How has Italian football changed in the last 40 years? A little help, although certainly not exhaustive, comes from the analysis of which regions and which teams have contributed most in giving players to Italy for the World Cup and European Championships.
Football and Finance therefore took into consideration all the players called up by the national team from the 1980 European Championships until today, analyzing in particular the region of birth on the one hand, thus deepening a more demographic theme (without going too far into sociological discourses), while on the other hand focusing instead on the club of origin for a more sporting study.
The result is a picture in which the domination of Lombardy has declined over the years, while that of Juventus remains so even in recent seasons.
The squads of Italy, the most represented Regions
Let’s start, therefore, with the Regions, remembering that the analysis relates to the city of birth (for which, for example, Balotelli is indicated in Sicily even though he grew up in Brescia). From 1980 to today, players born in Lombardy have represented 22.7% of the total squad (92 out of 406), with numbers, we said, however declining in recent seasons.
The richest and most populous region of Italy has in any case always brought at least two players in blue in the main tournaments, sharing with Lazio the regional palm always represented in the national team in the last 40 years. The record in a single edition is relative to 1982, with 9 Lombard in blue: Cabrini, Massaro, Franco Baresi, Oriali, Scirea, Marini, Bergomi, Dossena and Vierchowod.
On the podium of the most represented, in addition to Lombardy, also Lazio (15.8%) and Tuscany (10.6%). There is also a large presence of players born abroad, which must however be divided between those born abroad but raised in Italy (such as Claudio Gentile, born in Libya) and natives such as Camoranesi (first in 2004).
However, in recent years the domination of Lombardy has waned: in the third millennium, in fact, Lazio overtook it, so much so that from 2000 onwards there were 44 Lazio squads in blue against 34 from Lombardy and 29 from Tuscany. .
Legend: Lazio in green, Lombardy in white and Tuscany in red
The squads of Italy, the most represented teams
There is dominance, even when it comes to the clubs of the players called up (the teams the footballers played in the season leading up to the tournament were considered).
From 1980 to today, Juventus players have represented 21.9% of the total squad (89 out of 406). The Juventus club has always brought at least two players in blue in the main tournaments, sharing with Milan the club’s palm always represented in the national team in the last 40 years (Roma did not have any for a single edition, Inter for 4) . The record in a single edition is seven players called up, which Juventus has obtained in three editions (1980, 2000 and 2012) and Milan in one edition (1994).
On the podium of the most represented, in addition to Juventus, also Milan (14.5%) and Inter (10.8%). Among the foreign clubs, the first players called up by a foreign team were Vieri (Atletico Madrid) and Di Matteo (Chelsea) in the 1998 World Cup.
In the 18 competitions taken into consideration, Juventus had the highest number of players called up (compared to Milan and Inter) in 11 of these: on three occasions it was Inter, in one at Milan and in three other occasions in cohabitation between two clubs. .
Legend: Milan in green, Juventus in white and Inter in red