Teamwork makes the dream work

Italy All-Time XI: Roberto Baggio stars in midfield with Andrea Pirlo

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The Summer season of Stars kicks off on FOX with the European Championship in Germany and the United States-hosted Copa América. Each tournaments will function the world’s greatest soccer gamers, however what number of of them are all-time nice gamers?

To reply that query, FOX Sports activities has put collectively 11 all-time worldwide groups. Up subsequent is Italy.

*All-time stats and data for people talked about beneath seek advice from males’s nationwide workforce solely

GK: Gianluigi Buffon

Caps: 176
Clear sheets: 62
Notable golf equipment: Juventus

Gianluigi Buffon made his senior workforce debut with Parma in 1995. After 1,100 skilled profession appearances — a feat solely 14 different gamers have completed — Buffon hung up his boots in 2023 on the age of 45. That longevity, along with the ten Serie A titles he gained with Juventus, the 13 Serie A Goalkeeper of the 12 months awards he gained from 1999 to 2017, and the World Cup he gained with Italy in 2006, is why he is thought-about one of many best goalkeepers of all time.

DEF: Franco Baresi

Caps: 81
Notable golf equipment: AC Milan

Franco Baresi gained each trophy a participant can on the membership degree, and he did all of it with one membership. In 20 years with AC Milan, together with 15 years because the Rossoneri’s captain, six La Liga titles, three Supercoppa Italianas and three UEFA Champions Leagues. Baresi was additionally a part of the Italy workforce that gained the 1982 World Cup, however he did not make an look on the match.

DEF: Gianluca Zambrotta

Caps: 100
Notable golf equipment: Juventus, Barcelona, AC Milan

Identified for his skill to play on each the left and proper flanks, Zambrotta’s offensive versatility was instrumental to Italy’s triumph on the 2006 World Cup and was named to the FIFPro World XI, in addition to the 2006 World Cup All-Star Workforce. On the membership degree, he gained three Serie A titles: two with Juventus and one with AC Milan.

DEF: Fabio Cannavaro

Caps: 136
Notable golf equipment: Parma, Juventus, Actual Madrid

Nicknamed “Il Muro di Berlino,” which interprets to “The Berlin Wall” in English, Cannavaro cemented his place amongst Italy’s best defenders of all time on the 2006 World Cup in Germany. As Italy’s captain, Cannavaro commanded the workforce from the again line and helped the Azzurri preserve 5 clear sheets on the World Cup. Following the conclusion of the match, Cannavaro was awarded the Silver Ball because the World Cup’s second-best participant, however the actual award got here months later, when he was given the Ballon d’Or because the world’s greatest participant. He is one among three gamers to win the Ballon d’Or as a defender.

DEF: Paolo Maldini

Caps: 126
Notable golf equipment: AC Milan

Like his compatriot Baresi, Paolo Maldini was a Rossoneri for everything of his profession, and although Baresi is without doubt one of the greatest heart backs in AC Milan’s wealthy historical past, Maldini was arguably the most effective. In 25 seasons with Milan, Maldini gained 26 trophies, together with seven Serie A titles and the Champions League 5 instances. Following his retirement in 2008, Milan retired his No. 3. Maldini additionally captained Italy for eight years and is third all-time on Italy’s caps checklist.

MID: Andrea Pirlo

Caps: 116
Notable golf equipment: AC Milan, Juventus

A real maestro within the midfield, Andrea Pirlo’s profession spotlight reel is stuffed with passes that defy logic and free kicks that defy the legal guidelines of physics. His aesthetically spectacular type of play made him one of the vital iconic gamers of his technology. His checklist of achievements embody six La Liga titles — 4 with Juventus and two with AC Milan — and two Champions Leagues, each with Milan. Pirlo additionally began each recreation of Italy’s 2006 World Cup marketing campaign and was named to the 2006 World Cup All-Star Workforce.

MID: Daniele De Rossi

Caps: 117
Notable golf equipment: Roma

Daniele De Rossi’s legacy with Italy is sophisticated. Whereas he is the joint highest-scoring midfielder within the historical past of the lads’s nationwide workforce (27) alongside Roberto Baggio, he almost price Italy a World Cup in 2006 by elbowing United States ahead Brian McBride within the face and incomes a pink card, in addition to a four-match ban from FIFA. Luckily for De Rossi, he made his return within the closing as substitute and transformed his penalty in Italy’s shootout with France.

MID: Roberto Baggio

Caps: 56
Notable golf equipment: Fiorentina, Juventus, AC Milan

Arguably essentially the most gifted attacking participant Italy has ever produced, Roberto Baggio additionally has an argument as the best Italian participant of all time — for any place — largely resulting from his contributions within the World Cup. He is tied for Italy’s all-time main goalscorer on the World Cup (9) with Paolo Rossi and Christian Vieri, and he is the one Italian to attain in three separate World Cups. Baggio’s World Cup profession could be nearly flawless, however he infamously missed his penalty within the 1994 World Cup closing towards Brazil. Regardless of this, Baggio completed third in FIFA World Participant of the 12 months voting in 1994 and fifth place in 1995.

FW: Alessandro Del Piero

Caps: 91
Notable golf equipment: Juventus

Alessandro Del Piero is Mr. Juventus. He has essentially the most all-time appearances for Juventus in addition to essentially the most targets for the historic Italian membership. Throughout his 19 seasons with Juventus, 11 of which he spent as captain, he gained six Serie A titles and a Champions League title in 1996. Del Piero’s crowning achievement, nonetheless, was on the worldwide degree, the place he gained the World Cup with Italy in 2006 after changing his penalty within the shootout towards France.

FW: Paolo Rossi

Caps: 48
Notable golf equipment: Juventus

The 1982 World Cup belonged to Paolo Rossi. He scored six targets en path to Italy’s conquer West Germany within the closing, which earned him the Golden Ball and Golden Boot. Solely Brazil’s Garrincha and Argentina’s Mario Kempes have ever achieved that feat; Rossi is the one European.

FW: Francesco Totti

Caps: 58
Notable golf equipment: Roma

Francesco Totti is a legend in Rome, having spent 28 years at Roma, together with 25 with the senior squad. He holds the report for many targets (307) and appearances (786) with Roma. He is additionally the second-highest goalscorer in Italian league historical past with 250. He gained the Serie A title with Roma in 2001. He was additionally a key a part of Italy’s 2006 World Cup run, even beginning within the closing.

Honorable mentions

Giancarlo Antognoni, Marco Materazzi, Alessandro Nesta, Gianfranco Zola, Giuseppe Meazza

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