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Wednesday July 3 2013
Giaccherini proving Azzurri worth

Coach Cesare Prandelli was ultimately vindicated in calling up Emanuele Giaccherini to the Confederations Cup, says Luca Cetta.

Andrea Pirlo, Neymar, Paulinho, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Ramos and Luis Suarez. A stellar cast of players deemed by FIFA to be standouts of the 2013 Confederations Cup. Yet having watched all of Italy’s matches, I can’t help but feel they’ve nominated the wrong Azzurri player. Forgetting for a moment the popularity factor usually attached to these awards, there was a diminutive Italian who went from maligned inclusion to tournament luminary.

Emanuele Giaccherini’s place in the squad elicited the usual bewilderment. How could a player who features infrequently for his club be a national team regular? Then came further confusion as reports emanated from the camp ahead of the Mexico clash he would be fielded behind Mario Balotelli. I’ll admit to having a concern. Giaccherini responded with a solid showing in the opener and by the end of the tournament was in fine form. He admitted there was pressure, but felt it was the same for all players wearing the Azzurri shirt.

Given his performances over the five matches, Cesare Prandelli’s decision to include Giaccherini proved correct. His versatility is a characteristic the CT values and can be a deciding factor when settling on a 23-man squad. Whether as an attacking midfielder, winger or wing-back, Giaccherini went some way to winning over his detractors.

Giaccherini’s non-stop engine, agility, purposeful running and ability to take on players were all features of the fortnight. His capability to run at defenders with pace is a quality not found in many, if any, other Italian midfielders. Antonio Candreva - another to impress - is an exception. Giaccherini found the net against Brazil, his second international goal, and were it not for the woodwork would have added two more to his tally. These performances will have him in Prandelli’s plans for the next 12 months.

If he were to make the World Cup – a second major tournament after appearing at Euro 2012 – it would confirm Giaccherini’s incredible journey from Serie C2 struggler to Azzurri mainstay. He spent four seasons on loan in the fourth tier at a trio of clubs without much success. Giaccherini was recalled to parent club Cesena in 2008-09 for their successful Lega Pro Prima Divisione campaign. Another promotion followed and he made his Serie A debut in 2010 aged 25. An impressive first season in the top flight alerted Juventus and whilst purchased as a winger, he’s adapted to just about any midfield role during his two seasons in Turin.

Yet Giaccherini’s football dream very nearly failed to materialise. As a footballing hopeful his small stature meant question marks hung over his head. As a 16-year-old he ruptured his spleen after a clash with an opposing goalkeeper. He has broken his ankle and collarbone. And having struggled to make his mark, Giaccherini so nearly gave up the game to become a labourer.

For Cesena President Igor Campedelli, Giaccherini’s work ethic is what has taken him to this stage: “He is extraordinary because he has moral qualities - an iron will, fierce determination, an out of the ordinary spirit of sacrifice and an extraordinary humility. If in the summer of 2008 someone had said that in three years Giaccherini would be playing for Juventus, we would have all thought them mad. But he has become a Juventus player, more than that too, a major player in the team’s ranking in the League, because of his commitment and work ethic.”

Nowadays, Giaccherini faces different questions. They revolve around his Azzurri worthiness attributed to his lack of playing time. He made 23 Bianconeri appearances in 2011-12 and just 17 last term. So not a club regular, how can Prandelli continually call him to Coverciano? It’s a fair question. But those qualities displayed in Brazil are ones appreciated by a Coach. For Prandelli, Giaccherini is a ‘serious professional’.

Giaccherini responded to the questions before the Mexico clash: “If I play, then it means Cesare Prandelli saw me in good shape. I have a lot of stamina and pace, so I am good for pressing the opposition...It’s true I am only 1.67 metres tall and nowadays football is very physical, but I make the most of my other qualities - pace, technique and stamina.”

The likes of Pirlo and Neymar will receive the majority of plaudits, but Azzurri fans are starting to warm to a player who has scraped and clawed to be in the position he’s currently in.

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Have your say...
Funny how everyone approves of certain players inclusion in the national beam based on their club-affiliation.
I see a good number of you choose to turn a blind eye to the mediocre outing of De Sciglio. Might have future, and as an Azzurri fan, I sure HOPE so, but at the moment an echelon or two below the level to be part of the national team. Something that DO NOT need debate. there are videos to watch! the kid did NOTHING noteworthy!
as far negative comments about EG, again VIDEOS!!!
on the 12th July, 2013 at 7:47am
this is why neither the writer of this article nor the peanut gallery are choosing the squad. anyone who saw eg's work against spain in the euro, his running and how he made spanish defenders worry their kicks in game 1 and in the final before spain scored, knows his value. criticizing prandel is funny because he knew there were injuries and that he'd need players with flexibility, especially playing the hockey team that is now brazil. he got it exactly right.
on the 5th July, 2013 at 12:42pm
@7stelle d'Oro

