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Lack of Italian players in Serie A worries Conte

01 September 2014, 19:34

Florence - New Italy coach Antonio Conte on Monday bemoaned the lack of Italian players turning out for Serie A clubs.

"I've read that I'm being criticised for not selecting any first team (Serie A) striker except (Simone) Zaza (Sassuolo) but when I go to all the Serie A sides all the attackers are foreigners," he said.

Conte was speaking at a press conference after a training session in Florence ahead of Thursday's friendly against the Netherlands.

"It's not an easy situation," he added.

"It doesn't make things easier for me, we need more players."

With Italy, knocked out in the first round at the World Cup, opening their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign against Norway on September 9, Conte was out and about at the weekend to assess squad members.

He watched Roma's 2-0 win over Fiorentina, telling reporters "if there are only one or two Italians on a team, that's really alarming".

For Saturday's opening day of the new Serie A season Roma started with three Italian players - retired international Francesco Totti, Daniele De Rossi and Davide Astori.

Fiorentina took to the pitch with not one domestic player in their side.

Conte wants Italian clubs to give "more places to Italian players".

"They have to roll up their sleeves, and not just talk ... even in the youth sides there are too many foreigners".

Despite his comments he says he remains optimistic the situation will improve - "it must improve as if we continue like this things could get really bad".

Also read: Italy FA chief faces UEFA racism probe



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