There are any variety of explanations for why that could be. Massimiliano Allegri, Juventus’s coach of the previous and current, argues that youth soccer in Italy is, successfully, too tactical: Coaches are so frightened about their jobs that they masks the person shortcomings of their gamers with technique.
“As an alternative of letting youngsters discover ways to defend one-on-one, they offer them cowl,” Allegri stated. “They double up. However which means the child doesn’t study. So after 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 simply too illiberal of errors, which he labels “a crucial step of development.” It suffers from a “unhealthy relationship with the long run,” he says. “We’re very centered on the current.”
That assertion is borne out by details. Final season, of the 50 youngest groups in Europe’s high 20 leagues, just one was Italian: A.C. Milan. Solely three Italian sides appeared within the high 100. Extra considerably, solely 5 p.c 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 top of youth growth for one of many few groups to buck the development: Atalanta. He has spent 4 a long time 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 could be associated, partially, to the demise of road soccer, or to the rise in athleticism within the sport squeezing out the types of gamers — playmakers and schemers — who lengthy characterised the Italian recreation. However he’s positive that those that do make it are usually not given an opportunity both shortly or reliably sufficient to succeed.