doesnt surprise me as i believe at inter, the environment seems to get to many stars who join them.

nonetheless, we do have Ferrari who is young and has been impressive the past two seasons. Legrottaglie hasnt been great at juve, but currently, with montero and others partnering him, even the likes of a Nesta wouldnt look great either. Sad as it sounds for juve, its the truth. You place legro or ferrari with nesta and they become twice as good. Same goes for Cannavaro. I recall Maldini not having such a great world cup and when he retired, it seemed that it was the right choice. who was to know that he would play a season which brought his name back as being one of the best defenders in the world at his age.

names such as Adani, Materazzi, Iuliano should not be mentioned. Nesta, Cannavaro, Legorttaglie and Ferrari are fine as central defenders. if one more defender was to come in, then let that man be Maldini, no one else.

what really concerns me is that we havent got more back up and young defenders. Our under 23 team from a fews ago produced some very good players and many have excelled at the top level (zambro, gattuso, ambrosini) to name a few, but the centre backs in Grandoni and Zanchi who were both meant to be top notch havent. Zanchi never cut it at juve and his recent health issues wont see him come back. And none have really come up since. Bonera was another player who was tipped as the next nesta when at brescia (i think). he joins Parma and he isnt great.

Back ups are scarce for full backs. Oddo is the only real right back worthy of wearing the shirt. Panucci is finished, Birindelli isnt good enough and names such as zaccardo are inexperienced and not knocking at the door anyway. If coco can find form and stay injury free, he would be a great back up to zambrotta or even a starter if need be, but after Coco, who is there?

If the team is lucky and stays injury free during the next two tournaments, i think italy should be good with the handfull of good defenders, but if nesta or oddo was to get injured, then i think we would be in trouble.
 
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