Mauro German Camoranesi has a dim view of Italy’s current squad, noting “there are only two great players.”
The 2006 World Cup winner has been critical of Mario Balotelli over the tournament in Brazil, but claims he’s just one of many issues.
“I had dreamed of a Final between Italy and Argentina,” Camoranesi told the Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I would’ve cheered on Italy, of course. I commentated on all the Azzurri games for television and after the win over England there was so much expectation. I got swept away.
“Then Costa Rica won deservedly and against Uruguay the Nazionale was again too slow, never changing gear.
“It made me even more disappointed because Italy have changed since I was there. They play better football, keep possession and have a different style, but they were missing pace, stamina and individual performances.
“I don’t know whether the pre-tournament training was to blame, but it’s unfair to seek scapegoats. It’s a more general question and one player is never entirely to blame.
“Realistically, the Azzurri were worthy of at least a place in the quarter-final.”
When asked how Italian football could resolve these problems, Camoranesi looked to quality.
“Italy would do well to find a champion. Colombia have James Rodriguez, Argentina Leo Messi, Germany Thomas Muller, etc.
“Balotelli is not at that level. Besides Gigi Buffon and Andrea Pirlo, there are good players, but nothing more. I do really like Marco Verratti, as he has character, good feet and vision.”
The World Cup Final is tonight between Germany and Camoranesi’s native Argentina.
“It’ll be a tight game and the first scorer will win. La Seleccion are considered to be outsiders and that will help them, as they can wait to go on the counter.”