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England 0 Chile 2

Stefano Ursolini is pessimistic about England

One of the best experts on South American football is your Tim Vickery. As Fiorentina have so many South American players we are regularly in contact. Tim is a great admirer of Chilean football for its fluidity. So it was no surprise to either of us that they beat England comfortably .

At Fiorentina we can virtually field a team of South Americans .we have Neto our keeper, Mateos Ryder a young forward both from Brazil; Gonzalo from Argentina; Mati Fernandez and Pizarro from Chile; Vargas from Peru; the sublime Caudrado from Columbia. We get the same complaints with which your familiar- why no Italians? Mind you Pasquale , di Rossi and Aquilani are regulars in the azzurri.

I was none too impressed by England. We used to admire your bulldog qualities , depth of talent and of course your Premier League but you are now some way behind the top six of Argentina, Brazil, Germany. Holland Italy and Spain. I cannot see any better than quarter final in the World Cup next year. Of course its a friendly but two of Chile’s best players the forward Radamel Falcao of Monaco and Artur Vidal the midfielder of Juventus were not even playing. One of the problems of English football is the over bloated description of players as world class. I categorise into  club, European, world levels . The Southampton players Rodriguez and Lallani looked to me club class. Rooney is called world class but would he get into a world team? I doubt if he would be a certain starter for Bayern, Barcelona or Real Madrid. . A few season ago Fabregas and Modric were peerless in the Premier but they do not now always start for Barca or Real.

As for Italy, with di Rossi on fire goal scoring will not  be a problem, although we have the deep lying Pirlo the rest of the midfield lacks the creativity of the other nations I mentioned. Brazil have Neymar, Argentina Messi and Aguerro, Germany Schweinsteiger , Ozil and Khedari Spain Iniesta and Xavi . Germany have not won an international tournament for 18 years now which rather upsets the argument of national teams underachieve where there are multinational leagues. Germany fussball is praised for its national coaches and German culture.

Just as Chile and Columbia might surprise a few clubs in the World Cup my European outsiders are Belgium. They have some of the best players in the Premier League: Signoret, Vermaelen, Fellani, Dembele, Hazard, Lukaku, Bendteke, its the squad depth that will be their problem

About Stefano Ursolini

The son of a leading Florentine art dealer, Stefano initially worked in the Uffizi Gallery. He went into journalism and soon became a popular stringer writing on Tuscan wines, art and football. Stefano lives with his partner Umberto in the Santa Croce quarter of Florence. A dedicated supporter of AC Fiorentina his elegant articles on the Viola as well as the Serie A have earned him an appreciative global audience. More Posts