Europe’s top nations are now turning their attention to Euro 2016. The qualifying stage is close to completion and barring Netherlands, all the expected names are joining hosts France in the tournament proper where they will fight to dethrone reigning champions Spain. A convincing win over Azerbaijan guaranteed Italy’s place in the finals next summer. While many Italy fans are still feeling the disappointment of two consecutive World Cup group stage eliminations, the new batch of players seem talented enough to do better this time. For the current generation in and around the Azzurri, the only way is up. THT looks at the best and brightest young players of Italy who could be set to light up the finals next year. Nine years ago, Italy won the 2006 World Cup thanks largely to their defensive organisation and the individual brilliance of Fabio Cannavaro. Italy is a country known for producing some of toughest and most gifted defenders in world football. […]

Mimmo Berardi would never have imagined what was in store for him when he covered almost the entire length of Italy to visit his brother’s university in Modena. A nine hour journey to the north of Italy – a trip which he would never forget. He played against an university side for his brother’s team and dominated the senior team. People were convinced that the 15yr old boy was a professional but the reality was he did not have a club in his hometown Cariata Marina. Without any formal coaching, Berardi had bossed the entire proceedings. But that was to change. Luciano Carlino, who was the head of youth sector of USC Sassuolo Calcio, called him for a trial after watching him play.It was a mere formality. Domenico Berardi officially began his career as a professional footballer. Career History He was a part of Sassuolo’s Allievi (Under 16s) but made it to the Primavera team within a year. Sassuolo knew […]

Serie A clubs have often, at times unfairly, derided as not giving enough time to young players. However, in past few seasons, owing to the decrease in spending power as well as falling profile of the league, Italian clubs have invested significantly in youngsters. Some of these youngsters like Marquinhos, Mauro Icardi and Marco Verratti have even made big money moves after enjoying a successful season in Italy. Serie A 2013-14 season also promises to throw up a number of young prospects with the clubs making wise moves in the transfer market. (Only U20 players with little or no experience in Serie A have been included, which rules out the likes of Paul Pogba and Icardi) Felipe Anderson (Lazio) The 20-year-old Brazilian midfielder joined current Coppa Italia champions from South American giants Santos after a long and frustrating transfer saga which led Lazio sporting director Igli Tare describe the whole issue as “being in the Twilight Zone”. Anderson joined the […]