As the soccer world preps for Euro 2012 and World Cup Qualifying the future of Italian soccer is in question. The Italian team has been struck by match fixing controversy from a few of their key players. This is following their miserable results in the 2008 Euros and the 2010 World Cup.
The match fixing controversy started almost immediately after Juventus won Serie A with out losing a game. There have been approximately 50 arrest so far in Italy that have been linked with match fixing and more to come surely. Italian coach, Cesare Prandelli, had questioned pulling his team out of Euro’s all together and was urged to do so by Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti. He urged Prandelli and other Football officials to take “two or three years” off to clean house. The match fixing isn’t the only problem for Italian soccer.
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The Italians are in-between teams as they have retired most of the team that lifted the World Cup Trophy in 2006. The two best goalies are 34 and 35 years old and the third goalie has only 2 caps. In the defense only two defenders have more than 10 caps for the Italian team. The midfield is a little more certain with Daniel De Rossi and Andrea Pirlo who have both recorded at least 70 caps. Scoring for Azzurri will be questionable as well with their forwards only recording 20 goals for their national team.
The final controversy surrounds troublemaker and hot head Mario Balotelli. If he keeps his head he can lead Italy out of a very tough group which has Spain, Ireland, and Croatia but he has already promised that he will walk off the field if he is racially abused. This was responded to by UEFA president Michel Plantini who said if a player walks off the field with out permission of the referee then they will be shown a yellow card. So the questions have been asked of Italy but how will they answer. Will Italy return to their glory of 2006 or keep with the trend of disappointing results.