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Sunday April 6 2014
World Cup Squad Selector: De Sciglio

Will the hope for Mattia De Sciglio’s future prove enough to get him on the plane to Brazil? Frank Tigani assesses the Milan man’s World Cup chances.

The saying, “They don’t make them like they used to”, is apt when comparing today’s Italian defenders to those of the glorious past. Claudio Gentile, Gaetano Scirea and Franco Baresi are just three of the many central defenders that have blessed and come to define Italian football. But, many believe that another has finally emerged, Mattia De Sciglio.

Franco Baresi is one of these believers, as he explained earlier this year: “He possesses great quality and he has shown it ever since he was young. I remember Paolo Maldini when he started out – he played with a boldness and confidence, but also provided security. De Sciglio has those qualities too.”

Perhaps more telling is that the great man himself, Maldini, thinks De Sciglio is destined for great things and that he is a bit like he was back in the day: “I like watching Mattia play, I like the way he runs down the flank and keeps his position, he has the advantage that he can play on both the left and the right.

“He has the style to play for Milan and the personality for Milan. Physically he can still improve a lot but even when I was 20 years old I was not fully mature and was not a complete athlete. I believe he will do the same.”

De Sciglio first appeared for Milan in the 2011-12 campaign, but, it was last season when he really broke through, establishing himself as a regular. His fine displays were duly awarded too, starting for the Azzurri in a friendly with Brazil and a World Cup qualifier against Malta in March of 2013.

Impressed, Cesare Prandelli opted to take him to the Confederations Cup in Brazil last summer. In the challenging conditions, De Sciglio performed admirably and started no less than four of Italy’s five games. Only 20-years-old at the time, the young defender displayed a maturity well beyond his years as he earned yet more praise and more comparisons with the great Maldini.

Injuries have hampered his progress a bit this season but when he has been fit he has started for Milan. He is very much seen as the future at the club. Though, this has not quelled rumours that he may leave, especially when cashed-up clubs Manchester United and Real Madrid are said to be interested.

For Italy however, De Sciglio has just made one appearance since the Confederations Cup. Injuries have been the main factor but it is reason enough to question just how much he is part of Prandelli’s plans.

One would think that given the dearth of promising young defenders, De Sciglio simply has to go back to Brazil even if just to gain big tournament experience.  The former Fiorentina boss might have other plans, but if he cares anything for the future of La Nazionale beyond the summer, he will grant De Sciglio a spot on the plane. 

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Have your say...
De Sciglio is one of the best LB in Italy. When Mattia & Abate play down on the opposite sides off eachother they look confident and work well with eachover. Mattia will definitely be the 1st name on the team sheet in the future for the national team.
on the 16th April, 2014 at 5:20pm
Peluso for a fullback anyone. His crosses are I'd say better than Maggio's or Abate's. Just a thought...............plus he's a pretty good decent defender plus has height and speed.
on the 11th April, 2014 at 3:10am
If the lad is fit and healthy, then he is a must. Excellent youngster. Well done Milan in bringing him up.
on the 10th April, 2014 at 1:02pm
Has to go because he can play on the left or right, that simple.
on the 9th April, 2014 at 11:18pm
@ Maldini's Heir

All I'm saying that fullbacks should know how to defend before they attack, and the Azzurri don't have any decent fullback, that's the truth. Chiellini can cover that area greatly, but we'll lose him in the center.
on the 8th April, 2014 at 6:10am
I'm enjoying these articles but this is really a no brainer. He's the best full back in Italy. His defensive game needs to improve but at least it still can. Maggio and Abate are awful defenders. He's also one of the best crosser in Serie A.

@ Mustaafaaaa 3-5-2, 4-4-2, 4-3-3, 1-9-0 I don't care De Sciglio has to go. He's got a better cross with his 'weaker' left foot than Maggio has with his right!
on the 7th April, 2014 at 9:55am
definitely take him along with criscito, maggio, balzaretti although all are better as wing backs than 'defenders' so with 3 at the back italy should well
on the 7th April, 2014 at 9:11am
@lorenzo, this is an italian tradition. There's always debate before, during and after a major tournament. Partly due to the italian media but mainly because there is a lot of depth and the coaches like to create competition.
on the 7th April, 2014 at 8:00am
Agree with dink. I couldn't believe it when inter sold him. I've been watching that stat for a while and it's true. He's just one of those players. Mix of arrogance level headed and strength. Not the most technical player but is great at what he does. Good for the team.
on the 7th April, 2014 at 7:33am
De Sligio for sure will be included In Brasil and his teammate Abate on the other side along with Bonucci and chelieni in the middle that houild be th strting back v England
on the 7th April, 2014 at 3:26am
@Mustaafaaaa


