I always ask for accountability and today I am going to practice what I preach. I have always been one of the first to chastise Inter for their lack of Italians and the detriment to the National Team but when you click below, you are going to see something truly spectacular and something I have never seen in my years of following Calcio...so Interista, especially those of Italian descent, I apologize...
Goalkeepers: Buffon (Juventus), Sirigu (Palermo), Viviano (Bologna)
Defenders: Astori (Cagliari), Balzaretti (Palermo), Cassani (Palermo), Chiellini (Juventus), Criscito (Genoa), Gamberini (Fiorentina), Maggio (Napoli), Ranocchia (Inter)
Midfielders: Aquilani (Juventus), Marchisio (Juventus), Montolivo (Fiorentina), Thiago Motta (Inter), Nocerino (Palermo), Palombo (Sampdoria), Pirlo (Milan)
Attackers: Balotelli (Manchester City), Cassano (Milan), Gilardino (Fiorentina), Giovinco (Parma), Matri (Juventus), Pazzini (Inter), Rossi (Villarreal)
This list is Prandelli's call-ups for the Euro qualifiers and as a Milan fan it is a crying shame. There once was a time where the Italian team was built squarely on the shoulders of players of Milan and Juventus, and Inter were the laughing stock of Italy. It appears now the only people to laugh at is us. To make matters worse one of our lowly two players is no longer a member of AC Milan, next to Pirlo's name it may as well say Juventus. I am also disappointed in the lack of respect shown to Abate yet again and sooner or later Prandelli will have to come around to what most of Italy has already seen. But until then we will continue to struggle with this problem as we populate the National teams of every Country but our own.
So now I have to ask, how did things get so bad? I know some of you frankly could care less, but for me this means something. Milan has always provided the National Team with some of the best home grown talent the boot has ever seen, but now that is lost. Last season saw a significant effort in youth team spending so eventually these players will make their way through the ranks; but if the first team would rather give time to a player like Mexes over Astori, Vila over De Vito, Merkel over Verdi then this problem will continue to get worse and we will continue to be no better than the team we mocked.
To reiterate, I am not happy with this, frankly I am embarrassed, and while I take nothing away from a player like Vila or Merkel, if talent and effort are equal, shouldn't it be in Milan's best interest to play Italian youth? The simple answer is no, because at the end of the day Clubs don't care about Country and Country doesn't care about Clubs, until these conflicting views are brought a little closer this problem doesn't go away. It could always be worse though, we could be Roma fans, notice how many players they have on the list. The moral of the story is don't throw stones from a glass house, it is Inter now who are putting more players in the National team setup, so for the time being that little dig is no more.