Icardi would not make Inter's XI in 1999, says Cassano

Sport360 staff 01:19 01/11/2018
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Mauro Icardi remains out of action.

Antonio Cassano has made a huge claim regarding the quality of Italian football and has described the level of Serie A as “low”. The Italian further remarked that the current teams in the Serie A aren’t well-eqipped to execute Pep Guardiola’s brand of football.

Mauro Icardi has been one of the best strikers in Italy for over two seasons. But the Argentinian would have found it hard to make it to Inter’s starting line-up in 1999 ahead of Ronaldo and Christian Vieri.

“In 1999, for example, when I started playing professional football, there were players like Pirlo, [Francesco] Cozza and [Roberto] Baronio at Reggina, who were fighting to stay up,” he continued to Il Secolo XIX.

“If Icardi had been at Inter, would he have played in front of Ronaldo and Vieri?”

Cassano isn’t please with the quality of the players produced by Italian football in the past decade and believes it to be a major reason for their decline.

“What has changed since then? Everything comes in cycles. At that time Italian football was made of many No 10s like Baggio, Totti, Del Piero and I, plus there were lots of good defenders.”

The style of play that dominated football has changed at the turn of the decade. Cassano believes that Guariola’s brand of football has taken over. However, this style remains unique to the Spaniard and Italian teams would find it hard to implement total football.

“In 2006 we won a World Cup by playing long balls to [Luca] Toni. Now ‘guardiolismo’ reigns [referring to Pep Guardiola], but there’s only one Guardiola in the world.”

“There isn’t enough quality in Italian football to adopt his philosophy. When I say that the level of Serie A is low, I don’t want to sound snobbish. I’m just using my time as a benchmark.”

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