Famous Italian Football Players

When it comes to tactical knowledge of the game, Italian soccer players are pretty much the best out there. Ok, they might not have the technique of Brazilians, the speed of the English or the unpredictability of the Spanish, but you won't see an Italian player lacking defensive tasks and being perfectly in touch with the game's tactics plan.
Even if you don't play soccer yourself, you probably know that a striker's performance depends heavily on the opposing team's defenders and when facing defensive Italian players, there's no striker in the World that will feel comfortable.
But besides this shared defensive and tactical prowess, you can't really find a pattern for Italy soccer players, like you could, for example, with the Germans or Brazilians.
Top Italian soccer players come from various positions on the pitch, unlike German ones that are usually defenders or defensive midfielders, or Brazilians who choose most of their heroes from attacking departments.
Next up, you'll find a short list of some of the most famous Italian soccer players and you'll notice each of them had a different ability that made them so successful, instead of just following "their pattern".(You can find more Italian players at the Famous Soccer Players section).
Dino Zoff (1942)
Dino Zoff is considered the best goalkeeper Italy ever produced and he holds some impressive records that highlight his extremely long career (he retired at 41).
Zoff holds the record for keeping a clean sheet in international matches for the longest period of time, managing not to concede a single goal with Italy between 1972and 1974! (1142 full minutes). He also captained the 1982 World Cup winning Italy squad, becoming the oldest Italian soccer player to lift the trophy, being 40 at that point.

Macro Tardelli (1954)
Tardelli did not stand out as many of his 1982 World Cup winning teammates did, however he was an inspiring presence in midfield for both Juventus and the Italian squad. His role as defensive midfielder for Juventus Torino was crucial as his squad won 5 titles in Tardelli's 10 years spent at the club and he also proved a decisive contribution to the 1982 World Cup win.
Franco Baresi (1960)
Baresi was the perfect definition of the Italy soccer player, being a defender who knew every detail of his team's tactics to perfection. He is widely regarded as one of the best defenders in the game and is also viewed as a colossus of loyalty, having played his entire career for AC Milan.
He won 6 Serie A titles with Milan, in a period in which Milan's defense was considered impenetrable, with defenders such as Baresi, Paolo Maldini or Alessandro Costacurta in the starting line-up.
Roberto Baggio (1967)
"Il Codinho" as he was named by his fans and the media due to his pony-tail haircut, Baggio sometimes seemed more like a Brazilian than an Italian. His technique and hunger for goal, in addition to his presence of spirit on the pitch, made him become one of the top Italian players of all times. He is the only Italian soccer player to have scored in 3 different World Cups.


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