Euro 2020: Italy Bets on Youth, and Fun

There are any variety of explanations for why that is likely to be. Massimiliano Allegri, Juventus’s coach of the previous and current, argues that youth soccer in Italy is, successfully, too tactical: Coaches are so apprehensive about their jobs that they masks the person shortcomings of their gamers with technique.

“As an alternative of letting children discover ways to defend one-on-one, they provide them cowl,” Allegri stated. “They double up. However meaning the child doesn’t be taught. So once they must play one-on-one, they don’t understand how.” That, in his thoughts, is why “Italy doesn’t produce champions anymore.”

Paolo Nicolato, the nation’s under-21 coach, contends that Italy’s soccer tradition is just too illiberal of errors, which he labels “a needed step of progress.” It suffers from a “unhealthy relationship with the longer term,” he says. “We’re very centered on the current.”

That assertion is borne out by information. Final season, of the 50 youngest groups in Europe’s prime 20 leagues, just one was Italian: A.C. Milan. Solely three Italian sides appeared within the prime 100. Extra considerably, solely 5 % of all of the minutes Serie A groups performed final season got over to homegrown, academy-reared gamers. Italian soccer stays a tradition that’s deeply distrustful of youth.

“It’s a unusual championship,” stated Maurizio Costanzi, the pinnacle of youth improvement for one of many few groups to buck the development: Atalanta. He has spent 4 many years working with younger gamers in Italy, and he has observed a particular, incontrovertible change in each the standard and the amount of rising prospects.

He wonders if that is likely to be associated, partially, to the demise of road soccer, or to the rise in athleticism within the sport squeezing out the kinds of gamers — playmakers and schemers — who lengthy characterised the Italian recreation. However he’s certain that those that do make it should not given an opportunity both shortly or reliably sufficient to succeed.

Euro 2020: Italy Bets on Youth, and Fun

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