Monday March 23 2015
Conte defends oriundi

Antonio Conte has defended his decision to select oriundi Eder and Franco Vazquez in his latest Italy squad.

The move has come in for criticism from the likes of Roberto Mancini and Franco Causio, but the Azzurri CT insists it’s nothing out of the ordinary.

“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."