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A video of Buffon's debut vs Milan in 1995. This match vs Juve will be the 20 year anniversary of that game, though he's a doubt for this weekend.

http://gazzettaworld.gazzetta.it/video/b...rma-debut/?

That's always a debut that I'll never forget, he was a wall that match.
wow, 20 years already? We are all getting old fast. Big Grin
Well 20 years huh? then 2-0 to Milan then. Buffon to concede two Big Grin
Just checked some of the stats from Napoli today and saw Jorginho made just under 200 passes with a success rate of over 92%. That's pretty amazing

Still not sure how he's behind Montolivo in Conte's Italy

Edit: to give some perspective, our whole side made 399 passes last night
I just watched Sassuolo and Fiorentina (1-1 draw), and to be honest it was somewhat of an even game. For all the praise that Fiorentina has been getting this year (they've been good, I agree) they will eventually slip down into an EL place. I've really been impressed with Sassuolo and they've been able to dominate large parts of games against everyone they've played (games that I've watched), but more importantly even against the top teams.

Napoli - Inter has started and Napoli already 1-0 in the first few minutes. Higuan again, even though I think Handanovic should've protected his near post better. Napoli really does look impressive. As things stand, they have to be the favorites to finish on top.....both with the points they've collected so far, but even more so with the way they play on a consistent basis.

It's worth noting that there are only TWO Italian players on the field to start the game.....Insigne and D'Ambrosio. What's even more sad is that there are only 3 Italian players combined on both benches. (Valdifiori, Maggio, Ranocchia) I gotta say that I'm proud that Milan is consistently fielding at least 7 Italian players in every game.
Napoli are definitely impressive but I will also (begrudgingly) give some props to Inter who played the whole second half with 10 men, clawed back into the game and made it 2-1, and were only denied their equalizer twice by the post. I do like Napoli though and if Milan aren't going to win it this season then I would like Napoli to do so because they play the kind of football that I like to watch and that I wished we played on a consistent basis.

It's a pity regarding the Italian players but there really just aren't that many class Italian players in general. I mean Milan and Juventus historically provided the majority of the Azzurri players but outside of defense, you would struggle to name many top Italian players for either of those current teams. Marchisio... Bonaventura?
I agree that this may not be the golden age for Italian players, but I think there is still quality around. The issue is that teams in Italy prefer mediocre foreign players due to their "experience" or whatever reason. It's not like we are seeing Messi and Ronaldo and Robben and Alcantara and Modric, etc, etc, taking the place of young and promising Italians.....we are seeing the likes of Medel, and Melo, and Nagatomo, etc. I mean, just look at what Roma did with Romagnoli. There is no way that Rudiger is a better player than Romagnoli. I understand that this may have been a business decision, but it happens all over Italy. And regardless, if we weren't willing to dish out 25mil, he was going to be rotting on Roma's bench now.

We are doing better in this aspect but we too were very guilty of this in the past. Paying millions and millions to players like Flamini, Constant, Taiwo, Traore, Muntari, Mesbah, etc, etc. I won't buy the argument that there isn't talent in Italy that's AT LEAST as good as most of those guys.

To be honest, it's such a breath of fresh air that Mihajlovic is proving that youth CAN work and unless we can bring in a player whose qualities are of a super high level and is proven....than there is no need to bring in players from the outside because we can find very similar ones within the community. For these very same reasons, Verratti is playing in France instead of Italy. 12mil Euros.....if we add up how much we've payed to useless players like Muntari, Flamini, Traore, etc....it's a lot more...
The main problem, then, is that if the main person signing the cheques sees that a foreign player could be brought in for a fraction of the price and do they same job as a local then they just go with the foreign player. This is not a new phenomenon though. The question is, in the light of a more global world, is this really a "problem"? Should this be a "survival of the fittest" game whereby the Italian players simply need to get better to earn their chances? Or should the governing bodies perhaps change the legislation so that coaches are almost "forced" to use more homegrown players? Even then, with the scouting networks being as vast as they currently are, there is nothing stopping clubs from bringing those same foreign players but just from an earlier age...

It certainly makes for an interesting discussion and I believe the English leagues are also looking at trying to address the same dilemma in their own league.
I see what you are saying and that holds for many examples. In many others, it doesn't. What you are saying is:
Player A (Italian) with ability of 10, costs 20mil.
Player B (outside of Italy) with ability of 10, costs 5mil.

Obviously, most people would choose Player B. I would too. But I think in many situations, it is the other way around. Maybe not exactly, to where player B costs 20, and player A 5.......but many times the cost is the same at most. Also, sometimes the cost for player A (Italian) is ZERO since they are already in the academies.....but clubs focus on Player B because he offers "guarantees". In the meantime clubs end up just completely ignoring youth players for the most part.

This CAN be a problem depending on how you look at it. Just look at Barcelona. They've been able to spend ONLY on players that bring huge qualities to the team, while the rest of the squad has been made up of their own players for a long period of time now. On the other hand, we keep wasting a couple million here, a couple million there, a few mil salary here, a few mil salary there....all for squad players and average starters.

On top of that, the national team is clearly suffering so I'm sure Italians have a problem with it.

I do agree that clubs are not stopped from bringing youth players from a very young age if they find them. That's actually not the problem I have. My issue is not with whether the players are foreign or not. I'm not a nationalist myself, neither do I only want Italians to play for Milan (I want the best to play for Milan). If they are brought from a very young age from wherever, and brought up and developed...ultimately they will serve the club without the big costs that we pay for others that we didn't bring up through our youth system. So my argument is more geared towards using homegrown youth players (whether they are Italian or foreign) as opposed to using average players from outside of Italy.
Just to be clear, I am generally agreeing with you. I only brought up the Italian players thing because you were lamenting the lack of Italian players in a match between two top Italian teams. I am just trying to brainstorm possible solutions for the lack of homegrown players. I know that UEFA requires that a team have 8 home grown players out of the squad of 25. I read that in England they recently proposed increasing that number to 12 but I don't think anything has come of it yet. I know that in Italy they were looking into bringing B teams which would be excellent but I don't think anything has come of that either.

We probably need both an increase in the homegrown quota so that clubs don't just stick a couple players on the squad to make up numbers and a change in the transfer system so that the talent doesn't just get concentrated in 2-3 teams. As much as I love watching Barcelona and Bayern Munich play, it is a shame the ease with which they just swat away title contenders of other big leagues.