The Soccer World

Football is the national sport of Italy. This is just one of the reasons the Italians are crazy about football. The country has a well-established domestic soccer league system in place, attracting the best footballing talents from across the world. So, well entrenched is this domestic league that the fervor with which the club supporters support their respective clubs is legendary. There have been riots on match days when rivals play against each other. Failing to achieve the club’s expectations can get the club officials fired, and if a player scores a winning goal in any final, he is given god-like status. In short, Italy is a nation of football maniacs. They love their football … and their stars.

The domestic league structure has produced legendary home-grown players. These players are handpicked from youth sides, taught the Italian brand of defensive football, and sent to the senior sides to play. Unlike England and France, Italian players usually stay in their own clubs for life. The loyalty of some players is legendary as we will see in the subsequent paragraphs. This makes the Italians love their players even more, and this forms a cycle of a player’s incentive to perform for the country.

Italy’s national team has won 4 FIFA World Cups, second only to Brazil. They also have won the European Championships once and the Olympic football tournament once. Italian clubs have also won a record 27 club European Championships, making them the most successful country in club football, ever. After such a record, there has to be a big list of legendary players who made it possible, at the club and international level. This article lists out some of the most well-known footballers to ever play for Italy.

Gianluigi Buffon
✦ Known for his tall stature, commanding persona, and spectacular saves, this player is probably the world’s best known goalkeeper. Gianluigi Buffon is widely accepted by many as the greatest goalkeeper to have ever played the game. He has been named the Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year a record 8 times and was a runner-up for the Ballon d’Or in the years 2006 and 2007. This was a big deal because goalkeepers are almost always overlooked for the Footballer of the Year award.
Gianluigi Buffon
Gianluigi Buffon
✦ Buffon is known to be dominating, with a good command of his area―a reason why he is so good at stopping shots. He is also known as a leader and can be seen motivating his teammates from his position. He also organizes defense occasionally. Buffon is very well respected in footballing circles, whether domestic or international.

✦ Buffon is currently 36 years old and is in the starting XI of his Italian squad in the ongoing World Cup in Brazil. If that is not impressive enough, he is playing his record fifth world cup; yes, a tourney played every four years.