Friday, December 30, 2011

Italy's greatest multi-national XI- from Claudio Gentile to Mario Balotelli


Italy's 2-0 victory over Poland was a landmark occasion, as Italy finished with two black players on the field for the first time ever. Angelo Ogbonna's introduction as a late substitute added to Mario Balotelli's third start in the national side, leaving the Azzurri to end the match with two men of African descent on the pitch.

When also considering the introduction of another sub, Thiago Motta, who was born and bred in Brazil but has an Italian passport, plus Argentine-born Pablo Daniel Osvaldo's presence on the bench, and La Nazionale has a huge multi-national presence in the current ranks.

But this is nothing new for Italy, who have had many naturalised foreign nationals and dual-nationality representatives in their squads in years past. Names such as Raimundo Orsi, Jose Altafini, Julio Libonatti and Omar Sivori have all worn the blue shirt with distinction having come to the peninsula at a late stage in their development.

In honour of Italy's long-standing diversity, takes a look at Italy's greatest multi-national XI, based on their impact on the Azzurri.








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