Monday April 28 2014
World Cup Squad Selector: Florenzi

An exciting and versatile footballer, Alessandro Florenzi could be a multi-faceted weapon to consider for the World Cup squad, says Sam Lewis.

Alessandro Florenzi is able to play both on the wing and in a more central attacking midfield position, possessing an eye for goal that has seen him score six goals despite making the large majority of his 20 Serie A appearances from the bench.

The 23-year-old first broke into the Roma set-up after being promoted from the Giallorossi’s youth ranks to make his debut in May 2011. A Roma fan growing up, Florenzi’s first appearance was also notable, the youngster coming on as a substitute for captain Francesco Totti.

The Roman-born winger broke into the Azzurri squad in much the same manner, making his Italy U-21 debut in September 2011 and scoring his first goal exactly a month later in a 7-2 victory over Liechtenstein.

After impressing for the U-21s, Florenzi made his full Azzurri debut in November 2012 and scored his first goal a year later against Armenia in October 2013.

Skilful and direct, Florenzi’s style of play offers Cesare Prandelli dynamism in an area where Italy has typically struggled to find quality - in wide positions.

While Torino star Alessio Cerci is heavily favoured to receive a World Cup call-up, the Azzurri arguably don’t have a player with Florenzi’s skill set. His additional ability to play multiple positions could also offer value as an auxiliary attacking threat.

In terms of players that could rival Florenzi for a space in the Azzurri squad, Prandelli must decide between a list that includes the aforementioned Cerci, Lazio’s Antonio Candreva, Napoli starlet Lorenzo Insigne and outside bets Stephan El Shaarawy and Giacomo Bonaventura as well. 

Veteran Antonio Cassano could also be in with a call-up, the 31-year-old’s sparkling form for Parma this season has the former Sampdoria, Inter and Milan forward right in contention for an Azzurri spot too.

In light of the competition Florenzi’s chances appear slim, but a recent report from Gazzetta dello Sport indicates that Prandelli is considering a ‘plan B’ if Mario Balotelli isn’t selected for the national team, which includes playing Antonio Cassano as a false nine forward in the Milan forward’s stead.

While it may not appear that the news affects the midfielder directly, one more spot could open in Balotelli’s absence that allows for another player to be taken - a spot that could occupied by Florenzi.

Despite Florenzi’s rotatory role as part of a talented attacking group at Roma, the 23-year-old has registered six goals and six assists from just six starts, 14 appearances as a substitute.

With the young Azzurro hopeful building a growing reputation as a ‘super sub’ in the Italian capital, the Giallorosso talent is counting on that translating to a spot on the plane to Brazil.

Have your say...
Baggiot class balotelli not!

Yes I missed one midfield player & that player is Verratti. Sorry, there is no place for Diamanti in the squad. If there are any injury concerns the reserves are
GK - Scuffet
Defense - Astori
Midfield - Florenzi
Attack - Insigne

I know CP may pick the likes of Gilardino & Osvaldo, but I hate to see them in the Azzurri shirt.
on the 30th April, 2014 at 6:14pm
My 23 man squad will be
(P)Buffon, Sirigu, Perrin
(D)Criscto, chiellini, brazghli, Bonucci, Maggio, De Schilio, Paletta
(C)Pirlo, De Rossi, Montilvio, Marchiso, Candreva, Veratti,Parrolo
(A) Balotelli, Rossi, Cassano, Cerci, Immobile, Destro

Missing the cut - Osvaldo, Abate, T Motta
Italy 1 - England 1
Italy 3 - Costa Rica 1
Italy 1 - Urguay 1
Round of 16 Italy 1 - Ivory Coast 0
Quarter Final Italy 3 - Brazil 3 - Italy win on penalties
Semi Final Italy 2 - Belgium 1
Final italy 1 vs argentina0
on the 29th April, 2014 at 11:33pm
I like him a lot! Aside from his versatility, he gives us some pace; through the middle or out wide. His timing, finishing & runs into the box are excellent. I can see him being the scorer of some very important goals for Italy. Cassano as a false No 9 with Florenzi could be an effective combination. One of Italy's problems over the years is that we can be a bit static. Player like Florenzi & Cerci can give us an added dimension. I hope that he goes.
on the 29th April, 2014 at 5:57pm
Sorry to say, but can I ask, what is this non-sense?

"Despite Florenzi’s rotatory role as part of a talented attacking group at Roma, the 23-year-old has registered six goals and six assists from just six starts, 14 appearances as a substitute."

Wrong, so wrong. Florenzi has featured in every Roma game this season, except only one, which he missed through suspension. He has made 21 league starts this season and 15 sub appearances. Also, he has 7 assists, not just 6.

Good effort, though.
on the 29th April, 2014 at 3:21pm

You have not picked enough midfielders or forwards!! Also where is Diiamante????
He needs to be in the squad.
on the 29th April, 2014 at 1:07pm
I really like Florenzi, and he would be on the fringes of my squad, but I think there a players' for this tournament who I would put slightly ahead (mainly because of their experience). I would put Florenzi in the squad immediately for the Euro qualiders, one for the future.
on the 29th April, 2014 at 10:42am
Florenzi is a great addition to the squad. But under the current situation his chances to be at the WC is very slim. Most probable 23 are


Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini, Palleta, De Scglio, Abate, Criscito, Maggio

Pirlo, De Rossi, Marchisio, Montolivo, Candreva, T.Motta

Balotelli, Cerci, Destro, Immobile, G Rossi

Starting 11 against England
Buffon, De Scglio, Barzagli, Chiellini, Criscito, De Rossi, Pirlo, Candreva, Marchisio, Cerci, Balotelli
on the 29th April, 2014 at 1:57am
I like Florenzi because he's a good player, because he has character, and because he looks like the kind of guy who can become the heir of Totti and De Rossi; but his performance this season has been inconsistent. Rudy has kept him and Ljaic (another very promising player) on the bench for a reason. Even if he goes to Brazil, Florenzi won't be anywhere near the starting-11.

Now Destro, on the other hand, is the real deal. He has been consistently excellent since his recovery from injury.
on the 28th April, 2014 at 5:54pm
Florenzi is great , not sure if CP will pick him. competition is fierce in that position I would like him to go . Diamanti doesnt deserve to go, when he took the cash in china he lost his chance . same with Giacherini





5 STELLE........
on the 28th April, 2014 at 5:13pm
If there's going to be room for the one trick pony that is Candreava, surely there has to be room for Florenzi.
on the 28th April, 2014 at 5:06pm
Cerci and Candreva will be selected over him most likely and both are better options right now. Florenzi will certainly get into the squad in the future if he keeps improving.
on the 28th April, 2014 at 4:22pm
he is a great player indeed. and there is absolutely room this time around for him. prandelli needs a wing player who is versatile enough to chip in centrally. prandelli picks the roster, not us fans. but i see florenzi fitting in to prandelli plans. not to mention florenzi age is a bonus. let the youngster run, chase and press!!!
on the 28th April, 2014 at 3:31pm
Tricky one. Offers something different. Anyone seen how Diamanti is going in China??? Should be included in the final 30 or whatever and then a decision made in the last minute. Thank you Roma for providing another potentially great young Italian talent.
on the 28th April, 2014 at 3:28pm
Great player, one for the future, maybe in 2 years time, no room this time around.
on the 28th April, 2014 at 2:18pm

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