Sunday December 2 2012
Cantera Italiana

After two Juve youth products decided the Turin Derby, Susy Campanale sees the academies doing more for Serie A.

The ‘Stile Juventus’ could not have been more evident in the Derby della Mole victory, as the goalscorers were Claudio Marchisio and Sebastian Giovinco – both born, bred and raised in the city. They are a great sign of where Italian football ought to be going, especially in its current economic crisis, and represent only the tip of the iceberg.

Marchisio and Giovinco are in their mid-20s now and needed a particular set of circumstances to become Juventus first team regulars. The midfielder first really broke into the line-up during the season in Serie B at the age of 20, as perhaps he would’ve been loaned out like Giovinco was to gain experience if the squad had not been dealing with such a massive sea-change. That was back in 2006, but now Serie A is changing and we may well have something to thank the financial crisis for.

“I doubt I would’ve had so many opportunities to play and improve if Antonio Cassano and Zlatan Ibrahimovic were still at Milan,” confessed Stephan El Shaarawy. What a terrible shame it would’ve been to delay the progress of an immensely-talented and mature 20-year-old, who was raised in the Genoa ranks. It was always said in Italian media that there was the risk of ‘burning up’ a young player, but there are now numerous examples of prodigious Under-21s who were thrown in at the deep end and did not drown.

Mattia De Sciglio is only 20 years old as well, but already looks like the most reliable figure in the Milan back four. He is Milanese and Milanista, an increasingly rare jewel in the San Siro side. When was the last great defender to come through the Rossoneri ranks? Probably Paolo Maldini. Maybe having a skint President Silvio Berlusconi could remind the club that the youth academy is there for a reason and not just to raise funds for high-earning foreign imports.

Walter Mazzarri was the biggest culprit of refusing to give young players a chance, feeling they would get torn apart by the demanding supporters and media in Naples. If it weren’t for suspensions and Goran Pandev’s injury problems, would 21-year-old Lorenzo Insigne have been allowed to make such an impact at the San Paolo, his hometown club? It’s doubtful. Now if only Mazzarri could look inside the academy for talents in other areas of the squad too. There has to be a better defender in there than Salvatore Aronica...

Roma are ahead of the curve in this respect and deserve credit. Where Francesco Totti and Daniele De Rossi came first, we now have 21-year-old Alessandro Florenzi, who has already broken into the Italy senior squad. By following this example, and if the Financial Fair Play rule ever gets teeth, Italian football can truly flourish like a phoenix from the flames of the economic boom and bust.

Have your say...
If I may pick on semantics, "bred" and "raised" mean exactly the same thing.

Also, Inter fans are really funny. When was the last time Inter's academy produced a single player that went on to have success in their first team? Even Balotelli didn't come through the ranks at Inter.
on the 6th December, 2012 at 3:12am
on the 4th December, 2012 at 12:44pm
If Inter had no youth product, just saw off Bonucci and Destro foot. Inter is so fool to sell them.
on the 3rd December, 2012 at 1:21pm
@ the Interisti

How many of the youngsters at Inter are making an impact for the seniors?

If Marchisio and Giovinco "represent the tip of the iceberg", so does this article in general. This only covers some of the youngsters coming through in the Italian game.

I strongly agree on Mazzarri though. The only time where he regularly played young players was when Pasquale Foggia and Rolando Bianchi were at Reggina. I also agree that Napoli would have lots of players to choose from their primavera
on the 3rd December, 2012 at 9:37am
wow. touchy subject....

Nice article Susy.

It should be the way ALL clubs around the world follow.

Thats why i and many others enjoy watching the "little" leagues in the past few years, than they lame-ness of modern (adverti$ing) football. Id rather my team win with a core of local players than splashing cash on a spanish forward who is chasing coin and sells jerseys in indonesia.

Let the trend continue!
on the 3rd December, 2012 at 2:41am
So the Inter fans wants Susy's article about Youth Academy graduates starring in Serie A to include Inter players who have never made their Serie A debut?
Ahhh, I think somebody is feeling left out. Once Inter develops an Italian player, make him a first team regular, and get him a call to the National team, Inter will get the attention they so desperately crave.
on the 2nd December, 2012 at 6:47pm
Because Inter is the Ugliest kind of football EVER produced in Italy..... There's

on the 2nd December, 2012 at 6:25pm
@inter fan. If the players r not Yet in d first team, then, it's not YET their time to get included in here.
This article is about home grown players who's been first team player, and become Key Player for their team.
N d players u guys mentioned is don't have that requirement (Yet).
So, it's not because suzy is a fan of juve she talk not just about juve players.
she talk about about el Sharawy, insigne,de Sciglio,and florensi. So,don't hate juve for this.
Inter got good home grown players,but they're else where. Balotelli is an example.
I remember, as a fan of juve, I still admire cooperation between 2 young players of inter in 98 or 99. Pirlo n ventola.
They were great. But, they can't b d first team regular because of imported Expensive star players.
on the 2nd December, 2012 at 5:33pm

Kid, shes a Milan fan.. Not Juve. Do your homework.
on the 2nd December, 2012 at 4:50pm
Excluding Inters victory in 2010, it's been rather painful watching poor performances in the CL from Serie A sides over the four or five seasons however, i'm glad the lack of money is forcing the hands of our "bigger" clubs. As a Milan fan, it's nice to see a few young Italians leading the club this season although as an Italian first and foremost, I don't really care which clubs the youngsters are coming from as long as the Azzurri reap the benefits.
on the 2nd December, 2012 at 4:27pm
also forgot to mention the fact that Inter now contribute more youngsters to Italy U-21 -> U-16 than any other club...
on the 2nd December, 2012 at 3:07pm

Yes. Benassi is Italian, Bessa has been called up for U19 Italian training camps, Obi has an Italian passport (I believe) but opted for Nigeria...