WC squad
GK-Buffon (Sirigu)
LB-Abate (Maggio)
CB-Chiellini (Bonnuci) (Barzagli) 
RB-De Sciglio (Peluso)
CDM-Pirlo (De Rossi) (Motta)
CM-Montolivo (Diamanti)
LM-Candreva 
RM-Giaccherini
CAM-Giovinco (Marchisio)
LS-El Sharaawy (Cassano)
RS-Balotelli (Destro) (Borini)
on the 4th July, 2013 at 3:51pm
When I heard Pirlo was up for the award, I was confused. Pirlo is an incredible player, and what he did at the Euros last year was phenomenal.

Giac deserved to be nominated for the award. An astounding tournament for him, and has proven that he can be a very important player for the Azzurri.

Candreva also impressed me massively.
on the 4th July, 2013 at 12:13pm
I was pleasantly surprised by EG in this tournament. I had always thought he was average, but he showed he is better than that. However, I also believe he is not good enough to be a starter, he makes the best out of limited natural ability and works very hard. For me he is a very useful squad player, but no more. If we play a 3-5-2 then Criscito should be the left sided player. If we play with attacking midfielders supporting Balo (3-4-2-1/4-3-1-2),Insigne/Rossi/Cassano/El Sha are better
on the 4th July, 2013 at 10:17am
Russo I would never call Giaccherini lazy. He did a lot of running in the first half, giving Arbeloa all sorts of problems. In the second he helped Chiellini deal with the pacy threat of Navas. Throughout the competition he was easily our most busy player, & was exceptional at finding pockets of space. I'd rather see him playing alongside Pirlo & Vidal, than Marchisio, as he is rarely on the periphery of play.
on the 4th July, 2013 at 8:54am
giac played well, but i felt he was lazy against Spain. Several times the rightwinger was running up the field and he was lazy to get in the box for the cross and he never run to the goalie after a shot in case there was a drop or rebound. He most of the team is lazy in that fashion however the article was reinforcing his big hustle and work ethic. During the first 1/2 vs spain I yelled at the tv for him to hustle at least 5-6 times.
on the 4th July, 2013 at 3:58am
GiaccDaddy rules.

Better question is, has he earned a bigger role at Juve with this Tourney?

If so, what is it?
on the 3rd July, 2013 at 9:30pm
I read the article and its about Giaccherini worth to The Azzurri and not about criticising the squad and the manager. Giaccherini on his performance is a starter and a breath of fresh air, He buzzers about and he can lift others with his performance as players that buzz often lift others. Many have complained about The Azzurri's lack of pace and being 1 paced but with Giaccherini in the squad it gives us another dimension. Several Players made there mark and pencilled there position in the WC.
on the 3rd July, 2013 at 8:29pm
I wonder if some people actually watch the Confed cup when we get stupid comments like Italy failed in the confed cup because their finishing was awful. Did we not score 10 goals in 5 matches. De scigilio been a flop. His 20 years old and one for the future. His crossing needs improving but he gets forward and that's what helped us won the 2006 WC with the 2 full backs getting forward. Chances are CP would not have taken Gila had there not been a Euro U21 this year but we wantedto win this also
on the 3rd July, 2013 at 8:18pm
It seems like I was the only guy around defending EG's inclusion into the squad but people told me i was biased because I like my Juventus soccer. the guy can dribble with pace - so he's no good on corners so what? we need skill and speed and if we need that he belongs on the team. We need to get rid of Gilardino and Aquilani because they are like anchors holding down the ship. Time to get guys like Poli/Florenzi/Verratti/Immobile/Borini/Caldirola on this squad NOW!!
on the 3rd July, 2013 at 8:14pm
De Sciglio is much better at right back. His final ball is much better coming off his right foot. Right now, his left foot is not good enough for deliveries into the box. He has a lot of potential, but he needs to bulk up & work on his left peg. If CP wants to continue with a back 4, (I hope that he doesn't), I would like to see Antonelli at LB. Also, why do people keep saying that Giaccherini has pace? He really isn't that quick, it's his movement & regular involvement in play that stand out.
on the 3rd July, 2013 at 6:32pm
I agree... Giaccherini's work effort, heart and desire alone justified his presence on the team. But on another note, besides the fact that Balo was hurt, can anyone please explain Prandelli's insistance on going with Gilardino and then staying with him? Did he even touch the ball at all and is this the guy he's taking to the 2014 WC? BTW, I'm really liking "7stelled'oro's" suggested line up for 2014 - seems bang on!!
on the 3rd July, 2013 at 6:15pm
@Mustafaaa

Knowing your a milan fan makes me wanna stop supporting them. Makes me ill as hell. Since when were u a milan fan. I call that bluff.

