Italy is a country rooted in close-knit families. Unsurprisingly, that loyalty and love carry over to the football clubs. When you think of players who spurned offers from the world’s elite due to their love for their club, half of your list likely consists of Italian players. Paolo Maldini, Francesco Totti, Franco Baresi, and Alessandro Del Piero. Despite his start at Parma and recent year at PSG, Gianluigi Buffon’s love for Juventus brought him back to the club. Though Javier Zanetti is Argentine, his loyalty to Inter Milan elevates his status to that of a son of Inter as he’s remained with the club since 1995. Stability served as a catalyst for individual and professional development.
After taking the field for 10 teams in his first nine seasons, Ciro Immobile has found a home in Rome. “When I am playing and I hear the Lazio fans chant my name, this motivates me a lot. I love to play for Lazio and it is an honour for me,” says Immobile. That support has translated to Immobile leading the Big 5 leagues in goals plus assists per 90 minutes with a mark of 1.82. The next highest performers are Timo Werner and Robert Lewandowski at 1.50.
If you love tactical analysis, then you’ll love the digital magazines from totalfootballanalysis.com – a guaranteed 100+ pages of pure tactical analysis covering topics from the Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, Bundesliga and many, many more. Buy your copy of the November issue for just ₤4.99 here