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AC Milan Players Called up for the 2014 World Cup

There was a time when an announcement of the World Cup Squad for the Italian National Team meant a battle between Milan and Juventus for the most call-ups, my how times have changed.

Claudio Villa

I used to look forward to this day as a child, it was something special to be able to count how many of Milan's 25 man roster were going to the World Cup.  Usually it was ALL of them, which meant that every game on those long summer days not spent at home meant you can see a player from AC Milan.  Once you watched the match you went outside and repeated what you saw on TV. In '94 at eleven years old I was Baggio, Baresi, and Maldini all in the same day.  If I was feel a bit more "orange" i could emulate Van Basten or Rijkaard.  In '98 I couldn't wait to see Dugarry who didn't make it Milan, in 2002 it was a chance to once again watch Maldini, while in 2006 it was Gattuso!

Now, I am older, watching a World Cup means a DVR.  Maybe a spot day off to catch a crucial match and then calling my Dad to discuss.  It just isn't the same when you get older and nobody tells you that when you grow up.  Another thing nobody else tells you is that someday your favorite team will hit a real rough patch, the kind where the National Team comes out with its preliminary roster and it only has four players on it, yes FOUR.  That is less than the fingers on my hand and if you compare it to '94 with 7, all of them starters it stings a little bit.  It also stings knowing that Stephen El Shaarawy, whose season was lost to injury, will not partake while Guiseppe Rossi in the same boat will.  it begs a question of Prandelli and his criteria.  While I fully understand and agree, a Coach chooses who he chooses based often times on tactics and usability, the selection at the top makes you wonder what his formation or plan is going to be. This roster will be trimmed and DeSciglio may see the ax, but more alarming is that we may see a match without a single Milan player at the World Cup.  That is the real travesty here, full squad down below...

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Mattia Perin (Genoa), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris Saint Germain), *Antonio Mirante (Parma);

Defenders: Ignazio Abate (Milan), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), LeonardoBonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Matteo Darmian (Torino), MattiaDe Sciglio (Milan), Christian Maggio (Napoli), Gabriel Paletta (Parma), ManuelPasqual (Fiorentina), Andrea Ranocchia (Inter);

Midfielders: Alberto Aquilani (Fiorentina), Antonio Candreva (Lazio), DanieleDe Rossi (Roma), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Riccardo Montolivo (Milan),Thiago Motta (Paris Saint Germain), Marco Parolo (Parma), Andrea Pirlo(Juventus), Romulo (Verona), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint Germain);

Forwards: Mario Balotelli (Milan), Antonio Cassano (Parma), Alessio Cerci(Torino), Mattia Destro (Roma), Ciro Immobile (Torino), Lorenzo Insigne(Napoli), Giuseppe Rossi (Fiorentina)