Interesting point about de sciglio. A lot of teams wants him. A lot. I guess there all wrong and your right. lol
on the 3rd July, 2013 at 5:51pm
I TOLD ALL OF YOU SO!!!!!!!! Especially you Victor!!! Giaccarini is a hard working excellent player. Fast good shot flair skills hard work, what else do you need??? Forza Italia!
on the 3rd July, 2013 at 5:42pm
@ mohammed & Others

De Sciglio never had a good match for the Azzurri. Keeping him is pointless. Not a cross, never been good in defending. Not his time, nor his place.
on the 3rd July, 2013 at 4:59pm
@ Viktor

I HAVE to admit ?

Am I taking a vow or something ?

Yes, he is no good. In the future, maybe. But he has been nothing but a weak link in the defence. So has Abate. All they've been doing is crossing the ball to each other down the bylines. Not to mention their terrible defence-awareness.

I'm no Milan hater. I love Milan. But I hate stupid people who think they smart. Got me ?
on the 3rd July, 2013 at 4:51pm
I know I have already placed a similar blog but again I have to agree with Mohammed and Viktor. De Sciglio is an up and coming talent. Lets remind ourself that he is only 20 yrs old. If we Azzurri fans are lucky he may become the next Maldini! And oh did I love that man! How cruel is football that he does not have a WC winning medal.
on the 3rd July, 2013 at 3:53pm
3-2-4-1 for the World Cup

Buffon
(Sirigu-Bardi)

Bonucci-Chiellini-Ogbonna
(De-Sciglio-Barzagli-Ranocchia-Criscito)

Pirlo-DeRossi
(Montolivo-Poli)

Candreva-Verratti-Marchisio-Giaccherini
(Cerci-Insigne-ElShaarawy)

Balotelli
(Osvaldo)

This would be my squad, if world cup started today.

Defensively, Pirlo and De Rossi fall back to almost the line of defenders, forming de facto a 5-4-1 defense (Ogbonna and Bonucci staying wide on the wings, while Chiellini marks the centre forward.
on the 3rd July, 2013 at 3:46pm
He is a great player, wish he had taken the 7th penalty agaisnt Spain, he did change his mind. However Italy done well, and left Brazil much happier than
on the 3rd July, 2013 at 3:34pm
Before this tournament never understood why Prandelli kept on picking Giaccherini, but his performances at the Confed cup have completely changed my mind. He is not the most talented payer in the squad, but his versatility and work ethic can make up for that. Feeling positive about the world cup next year, and with a few additions from he U21 - such as Verratti, Insigne and Florenzi - I generally believe we are contenders. Forza Azzurri!!!
on the 3rd July, 2013 at 3:20pm
@mustafaaa de sciglio didnt have a great tournament but he's only 20 and it was his first international tournament. You have to cut him some slack. I remember when giak first came to juve I hated him but he's a guy who grows on you. I love him now lol
on the 3rd July, 2013 at 2:17pm
Nope still not convinced by him yes he did play well at the confed cup but I'd take 5 other options before him and candreva is so over rated its pathetic he has good pace up the sides and then it stalls these guys who put in a good performance once in a while everyone thinks they are the answer are World Cup will be beyond embarrassing if we still have these guys in are squad will learn the hard way. They possess no consistency these kind of players and that's very important can't be on and off
on the 3rd July, 2013 at 1:48pm
Yeah ryt
on the 3rd July, 2013 at 1:39pm
@Mustafaa

I totally agree with you, only include Gilardino with Abate, DeSciglio, Aquilani, and Osvaldo to the list of flops and howlers and you have a complete list of players that should be dropped from this squad!
on the 3rd July, 2013 at 1:36pm
He's a good player.thats all
on the 3rd July, 2013 at 1:35pm
@mustafaa

"De scigilio been a flop"?? Stupidest thing I've heard in a long time. I know your a Milan hater but let's be honest her for a second you HAVE to admit de scigilio is awesome. You can't be a flop at the age of 20 c'mon. He can play either left or right d or midfield. Doesn't say it all. Abate was doing great and starting until he messed up he's shoulder. You should really pay more attention on what's really going on mustafaa.
on the 3rd July, 2013 at 1:26pm
While I appreciate EG's work rate and movement for the team, I don't believe the Azzurri can ultimately succeed with him as a key component in the side. His final ball is lacking as is his ability to create for himself and others. Most of all... Italy failed in the confed cup because their finishing was awful. Prandelli needs to field players on the wings (or behind Balo) that are capable of scoring...Giaccherini, Marchisio, Montolivo and Aquilani did not do that job well enough.
on the 3rd July, 2013 at 1:06pm
Excellent article!
on the 3rd July, 2013 at 1:04pm
Anonymous, please have a word with yourself.
on the 3rd July, 2013 at 1:03pm

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