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James Dielhenn On November - 13 - 2010

And The Next Italian Serie A Poster Boy Is?

Remember the likes of Kaka playing for Milan? A tall and athletic attacking midfielder, who many labeled the best player in the world for a couple of years. Pavel Nedved at Juventus, whose long blonde locks where only bettered by his devastating shooting and creativity? It wasn’t long ago that Serie A dominated the world player of the year awards. But these days, the most attractive thing about Italian football might be a series of big names and big reputations who are way past their best. Kaka and Nedved were two world-class foreigners who played alongside a succession of iconic Italian players. Paolo Maldini, Francesco Totti, Gianluigi Buffon and Alessandro Del Piero are just four of the excellent players who won Italy the World Cup in 2006, the era when the world’s top players plied their trade in Serie A. So where are their successors? Who is the current poster boy of Italian football? Samuel Eto’o is a high-profile player who is certainly not past his best. He, along with four of five members of Inter’s Treble winning team, could claim to be the league’s poster boy. Eto’o, aged 29, changed his game last season and played as an auxiliary right winger, but this season has excelled in his favoured centre-forward position. He may have been cast off from Barcelona, but his form over the last year has proved he is still a class act. Speaking of being a Barcelona reject, Zlatan Ibrahimovic returned to Italian shores this summer with Milan and has so far been a success. One of world football’s most well-known faces – partly because of that nose – has rediscovered the skill and the goals that threatened to make him one of the world’s best strikers. Milos Krasic must also be a contender. Since arriving at Juventus this summer from CSKA Moscow, Krasic has shown some of the exciting dribbling skills that make wingers so thrilling to watch. The Serbian, surely en route to making himself one of the world’s best, has supporters on his feet every time he runs at a full-back. There is also talk that one of Europe’s giant clubs will try and sign Palermo’s Javier Pastore. The young Argentinean playmaker has all the makings of a top player, and his price-tag of 50 million Euros shows this. Pastore, a similar player to Kaka several years ago, has even been beckoned to Barcelona by Lionel Messi, such is his elegance on the ball. There is undoubtedly talent in Serie A. Is it as good as players like Kaka or Nedved? Difficult to say. The biggest worry must be the lack of potential Italian poster boys.

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