And if we want to expand to Italians specifically, how about Bardi, Crisetig, Romano, Benedetti?
on the 2nd December, 2012 at 3:05pm
Oh please, Gio gets passed around and whistled at more than a 14th century bar maid. Next weeks article is about how Juve need to stop playing him and how they should have let him continue else where.

Marc I like, but lets be real, if not for the casting out of the serie A garden he would never have broken into the ranks of the first team the way he did.

If this is the best Juve can do, and the best the article can do as well...
on the 2nd December, 2012 at 2:32pm
I wonder if Barcelona would ever deny Messi as a homegrown player that came up through their cantera because he was born in Argentina, he will be the crown jewel of the masia forever. It ain't where your from but where your at.

And whoever would compare obi or livaja to marchisio and giovinco clearly cant do math, gio and marc are 7 -8 years older than livaja, duncan or any of the other youngsters mentioned. With that much age difference its obvious why some are first team and some are not,YET
on the 2nd December, 2012 at 2:25pm
Balotelli, Longo, Destro, Santon, Bardi, BONUCCI...
on the 2nd December, 2012 at 2:13pm
How many of those Inter youth products that you just mentioned are Italian?
on the 2nd December, 2012 at 2:02pm
@the Inter fan - I suggest you read more closely. The article is about HOMEGROWN players who were born and bred in the city that their team is from. I do not think Livaja and Obi would fit into that category do you?

Also all the players you mention are hardly as established in the Inter team as Marchisio, De Sciglio, Florenzi etc.
on the 2nd December, 2012 at 1:40pm
@ Anonymous, most of those Inter youth players are foreign & Inter do not give Italian youth a fair crack at the whip anyway... I still can't believe they let Balotelli & Santon go! Joke Club!
on the 2nd December, 2012 at 1:37pm
@anonymous. Are any of those inter youngsters you mentioned italian? and have any broken into the first team like the players mentioned in the article?
on the 2nd December, 2012 at 1:28pm

Don't be so upset that SUSY CAMPANALE does not mention Inter...she is the biggest Juve fan and not very objective when it comes to Inter!
on the 2nd December, 2012 at 1:23pm
Re: Anonymous.

As an Inter supporter I know what you mean regarding the no Inter mention. I can see your point you must also see why they havent been mentioned. We dont give them players a chance, Strama has started to bring players through to the first team but none have had the impact that El Sharawaay, Florenzi & Marchisio are having this year. The biggest mistake Inter have made is to loan out Longo and more disastarously, let Poli go!!

Remember the two former Inter youths at Roma and Juve
on the 2nd December, 2012 at 1:16pm
To add, Giovinco, de ceglie, marchisio, marrone, all have almost key roles in Juve whilst inter sold balotelli and santon and at the moment dont have key players from youth team.
duncan made his debut last match, and livaja played some minutes in europa league
on the 2nd December, 2012 at 1:13pm
These are all prospects, not key inter players.
I can say the same about Juve, we won the Viareggio last year and played coppa italia final, semi final of the league.There are players like Padovan, beltrame, ruggerio, bouy, appelt etc.Not to mention immobile and the likes of boakye, masi, nicola leali which is considered the most talented goalkeeper in italy and wide.Juve counts on their products and young players such as bokye, appelt, bouy, leali that were bought and played in primavera.
on the 2nd December, 2012 at 1:11pm
Great Article and its good that young Italians are getting a go in the first team of so many great Italian teams
on the 2nd December, 2012 at 1:05pm
2 Anonymous

Sorry, but is anyone of "Obi, Benassi, Livaja, MBaye, Duncan, Belec, Bessa" Italian?

Taking into consideration their surnames, noone is... Sorry, if I'm wrong.
on the 2nd December, 2012 at 1:00pm
Maybe because she's talking about italian players not inter foreign imports
on the 2nd December, 2012 at 12:58pm
How does the saying go " neccesity is the mother of invention" Well, it may have not invented them but it gave them a chance to prove their worth. Like you said if Juve never got demoted, we may never have seen Marchsio's true worth. A silver lining in a dark time. This can only be good for the National side as more homebred talent is being uncovered!
on the 2nd December, 2012 at 12:45pm
Nice article, and with all the doom and gloom of calcio and the knocks it's taken over the years (especially here in the UK regarding 'retirement homes'), it's great to see that the economic hardships have forced clubs to re-structure in a positive way and fully use the capabilities of their youth ranks grass-roots talent.
I can't remember who said that "you'll never win anything with kids", but this could be a good stepping stone in forming balanced teams with youth and experience blended in.
on the 2nd December, 2012 at 12:40pm
Brilliant. Another youth article without a single mention of Inter.

What about young players like Obi, Benassi, Livaja, MBaye, Duncan, Belec, and soon we'll see Bessa featuring too...

Typical FI article. Everyone has a better youth academy than the team who won the youth scudetto (3 of 4 infact), and next-gen series!
on the 2nd December, 2012 at 12:28pm

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