Italy finished two games, a small defeat to England and a small victory over Malta, and overall it was lackluster.
If anything, striker Retegui, who scored in both games, barely counts as one. Before the Italian team, the name Retegui was unfamiliar to me and had no idea what it was. In fact, in the first half of the match against England, the attacking line with Reteji as the arrow did not pose any threat to the English defense.
However, his chance came quickly, and on 56 minutes, Maguire's ball at the back was cut off, Lorenzo Pellegrini shoved the ball diagonally into the box, Retegui rushed to calm to the far corner to score in his national debut, and in the subsequent game against Malta he scored with a header, the "naturalized" center forward from Argentina, Mancini was one of the few achievements of this national team game.
Italy is known for producing excellent defenders, but their excellent strikers have been numerous, we don't need to stretch the timeline too far, from the nineties to the beginning of this century there are Baggio, Totti, Vieri, Piero, Inzaghi and other great strikers, the current Italian manager Mancini is also a famous striker in Serie A.
I really didn't expect that now the Azzurri now also have to "naturalize" the strikers.
01 Naturalization is no problem, it just works!
It is not uncommon for Italy to use naturalized players, after all, it is a country that recognizes dual nationality, and it is not difficult to find players with Italian blood overseas, according to the statistics of relevant departments, the number of Italian descendants in Argentina has reached 20 million, so to some extent, Argentina can also be regarded as the "source of soldiers" of the Italian team.
As early as the 30s, Argentine stars such as Cesarini, Monti and Olsch were recruited by Italy, the 2006 World Cup winners also included Camoranesi from Argentina, and the core of the Italian midfielder who won the European Championship in the summer of 2021, Jorginho, was Brazil.
However, there are not many examples of the Azzurri using strikers to naturalize players. In my impression, the only naturalized strikers used by the Italian national team seem to be Amauri and Eder (welcome to add in time), both of whom have played in Serie A for many years and fully proved their strength before being called up to the Italian national team.
That's what makes Retegui special, as he has been playing in the Argentine league and has no Serie A experience. Despite this, Mancini chose to bring the high school striker, which shows how scarce the Azzurri forward talent is now.
In the past five years, the only local player who has won the Serie A Golden Boot is Immobile alone, but the Blue Eagle striker is still incompatible with the national team, and it is not ideal to come to the Italian team, if he does not waste too many opportunities, I am afraid that Italy can catch the last train of the Qatar World Cup. This is still a scorer who has proven himself in Serie A, and the so-called Azzurri center forward candidates such as Raspadori, Skamaca, and Petagna, are very unconvincing; As for Balotelli, Keane Jr., these old and new "problem youths", not to mention.
As things stand, Retegui's ability to score consecutive goals has at least proved that he is okay, especially against England, and perhaps the striker who plays far away in South America is not the best solution for the future of the Italian striker, but he is the man Mancini needs the most.
02 Italy has also been rich in strikers
Italy used to have top defenders, but they also produced good strikers.
In terms of impact, Italy has the prodigal son Vieri, who is like a heavy tank, and his powerful shot is even more thunderous, which is a nightmare for all defenders back then. After Bobo faded out of the international team, Luca Toni supported the Azzurri, and he was also an excellent center forward with both fulcrum and scoring ability, and helped Italy win the 06 World Cup. Even Yakunta, who has since been far inferior to the two predecessors, is more useful than the current striker.
In terms of smell in front of goal, Italy once had a brilliant Inzaghi who always appeared in the right position like a ghost, and scored with a light touch. Montella, his contemporary, the "little plane", was also an opportunist on the front line, but under the shadow of the 9th master, he could only play as a substitute for the Azzurri, and now it seems that this is simply a violent thing.
In terms of retreat organization, Baggio is of course a god-like existence, and the zebra prince Piero and the Roman prince Totti are also excellent in this regard, although they have different styles, they can find the most comfortable area between the striker and the midfield, and use their own rhythm to smooth the team's attack and use their talents.
Even the leading strikers of the middle and lower Serie A teams around 2010 are extremely capable of playing. The weak sword Lucarelli, the god of black chickens, Dinatale, and the bad boy Cassano are all strikers with very strong characteristics. Unexpectedly, ten years after the retirement of Lucarelli, the oldest of the three, Italy could not produce a reliable striker (especially a center).
In fact, Italy had the opportunity to have a pair of "golden double guns" in this decade:
Balotelli's physical fitness is bursting, but his perverse temper and lazy attitude make him deteriorate after he was born, and he wasted his super talent;
Giuseppe Rossi, once known as the golden boy, Baggio's successor, clear mind, outstanding skills, both scoring and pullback organizational skills, in Fiorentina and Villarreal have shown excellent performances, is one of the few Italian players can succeed overseas, 10-11 season, Rossi contributed 56 games in all competitions 32 goals and 11 assists for the Yellow Diver, it is no exaggeration to say that if he had not suffered such a serious injury, the Italian national team's forward line would have been stable.
Ba Shen and Rossi are also particularly complementary in style, but it's a pity that the brain with outstanding body is not smart, and the brain is riddled with injuries.
Is the Italian striker cursed?
03 The roots of the withering Italian striker
What about Italy's withering front?
Over the years, the strength of the Azzurri's players has generally declined, and the European Championship can be won largely thanks to Chiesa Jr., Spinazzola two "phenomenal" players, just to allow Mancini's squad to go up and down and have a frontcourt explosion, but these two can not be replaced once injured (these two players are not exceptionally good top players), so they affected their performance in the World Preliminary Round and failed to win the game they should win.
In the end, it is because the withering of Italian talent is actually a matter of people and money.
The problem of Italy's youth academy has a long history and seems to have improved in recent years. The fact that the Under-17s and Under-19s finished second in three European Youth Championships and two World Youth Championship semi-finals is a testament to the overall competitiveness of the young players. However, most of them don't play at all when they reach the senior team. Over the years, the Italian Football Association has been trying to improve the playing opportunities of local youth training in the form of a hard policy, but it can only ensure the efficiency of the U17 and U19 plays, and when the U21 needs to play with real knives, the club does not dare to use it.
The overall downturn in the Italian economy has put both big and small clubs under pressure on both the economy and their results. A large number of Serie A middle and lower reaches of the team are more inclined to go to Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and South America to find players with immediate combat power, and do not have the time or courage to use new players. Even Atalanta, known for its youth academy, has relied on a large number of foreign signings over the years, and even in previous seasons there was not a single Italian in the starting line-up.
Milan double heroes, Juventus these giants are naturally the same, most of the local players are used to make up the rules of registration, can play the main force is less and less, have money to gamble and smash famous stars, no money ball sea amoy can play the residual heat of the veterans, anyway, dare not sacrifice results to train newcomers.
In fact, unlike England, Spain and even the Netherlands, Italy had insufficient overseas influence during the colonial era and did not have a vast overseas military territory; It can't even be compared with France, after all, France has a very strong voice in West Africa, and after turning his football team into a Gallic chicken, he has reached the final of two consecutive World Cups...
The road of Italian football is getting narrower and narrower.