Tuesday April 22 2014
World Cup Squad Selector: Marchisio

An Italy enigma to this point, Jeremy Lim wonders whether the ingredients are there for Claudio Marchisio to shine in Brazil.

Some berate him for playing within himself on the national stage. Others view him as indispensable due to his constant commitment and spirit. Certainly, few things divide opinion as much as seeing Claudio Marchisio pull on the Italy strip.

Standing on 43 appearances, it feels like the Turin native has been around the modern Azzurri setup forever. A regular for Italy since the World Cup in 2010, Marchisio featured in the qualification runs to Euro 2012 and the tournament this summer. Indeed, he will be one of the most capped names bound for Brazil. Yet it is still hard to pin him to an iconic moment in his international career thus far.

He was present in Italy’s run to the Euro final against Spain and when finishing third in the Confederations Cup, putting in many an energetic performance. Despite that, critics have become frustrated by his inconsistency transferring his match-winning abilities from a Juventus shirt to the Azzurri one. His goals and characteristic box-to-box style prove fundamental for the Bianconeri but appear to desert him for Italy, leaving many struggling to perceive his actual output.

A reason Marchisio falters to best apply himself for the Nazionale is unwittingly due to his own versatility - Cesare Prandelli has used the 28-year-old’s features to seemingly perform adequately in a myriad of positions to shore up the starting XI as the situation requires. It’s far from an ideal solution, but sufficient. The midfielder agrees: “I have often changed position on the field to avoid going on to the bench, because versatility and availability must be the priorities of every player.”

Added to Marchisio’s existing repertoire of winger and attacking midfielder this season is the duty of regista. Antonio Conte earmarked him as an understudy to Andrea Pirlo at Juventus while the latter was injured, and he has since shone in front of defence. Using his speed of thought, precise passing and tenacious work off the ball, the Juve youth product has discovered yet another role in which to prove an asset for club and country.

Further diligent outings have seen him come back to prominence for the Serie A leaders. Though not appearing as frequently due to the emergence of Paul Pogba, Marchisio has not been shy going about his contributions - that standout display against Trabzonspor and deflected strike past Lyon were key to Juventus making the Europa League semi-finals. Given the attacking depth at Prandelli’s disposal at the World Cup, Marchisio should be restored to the centre for Italy where he is most associated with similar moments of quality.

The quintessential utility man, it’s Marchisio’s ability to fulfil multiple roles and knack for delivering key moments that sees Prandelli place faith in his man, even if the outcome has been underwhelming to date. No matter which side of the fence Azzurri fans sit on towards his inclusion however, all the nation will be hoping Marchisio can come up big this time where it counts in Brazil.

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Have your say...
Italy Team to win World Cup!!

Abate. Barzagli Chiellini De Sciglio

De Rossi

Verratti Marchisio

Florenzi. Pirlo

on the 5th May, 2014 at 9:51pm
Marchisio is thee most over-rated player at domestic and International level in Italy. As a Juventus supporter I believe that he should be sold this summer. Some comments here wax lyrical about his work-rate, but at Juventus that should be a given, not something to praise. He has now made more appearances for Juventus than Sivori, Davids, Platini, Zidane and Roberto Baggio, which I find insulting to those Bianconeri legends. He is not good enough at the elite level of professional football.
on the 3rd May, 2014 at 8:10pm
I don't think Prandelli has any doubts over Marchisio and I do not have either. Great player.
on the 30th April, 2014 at 4:40am
@anonymous, a few things: yours is the 'silly' comment because you're acting like a child just because someone has a different point of view. As for last night, he did play well in the second half-after his teammate's had a go at him-when he tucked infield & got more involved. Still, that was only one game: there are too many times when he can be anonymous. And, as you'd know, being anonymous is easy.
on the 25th April, 2014 at 11:55am
To giambrone
Did you watch marchisio against benfica???
A water carrier he is not!! He is full of class dont make silly comments .
We are blessed with an excellent midfield of which marchisio is one.
on the 24th April, 2014 at 11:46pm
He is a water carrier & lacks substance to his play. He has some nice skills, but doesn't assert himself enough, preferring to leave the responsibility to others. He has looked good in the 'Pirlo' role, but the trouble is that nearly all our cm's want to play in this position. We need more attacking dynamism coming from the middle. De Rossi was immense in the Con-Feds cup as he attacked & defended with substance. I prefer Florenzi & Jorginho.
on the 24th April, 2014 at 10:52am
Really pirate dave I was about to take you seriously then I saw you had Giacherini as a starter oh
on the 23rd April, 2014 at 9:49pm
I m going for more attacking options this world cup with a strong holding Mid field

