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Italian view

Like yourselves, we are bitterly disappointed with our second successive poor performance in the World Cup. My Florentine friends have been texting me angrily that this would not have have happened if Rossi had been selected. I agree. He, not Cassano nor Immobile, was the type of forward who would convert a chance. I do not agree with the criticism of Balotelli though, as it carries an unpleasant racist undertone. As we are not a colonial country, do not have Turkish gastarbeiter like Germany, nor relaxed immigration rules like Belgium, we have a rather purified notion of who wears the Azure team shirt. Balotelli falls foul of this as he is black and regarded as foreign. This distresses me as much as our football which is falling behind the times.

Defence has not shone in this World Cup and this was once our forte. Maybe the age of the hard men like Gentile is over, but Maldini and Baresi were world class defenders in any era and I don’t see too many of them around. I am afraid, just as we lost a Champions League place, I can see Italian football declining especially if thise racist mentality perpetutates and we do not curb our ultras.

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