It’s been more than a year since the Della Valle brothers expressed their commitment to making Fiorentina a “more Italian” team. Since then, the Italians who’ve joined the team—Marco Benassi, Cristiano Biraghi, Marco Sportiello, Diego Falcinelli, Federico Ceccherini—have, with the exception of Biraghi, largely underwhelmed. Meanwhile, the non-Italians have been much better. So what gives?
With the restrictions on academy players from the boot, it’s pretty clear that local players are often overvalued, leading to higher transfer fees and inflated expectations. While this is hardly a problem that Fiorentina faces alone, the club’s reliance on foreign talent since the Vincenzo Montella days throws this problem into high relief. The only Italian stars on the team this past half decade have been Alberto Aquilani, Davide Astori, Federico Bernardeschi, and Federico Chiesa. That’s not even one per year.
Looking at the squad, there are only 5 Italians in the 28 senior players, just like last year. Biraghi, Ceccherini, Benassi, Federico Chiesa, and Riccardo Sottil, although Germán Pezzella, Vincent Laurini, and Sebastian Cristoforo all have dual Italian citizenship. That means that 82% of the squad is from outside of Italy. The average across Serie A is 57% foreign players. Only Lazio (30) and Udinese (24) have more than the 23 with the Viola.
And in keeping with that theme, the money in this summer’s mercato has favored even more dudes who aren’t Italian: Alban Lafont, Marko Pjaca, Gerson, Edimilson Fernandes, Christian Nørgaard, and David Hancko are definitely not from around these parts.
But do you care that Fiorentina has become a largely non-Italian venture on the pitch?
This poll is closed
ITALY FIRST NO MATTER WHAT (if you choose this, you’re probably a Lazio fan who’s too thick to realize that Lazio has almost no Italians)
It’s pretty important to me that a fair number of Viola players be Italian.
It’s be nice if the squad were mostly Italian, but there are more important things.
You have to have a few Italians, sure, but I’m way more interested in quality than nationality.
I WANT A MODEL UNITED NATIONS.