3-5-2 dependng on opponent and match situation. I m mentioning here starting XI and subs on the bench


Defence : Barzagli De sciglio Chiellini

Holding MF De rossi

Playmaker Pirlo

Central mid field Motta Verratti

Attacking MF Cerci

2nd forward Rossi

Forward Balotelli

Subs : Marchisio, Insigne, Giaccherini, Candreva, Abate, Cassano, diamanti
on the 23rd April, 2014 at 9:29pm
@ Aussie bob yes that damn Prandelli. Getting us to the final in the euros and 3rd place in the confeds not to mention through 2 fairly solid sets of qualifiers. He really should do more shouldn't he. I'll back Prandelli any day. He's done a good job for Italy and regardless of the outcome this summer he should be very proud of his achievements. It's not even a great Italy squad. If he gets us to the semis he'll do fantastic. Anything less than the quarters I'd be disappointed .
on the 23rd April, 2014 at 2:00pm
Unfortunately ,for Italy, his role is not to express himself, but to cover lazy dude's of the first team eleven, which are a few on the Italian side. Him and ddr are the only ones who tracks back.
Is not a coincidence that he is the only player in Italy right now who can easily play in 3-4 position easily and has been used so by a few Italian and juventus coaches. They 're not all idiots, are they?
on the 23rd April, 2014 at 12:33pm
Funny comments from people who know nothing about calcio. Marchisio is appreciated not for what he does with the ball (he never lose it btw) but what he does without it. He's always in the right position in the field and he always tracks back, where most of the other midfielders,strikers do not. He could offer a lot more for juventus and Italy, if pirlo tries to run a little bit more without the ball. First scudetto with juve, he was explosive, because he didn't have to cover pirlo a lot.
on the 23rd April, 2014 at 12:29pm

Cassani Barzagli Chielini Criscito

Pirlo De Rossi


Cerci Balotelli Rossi
on the 23rd April, 2014 at 10:46am
Marchisio? You could be watching your beloved Italy on TV & not realize that he is even playing until the 30th minute of the first half! He comes across as if he does not care. Include players who want to play & give 100% for their country even if they come from seria B. I don't like Prandelli, I think he is too soft & worries more about who will fit in with "his" family rather than who will give their all for their country. We need a revolt before this WC begins. 5Pg4
on the 23rd April, 2014 at 8:10am
Full disclosure - Marchisio is my favourite player. Having said that, I honestly think Claudio should be starting every game; he's easily as good as some of the other options.

To get the best out of him, I think Italy would have to play a Juvé-esque 352 / 3142, which they seem perplexingly reluctant to do given the number of potential Juvé starters.

(I'd go for something like: Buffon / Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini / Maggio, De Rossi, Pirlo, Marchisio, Giaccherini / Cerci, Immobile/Balo)
on the 22nd April, 2014 at 9:49pm
To be successful you must keep the ball on the ground and attack the goal with players that can beat you one on one. That's why wide players with speed are so important. Look at Brazil with Neymar and Roma with Gervinho. Cerci, Insigne and Diamanti can do that for the Azzurri.
on the 22nd April, 2014 at 9:29pm
God crap and more invisible on the pitch than balotelli! Does nothing on the pitch and barely contributes to anything. Seen him picked numerous times and never even knew he was playing. Maybe great for Juve but there is a difference in playing club football to internationals. Lets remember not even a starter for Juve so why should he start for Italy?
on the 22nd April, 2014 at 8:34pm
He and Bonaventura are similar though I personally like Bonaventura more and think his form is better I also like Marchisio but like said before wouldn't matter with or without him.
on the 22nd April, 2014 at 4:58pm

