Sunday, February 8, 2015

Italian diaspora All-time 23 member team

Italy saw a large-scale migration of its people away from Italy in the period Between the unification of Italy in 1861 and the rise of Italian Fascism during the 1920s, as well as one last wave can be observed after the end of World War II.  Today, Italian diaspora is one of largest in the world.  Some of the greatest footballers are overseas Italians. There are 20 World Cup Finals at the time of writing.  Five of them were lifted by captains who are of Italian descent (1930, 1958, 1978, 1986 and 1994).   Italy won four more (1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006).

This is my All-time 23 Italian Diaspora team.  I have excluded all Oriundo players because those players have been capped by Italy and the Italian national team did not "lose" them.

Please also look at my all-time Italy team here and my All-Time Team Index.

GK: Peter Bonetti (England)
Nicknamed as "the Cat", Bonetti was a legend at Chelsea. His finest moment came in the Final of the FA Cup in 1970 where his heroic play helped Chelsea to win the FA Cup. He was the FWA Player of the Year runner-up that year.  However, he only earned 7 caps for England.  his career was limited by playing with Gordon Banks at the same time.  He was Banks' backup in the World Cup 1966.
GK: Rogerio Ceni (Brazil)
Roger Ceni is known as the goalkeeper who scored a lot of goals.  He is recognized as the highest scorer in history for a keeper.  He is a long-term keeper for Sao Paulo.  He went to two WC Finals as a backup.

GK Roque Maspoli (Uruguay)
He was Uruguay's keeper at the World Cup in 1950, where they won it by breaking the hearts of the Brazilians. 
RB:  Javier Zanetti (Argentina)
He was the starting rightback for Inter Milan for almost 20 years.  He served as their captain from 1999, earning him the nickname "Il Capitano" (The Captain).  He held all kind of appearance records in Italy.  He widely considered to be Argentina's best ever rightback.  He holds the record of the most capped player in the history of the Argentine national team and played in the 1996 Olympic tournament, five Copa América tournaments and two World Cups, in 1998 and 2002.

RB: Severino Minelli (Switzerland)
He was considered one of the best rightbacks in history.  He was capped 80 times for Switzerland.  He played in the 1934 and 1938 WC Finals.

RB/CB: Jose Nasazzi (Uruguay)
He was the captain of Uruguay's legendary team that won the World Cup in 1930.   He is regarded by many as Uruguay's greatest ever football player. He was known as "El Gran Mariscal" (The Great Marshal) and had already won the gold medal at the 1924 and 1928 Olympic Games, as well as the South American Championship in 1923, 1924 and 1926, by the time of the first World Cup.

CB: Daniel Passarella (Argentina)
Daniel Passarella was one of the best center-backs ever played the game.  He captured Argentina when it won the World Cup in 1978. He was also known for scoring over 140 goals in his career, very high for a defender. His career was associated with River Plate.

CB: Roberto Perfumo (Argentina)
He was a legend with Racing Club in Argentina winning the Primera title, the Copa Libertadores and the Intercontinental Cup.  He played in 1966 and 1974 WC Finals.

CB: Oscar Ruggeri (Argentina)
Oscar Ruggeri played in 3 World Cup Finals, winning the one in 1986 and finishing second in 1990. He was La Liga Foreign Player of the Year in 1989 and South American Player of the Year in 1991. He played for both River Plate and Boca Juniors as well as Real Madrid in Spain.

LB: Silvio Marzolini (Argentina)
A idol with Boca Juniors.  He was considered one of the greatest leftbacks in Latin American football history.  He went to the 1966 WC Finals in England.

LB:  Alberto Tarantini (Argentina)
He was the starting leftback for Argentina in 1978 and 1982.  He was infamously known for his career in England where he only lasted 28 matches. He played for both River Plate and Boca Juniors.

DM: Nestor Rossi (Argentina)
One of Argentina's greatest defensive midfielders.  He won 5 Argentinian league titles with River Plate and 6 more with Millonarios in Colombia. He played in the 1958 World Cup Finals.

