My Top 5: Italian Soccer Players

1. Fabio Cannavaro

Current Club: Real Madrid C.F

Fabio Cannavaro was born in Napoli and began playing soccer at a very young age. He made his Serie A debut in 1992 with Napoli at only 18 years old. He went on to play for Parma (1995-2002), Inter Milan (2002-2004), and Juventus (2004-2006) before joining his current club Real Madrid C.F (2006-present). He took over for Paolo Maldini as Captain of the Italian National team in 2002 and it wasn’t long before everyone could see his strength as a leader. With his strong determination, pride, and his killer smile on the pitch, he has inspired many. Fabio Cannavaro is best known for his incredible defending skills, which have earned him the nickname “Il muro di Berlino” (The Berlin Wall). He is also the first and so far only defender to win the FIFA World Player of the Year (2006) award. Fabio Cannavaro has expressed his desire to captain the Italian National team through the 2010 World Cup games.

2. Gennaro Ivan “Rino” Gattuso

Current Club: A.C. Milan

There is never a dull moment when defensive midfielder Gennaro Gattuso is on the pitch. This Calabrese-born player is famous for his intense tackling and never-say-quit mentality. He began his soccer career in Perugia before being transferred to the Scottish league at the age of 19, to play for the Rangers. From there he moved back to Italy to play for Salernitana before settling into his current club, A.C Milan, in 1999. Gattuso is also a part of the Italian National team and played an integral role in their success during the 2006 World Cup games. You never quite know what to expect from Gattuso but it is always entertaining and his skills has a soccer player make him a very valuable player to any team he plays for.

3. Gianluigi “Gigi” Buffon

Current Club: Juventus

Gianluigi Buffon has made a strong presence in the world of soccer and is probably one of the best goalkeepers out there right now. He signed on to play with Parma A.C in 1995 when he was only 17 years old and was later transferred to Juventus in 2001 where he currently plays and plans to remain until his contract ends in 2012. He is the Italian National teams first choice goalkeeper, which is understandable given his relatively consistent performance throughout his career thus far.

4. Paolo Maldini

Current Club: A.C. Milan
Paolo Maldini is the son of Cesare Maldini who played most of his career with A.C Milan and made appearances in the 1962 and 1966 World Cup games as well as managed many teams since retiring as a player. Paolo Maldini has most certainly followed in his father’s footsteps as one of the greatest players in Italian soccer. Paolo Maldini has spent his whole soccer career with one club – A.C. Milan. He made his debut with the team when he was 16 years old and is currently their Captain. Maldini has only ever played for one other team, the Italian National team, from which he retired in 2002. He is 40 years old and still playing. There are no definite plans on when he will retire, which he originally planned to do at the end of the 2006-2007 season.

5. Sebastian Giovinco

Current Club: Juventus
Giovinco is one of Italy’s most promising future players. The Turin-born footballer made quite an impression on Juventus who brought him into their youth system in 2001 when he was only 14 years old. He continued his way through the youth system before finally making his debut for Juventus’ senior club in 2007 in a Serie B match. He was loaned out to Empoli where he impressed many with his playing-making and scoring skills. He returned to Juventus in the summer of 2008 where he continues to impress. There is no doubt that Giovinco will be called to the Italian National team (he has already played for Italy’s youth national teams as well as Italy’s Olympic team) and we most certainly haven’t heard the last of this player. He is the next generation of Italian football and is geared to make a lasting and memorable impression.

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4 Comments

Filed under Articles, Italia, Italian

4 responses to “My Top 5: Italian Soccer Players

  1. I like Buffon the best.
    A couple of summer ago there was a rumour at Fornillo beach that Cannavaro was at the main beach in Positano. The bars emptied immediately for that direction. Of course it was just a rumour…

    Being a fan of both Juventus and the Azzurri, I am always so thankful to have a player like Buffon on those teams. He has made some pretty incredible heart-stopping saves over the years! :)
    HaHa That’s funny about the bars emptying out on account of the Cannavaro rumor…sounds to me like someone really didn’t want to wait for their gelato! :P

  2. My other half is a die-hard Inter fan. He took me to a match when I was in Milano last year. I had the best time ever!!
    One night when Ale was here this past summer we went out to dinner with some friends and Ale was star-struck because my friends husband looks like Gattuso. He was so excited, he had to have his picture taken with him. Turns out he used to work at an Italian restaurant and spoke some Italian, so Ale and him were like two peas in a pod the rest of the night. I’ll have to put that pic up one of these days!

    I think I would be slightly star-struck if I met the real Gattuso. I also love that he’s Calabrese and more specifically is from the Provincia di Cosenza!! :)

  3. I take it this is a list of the top 5 Italian players currently.

    I must throw a personal shout out to Roberto Baggio. The best Italian player of all time.

    Andy
    andy@soccerhistorynow.com
    http://www.soccerhistorynow.com

  4. Pingback: My Top 5: Italian Female Singers « Calabrisella Mia

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