Friday, May 15 th, 2015
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Balotelli and Immobile lead Diaspora FC, the top 11 of Italian players abroad
Among forgotten (ex) young players, authentic stars and promising aces, the overall market value of the team almost reaches €150 M
by Federico Formica
There's an entire squad of Italian players that don't play in Serie A. The components of that team, whose name could be Diaspora Football Club, sum 116 caps for la Nazionale and almost €148 M of market value.

Basically, the starting eleven we selected is the result of Italian managers' shortsightedness. Ciro Immobile, who was Serie A's top scorer in the last season, was sold by Juventus and Torino for less than €10 M each. Juventus spent double that amount for a Spanish striker, Alvaro Morata. Torino literally dismantled their amazing attacking duo (51 years old in two): as well as mmobile, the Granata sold Alessio Cerci in the last days of the transfer window. The attacking winger signed for Atletico Madrid for €18 M. Torino replaced them with Fabio Quagliarella and Amauri, who sum 65 years.

Mario Balotelli is the third element of our imaginary attacking trident. Everybody knows his story: his physical growth wasn't followed by a mental maturation, he can show flashes of dazzling talent and, in the following matchday, his unsuitableness at the highest levels. Milan decided to send him (and his salary) to Liverpool although his spell in Rossonero was not as bad as it could seem at a first glance. Coach Brendan Rogers is trying to replace Luis Suarez with Super Mario. Good luck, coach.

Rossoneri fans stormed Milan's Facebook and Twitter account when they knew that Bryan Cristante, one of the most promising players at Milanello (here you can read a profile), had just been sold to Benfica for a 6 million fee. Adriano Galliani explained that move by saying that “Cristante wanted to leave because at Milan there are too many players before him”. It's not so hard to understand why Cristante asked to leave: at 19, Benfica gave him the opportunity to play significant  minutes, a something that's almost impossible in Italy.

When Andrea Pirlo will hang his boots, Marco Verratti will be the best Italian player in his role. After a stunning season in Serie B at Pescara with Zdenek Zeman as a coach, the biggest Serie A clubs considered him as too expensive. Paris Saint Germain's opinion was different and €12 M were enough to bring him under the Tour Eiffel. At 22 Marco Verratti is about to play his third Champions League in a row.

The story of Alessandro Diamanti (31) is very different as the Tuscan fantasista reached his former coach Marcello Lippi in China to sign the most lucrative contract of his career. 

Domenico Criscito and Salvatore Bocchetti now play in the Russian Premiere League and both have an Azzurro experience on their shoulders. A few days before Euro 2012 Criscito was considered a starter (he was a regular in the 2010 World Cup) when he was involved in a match-fixing scandal

. He allegedly took part in the fixing of a Lazio-Genoa game when he was a Rossoblù player and his position has still to be cleared. At Zenit he played many games as a starter although he suffered a serious knee injury in February 2013. Nevertheless, he only played three games for Italy after the match-fixing scandal. 

Salvatore Bocchetti was another Genoa player and he left Italy one year before Criscito to join Rubin Kazan. After three season he signed for Spartak Moscow. He's considered a valid centre-back but he was totally forgotten after his departure from Italy. He also took part to the South African campaign in the 2010 World Cup but he never touched the pitch. For a twist of fate Bocchetti suffered a similar injury to Criscito's one in August 2013.

Giulio Donati and Fausto Rossi are barely known by football fans. Donati (we talked about him one year ago) only played 14 games in Serie A with Lecce's jersey before being sold by Inter to Bayer Leverkusen in the summer 2013. For the “aspirins” Donati played in Bundesliga and in Champions League. Fausto Rossi is the only player owned by an Italian club in that list. He's playing his fifth season on loan from Juventus. In the 2014-2015 he'll wear Cordoba's colours after a convincing campaign at Real Valladolid. Rossi is a jolly as he can be deployed as a centre-back, half winger, defensive midfielder and even winger. His 25 caps with Italian Under 21 selections suggest that Antonio Conte should take in consideration this player, who is already 24, considering the shortage of centre-backs that Italian football has been suffering.

Salvatore Sirigu (27) had a bizarre career. He only played two seasons in Serie A at Palermo when Paris Saint Germain signed him for €3,9 M. From that day he's always been a starter and he's about to play his third Champions League in a row as Marco Verratti. Sirigu has 10 international caps, the most important was Italy-England in the last World Cup, the only decent match played by the Azzurri. That day Sirigu was chosen to replace Gianluigi Buffon, out due to an injury. While Serie A clubs keep signing goalkeepers from every side of the planet (and their reliability is aften uncertain) a look at Sicily would have been enough.

Saturday, September 13 th, 2014
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