DM: Dunga (Brazil)
Dunga's bluecollar and defensive style of football symbolized a new era in Brazil's football.  He played 91 times for Brazil.  He was the captain of Brazil's WC winning team in 1994. He also went to Italia 1990 and France 1998.  He played in Brazil, Japan, Italy and Germany in his career.

CM: Esteban Cambiasso (Argentina)

DM: Diego Simeone (Argentina)
Simeone started his career with Velez Sarsfield before moving to Europe. He first joined Pisa and Sevilla before going to Atletico Madrid.  He won the Double with them in 1995-1996.  He then moved to Inter Milan, where he won the UEFA Cup in 1998.  In 1999, he moved to Lazio.  Again, he won the Double.  He returned to Atletico Madrid in 2003 and played for Racing Club before his retirement.  For Argentina, he was capped 106 times. He won Copa America in 1991 and 1993.  He went to play in three WC Finals; 1994, 1998 and 2002.  In 1998, he had the famous incident with David Beckham.

CM/AM/FW:  Alfredo Di Stefano (Argentina)
The best player in the world before the emerge of Pele and Maradona. He won 5 straight European Cups with Real Madrid. He was credited in turning Real Madrid into a legendary club. He was one of the younger member of the great River Plate in the 1940's.

AM: Enzo Scifo (Belgium)  
Born in Belgium of Italian background.  he made his name with Anderlecht.  He also played in both France and Italy.  He appeared for Belgium in the World Cups of 1986, 1990, 1994, and 1998, playing sixteen games.  He was a star at the WC Finals in 1986 and 1990, where he scored one of the best goals of the tournament in 1990. 

LW/M: Rivelino (Brazil)
He is considered to be one of the greatest left-sided midfielder ever.  He won a WC in 1970 and played in the 1974 team.  He had 92 caps for Brazil.  He was known for his master of the "flip flap" move. 

RW/FW: Lionel Messi (Argentina)
At time of writing, he won 4 World Player of the Year and Ballon d'Or.  Despite his Tax evasion case and feud with his charities, he is considered a clean-cut player.

AM: Michel Platini (France)
Michel Platini is one of the greatest footballers of all time.  He scored 9 of France's 14 goals as they won Euro 1984 at home.  It was probably the greatest individual performance in a tournament.  He won the Ballon d'Or three times, in 1983, 1984 and 1985.  With Juventus, he won the European Cup in 1985, the first ever for the club.

AM:  Enzo Francescoli (Uruguay)
Known as "the Prince", he was Uruguay's most capped outfield player.  He was a big fan favorite in River Plate where he won Copa Libertadores in 1996.  He also played in France and Italy. With Uruguay, he won three Copa America's in 1983, 1987 and 1995, where he was voted the best player in two of the tournaments.  He was also South America Player of the Year in 1984 and 1995.

AM: Diego Maradona (Argentina)
He was considered the second best player in history after Pele.  He won the World Cup in 1986, scoring the best goal in the history of the World Cup when he scored against England.  For club football, he was best remembered for leading Napoli to break the dominance of the Northern Italian clubs in the Serie A.  

ST:  Gabriel Batistuta (Argentina)
He is the current top-scorer for Argentina.  He first gained international recognition when Argentina won the Copa America in 1991 where he finished as the top scorer. He earned a move to Fiorentina spending the next 9 seasons there while becoming their all-time leading scorer.  In 2000, he moved to Roma and won the scudetto in his first season. He went to the WC Finals in 1994, 1998 and 2002.

Honorable Mention 
Paul Caligiuri (USA), Tony Meola (USA), Miguel Brindisi (Argentima), Nestor Sensini (Argentina), Ciriaco Sforza (Switzerland) and Tony Cascarino (Ireland), Hilderaldo Bellini (Brazil)

Squad Explanation
I have excluded all Oriundo players because those players have been capped by Italy and the Italian national team did not "lose" them. Omar Sivori, Luis Monti, etc did not make the squad.


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