« We need a program to develop the youth sector in Italy »
Ramon pathex-Tottenham and Cagliari footballer, spoke about the situation in Italian football and on the youth pitch via the microphones of SerieANews.com:
» Compared to what happened in Italy, I think Switzerland has done a lot more. But this federation president won the European Championship in a short time and did a good job. Things are going a little better than before, winning the European Championship is a great result, but we are talking about a team that already had a lot of experience and maturity. If we look at the share of development of young Italians in the last 10-15 years, things have not gone well. Something is missing. The Italian national team with this president is starting to get a bit better, but they still have a lot to do. To have a high-level Italy, you need at least 5-10 years. In the 90s, young and strong players were in large numbers.
Any development that affects youth isn’t just about Serie A. Talking about the pyramid as a whole, Serie B and Serie C have also drifted a bit apart. But there are things to say. In Italy there is still infrastructure from the 90s, works have been done, but it is still the Italy 90 World Cup. Apart from that, the football infrastructure has not progressed. The federal government has its responsibility, but so does state policy. In order to develop new players, you need to take care of this part as well. Football is the most important sport in Italy. For the young and the very young, we must invest in infrastructure and stadiums. Maybe there are three new ones and that’s not enough. Forget England, they have more money. But look at other countries. New stadiums also mean different economic structures for clubs and that is very important. Also, I don’t think they are committed to the growth of the Primavera and other categories of young people. There has to be a program that allows everyone to grow, especially in Serie B and C. In Serie A, they take the so-called old ones and leave the youngsters on the bench, they don’t play.
It is very important that these young people have the opportunity to play in Serie A. The philosophy must start with the coaches giving them confidence and using it with more experience and the elements to make them grow. If you don’t give the youngster the experience, he will never have it. If you enter them as 19, you must take into account that they may be incorrect. It’s normal, he is 19 years old. But if we put them at 19, in thirty games, at 20-21, he has grown and has more experience. But he will be 21 and not 29, that’s the difference. Teams and associations need to focus on that. I always liked Italy, that’s why I went to Cagliari in the best time Italy had in football. You played against Ronaldo, Savicevic, Gentlemen, Baggio every week… where are you today? Today, you don’t even know the players. It’s like that. You think ‘Oh but who is it?’. If you talked about all the teams in the 90s they had at least 1-2 great players and everyone they knew“.
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