Antonio Conte has defended his decision to select oriundi Eder and Franco Vazquez in his latest Italy squad.
“I can say that I’m not the first, and I won’t be the last to call-up these ‘oriundi’,” Conte told journalists in his Press conference ahead of the Bulgaria qualifier.
“In the past there have been several players like [Mauro] Camoranesi, [Gabriel] Paletta, [Cristian] Ledesma, Amauri…
“Suffice to say that at the last World Cup, 83 players out of over 700 were oriundi. These are the rules.
“It’s inevitable that controversy can always be created, but I respect all opinions. I haven’t done anything strange that hasn’t been done in the past.
“I decided to call these players, I’ll evaluate them and decide whether to give them a cap or not.
“It’s the same in every country, there’s always a debate about the national team.
"Vazquez has an Italian mother, and feels Italian. Italy cannot be a fallback for people who don't get into their own national team.
"Eder and Vazquez are doing well in the League, and I wanted to evaluate them, which I'd gladly have done at the [proposed] training camp.
"That wasn't possible, so now I want to evaluate them and see if they can offer something important."