ahhahaha what a shocker Mustafarta is spitting hate over de scigilio and anything that has do with Milan. What a sad person. The world call him the new Maldini while you question if he ever "won a ball" . Pretty ironic
on the 7th April, 2014 at 2:06am
@ Arrigo Barzagli is useless ? so you afraid that one of the best defenders getting beaten easily, and you like De Sciglio and Maggio at the back as they ever won a ball? 
on the 6th April, 2014 at 11:15pm
My starting XI (4-4-2 diamond):

Gigi

Abate - Bonucci - Chiellini - De Sciglio

De Rossi

Pirlo - Motta

Monty

Balo - Cassano
on the 6th April, 2014 at 10:58pm
i am surprised his inclusion is being questioned it not like italy have a vast array of fullbacks to choose between. I wouldn't discount any player in this position anyway it not like italy has a lot of options to choose from even if they play 3 at the back they still need a wingback, besides they could surprise you how many people though grosso would be that good in 06 world cup.
on the 6th April, 2014 at 10:55pm
Thank you, Dink! Motta is Italy's Busquets. He will do the simple things, while Pirlo does his thing.

Speaking of PSG, Marco Verratti would be a WC shoo-in for any other team, but in Italy we always leave it late with talented youngsters. Very frustrating. Get this guy in there as an understudy to the great man, and by 2016/2018 he will be something special.

Back to De Sciglio, I'd definitely take him - fitness permitting. Shades of Il Capitano, for sure, but still a long way to go.
on the 6th April, 2014 at 10:51pm
@lorenzo
Spot on. Its very worrying, we are in a mess. I blame cp for the mess, for the last 3 years he talked about his vision of youth to change italian football yet we have seen virtually the same group of players 3yrs later, with his 'rules' that only apply to certain players, he has his favourites which contribute very little. Wev had countless opportunities to introduce verratti, imob, destro n other youngsters to the team yet we subjected to balo, gila, oswaldo, motta, monty n other crap!
on the 6th April, 2014 at 10:32pm
De Sciglio has to go and start, he is the best full back Italy have. If only Abate had an end product Italy would have two full-backs as good as any other country at the world cup.

I read a lot of the blogs and quite a few people don't wont Motta to go, I don't understand why. Do they not watch him play? He was super against Chelsea and when he plays the team he plays for rarely loses (check out this stat and you will be amazed!)
on the 6th April, 2014 at 8:54pm
I like De Sciglio, and Maggio has much pace down the wing but he isn't quite a defender for me. Italy has been poor at the back in the confed and the qualifiers, and I would not change format just because the juve boys want three at the back. Barzagli is super useless in the italy team and will be destroyed by anyone with a bit of sharpness and speed. They can score goals and have a gifted midfield, but the defence is conceding as much as they are scoring.
on the 6th April, 2014 at 7:39pm
great young player indeed what troubles me is all the questions we have regarding azzurri selection with approx two months to go.... brazil, germany, spain and to some degree argentina all know who they are taking

i hope i am wrong but i think we are a mess!!

please no osvaldo motta criscito or paletta
on the 6th April, 2014 at 6:38pm
De Sciglio on the left and abate on the right with 2 of the juve centre backs! Very strong! Maggio just doesn't do it for me! Bench maybe! Let's give the youth a chance!
on the 6th April, 2014 at 6:23pm
Umm Yes? Is that even a question?? He's by far the best left back Italy have atm. Period.
on the 6th April, 2014 at 6:15pm
He's the only decent left back we have. Criscito is a mistake waiting to happen every time he's on the field. Santon has disappeared this year as has Balzaretti. Pasqual has played decent but Im not sure he's World Cup caliber.
on the 6th April, 2014 at 4:40pm
World Cup Squad Omitter: De Sciglio.

No to fullbacks. Yes to 3-5-2 or 3-4-3 or 3-5-1-1. Those fullbacks Italy have as useless as standing light statues. If the stubborn had to play with fullbacks, I would like to see Chiellini shifting to the left and only Maggio to the right.

All defensive errors, and gaps between the defence and midfield come from the fullbacks as the peck we have, has no defensive awareness, and no effect in attack.
on the 6th April, 2014 at 2:19pm
Yes and milan must keep him. Great player.
on the 6th April, 2014 at 12:34pm

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