Again, he's Italy's best striker. So please let it go, noone cares about your moaning over balo.. he prob scor another 2-3 before the seasons over ending up at 17 goals which is not too bad. Do your homework kid.
on the 22nd April, 2014 at 4:32pm
@ Mike I agree to a certain extent. Marchisio will always suffer with comparisons to previous seasons where he scored lots of goals from midfield. I'm not saying Nocerino's at the same level but he also suffered from comparisons with his first season at Milan. The goals have dried up partly due to a slight change in his role but in my view his performances are also down. He'll go and he still has a lot to offer but whereas before he was a shoe in now his place is slightly at risk.
on the 22nd April, 2014 at 4:24pm

miccoli is playing in prima divisione-B and ballotelli is italy' mot gifted attacker now, plus he did great in euros and even in confeds.

are you high or something?
on the 22nd April, 2014 at 4:09pm
I think of Marchisio as the invisible man. For Juve and Italy sometimes I forget he is playing. He is one of the few azzurri in his prime but what exactly does he do? Is he a great passer? A great tackler? A great goalscorer? I liken him to Dino Baggio of the past a telephone pole that just is there. As for Totti yes he does not run but he is twice as effective as anyone else when he has the ball. Big mistake not including him. Only Pirlo compares. Askhis coach
on the 22nd April, 2014 at 4:04pm
cleverley of italy
on the 22nd April, 2014 at 3:56pm
Marchisio reminds me of Albertini in how much he is unappreciated. His work rate is invaluable as we are going to be playing in a tough climate and what we will need from players is stamina and tenacity. A midfield of Marchisio, Pirlo and De Rossi could be the anchor of a potent attacking team. This world cup is going to be about FIFA helping to get Spain, Brazil, Argentina and Portugal into the Semi Finals. It would be nice if, Cattivi as we are, we can spoil their tea party... Forza Azzurri!
on the 22nd April, 2014 at 3:35pm
As for the clamours about Totti's return..... the dude has stopped running a few years ago... He barely walks on the pitch.. it's not going to be Serie A.. it's a world cup.. a showcase of the best in the world in the blistering heat of Brazil...Why don't we tell the referee to red-card one Italian player before the start of the game instead of getting Totti on the starting line up....

The dude is done... !

quit living in the past!
on the 22nd April, 2014 at 2:56pm
His critics are usually two groups of people... Juve-haters.. and those who can't really comprehend what Marchisio's told to do tactically... His role off the ball is significant to every team he plays for, be it Juve of the national team... covering asses of many lame ducks who fail to retreat back to their positions once gone forward...
on the 22nd April, 2014 at 2:53pm
Failed at Euro2012, failed at Conf. Cup 2013.

Why not leave Mario Barwuah at home, and bring on Miccol and/or Quagliarella, even as reserves? The Brazilians would love Fabrizio’s goals & showmanship.

Combine with the sweet and sour of G. Rossi, Cerci, perhaps the tabasco sauce of Cassano as playmaker, and you have a delicious strike-force.

We have to compete with Suarez, Messi, Neymar, etc, and he wants Gila, Osvaldo, and *cough* Balotelli!

Bring the trophy home or it's rotten eggs!
on the 22nd April, 2014 at 2:04pm
Bring back Totti, We made the mistake in 2002 when we left out Roby Baggio. Totti as a cretive entity, is better than Cassano, Rossi, Diamanti, Curci etc. We can play him off Balotelli or have him as a player who can come off the bench andn change the dynamics of the team. If he is fit, it would be crazy not to call him. Forza Italia!
on the 22nd April, 2014 at 1:01pm
A good back-up to DDR or even on the flanks as he is a tenacious tackler. Not essential as a starter but a good squad member for sure.
on the 22nd April, 2014 at 1:00pm
He's had a poor season but seems to be picking up his game now and his experience and versatility are helpful. Therefore I would not object to his inclusion but wouldn't lose sleep if he was left out and replaced by Verratti, Cigarini, Florenzi etc. He obviously won't be left out so injury permitting we should just get behind him.
on the 22nd April, 2014 at 11:52am
His experience, versitility and athletic attributes will be important in the tough environments that Brazil will offer. Love him or hate him, he does a sound job that keeps the team ticking over. He would be in my squad
on the 22nd April, 2014 at 11:49am

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