Fabio Cannavaro believes the standard of football in Italy has declined in recent years and that there is little sign it will improve in the short-term.
The 37-year-old who captained Italy to World Cup glory in 2006 is currently playing in Dubai with Al-Ahli after leaving Juventus last summer.
Interviewed in Il Corriere della Sera, Cannavaro said: "Unfortunately you watch the games on television and you don't enjoy yourself.
"Even tactically there aren't any novelties. We have stopped ourselves a little, just like the English.
"The condition of the Under-21s shows that we are in difficulty. I'll give you an example: the majority of us who won the World Cup in 2006 also won the Under-21 European Championship.
"This is a signal. This is the reflection of today's reality. Gattuso, Pirlo, me, Del Piero, Nesta, Buffon, Inzaghi. There were so many of us. Now there is little."